PDA

View Full Version : "Attacks and Throws" - Aikido in Austin


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


akiy
10-11-2004, 10:35 AM
http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=121527&SecID=2

-- Jun

kironin
10-11-2004, 11:21 AM
Thanks!

I have visited there a few times when in Austin so it's interesting to
see them on the local TV.

shihonage
10-11-2004, 04:35 PM
Students train with a partner, playing off each other and practicing moves slowly.



"A lot of people think martial artists go around looking for fights. Really, our highest ideal is to never get in conflict to begin with," aikido teacher Leslie Libby said.



Most training is almost like a dance, where one person leads and the other follows.



Aikido is the kind of martial art that's equivalent to yoga.


Oi :eek:

Also, they have a video on that page. It hurts.

I think that in MOST cases, Aikido should NOT be taught by a woman.
Sure, there are the women on "Holding up Half the Sky" DVD, who actually operate in realtime with real technique, but they appear to be the exceptions.

Aikido's cooperative approach lends itself all too well to be distilled into uselessness by a teacher who has no idea of what real aggression is like.
This especially applies to women teachers.
All too many of them just don't "get" it to the needed degree, and there's no competitive element in the art to ground them back to reality, like say, Judo would do.

Look at the mune tsuki in that video, mein gott, that is horrible.
This is the kind of dojos that give Aikido the reputation that it currently has.

If I was this "Leslie Libby" I would certainly try to show Aikido in a better light.
Show slow practice and old sedated people delivering mune tsuki which does not hurt a fly, but
at least also show energetic young people doing realtime jiyu-waza and multiple attacker drills.

You know, BOTH sides.
Not just the theoretic pseudo-pacifist side which will get your ass kicked by the geriatric old man doing tai chi in the park.

aikidoc
10-11-2004, 05:42 PM
"I think that in MOST cases, Aikido should NOT be taught by a woman." Wow Aleksey, are you in the dark ages or what? O'Sensei had female students early on in the art and to my knowledge did not discriminate against women. You are going to get a serious a** chewing on this one and rightly deserved.

Now, I may not agree that aikido is like yoga but to make such a sexist statement is unbelieveable. Whatever trashing you get on this one is deserved.

kironin
10-11-2004, 05:56 PM
How old are you Aleksey ? :disgust:

The first comment you quoted was made by the anchorman and the forth comment was made by the reporter in voice over on the film. The third by a student who just sounds like he is attempting to describe the idea of nage-uke. The second is just like the mantra of self-defense experts.

it's a small ASU group on the south side of Austin that holds classes in a Yoga studio. Who knows how they edited. When I have been a guest there to that school, the class practice has been quite vigorous.
Leslie Libby throws quite hard and I considerably outmatch her in size. I doubt she would have much trouble laying you on your butt pretty quickly.

What I see on the video seems like pretty standard ASU practice.
I am willng to bet that the new girl that Leslie Libby is working very slowly with showing shihonage is the reporter giving the voice over.

Craig

shihonage
10-12-2004, 12:26 AM
"I think that in MOST cases, Aikido should NOT be taught by a woman." Wow Aleksey, are you in the dark ages or what? O'Sensei had female students early on in the art and to my knowledge did not discriminate against women. You are going to get a serious a** chewing on this one and rightly deserved.

Now, I may not agree that aikido is like yoga but to make such a sexist statement is unbelieveable. Whatever trashing you get on this one is deserved.

Get off your righteous horse, will ya.

It is not my goal to discriminate or insult women.
I simply stated my observation, which this video only confirmed.

When I see a female Aikido student, there's less of a chance that they are actually training with attacks which are grounded in reality.
I've seen quite a few that DO, but I've also seen a whole freaking lot that don't.

The art itself does not push them to understand the timing of realtime attacks, and they have less of a chance than men to have prior LIFE experience with violence which would awaken them to the illusory nature of their training.

When such a person "graduates" to being an instructor, they continue propagating the method with which they train upon their students.

Look at that shomen, look at those mune tsuki in that video.
Those are not attacks.
They would not upset a toddler if they landed.
There's no intent, the students are not getting used to real-time timing, leading their skillset to be uncalibrated for the real world.


Leslie Libby throws quite hard and I considerably outmatch her in size. I doubt she would have much trouble laying you on your butt pretty quickly.


I would be only glad to find out that she can work with actual _attacks_ and not lazy fly-swatting shown in the video.
But if she can, why isn't it shown ?!
It's not a beginner's class, most of those people are shodans and above.

I'm not asking to start throwing hooks and jabs, but how about just plain Aikido stylized attacks, being actually executed with some intent ?

Isn't it a responsibility of an Aikido teacher to propagate an honest, balanced image of Aikido ? Yin and yang ?
That video report made it look like "self improvement dancing yoga workshop".


The first comment you quoted was made by the anchorman and the forth comment was made by the reporter in voice over on the film.


And those comments were born out of their observation of what they were shown as "Aikido".

kironin
10-12-2004, 12:59 AM
there is both a woman and a man teaching classes there so whatever problems you think there are based on that TV spot, jumping to the conclusion that the cause is soley due to a female teacher doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Leslie Libby Sensei began her aikido career at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in 1982 training under Greg Olson Sensei.  After two years of training, Libby Sensei moved to Japan to study aikido at the Hombu dojo in Tokyo, Japan.  Originally intending to stay for six months, Libby Sensei remained in Japan training daily for 5 years.  



Jay Lindholm Sensei began his martial arts training in 1981. Following two years of training in a street fighting system “Kajukenbo”, he then spent eight years training in Tae Kwon Do.  Jay Lindholm, Sensei taught at his own Tae Kwon Do school in Dallas, for two years prior to moving to Austin, Texas in 1989.  

Lindholm Sensei started his aikido career in 1989 which has continued through today encompassing 14 years of consistent aikido practice.  Lindholm Sensei regularly attends training seminars with both Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei to bring ideas and training methods back to the dojo.  His motto is “just start wherever you are and get better from there.”

kironin
10-12-2004, 01:04 AM
from dojo website...

Hill Country Aikido on Television - Friday, October 8th 2004

That's right, we were fortunate to have Amy Hadley from News 8 Austin do a segment on our dojo.  The segment is called "Fit for Friday" and airs each week throughout the day on Fridays on local cable channel 8.  

The filming took place on Monday at noon and again on Friday from 6 to 8 am when we aired several live segments on aikido from our dojo.  Amy and Brandy (her intern from my old alma mater Texas State) came and allowed us to show them a little about aikido and why we love it so much.  It was amazing to think the once "little dojo" could get 12 people on the mat at 6 am to practice.  

It was a lot of fun practicing with the newscast and all of our aikido buddies who were courageous enough to venture out into the darkness to join us.  Amy and Brandy were pretty adventurous as well attempting break falls at their first lesson.  We will post a video stream of the training and interviews from this segment in the near future.  Check back soon to see us in action.

Special thanks to every one at News 8 for considering us for this segment and doing such a wonderful job of spotlighting aikido.  Thank you Chadwick for setting up this opportunity and Hats off to all our members for supporting this event in the early hours, which turned out to be a blast!!

shihonage
10-12-2004, 01:11 AM
Jay Lindholm Sensei began his martial arts training in 1981. Following two years of training in a street fighting system "Kajukenbo", he then spent eight years training in Tae Kwon Do. Jay Lindholm, Sensei taught at his own Tae Kwon Do school in Dallas, for two years prior to moving to Austin, Texas in 1989.

Lindholm Sensei started his aikido career in 1989 which has continued through today encompassing 14 years of consistent aikido practice. Lindholm Sensei regularly attends training seminars with both Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei to bring ideas and training methods back to the dojo. His motto is "just start wherever you are and get better from there."


It would be interesting to see what the news footage would've been like if on that day it was Jay Lindholm and the students that attend his classes.
Hopefully a little more energetic.

kironin
10-12-2004, 01:50 AM
What makes you think he wasn't one of the black belts in the background that you were criticizing ?

I doubt they have that sort of cliquish behavior there.

Bill Brownlow
10-12-2004, 06:45 AM
...But if she can, why isn't it shown ?!
It's not a beginner's class, most of those people are shodans and above...


Just an aikido newbie here, but I will put in my $ .02. I think you have to look at what the purpose of the newscast was. A segment called "fit for friday", seems to me like a weekly piece designed to get couch potatoes to try new things for fitness. If you show people going at it like a bat outta hell, taking huge breakfalls and being hurled across the mat. The people you are trying to reach are going to think, "I can't do that; aikido must not be for ordinary people." That is the misconception I had about aikido until 5 yrs of BJJ practice made me think, heck how bad could it be? I'll give it a try.

FWIW
Bill

aikidoc
10-12-2004, 09:15 AM
I agree with Bill-how do you know what the newscast was trying to show. Do you think a little blood would have made you feel better? To make such a sexist statement based on a clip about which you know little other than what you see. Generally, teaching the art and teaching self defense require a different set of circumstances. To teach "realistic" attacks and I assume you mean "realistic" responses one would have to assume someone is going to get hurt or will have to wear a lot of padding to prevent injury-not realistic.

Your "not politically correct" statement about women in general is disrespectful and of little value in discussing the street worthiness of a video-which may have been put together for totally different reasons. Not everyone takes aikido, or other martial arts for learning to kick someone's a**. If that is their purpose there are combat arts designed to creat maximum damage as fast as possible.

I don't know Sensei Libby personally, I had the opportunity to take a single class from her once about 1995 while visiting Austin and found her aikido to be like that of any other aikikai affiliated dojo I have ever trained in or visited.

This is not about being on a high horse. I feel your comments are out of context with the situation-a lot like the politics of today-distorted based on your personal belief system. You could have made your point effectively without making such remarks.

John Boswell
10-12-2004, 09:30 AM
By the way Jun...

Thanks for posting the link! Despite the detour this thread took, it is always a good thing for aikido get get air time on the news! :D

Domo!

GaiaM
10-12-2004, 10:13 AM
I am not insulted easily, but I am disappointed that an aikido student would make such a blatent disciminatory comment about senseis and students of my gender. I have heard several very experienced aikidoists say the opposite in fact, that women often learn aikido more easily because we are less prone to use force and more likely to move from center and not give in to anger or agression.
Several other ideas in response to your insensitive comment:
1. There are really hard core female aikidoists out there that throw hard and, in addition, have GREAT technique. My sensei took ukemi for a fabulous nidan test by a female (he is a yondan and has some of the best ukemi in the USAF). He said that it was some of the hardest ukemi he had ever taken because her movements were so solid and strong.
2. Not everyone takes aikido with the goal of being proficent in real-life self defence. I personally like to train fast and push myself, but this is not for everyone and one of the best things about aikido is that many people of many ages and persuasions can practice it with success for their own personal goals. I also would like that video to show some more action, but is it so bad for people to see another side of the art? Like someone said, perhaps it will encourage viewers to give aikido a try, and improve their lives and add to the community...
Please see sides other than your own. Choose the dojo you like but don't critisize others and don't make such blatent assumptions about the female gender.
Gaia

Kevin Masters
10-12-2004, 11:14 AM
If you're talking about the Nidan I think you're talking about, she's one of my sempai.

I can vouch for the fact that she's quite able and willing to toss all 195 pounds of me around like a freaking car-wreck.
Owie.

And don't even bring any of the weak attacks to her, she'll just punish you more for it.
:D

Karen Wolek
10-12-2004, 11:20 AM
I'm just going to ditto Kevin here. She is one of my favorite training partners and has no qualms about tossing me (or any of the guys) around like a ragdoll.

While the Aikido at my dojo does not resemble the Aikido in that news clip, I agree that since the aim is to get people off the couch....they might not have wanted to scare anyone. I dunno, sometimes I think my sensei LIKES to scare people..... <grin>

David_francis
10-12-2004, 11:46 AM
I think they just slowed down for the filming really, or it was nerves, cameras can really screw up your concentration.

John Boswell
10-12-2004, 12:16 PM
Alexsey was making a point, that the technique in the video wasn't the best, but the means in which he said it was off the mark to say the least.

If you go look at Libby Sensei's bio, everyone can see she trained in Hombu, under the then second Doshu among many others... for five YEARS.

Now, knowing that, if he wants to stand by his comment on the technique demonstrated, I wouldn't fault him for that. But I do believe he owes Libby Sensei and ALL women of aikido an apology.

Gender should have never entered into his equation, imho.

shihonage
10-12-2004, 01:16 PM
Ok, let's establish two things here.
a) Before making a kneejerk reply, please actually do read what was previously said.
When you raise points that have already been addressed in a post you're replying to, you're only wasting time.

b) See a). This is not a "women are less capable than, or somehow inferior to, men" statement.
Saying something like that would be absurd.

Now, to the individual replies:

John:


Do you think a little blood would have made you feel better? To make such a sexist statement based on a clip about which you know little other than what you see. Generally, teaching the art and teaching self defense require a different set of circumstances. To teach "realistic" attacks and I assume you mean "realistic" responses one would have to assume someone is going to get hurt or will have to wear a lot of padding to prevent injury-not realistic.


See point a).
This was addressed in my previous post.
All I ask for is honest practice of stylized Aikido attacks, not the movie "Bloodsport".


Your "not politically correct" statement about women in general is disrespectful


I did not make a statement about women in general.
Once again, see a).
Given my observations about women in Aikido, I simply try and find the most logical explanation that makes sense.

If you take a random sample of women students from Judo or Boxing, I am CONFIDENT that their skill levels will be no different from men.
Thats because in arts with competition, they can't pat someone on the shoulder and ask them to attack slower or to be "more flowing".
Its very simple there - what you do works, or what you do doesn't.

Aikido allows a lot of leeway. If a person chooses to continuously ignore proper training methods, they can.
Is it not true that on average, women go through less fights and scuffles than guys, as they grow up?
I'm not talking about mental bullying, which can be even more devastating than that between guys, but of pure physical attacks.

Given their less exposure to physical attacks, when they go into Aikido, they have a tendency not to have an imprint of what a proper attack is. The art itself does not make them find out, and so they continue like this, on autopilot.

Gaia:


I am not insulted easily, but I am disappointed that an aikido student would make such a blatent disciminatory comment about senseis and students of my gender. I have heard several very experienced aikidoists say the opposite in fact, that women often learn aikido more easily because we are less prone to use force and more likely to move from center and not give in to anger or agression.


Yes, and I think that women instructors on "Holding up Half the Sky" DVD show exemplary technique. I also encountered several women who's technique feels like getting my arm caught in heavy machinery.
I only wish there was more of them.


Several other ideas in response to your insensitive comment


Yes, truth hurts.
Do you think I don't wish I was wrong ?


Not everyone takes aikido with the goal of being proficent in real-life self defence. I personally like to train fast and push myself, but this is not for everyone and one of the best things about aikido is that many people of many ages and persuasions can practice it with success for their own personal goals.



See a).
Even with honest attacks, Aikido, interpreted literally, is a far cry from actual self-defense training.
That is not the point.

Whether you want to defend yourself or not, is irrelevant.
You train in Aikido to forge your spirit, yes ?
In order for your spirit to grow, you must be aligned with Truth, not Lies.
Truth, as in, honest attacks that give your partner honest feedback, and make them develop TRUE technique.

There's a certain balance where you develop communication with your partner.
This does not mean that you always resist, but it means a balanced behavior where you give ukemi that is appropriate at your partners level without downright lying to them with your body feedback during the _entire_ practice.

Yes, this may involve your partner not "feeling nice" sometimes.
I hope it doesn't come as a surprise that self-improvement, spiritual development requires actual work.


I also would like that video to show some more action, but is it so bad for people to see another side of the art?


See a). I already mentioned the balance, showing BOTH sides, not just one.
Unfortunately the slow meditative dance side is the one that prevails in public view.
Thanks to such "demos", Aikido is a laughingstock of martial arts and it hurts me to see such TV newscasts.


I can vouch for the fact that she's quite able and willing to toss all 195 pounds of me around like a freaking car-wreck.
Owie.

And don't even bring any of the weak attacks to her, she'll just punish you more for it.


That is good to hear :)

John B.:


But I do believe he owes Libby Sensei and ALL women of aikido an apology.


Let's assume for a moment that I am entirely wrong in my observations of women in Aikido (and I really wish I was !).
Indeed, they all are capable of delivering and dealing with honest Aikido attacks.

Then, wouldn't you think that women who make such one-sided "yin" demos of Aikido on public TV owe all OTHER women of Aikido an apology for only perpetuating an unneeded, outdated stereotype ?

P.S.
Man, I am having a deja vu.
I think you and I had exactly the same argument over "Kiai Golf".

suren
10-12-2004, 02:16 PM
1. I don't think women deliver less sincere attacks than men when they are asked to and if they are trained properly.
2. I agree with Aleksey that if this video is presenting Aikido, it should show all it's sides, no matter what the intension of the program is. Maybe that will make people come to dojo and observe, but if reality is not what they saw on the video, they will just leave. Is that the intension of that program? If so, it's waste of time and efforts.
They could show old people training in very peaceful manner and a randori session with younger practitioners. That would target both young and old audiences and give a better understanding what Aikido is.

GaiaM
10-12-2004, 02:59 PM
You train in Aikido to forge your spirit, yes ?
In order for your spirit to grow, you must be aligned with Truth, not Lies.
Truth, as in, honest attacks that give your partner honest feedback, and make them develop TRUE technique.

There's a certain balance where you develop communication with your partner.
This does not mean that you always resist, but it means a balanced behavior where you give ukemi that is appropriate at your partners level without downright lying to them with your body feedback during the _entire_ practice.


Connection/communication is important - I'm sure we agree on that. However, "honest" attacks can occur at different speeds, not neccessarily aimed at simulating an attack in a "real life" situation. Not everyone's body can handle the fast ukemi that comes from a fast, "realistic" attack. So as long as the attack is "honest" ie. not stopping before contact and with power and committment, Aikido can be practiced at any speed. In fact, good, connected ukemi is often harder at slower speeds and this is great way to practice.
We might be in agreement here, but I just want to put that out there.

Hi Karen W... Yes, I expect you know the nidan I was speaking of - she took her test in Montreal last spring. Were you there? I thought she had the best test of anyone that day. Oh, and I visited your dojo with a friend of mine from Bard a few weeks ago and we trained together... Hi :)

aikidoc
10-12-2004, 03:38 PM
True you are entitled to your observations. This is not a knee jerk reaction by the way. However, your statements come across as being very sexist-you put them this way and put the emphasis in them not me: "I think that in MOST cases, Aikido should NOT be taught by a woman. Sure, there are the women on "Holding up Half the Sky" DVD, who actually operate in realtime with real technique, but they appear to be the exceptions." Your are essentially stating in your opinion women should not be aikido instructors. Yes, I realize you attempt to address this in a laterl post-however the "way" you state this is what caused my comments. Basically, that is a very sexist statement, which is interesting given your organization has at least two dojo cho that are females.

"Aikido's cooperative approach lends itself all too well to be distilled into uselessness by a teacher who has no idea of what real aggression is like. This especially applies to women teachers.
All too many of them just don't "get" it to the needed degree, and there's no competitive element in the art to ground them back to reality, like say, Judo would do." I realize men have a long history of testosterone induced aggressive behavior and are more likely to get into fisticuffs and other senseless altercations. However, women are also exposed to violence, often at the hands of men, in such cases as assault, abuse and domestic violence. Because they don't seek it out due to hormonal reasons (i.e., lack of testosterone) does not make them any less aware of the implications or issues of violence nor less capable of participating and instructing. In fact, women instructors in my opinion are more likely capable of learning to cope with such behaviors since their male students frequently like to test them.

I don't know your age but the issue of real time attacks is not necessarily relevant. How many male instructors have been involved in real time incidents. I feel good about the fact that I have not. Does that mean my aikido is any less relevant?

CNYMike
10-12-2004, 04:12 PM
http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=121527&SecID=2

-- Jun

Hey, Jun, thanks for the link.

shihonage
10-12-2004, 04:17 PM
Well John, to be frank, that article and video pissed me off.
My first reply may have been a little over the top given my emotional state.
I have attempted to balance it out later on.

The issues you address however are the matter of exception vs. the rule.
I never said "never", I said, "less likely".
If you keep portraying my arguments as black-and-white, you can of course continue throwing your "but there are exceptions !" statements, well, forever.
Because there ARE exceptions. No one is arguing with that.


I don't know your age but the issue of real time attacks is not necessarily relevant.


I think you are using a differentinterpretation of the term "realtime" which is cause for some misunderstanding.
I think that slow practice is very important in Aikido but realtime practice is just as important and cannot be neglected.
And by realtime, I mean delivering stylized Aikido attacks, in dojo environment, at actual realtime speed.

Slow practice helps get a sense for finer aspects of movement - where to take out the slack, where are the weak balance points and what not - but realtime practice gets you used to spontaneous reaction to a speed at which an attack may actually be delivered outside the dojo.

Realtime practice ALSO answers questions that slow practice cannot.
"Why does the uke hold on here ? Why can't uke do this or that here ? Why can't I hold him in this pin for more than a few seconds ?" - many of such questions can only be answered by delivering a realtime attack at a higher rank and having them "answer" with that follows.
Aikido techniques were invented FROM the interaction of human bodies with realtime physics.
No matter how good you are, you can't simulate the realtime physics accurately during slow practice.

A balance of both is needed.
This balance was not shown in the video.


Because they don't seek it out due to hormonal reasons (i.e., lack of testosterone) does not make them any less aware of the implications or issues of violence nor less capable of participating and instructing.


Once again, see a).
This is not about women having "less" capability or potential to do something than men.

This is about the way life TYPICALLY shapes them - they are less likely to get in scuffles or even playfight than guys in school - , that makes them less predisposed to understanding proper attacks - and training in a martial art which typically neglects focusing on training the attacks, does not serve to further their understanding.

If a man gets raised in a same way, he will have the same problems.

CNYMike
10-12-2004, 04:20 PM
..... Aikido's cooperative approach lends itself all too well to be distilled into uselessness by a teacher who has no idea of what real aggression is like.
This especially applies to women teachers.
All too many of them just don't "get" it to the needed degree, and there's no competitive element in the art to ground them back to reality, like say, Judo would do.


Given that there are women who have done things like Thai Boxing, I sincerely doubt that women teachers wouldn't "get" aggression. In fact, the proliferation of women's self defense courses seems top show they are all too worried about it.

..... at least also show energetic young people doing realtime jiyu-waza and multiple attacker drills.


First off, AFAIK, jiyu waza and randori are upper level things anyway, not what you want raw beginners to see/worry about.

Second, what held me back from resuming aikido was going to a demonstration by the Cornell Aikido Club ( http://www.lightlink.com/markr/aikido.htm -- BTW, that dojo is run by a woman) and the way those "energetic young kids" through each other around seemed more intense than Seidokan, and beyond what I was up to.

So showing that stuff might be a bad idea if you want to attract people.



..... You know, BOTH sides.
Not just the theoretic pseudo-pacifist side which will get your ass kicked by the geriatric old man doing tai chi in the park.

Well, since I am doing Aikido AND Tai Chi, I'm covered. :p

shihonage
10-12-2004, 04:31 PM
Michael :


Given that there are women who have done things like Thai Boxing, I sincerely doubt that women teachers wouldn't "get" aggression. In fact, the proliferation of women's self defense courses seems top show they are all too worried about it.


Re-read what I said prior, because I already covered it.
You get no argument from me.


First off, AFAIK, jiyu waza and randori are upper level things anyway, not what you want raw beginners to see/worry about.


This is irrelevant, because everyone in that videoclip except the reporter, was a yudansha.


Second, what held me back from resuming aikido was going to a demonstration by the Cornell Aikido Club ( http://www.lightlink.com/markr/aikido.htm -- BTW, that dojo is run by a woman) and the way those "energetic young kids" through each other around seemed more intense than Seidokan, and beyond what I was up to.

So showing that stuff might be a bad idea if you want to attract people.


Showing that stuff _alone_ might be a bad idea.
That's why there should be a balance of both - also covered this before.

suren
10-12-2004, 04:38 PM
How easy is to get people's attension (or should I say "balance") by just saying something like what Aleksey said :D . A very Aiki way of reacting to an attack!
I wish I could get the balance of my ukes with the same easiness.

Just some thoughts...

shihonage
10-12-2004, 04:45 PM
P.S. A more visual example of realtime physics not being imitable by slow practice - try simulating bike riding in slow motion by driving a bicycle very slowly. Chances are, you'll fall off.
The forces that held you in balance are not there. Its a drastically different picture.
The Universe does not slow down for you.

mj
10-12-2004, 06:28 PM
Sometimes it leaves spaces though :)

BKimpel
10-12-2004, 07:02 PM
The ridiculousness of arguing about whether a newscast promoting fitness does not accurately demonstrate the martial aspects of Aikido aside…

Did someone pee in your cornflakes Aleksey?

What’s with the blatant jerk factor coming into play on this (and AikiJournal) forum lately? Since when did it become acceptable behavior to insult people on a public forum?

I am quite disgusted at the lack of kindness demonstrated by Aikidoka lately.

senshincenter
10-12-2004, 07:29 PM
Well, let us take the theory serious for a second and see if its conclusion holds up. Basically, the main point seems to be that without first-hand experience of actual aggression and/or violence, etc., an aikidoka has little reference by which to ensure that his/her training remains relevant to self-defense issues, and by an extension of logic (and assumption), relevant to “real” or "good" Aikido.

If one accepts this theory, which is quite popular in and out of Aikido, the real factors happen to merely be folks without experience of aggression and/or violence, etc. This does not seem to be too gender-based, or we should say, this does not seem to be a given as far as one gender goes, or not. One cannot assign this characteristic to one gender, one way or the other – at least not in an umbrella-like fashion. However, if one really wanted to, I would posit that the hammer should fall on the opposite side of the gender line.

The point of view that Aikido is in a state of degeneration concerning its martial aspects, a view often expressed here and at Aikido Journal, when seen in light of this theory, would place more blame upon men – not women – for that degeneration. This is because more men train in Aikido than women. Who are these men? These tend to be men from higher socio-economic backgrounds and/or education levels, men from first-world nations, and men from more mature ages. All of these subgroups of the group “Men” have tend to have less exposure to actual aggression and/or violence then men from other sub-groups (i.e. their opposites). If one is going to actually take this theory seriously, which by the way subverts the whole internal structure of training (which assumes that one CAN go from non-x to x, from not understanding to understanding, from no experience to experience, etc.) I say we should blame Men – rich men with college degrees from rich nations who are getting too old to figure things out, or just the Japanese men in general, since their nation is not violent enough to transmit "real" Aikido. Lol


just for laughs,
dmv

George S. Ledyard
10-12-2004, 07:46 PM
What's with the blatant jerk factor coming into play on this (and AikiJournal) forum lately? Since when did it become acceptable behavior to insult people on a public forum?

I am quite disgusted at the lack of kindness demonstrated by Aikidoka lately.

Civilized discourse is an art which seems like an endangered species in our culture. It's all about winning at any cost. Let's publicly humiliate an Aikido teacher and a group of students whom we have never met in order to make a point about what we believe training should look like.

It's interesting to note that it is often seems that some folks who think of themselves as championing the the more martial side of the Aikido debate are also the most aggressive in the tone of their posts. One suspects that one could find a direct correlation between ones approach to Aikido and ones style of communicating.

From the tone of many of these posts one would expect to meet someone on the mat who is working out some heavy anger issues. Practice would be a sort of mini war in which one would definitely feel that there was a winner and a loser (of course it'll be you who is supposed to be the loser). I am sure that we've all had experiences on the mat like this.

Anyway, I would like to point out once again that in Budo, etiquette is extremely important. The folks who take advantage of the internet and lack of proximity to vent their frustrations at the expense of others are not demonstrating how "Budo" they are but rather the opposite. What kind of Aikido would one expect from someone who acts the part of an aggressive lout on-line? Rough, aggressive, and unrefined would fit the bill. People who spend all their time worrying about whether they can win fights with their Aikido and bad mouth those whom they perceive as having "lesser" martial skills never have the best Aikido in my experience. It's important for everyone to remember what O-Sensei said that "Masakatsu Agatsu" - "True victory is victory over the self".

PeterR
10-12-2004, 08:34 PM
Generally George I agree with you.

However, it you put yourself out there, in the public eye, as a representative of what Aikido is or is not, then you should be open to critique.

What I saw in the demostrations and read in the accompanying text had a lot to be critical about - at least from my perspective.

Dealing gently with a beginner, treating Aikido like a dance at the lowest levels is perfectly acceptable but should have been made clear. The more advanced stuff (???) being shown was poor in its execution both with respect to tori and uke. Sure it was a local feature but personally I find it difficult to forgive relatively low level people acting as if they are giving Shihan embu.

George S. Ledyard
10-12-2004, 09:19 PM
Generally George I agree with you.

However, it you put yourself out there, in the public eye, as a representative of what Aikido is or is not, then you should be open to critique.

What I saw in the demostrations and read in the accompanying text had a lot to be critical about - at least from my perspective.

Dealing gently with a beginner, treating Aikido like a dance at the lowest levels is perfectly acceptable but should have been made clear. The more advanced stuff (???) being shown was poor in its execution both with respect to tori and uke. Sure it was a local feature but personally I find it difficult to forgive relatively low level people acting as if they are giving Shihan embu.

Hi Peter,
I remember Saotome Sensei seeing a video of some folks doing a demo and geting very angry. He felt that the level of Aikido was low and that it hurt the image of Aikido in the larger martial arts community for the video to be put out as if it represented high level Aikido. But his approach to adressing this problem wasn't to humiliate those involved with the video. He addressed the problem through his instruction by making his points on the mat to folks in general without making it personal.

You know from my posts that I feel that much of what we see in Aikido out there could be much better than it is. This is a problem for the art which invites constant discussion and self analysis for all of us to whom the spread of Aikido is entrusted. But singling any one person out for public shaming when this is anything but an isolated problem is harsh and inappropriate. It shows a lack of compassion for people who are making an effort, one would assume a good faith effort.

If you and I were talking privately I might express an opinion about this or that specific person or style I had seen. But what would be the point of doing it here in public. We are quite free to express our opinions about what should be and should not be. Those with different opinions can, if they wish, dispute these views. That's great and can serve a productive service to the Aikido community as we are part of the process of aikido defining itself for the future. But it should never be personal...

Just imagine how someone would feel who was doing his or her best, running a dojo with all that entails, and they or their students found out that they were being held up for ridicule on a web forum in which none of them even participated. How would you feel if it were your teacher being held up for public castigation?

If someone has a well reasoned argument about what is wrong with Aikido it will speak for itself. One doesn't need to point out a specific person or group; we all know folks who fit the bill. I see no positive function to ridiculing anyone. Ridicule an idea, bemoan an approach, but do it from the desire to make aikido better and not make someone "less".
I can't see how making anyone "less". I simply can't see how it helps any of us advance the cause of better training to personalize things in this manner. It doesn't matter if we agree or not with the assertions, it's the wrong time and place to voice them as it has no positive function.

Lan Powers
10-12-2004, 09:23 PM
The man interviewed DID mention, several times in fact, that more advanced practice had much more freestyle and such.
Pity that none was seen on this feature......it WOULD have helped present it (the art) better.
Just a thought
Lan

PeterR
10-13-2004, 12:06 AM
Just imagine how someone would feel who was doing his or her best, running a dojo with all that entails, and they or their students found out that they were being held up for ridicule on a web forum in which none of them even participated. How would you feel if it were your teacher being held up for public castigation?

Well I wouldn't be very happy about it - but then I am also very careful where I get my ego gratification from. That may sound harsh but well a reporter showing interest in what you do is flattering and judgment may be compromised. Now last week I was approached with respect to an article in a major news publication. My major contribution there was to help the reporter contact people far more capable of representing Aikido than I and for sure I will not be filmed - possibly not even named. When and if it comes out I'll let you know and you can fry the individuals involved all you want.

Where George is the line? The group shown is OK as far as a local dojo goes. If they said here we practice Aikido in this way I would have been far more happy (as an Aikido practitioner) than the Aikido is tact that was used. I don't think their Aikido or they personally should be humiliated but certainly their hubris in representing Aikido should be called into question.

To take the discussion further than this particular group, how far from the norm should one allow to go before your Aikido is publicly criticized? There are some pretty strange deviations out there not to mention questionable claims. I do Aikido and therefore we should all harmonize is not a statement I can agree with.

maikerus
10-13-2004, 01:41 AM
It is interesting to me that we can judge someone's ability and general Aikidoness (tm) on a 3 minute "made for TV" spot. I understand that there are first impressions and that we care so much about this thing that we do that we want it to get the best possible coverage that we can, but you have to consider the source...I mean, a TV news-spot? Come on...

Apparantly any publicity is good publicity. I've been part of a couple of TV spots, training videos and books and have friends and sempai who have been part of others. I have *never* been satisfied with the final product. I'm even mentioned a few times in a book and that couldn't even get all the facts straight. Most recently we had a fashion model come to the dojo for a photo shoot while doing Aikido (not what we were expecting!)

The point is that all of us here who train diligently and study and try really hard to understand Aikido and want to tell it to the great unwashed out there have absolutely no say (zero, nada) in what ends up on film or in print. THEY come to us and ask us to do "something" for them. THEY have their own agenda and THEIR own purpose for what they are asking. THEY even try and choreograph some things and ask us to do it slower or to pretend that it hurts. THEY ask outrageously stupid question that we have to answer because THEY'RE pointing a camera at us. And then THEY go back and change everything around, put things out of context and put up the *exact* scenes that we really didn't want them to. And all this takes place in about 30 minutes.

So...there's not much time, we don't have any control over the final product and we're still trying to do the absolute best that we can while still being honest to our passion for Aikido. It's not easy. Give these guys a break and give them some kudos for taking the time and making the effort to promote what we're all a part of.

WRT Peter...he's right. When we do something like this we do put ourselves up for criticism and feedback. But that feedback and criticism should be positive and constructive at least from those of us reading here. After all, has anyone had a perfect test? Think about it.

kironin
10-13-2004, 01:46 AM
The internet makes that line a fairly grey zone. We wouldn't even know about it except that the local cable TV channel chose to have a website that makes their video content available world wide. A local dojo seizes one of those rare opportunities to get some free exposure to raise awareness in their community and gets hammered by the general international aikido community for their efforts. It all makes one more than a little ill.

PeterR
10-13-2004, 01:56 AM
Michael does raise a good point. Reporters are exceeded in their evil intent only by camermen. :D

All the more reason to be very careful to what you expose yourself to. The Aiki approach (sic).

xuzen
10-13-2004, 02:03 AM
Trying to show joe public aikido? I have difficulty learning certain technique even when I am at the dojo, about 5 feet away watching it live. Aikido techniques are so subtle, only when you actually feel it can your brain store it in memory. Therefore how can anybody get a good appreciation of aikido by just being a spectator?

Anyhow, in the context of the show, it was meant for joe public and it was on a segment for some health program, not SD. So I guess, it may have scared mr joe public should a very vigorous aspect of aikido being shown.

It should have been viewed from a perspective, and not from the absolute.

Sh@t I hope I am making sense...
Boon.

Bronson
10-13-2004, 02:59 AM
I agree with what Michael said. I would like to see the footage left on the cutting room floor.

I've been part of tv news demos and Michael's right, it NEVER comes out how you'd like it to. They edit, splice and twist it whatever way they want to fit with their theme. When I participated in a tai chi demo for the local news they took nearly 20 minutes of film which was edited down to just over a minute....and of course they left out all the really good stuff :grr:

Bronson

CNYMike
10-13-2004, 10:19 AM
.... This is irrelevant, because everyone in that videoclip except the reporter, was a yudansha .....

But who was the video clip intended for, other aikidoka OR people in the community with little or no prior martial arts training? Including people who did things like karate or kung fu and might be turned off by something that seems as "rough"?

Probably the latter. And while randori footage is good for letting people know where the training it's going, it wouldn't work for someone who's just walking in the door.

NagaBaba
10-13-2004, 03:11 PM
Not just the theoretic pseudo-pacifist side which will get your ass kicked by the geriatric old man doing tai chi in the park.

I'm with you 200% !!!! I was completly shocked by this video, it is pitiful and total crap. Weapons also are absolutly horrible. They even don't know how to handle a bokken. http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/hahohi.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/hahohi.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/hahohi.gif



This is social club od self admiration, not MA dojo. http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/noway.gif

How the hell it is possible that tv news always presents such poor demo, and never real martial artists i.e. Saotome sensei or other shihan? http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/confused.gif

John Boswell
10-13-2004, 03:37 PM
You know what? I'm about ready for this thread to get locked out and shut down.

Now.

You, meaning anyone reading this, have got to understand that editing takes a LOT of things out of context; people will get nervous in front of camaras; technique goes out the window on occassion due to slowing down for novices; ANY NUMBER of things could have come into play here on this "interview."

I've never met Sensei Libby, but by the fact that she studied... in Japan... under the Doshu and many others for FIVE YEARS, She freaking deserves a little more respect than she's getting here and I'm frankly, totally and throughly DISGUSTED at the blind accusations flying about her and her dojo.

You want Saotome Sensei interviewed? Go interview him. Set it up with the news agencies. Better yet, direct him to this thread... as I'm sure he'd LOVE to pick apart a few of the rash comments made here.

Try a little :ai::ki: sometime. It's pretty good stuff.

NagaBaba
10-13-2004, 03:41 PM
Anyway, I would like to point out once again that in Budo, etiquette is extremely important.


This is so true. In the old good times, such "black belts" could NEVER imagine themselves doing a public demo. It would be out of question. http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rude.gif

Right etiquette would be invitation their teacher (in this case Saotome sensei) to perform demo. http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/super.gif

So George, etiquette works for both sides. And it can't be misused to hide poor quality of aikido. In contrary, such extreme level of aiki fruitiness must be exposed and clearly condemned.

It can be excellent motivation for those folks, to follow more seminars with sensei in order to develop better aikido.

NagaBaba
10-13-2004, 03:49 PM
I've never met Sensei Libby, but by the fact that she studied... in Japan... under the Doshu and many others for FIVE YEARS

Wow. I'm really impressed, 5 years!!! http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/teeth.gif

There are very many ppl studied under O sensei more then 20 years without any good results.
We call them "slow" http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/yourock.gif

You know what? There is an old saying from Himalaya: Want to know quality of teacher? Take a look at his students.

John Boswell
10-13-2004, 03:52 PM
You know what? There is an old saying from Himalaya: Want to know quality of teacher? Take a look at his students.

Exactlly.

Two minutes on the nightly news does not a test of skill make. I honestly believe your jumping the gun, despite arguments to the contrary.

aikidoc
10-13-2004, 04:46 PM
"You know what? There is an old saying from Himalaya: Want to know quality of teacher? Take a look at his students.".

Now we are crossing the line. Libby sensei is a student of Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei (not sure which). I looked at the video as well. It appeared to me she was working with a beginner-probably not a good idea to do a "real time" attack and throw with her if you want her to come back (the student did not even have a gi on). The comments on the weapons was tacky. It looked to me they were practicing slowly so people could see what was being done. You might not like the weapons set but practicing it slowly or critiquing it when you do not know what they are doing makes no sense. Some of the crappiest technique I have every seen was that done fast-all the basics go out the window. There are slow and fast ways to practice. Perhaps we should have substituted Seagal's Path Beyond Thought so we could show someone screaming at a student to get up during randori or he will come down there and beat the student himself.

I agree with Bozz close this one. This has degenerated from sexist remarks to personal attacks on an instructor. Incredible.

suren
10-13-2004, 05:02 PM
Honestly I think the video should have included some randori or advanced techniques and I can't accept words like "they don't want to scare people" as a motivation. After all Aikido is a Martial Art and do not try to remove the first word. Therefore to get some even light understanding you need to be exposed to the idea what these movements all about. It's not a dance!
Anyway. Saying that I would not question experience of the people shown in that video since there are a lot of factors that can affect your impression just by watching a video.

akiy
10-13-2004, 05:44 PM
Hi everyone,

Phew! I actually hunker down for several hours to get some work done today and come back to this nice little "discusssion"!

First off, I want to give a public warning to both Aleksey and Szczepan for their rather inflamatory language and insinuations in their postings. I believe what you both wrote crossed the line of decency into disrespect. Although the points you make are valid (for the most part), the manner in which you made them are not.

As far as news clips and such go, I can't say I've ever encountered anyone who has had a news crew show up at their dojo, spend an hour or so interviewing and taping, and be happy with what they saw on the air. I've heard from people that having non-aikido folks do the editing and such usually make for a rather uninspired video...

As to the specifics with the group shown in the news item and the video clip, I do not know Leslie Libby sensei personally, although I have trained with Jay Lindholm in the past. To clarify the issue of everyone in the video clip being yudansha, as the dojo depicted is part of ASU, just because someone is wearing a hakama does not necessitate their being yudansha; in that organization, anyone of any rank can wear a hakama.

So, to try to take this into a more positive and constructive direction...

Since I suspect most of you have access to a video camera and are able to make an mpeg video or such, here's a challenge for you to make a one or two minute video depicting your very own "introduction to aikido" video. Included could be things like a demonstration (empty handed, weapons takeaways, kumitachi/jo), clips of regular training, an explanation of what aikido is about, and so on. Remember -- this would be something aimed at the general public.

I would be very interested to see what people here can come up with.

Any takers?

-- Jun

MaryKaye
10-13-2004, 06:00 PM
I was once filmed at a chess tournament by the local (Tennessee) news agency because I was playing against the young prodigy who eventually won the tournament. They asked us to play a bit of "speed chess" together so they could film us. But we moved our arms too quickly and they couldn't focus, and the moves on the board were also too long for them, and the taller pieces got in the way of filming the shorter ones. So the film eventually shown has a fictional (and illegal) chess position with me taking two moves in a row and checkmating the young prodigy (something that, I assure you, never happened in real life).

I would never judge anyone's technique by the results of a news filming. It's quite possible that the cameraman was persistantly saying "Slow down, don't move in that way, do it again but turn toward me" ad nauseum. It's also possible that something ghastly was done in editing.

I have also noticed that when we film each other in the dojo for training purposes, the technique of the person being filmed is often not up to their best. We say "The camera is cruel" but it's probably mostly stage fright. Being filmed is an odd experience for most of us and self-consciousness does not lead to good aikido.

Mary Kaye

kironin
10-13-2004, 06:28 PM
I would be very interested to see what people here can come up with.

Any takers?

-- Jun


Okay, how about this :D

Explorer TV show Aikido segment (http://www.kiaikido.org/movie.html)

After the very slow title credits, the first 1 min and 10 secs of this video clip of a TV introduction of Aikido. I didn't have anything to do with it, but I thought it was a rather nice job for such a brief segment and it's done by people I respect. The rest of the video is essentially the dojo promo which for the most part is pretty decent.

senshincenter
10-13-2004, 06:29 PM
Personally, I disagree with the point that another person's Aikido can say anything about my own. If the general public is truly going to gain a real insight into what Aikido is and/or is not, they should start with the fact that everybody's Aikido is different - that there is no such thing as "Aikido" with a capital "A" if we believe that to be a unified and consistent system of discourse, thought, and action. In order for this to happen, aikidoka themselves are going to have to stop getting so riled up every time they think someone is in a position to represent them and/or their art. Aikidoka are going to have to stop thinking that the Aikido-world is in need of a hero that it can only find in them. In short, the false-righteousness should cease because the supposed cause itself does not exist. Folks who do not realize how false the cause actually is, whether they are for or against such thrashings, I believe, open themselves up too greatly to charges of inconsistency and even hypocrisy. Point in fact, I remember only two voices, my own and one other, that strongly spoke out against the thrashing Mr. DiPerro received the last time this kind of thing took place on this site. At that time, no one else spoke about crossing the line, and a lot worse was said in that thread. Here, in in this case, the thrashers seem to be in the minority. What is up with that? Only the federated or the ranked and titled deserve the benefit of the doubt and/or the ethical treatment upheld by the art’s social philosophy? Or is it that strangers just deserve evrything they get? That can hardly be right.

If folks are going to move on in their maturity of the praxis, then we have to see the falsity itself of the cause we claim to be upholding. The overly light suggestion (my opinion) of saying, “Let’s see you do better,” is not going to cut it. Such a thing would only lead to more thrashing – just by a different group of folks upon a different group of folks.

I certainly have to say that what I find most disturbing is how conditional folks are with their ethics. While I cannot condone what some have said in their negative opinions here, for the reasons I stated above, I also find it hard to accept how easily it is to call one person immature in their practice and/or “over the line” when a “famous” person, a “ranked” person, a “titled” person, etc., can act in the same exact way (or often worse) and receive no such admonishments. Geesh, at least Mr. Janczuk has some consistency to his position: “Everyone not like him sucks.” At some level, I find that consistency a lot easier to appreciate even if I find the opinion to be based in absurdity (which is my opinion).

If we are going to talk about maturity, and I think we should, let’s not forget the role that consistency also plays in that process.

dmv

akiy
10-13-2004, 06:58 PM
Sheesh. I didn't think speaking up and trying to move things to a more positive direction would get me labeled a hipocrite with underlying failures in being conditional, inconsistent, and unethical...

-- Jun

senshincenter
10-13-2004, 07:11 PM
Please, I'm no one, what I'm saying doesn't matter a bit. I'm not labeling anyone. I have no capacity to do so. I am identifying positions, ideas, statements, according to how the appear to me.

However, I sure would have appreciated that the same effort was made the last time this happened, as I would were the same effort made every time this happens - because this certainly won't be the last.

dmv

suren
10-13-2004, 07:15 PM
Personally, I disagree with the point that another person's Aikido can say anything about my own.
That's right, but program shown on TV about "Aikido" which covers couple of minutes of a class in a dojo may give incorrect impression about the art overall.

If the general public is truly going to gain a real insight into what Aikido is and/or is not, they should start with the fact that everybody's Aikido is different - that there is no such thing as "Aikido" with a capital "A" if we believe that to be a unified and consistent system of discourse, thought, and action.

Well, that's what producers usually "forget" to mention :)

As for the second part about criticizing different people, though I did not post anything bad about Mr. DiPerro, if I remember correctly there were several differences in the situation:

1. Mr. DiPerro was not broadcasting his video on TV (his website is his website and he can post anything he wants and Internet usually is not accepted as a source of absolutely true material).
2. There were couple posts talking about his background which sounded unpleasant. Not sure if they were true or not, but probably they also affect people's opinion.

P.S. I think Greg Jenning was the one who also opposed critisism.

suren
10-13-2004, 07:16 PM
I would strongly agree with David's last post.

Also should admit that Jun has probably limited time to administer this site, so I'm really thankful for what he does already.

George S. Ledyard
10-13-2004, 07:29 PM
Please, I'm no one, what I'm saying doesn't matter a bit. I'm not labeling anyone. I have no capacity to do so. I am identifying positions, ideas, statements, according to how the appear to me.

However, I sure would have appreciated that the same effort was made the last time this happened, as I would were the same effort made every time this happens - because this certainly won't be the last.

dmv
David,
There area number of folks, myself included I hope, who have been consistently against this type of personal slandering. The time you are referring to is an instance I don't remember so it may have been when I was taking a break from the forums. I think there are a number of folks who do step in when things get dirty although we've all taken our hits as well. Me, I just laugh every time someone crosses that line where they've essentially "called me out" on-line. I just try to envision the look on their face if I walked into their dojo for "satisfaction".

Bronson
10-13-2004, 08:14 PM
I would never judge anyone's technique by the results of a news filming. It's quite possible that the cameraman was persistantly saying "Slow down, don't move in that way, do it again but turn toward me" ad nauseum. It's also possible that something ghastly was done in editing.

This has been my experience.

You have no say in the final outcome. You do your best and hope the final product will be enough to capture the interest of others.

Think about it this way: The piece was put together for NON-aikido folks. It was edited BY non-aikido folks. The non-aikido folks who edited it picked the bits they thought would be interesting to other non-aikido folks.

I give them credit for doing it at all. It was a piece on LOCAL interests. Telling them to call their instructor in D.C, Colorado or Japan isn't really an option. The news would have gone down the street to the nearest tae kwon do school and gotten what they needed. I've never met Libby sensei but I'm willing to bet the thought process wasn't "Ok, now's my chance to show my stuff. I'll show 'em what real aikido is supposed to be!". I'm willing to be it was more along the lines of "Well, it would help to get the art in the public eye. I'll do my best. I hope it turns out well and I don't get slammed on the internet for trying."

Just my take. You are free to disagree.

Bronson

NagaBaba
10-13-2004, 08:32 PM
Geesh, at least Mr. Janczuk has some consistency to his position: "Everyone not like him sucks." At some level, I find that consistency a lot easier to appreciate even if I find the opinion to be based in absurdity (which is my opinion).

If we are going to talk about maturity, and I think we should, let's not forget the role that consistency also plays in that process.

dmv
Hi David,
There are certainly few dojo with very good aikido practice. Strange enough, they don't publish much video from training. Not even many photos.
Think about it. ;)

Speaking about maturity, how about authors those horrible new age videos? We must shut up, be mature, pay respect to etiquette, and they, they can do whatever they want to deform image noble art of aikido ? To insult attainments 40 years of shihans hard work in Unites States with their video?

senshincenter
10-13-2004, 09:20 PM
Hi George,

Your last line had me laughing out loud - great one. That look would be very funny I imagine. :D

Hi Szczepan,

Thanks for replying. I can see your point. But that is the problem with these "moral" positions concerning abstract entities like "Aikido." All points appear equal but for the political power that one can bring to bear upon one side or the other. However, this is not supposed to be the way that Right Action is determined. The ethical is supposed to fall outside of institutional support of any kind. Wouldn't you agree?

From a polemical point of view, your position does force one to ask the question, "Who is really being the more disrespectful?" - I can concede that. But this doesn't change the reality of the situation - that no such entity exists, that there is no single unified base upon which or from which to launch an insult and/or a saving grace. That is why, for me, your position, while appearing logical from one point of view, is irrelevant from all points of view.

This position of disrespecting shihan and "real" aikidoka was brought up last time such a thread got started here. And as I said then, there is no shihan out there who is writhing in pain because someone did a video like this. And there is no shihan that is being saved by that pain because some have opted to use this forum to thrash another human being in the name of some greater good that does not exist. Not even Sarutahiko no Okami felt a the slightest bit of enery from either action.

Before I saw the film, I was going to the dojo tonight. After I saw the film, I am still going to the dojo tonight. I bet it is the same for all of us. If that is the case, then maybe we would all be better off in not only determining why such needs to condemn arise within us but how such mechanisms are actually put to work by forces yet to be readily felt, readily heard, and readily brought to the conscious level of our intellect and our capacity to contemplate.

As for the video, and addressing your request that I think about it, etc., all I can say is that it is not my Aikido. It doesn't resemble my Aikido anymore than a teller who does banking resembles my Aikido. And since I don't get all bent because the teller does banking while I am doing Aikido, I don't get all bent because they are doing their version of Aikido while I am doing mine.

They do what they do and I do what I do. And that is the underlying of reality - which includes the reality of Aikido.

Again, thank you for replying,
david

CNYMike
10-13-2004, 10:06 PM
http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=121527&SecID=2

-- Jun

Ok, so I finally did what I should have done in the first place -- watched the video. (I've had a bad week -- sue me. :o ) And at the risk of getting myself into hot water over this and starting ANOTHER fight, I have this to say about the aikido I saw in the footage:

I have no problem with the pace they were working at. None.

That's about the pace the dojo I'm in goes at. As has been noted, there are good reasons for going relatively "slowly," partly to get the techniques right and also for training safety. Or as one of our numbers said before a seminar a few months ago, "Never attack harder than you want to be thrown." That's probably why we go at about the same pace in the Kali/Serak class I go to. There is a time for going fast and hard at full speed and time to take it slow and careful to learn it. Esepcially when doing bokken technique -- I wouldn't want that to smack me in the head full force if I didn't evade/block in time! Would you? Samurai died from such injuries in duels fought with "safer" bokens. Isn't that how kendo got started?

I honestly don't see how this can make aikido look bad, especially to a general audience whoes members include many people who probably doesn't know much about Eastern Martial arts beyond what they see in the movies. As it is, I visited the dojo's web site ( http://www.austinaikido.com/ ), and they've ben around since 1992, so anyone's who's anyone in the Austin MA community already knows their rep, good or bad.

Oh, and I'd like to the note the comment by student David Johndrow describing "unpredictable attacks" at "higher levels". They may not have SHOWN jiyu waza, but they mentioned it!

Erik
10-13-2004, 11:36 PM
Jeez, and I didn't even say anything about ki not existing before everyone got worked up. Some thoughts!

Any dojo that got that piece, or a similar one, done should be thrilled. Sure it doesn't demonstrate the highest and most baddass of us but not everyone wants that. it was a nice piece, particularly when you consider that it was free. And, it will play well with a certain audience and it's probably the very audience they want to attract.

Secondly, I was once part of a demo where I got paired up with a women who was probably 100 pounds lighter than me. Some of the other pairs did the head banging bit and I did the tootie-fruitie, as some would deem it, stuff. Anyways, it turned out that Clint George's mother was in the audience and she was very complimentary, or just being nice, of what I did. Her point was that not everyone watching the art is going to want to see uke's blasted into the air or turned into a pretzel particularly when the guy doing it wouldn't need a MA to do it given the size difference. They might want to see the softer side of the art.

Next, at the risk of pissing people off, I wonder if they'd have shown the same defensiveness about criticism if we were talking about someone who was not ASU, not in their locale, and or, someone of obviously suspect credentials.

Lastly, controversial things generate discussion. One of the things I learned from Neil Mick and my Ki is BS debates is that imflammatory statements, well, generates attention. The school in question wasn't hurt (maybe their feelings but those will recover) by anything said in this thread and in fact was probably helped by it.

Damn, that's the longest post in some time.

By the way, I've never met Clint George. It just happens that I've met his mother.

Michael Young
10-13-2004, 11:37 PM
Wow what a thread! First off, it is pretty interesting that this all came up at this time, and that George Ledyard Sensei has weighed in on the issue with this particular Austin group. Ledyard Sensei is coming to our dojo here in San Antonio next week, and guess which other dojo is close by and will be attending? Lesli Libbey's dojo from Austin. I think Ledyard Sensei's reputation precedes him, and I think it also says something about Lesli Sensei and her group that they are coming down to practice under him.
I know Lesli, Jay, and several other people at the Austin Dojo very well. I would consider Jay a VERY good friend in fact. I've had the fine opportunity of practicing with them on a semi-regular basis, they often come down to San Antonio for a weekend class or two and vice versa. We usually attend each other's testing too. I've taken ukemi for several of their students on their tests, and they have all done very well. The Sensei at my dojo is a 3rd dan and is a direct student of Saotome Sensei, he is also in law enforcement, so trains with a very critical eye toward "real life" effectiveness. He has plenty of experience with "real life" attacks...and can dish them out on a regular basis (I speak from experience) He too has taken ukemi on tests at Lesli Sensei's dojo, and he didn't hold back one iota...all of Lesli's students handle it in fine form.
Not that I need to defend them...but I'll set the record straight...Is the video true to their normal day to day keiko? No, not really...It looked like most of what was in the video was technique slowed down quite a bit. The news crew was there for quite some time, and as some have already pointed out, what is shown on TV for 30 seconds is usually edited to the point of half-truth. That is true in this case. Lesli's dojo practices very vigorously, they also practice slowly sometimes too, depending on the participants and the situation....just like any good Aikido dojo does. BTW most of the people in the video are not Yudansha, as Jun pointed out ASU dojo wear hakama at all ranks...this is a good point to consider for you detractors of this group, if your assumption about such a basic thing was off, what else could be wrong? I really don't want to rehash all of the issues brought up here, they seem to be covered pretty well already by others, and it would be fruitless to try to refute ideas based on ignorance and prejudice.... I would however like to extend an invitation to both Aleskey and Szczepan to come on down to Ledyard Sensei's seminar in San Antonio on October 22nd-24th (blatant plug :D ) and train with these people...I think you would change your current opinions-based as they are on a 30 second video clip, and not on who these people really are or how they train- and have a great time as well. Oh, yeah the invitation is open to everyone else too, of course ;) (plug,plug,plug)

Best Regards,

Mike

akiy
10-13-2004, 11:38 PM
However, I sure would have appreciated that the same effort was made the last time this happened, as I would were the same effort made every time this happens - because this certainly won't be the last.
Duly noted. I'll see about doing better in the future.

-- Jun

kironin
10-14-2004, 01:08 AM
. Oh, yeah the invitation is open to everyone else too, of course ;) (plug,plug,plug)
Best Regards,
Mike

Hi Michael,

I have been debating making the drive down to San Antonio from Houston for at least Sunday. This state really needs bullet trains!

I suppose it would be a little selfish to try to get in some Systema knife play in with George. :D

John Boswell
10-14-2004, 08:52 AM
Craig,

Not to change the subject, but isn't there a plan in the works for a Mag-Lev train system going from Houston on up to the Dallas area.. with stops in the major cities?

I remember a news article with Gov. Perry saying he wanted to put that in, but no news since.

Just thought I'd ask. Thanks! :)

CNYMike
10-14-2004, 10:30 AM
..... .... I would however like to extend an invitation to both Aleskey and Szczepan to come on down to Ledyard Sensei's seminar in San Antonio on October 22nd-24th (blatant plug :D ) and train with these people...I think you would change your current opinions-based as they are on a 30 second video clip, and not on who these people really are or how they train- and have a great time as well. Oh, yeah the invitation is open to everyone else too, of course ;) (plug,plug,plug)

Best Regards,

Mike

Thanks for the invite, but sadly, I won't be able to make it. Even if I didn't hate flying, I will be at a Pentjak Silat Serak seminar by Maha Guru Victor de Thouars. (non-Aikido plug plug plug :) Although Pak Vic's wife, Ibu Jane, is an Aikido instructor, so it's not TOO far off the beaten path, I suppose.) Some people from my dojo will be going to New York Aikikai's seminar in Woodstock, NY. And Arjan Chai will be giving a Thai Boxing seminar in Ottawa, Canada.

All on that same weekend.

You know what? I think we can agree that the days of the warrior ascetic who went into the mountains and trained in a cave until achieving enlightenment and a new system are well and truly gone. You do MA in this day and age, learn to love people and road trips. :D

Karen Wolek
10-14-2004, 12:01 PM
Hi Karen W... Yes, I expect you know the nidan I was speaking of - she took her test in Montreal last spring. Were you there? I thought she had the best test of anyone that day. Oh, and I visited your dojo with a friend of mine from Bard a few weeks ago and we trained together... Hi :)

Hi Gaia! I meant to ask you if you were the Aikiweb Gaia after class, but you left before I got a chance. I kinda figured you were. Now I know. :)

Yes, I was in Montreal in spring and got to watch (and take pics) of her awesome test. If I have half her skill and power when I am nidan, I will be thrilled.

Hope you come back to visit and practice with us soon!

kironin
10-14-2004, 01:51 PM
Craig,

Not to change the subject, but isn't there a plan in the works for a Mag-Lev train system going from Houston on up to the Dallas area.. with stops in the major cities?

I remember a news article with Gov. Perry saying he wanted to put that in, but no news since.

Just thought I'd ask. Thanks! :)

Campaign promise perhaps ? :rolleyes:

I don't remember that but we certainly have the technology in Texas to do it! :drool:
http://www.megarail.com/pr/library/2002/mar/20maglev/

Ron Tisdale
10-14-2004, 02:46 PM
Interesting thread. I think most of what I might contribute has already been stated. One thing to be aware of...

I would however like to extend an invitation to both Aleskey and Szczepan to come on down to Ledyard Sensei's seminar in San Antonio on October 22nd-24th (blatant plug ) and train with these people...

People who make some of the statements made in this thread seem to get out and about rarely. Similar critisism was made about some of the Aiki Expo demonstrations...yet I don't think any of the people doing the critiquing bothered to show up. I've been to many dojo in both my own area and quite a few others. If I took the kind of attitudes taken in some posts here to every little thing I disagreed with, I would:

a) probably not be welcome back
b) probably get a black eye if I did go back
c) miss out on an awfull lot of good, fun, serious training. Even if its not what I might prefer for my own regular training. And the clip at the start of this thread gives no one any real clue about it.

Grow up folks. Or at least show up, and take the black eye...

Ron

Michael Young
10-14-2004, 04:25 PM
Hi Craig,

We'd love to see you, hope you can make it. I'm sure we'll make this a regular thing with Ledyard Sensei (if he is up for it of course). Please ask him about his systema stuff, (if someone else doesn't beat you to it :D ) Ledyard Sensei's perspective on Aikido, combined with his knowledge and open minded exploration of other martial arts, is one of the things I love about his teaching and am looking forward to seeing next weekend.
I know what you mean about the bullet trains...last I had heard though, that idea had been killed in the state government a few years ago. But who knows...things, attitudes, and technologies change, i.e. the link you provided.

People who make some of the statements made in this thread seem to get out and about rarely. Similar critisism was made about some of the Aiki Expo demonstrations...yet I don't think any of the people doing the critiquing bothered to show up

Yup, I agree Ron...but I had to make the invitation anyway. Maybe its waisted effort, and though the offer is sincere, I was more just trying to find the most "Aiki" response I could...Hoping to diffuse some of the rudeness, I guess.


Mike

NagaBaba
10-14-2004, 05:02 PM
People who make some of the statements made in this thread seem to get out and about rarely.
...........................
Grow up folks. Or at least show up, and take the black eye...

Ron
Ron,
Life is so short. Still there are many high level instructors dojo to visit. Why should I waste my time/money visiting new age aikido? I let them adore themselves.
And believe me, after few years of practice, one can develop very accurate judgment. 3 minutes observation is enough.

Ron Tisdale
10-15-2004, 06:54 AM
3 minutes observation is enough.

Oh Really??? Personally, I prefer to take the ukemi myself...so much goes unseen, especially in 'top level instructors'. :)

Ron

L. Camejo
10-15-2004, 09:41 AM
People who make some of the statements made in this thread seem to get out and about rarely...

I've been to many dojo in both my own area and quite a few others. If I took the kind of attitudes taken in some posts here to every little thing I disagreed with, I would:

a) probably not be welcome back
b) probably get a black eye if I did go back
c) miss out on an awfull lot of good, fun, serious training. Even if its not what I might prefer for my own regular training. And the clip at the start of this thread gives no one any real clue about it.

I think Ron is correct. Anyone can sit behind their computer screens and make snap judgments from their virtual Ivory Towers. Get out there and feel it, if you don't like it, fine, if it's not what you're used to, take what you can from it and forget the rest, if it's utter crap, don't go back. But sitting there and making claims from of all things, a TV News report, says and means nothing.

As one who has also had to cooperate in media coverage of my events when a J.A.A. Shihan recently visited, the difference between what is recorded and what is shown can be very great indeed. It's sort of like reality TV, what is shown tends to be skewed to illustrate the point that the producer is trying to make, but it is passed off as "reality". Which also lends to the question of how unreal some people's view of "reality" may actually be. Representation of the facts by the media comes in a far second, maybe third place.

I'm no fan of Hippy New Age Fruity Aikido either, but I don't think that one should make complete judgements on a person's skill level and training reputation based on a short video clip. Depending on the 3 minutes you get if you come to our dojo, all you may see is Ukemi practice and stretching - is that all there is to Aikido? I think not. So 3 minutes of observation when someone else decides what you see in fact says nothing about the essence of what you are looking at.

Just my thoughts.
LC:ai::ki: