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RonRagusa
03-31-2005, 05:40 PM
Several times I've seen references to 'New Age Dojos' in various threads. I'd like to know how folks define a new age dojo. Does it have to do with how Aikido is taught or perhaps the philosophy being espoused or a combination of both? Is Aikido being taught at a new age dojo at odds with the teachings of O-Sensei? And do people believe they have the right to impose their judgment on anyone else's interpretation of Aikido?

Mashu
03-31-2005, 07:02 PM
I'd say that any dojo or group that has odd or esoteric practices and affectations that seem to serve no practical purpose other than mystifying their students into believing they are special would be New Age.

Is this at odds with what O'Sensei taught? If it doesn't work then it isn't Aiki so I guess it would be at odds.

There is little that other people can do about it so I don't see how they can impose their judgement on people involved with New Age dojo. What are you going to do? Run in and knock over their incense? Have the Doshu call for an Inquisition or Reconquista?

giriasis
04-01-2005, 06:18 AM
Ron,

I think some people refer "New Age Dojos" as a derogatory way to describe people who prefer "soft aikido". It is a term ment to incite and push people's buttons who prefer the spiritual/ mental benefits of aikido.

Ron Tisdale
04-01-2005, 07:54 AM
Hmmm, 'New Age' aikido...

I remember Don Modesto refering to a dojo where he had the instructor having fits because he 'made a fist at someone'...I don't know, mabye that's a new age dojo.

On the other hand, there is a dojo in my area where I am priviledged to be allowed to drop in from time to time. Now, I have heard one of the instructors say (I'm paraphrasiing) 'we already pretty much know how to hit people...what we are doing here is learning something else.' I believe in the entire time (maybe two years?) I've been able to work out with these guys, the instructor demonstrated a technique with an atemi once (a kaiten-nage, I believe). He was very casual about the atemi, but if you weren't paying attention, I'm sure you'd get bopped.

Some might think 'now that is a new age dojo'.

The thing is, the yoshinkan people I know who have trained with this group say things like 'those guys throw HARD.' 'They do so much suwari waza, these guys are really tough'. 'Don't go there unless you are up for some hard training'.

My own experience has been that sometimes I've left there shaking with exhaustion. They talk even less than your typical yoshinkan dojo...they don't talk at all. They train. The instructor teaches. That's it. They did a gasshku I participated in...I had to skip one of the five classes because I just couldn't hack it...too tired. I'm not in the best shape...but I've done some pretty intense training in Daito ryu (Don M. was there, he can vouch for the intensity), yoshinkan aikido, and other stuff...these guys train and throw HARD. But they are a very 'soft' style of aikido. :)

So, if I walked in there, and 'made a fist at someone', I'd probably be asked if I wanted to learn what they were teaching, or if I wanted to find another place to train. That, in and of itself, would not make them a new age dojo, in my opinion.

Best,
Ron

Dazzler
04-01-2005, 08:01 AM
Nice one Ron..

way I see it is that everyone has their own path and goals.

Who is so perfect that they can chip in and say 'thats wrong'.?

If people spent more time looking for the good in aikido or anything that matter then they might just see something to enrich their own lives or practice.

Seems like some just wanna criticise everything!

Thanks

D

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 08:08 AM
Google : aikido + "new age"

Results 1 - 10 of about 54,000 for aikido + "new age". (0.41 seconds)



I hope the trend of the thread is not to pooh-pooh the idea that Aikido has become associated with the term "New Age" or to indicate that only one person in the world has this idea and that the idea is TOTALLY unjustified. It would imply something about the thread. :)

But wait..... maybe if we can denigrate anyone who brings up the idea (even the owners of Google), we can make it go away. Let's attack any messengers we disagree with! That will show that we're spiritually far superior and thus our superiority will shine through. :cool:

Mike

Amelia Smith
04-01-2005, 08:10 AM
I have a friend who travels a lot on business and has visited many more dojos than I have. Sometimes he complains that when he's visited some dojo or other people have been really put out by the fact that he actually throws them, and sometimes resists a bit in ukemi. Dojos where the uke falls down for no good reason can be very annoying to train at for those of us who are used to a relatively vigorous workout. Maybe these are the "new age dojos" that people are talking about here. It might also go along with spending relatively more time on ki exercises.

--Amelia

Ron Tisdale
04-01-2005, 08:55 AM
But wait..... maybe if we can denigrate anyone who brings up the idea (even the owners of Google), we can make it go away. Let's attack any messengers we disagree with! That will show that we're spiritually far superior and thus our superiority will shine through.

I can't speak for anyone else here Mike, but for myself, let's be clear...I respect you and your opinions, even when I don't agree with them. I am in no way attempting to attack or denigrate you or others who speak of 'New Age Aikido'. I hoped that by referencing Don Modesto's experience (someone for whom I have much respect) I would make that clear.

This thread is about a definition of what a New Age dojo is...one topic associated with it has been atemi (or the lack of atemi). I simply meant to address that portion. Are there other things you wish to put forward as part of that definition?

Best,
Ron

Jake Karlins
04-01-2005, 09:22 AM
Maybe the idea of a New Age dojo has to do with Aikido being taught as way of self-improvement or personal growth (and people who denigrate so-called New Age dojos are saying that the problem is that this side of the art is taught to the exclusion of martial technique, realistic ukemi, strong intent, etc.?). I think the irony is that often the more martial/realistic the training is, the more you can learn about yourself, grow, and all that other nice hippie stuff. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 09:24 AM
I don't really know exactly what the term means. I always considered New Age dojos to be dojos that lack tai-atari. In my opinion, the training can be soft or hard, slow or fast, but I dislike evasion. (Obviously, I like evasion very much when I'm using it to get/maintain superior position, but I mean from the point of contact.)

Rob

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 09:27 AM
I can't speak for anyone else here Mike, but for myself, let's be clear...I respect you and your opinions, even when I don't agree with them. I am in no way attempting to attack or denigrate you or others who speak of 'New Age Aikido'. I hoped that by referencing Don Modesto's experience (someone for whom I have much respect) I would make that clear.

This thread is about a definition of what a New Age dojo is...one topic associated with it has been atemi (or the lack of atemi). I simply meant to address that portion. Are there other things you wish to put forward as part of that definition? I honestly didn't think much about "New Age Aikido" when I did Aikido, although I ran into an uncomfortable number of dojo's where it was obvious they didn't have a clue about Aikido as a real martial art and there was a lot ambiance indicating that they were more of a social club than a martial arts group. But then I had a discussion one day with Karl Geis down in Houston in about 1980. For people that don't know him, he did Tomiki Aikido at that time (I think he's part of Fugukukai now) and he was a world-class judo competitor from back in the 1950's and forward. He wouldn't even talk to people from Aikikai, etc., because he hadn't met any of them who could do anything but talk and they were being taken over by (expletives deleted) of the New Age. That was the first time I realized there was this tremendous internal split (bigger than I had ever realized) in Aikido. I also have to add that on the other side, I played a guitar in a bar near Central Avenue in Haight-Ashbury in 1968 for a few months, so I've known the "New Age" types pretty well for many years... and underneath the facade of love and spirituality, they tend to be pretty self-absorbed and vicious when they show their true selves. Look at some of the posts on the "Equitable" thread and you'll see what I mean.

So you can see the split. My point is that to pretend there is no such thing as New Age Aikido is absurd. To start another obvious passive-aggressive "let's kill the messenger" thread won't do anything to make the problem go away, either. I've actually seen advertisements for dojo's assuring people that no aspects of conflict or fighting were involved and they were "meditation oriented". I have to laugh at rhetorical attempts to pretend "New Age Dojos" are somehow a figment of the imagination of evil people that should be tossed out of dojos and off AikiWeb. The 54,000 hits on Google associating "Aikido" and "New Age" is glaring proof of that which some people want to deny. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 09:42 AM
Maybe the idea of a New Age dojo has to do with Aikido being taught as way of self-improvement or personal growth (and people who denigrate so-called New Age dojos are saying that the problem is that this side of the art is taught to the exclusion of martial technique, realistic ukemi, strong intent, etc.?). Well, it's the same old question of whether something is "Aikido", a term that O-Sensei adopted for his art and which some people are purporting to teach. I see some people talking about how they handle people that don't "conform" to their way of thinking in their dojo and I would point to other posts (and massive conversation on the outside) about people who dropped Aikido like a hot potato when they found out that it wasn't really much of a martial art and they were being forced to "conform" using quasi-Japanese bs. The central question is "can you call anything you want 'Aikido' ... i.e., make people conform in your dojo to your ideas while at the same time refuse to conform to the original idea of Aikido?". It's a thought rife with tautological arguments, isn't it? ;)

Mike

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 09:59 AM
Look at some of the posts on the "Equitable" threadEspecially post 190, where Lynn was quoted with "sarcasm is for the ignorant and arrogant" and Mike responded "Strange coincidence... that' s exactly what I think about psychology, Lynn." I believe that term "passive-aggressive" you like to bandy is a psychological term. ;)

I would like there to be a "New Age" where we reap what we sow...

Rob

David Humm
04-01-2005, 10:07 AM
Ron,

I think some people refer "New Age Dojos" as a derogatory way to describe people who prefer "soft aikido". It is a term ment to incite and push people's buttons who prefer the spiritual/ mental benefits of aikido. Hi Ann... By "soft" do you mean aikido which is practiced without martial intent or, Aikido which emphasises a greater degree of blending which; brings about less physical or 'conflictive' contact between partners ?

Kind regards

Ron Tisdale
04-01-2005, 10:15 AM
My point is that to pretend there is no such thing as New Age Aikido is absurd.

I'm not sure someone is saying that...I know I didn't say that.

I am sure that I am saying that the definition is sometimes somewhat unclear, and that such dojo may not be as prevelent as some might think. Google hits aside, anyone can post a phrase that gets picked up, how you qualify the person posting it is something else (context, context, context). I certainly do not live my life or make my decisions by what others post on the web. In the proper context though, the web can be a valuable resource.

I have much respect for the Karl Geis's out there...they add a refreshing level of honesty to Aikido that many other forms would do well to consider. Even if after consideration they choose another path to that level of honesty.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
04-01-2005, 10:22 AM
Hi Ann... By "soft" do you mean aikido which is practiced without martial intent or, Aikido which emphasises a greater degree of blending which; brings about less physical or 'conflictive' contact between partners ?

Kind regards

By 'soft' (man, I hate that term), I meant *very* relaxed upper body, movement concentrated in the hara, not much easily visible emphasis on atemi, not much easily visible attention to form. Feels like not much power, looks like not much power (until uke hits the mat, that is). I'm slowly realizing that except for the emphasis on atemi and form, the best of yoshinkan is much the same... :)

Best,
Ron (always a slow learner)

Nick P.
04-01-2005, 10:37 AM
Several times I've seen references to 'New Age Dojos' in various threads. I'd like to know how folks define a new age dojo. Does it have to do with how Aikido is taught or perhaps the philosophy being espoused or a combination of both? Is Aikido being taught at a new age dojo at odds with the teachings of O-Sensei? And do people believe they have the right to impose their judgment on anyone else's interpretation of Aikido?

IMHO, I would choose the words New Age if.....hmm.
You know, I would no longer use those words.
I would simply place the dojo in one of two columns. "For Me" and "Not For Me". Of course, over time, maybe they would all end up in the "For Me" column, or swap places.

But I think one important thing needs to be said; arguing what is and what is not Aikido (or is or is not New Age) is like arguing that blue is a nice color. What shade and how nice is only the beginning of an impossible argument.

I think I have a fairly clear idea of what I think Aikido is; my job is to have my training line-up with that vision. Do I hope it is in keeping with O-Sensei's vision of Aikido. Of course. Could I be wrong. Of course! Do I care what others around me choose to believe. Not so much. Do I learn from others I train with who have wildly different opinions. Hell yes. But never will I say "What you believe is not in line with my beliefs, so therefore your view is wrong." We disagree. Period.

The more I try to impose my judgment on someone with different views, the more conflict will result.
The more I try to impose my judgment on someone with identical views, the more we reinforce how wrong non-believers
are.

RonRagusa
04-01-2005, 10:53 AM
By 'soft' (man, I hate that term), I meant *very* relaxed upper body, movement concentrated in the hara, not much easily visible emphasis on atemi, not much easily visible attention to form. Feels like not much power, looks like not much power (until uke hits the mat, that is). I'm slowly realizing that except for the emphasis on atemi and form, the best of yoshinkan is much the same... :)

Best,
Ron (always a slow learner)

Ron,

Next time Maruyama Sensei is in Philly you might try to attend one of his seminars. His Aikido and your idea of 'soft' are quite the same.

Ron Tisdale
04-01-2005, 11:06 AM
Hi Ron (change your name!),

I take that as a VERY high compliment. One of my greatest disappointments is that I didn't know about Maruyama Sensei or aikido when he was here. I have had the pleasure of being exposed to some of his students though. Too bad I didn't fully realize what it was they had to offer, at the time.

Ron

giriasis
04-01-2005, 11:56 AM
Hi Ann... By "soft" do you mean aikido which is practiced without martial intent or, Aikido which emphasises a greater degree of blending which; brings about less physical or 'conflictive' contact between partners ?

Kind regards

To me "Soft Aikido" really is focusing more on blending, leading, really trying to use the attackers momentum and strength with much circularity. This practice can still be rather martial and does not dilute the art. But when I hear people refer to "New Age Dojo" I think their definition is that "soft" is without martial intent, and as a result such a practice "dilutes" aikido as a martial art.

Soft can also be the way you train, as you take soft falls, using a gentler technique over a more painful one. It can be doing techniques more slowly learning to control you partner and really focusing on the details. You can train hard, but being intently focused on your physical training, really pushing yourself physically stamina and endurance wise. This is the way it is where I train.

DevinHammer
04-01-2005, 12:05 PM
The irony here is that in the grand scheme of things, people in other martial arts generally consider Aikido as a whole to be quite "new age", which I suppose it is in that context. And here we are quibbling about which parts are more new age than others.

[insert your favorite appropriate O'sensei quote here]

RonRagusa
04-01-2005, 12:37 PM
Food for thought:

"I worry about the conflicts that I see arise between different styles and schools of Aikido...

...Aikido has but one principle - the universal reality of life. In their own nature as living human beings all possess the basic secret of Aikido. The purpose of Aikido is to better people's lives, to make their spirits blossom and become strong, and by making better people to make a better world. Aikido exists in this principle and this purpose, not in the style of movement or the technical details through which Aikido is taught. If the principle and purpose are present, any technique can be Aikido. If they are absent, so is Aikido." --- Mitsugi Saotome, "The Principles of Aikido".

and

"The main purpose of Aikido is to build a strong mind, body and spirit for use in daily life. In addition, however, Aikido also trains its students to learn to live in harmony with themselves and with one another...

... Uyeshiba discovered the spiritual potential of the martial arts. He believed that the basic principles of the universe are harmony and love and that these can be attained through the martial arts. He believed that a doctrine which does not teach these principles is not a true martial art." --- Yoshimitsu Yamada, "Aikido Complete".

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 12:52 PM
Those are wonderful words for us to consider. Ironically, it is quite well known that Saotome sensei and Yamada sensei have had major conflicts about their different styles and schools of Aikido. So much so, that as a teacher under Saotome sensei - last I heard which was not too long ago - I am not supposed to attend USAF seminars - as if I could care at all what those two were arguing about. On the positive side, I do attend USAF seminars now and again because not everyone is stuck in the results of an argument that happened several decades ago.

Rob

giriasis
04-01-2005, 01:01 PM
Those are wonderful words for us to consider. Ironically, it is quite well known that Saotome sensei and Yamada sensei have had major conflicts about their different styles and schools of Aikido. So much so, that as a teacher under Saotome sensei - last I heard which was not too long ago - I am not supposed to attend USAF seminars - as if I could care at all what those two were arguing about. On the positive side, I do attend USAF seminars now and again because not everyone is stuck in the results of an argument that happened several decades ago.

Rob

And you will be welcomed in our dojo to train, and my sensei is close to Yamada Sensei. Also, I don't remember ASU people being turned away from USAF seminars -- at least the ones I've been too -- Yamada Sensei seminars included. Go figure.

I agree that the differences should rest between the men themselves rather than carried out and perpetuated by their students.

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 02:09 PM
Food for thought:

"I worry about the conflicts that I see arise between different styles and schools of Aikido...

...Aikido has but one principle - the universal reality of life. In their own nature as living human beings all possess the basic secret of Aikido. The purpose of Aikido is to better people's lives, to make their spirits blossom and become strong, and by making better people to make a better world. Aikido exists in this principle and this purpose, not in the style of movement or the technical details through which Aikido is taught. If the principle and purpose are present, any technique can be Aikido. If they are absent, so is Aikido." --- Mitsugi Saotome, "The Principles of Aikido".

and

"The main purpose of Aikido is to build a strong mind, body and spirit for use in daily life. In addition, however, Aikido also trains its students to learn to live in harmony with themselves and with one another...

... Uyeshiba discovered the spiritual potential of the martial arts. He believed that the basic principles of the universe are harmony and love and that these can be attained through the martial arts. He believed that a doctrine which does not teach these principles is not a true martial art." --- Yoshimitsu Yamada, "Aikido Complete". I've met both of them and they seem nice enough to me, but the point is that both of them have bona fide martial arts accomplishments and can fight. Both have. They don't teach "peace and harmony is Aikido". Learn the martial art first... then you're qualified to use it (And remember, "harmony" does not mean exactly what most of the New Age thinks it does) to accomplish the philosophy. It's not correct to approach it backwards with "my martial part of it is not so hot, but since I teach peace and harmony it must be Aikido". ;)

I remember when Saotome came uninvited to the US and wound up in Yamada's turf. He didn't get the OK from Hombu Dojo or anyone else and IIRC he thought he would somehow get a blessing from someone and become part of the USAF or something along those lines. Didn't happen, so he set up his own schools and promoted people willy-nilly to get the organization going. Then (man this is vague because it's all so long ago) Yamada did something at a reconciliation meeting in NYC like turn his back on Saotome and walk off the mat (correct me if I'm wrong). Ultimately I believe Saotome's organization got Hombu recognition, but it's still separate because, ultimately, of that old turf battle brought on by Saotome not getting permission to come to the US (I think he "had a vision" about O-Sensei telling him to come, IIRC).

The point I'm trying to establish is that we're all human and fallible... and we're all capable of doing good things. But we all put on our pants one leg at a time (well actually, I hold mine and jump in with both legs at the same time) and we all make pronouncements that don't necessarily reflect what we really do. If I remember correctly, Saotome's Aikido admonitions include "destroy your enemy", incidentally. Back to the real world. My apologies. :)

Mike

creinig
04-01-2005, 02:16 PM
Google : aikido + "new age"

Results 1 - 10 of about 54,000 for aikido + "new age". (0.41 seconds)

Off topic, but kind of interesting:

Judo + "new age" is at "about 36,200".
Karate + "new age" generates "about 76,900" results,
"kung fu" + "new age" lists "about 83,800" and
boxing + "new age" yields "about 282,000" results.

Just FYI -- no valuation or anything else implied. If in doubt, read the disclaimer (http://gravity.psu.edu/~mcnabb/disclaimer.html).

Ron Tisdale
04-01-2005, 02:29 PM
:) that was sweet.... :)
RT

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 02:35 PM
Nice stats. I'd already done the boxing one and read a number of the entries... many of which had nothing to do with the "New Age" as we're talking about. Just FYI -- no valuation or anything else implied. If in doubt, read the disclaimer (http://gravity.psu.edu/~mcnabb/disclaimer.html).
I'm afraid to click on the link because it might put more spyware on my computer!!! :) It's gotten so bad that I don't open pictures, go to suggested links, and I wouldn't open an attachment sent to me by my mom.

Mike

Chris Birke
04-01-2005, 02:38 PM
"I think the irony is that often the more martial/realistic the training is, the more you can learn about yourself, grow, and all that other nice hippie stuff."

I just wanted to say that I wholeheartedly support that statement. So often people see violent training as the anthesis to spirituality.

A new age dojo, in my opinion, preeches the self same spiritual benifits that you expirence first hand in hard training. However, at the same time, they insulate you from hard training (or present plush stuffed animal cartoon versions of it) as though it were the same path.

I often discuss technique, and "reality training" but I do so because my end goals are mental; so often there is such a void of understanding this.

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 02:49 PM
So often people see violent training as the anthesis to spirituality. [snip]
I often discuss technique, and "reality training" but I do so because my end goals are mental; so often there is such a void of understanding this. I agree. The real martial artists I know tend to be very practical and keyed in to common sense... and bluntly honest. If they say something, you can count on it. That doesn't stop the petty conflicts, unfortunately, because even the ones I consider almost saints have wound up whether they like it or not in the occasional conflicts. But hey... that's part of the human condition. :)

Mike

Chris Li
04-01-2005, 02:55 PM
Those are wonderful words for us to consider. Ironically, it is quite well known that Saotome sensei and Yamada sensei have had major conflicts about their different styles and schools of Aikido. So much so, that as a teacher under Saotome sensei - last I heard which was not too long ago - I am not supposed to attend USAF seminars - as if I could care at all what those two were arguing about. On the positive side, I do attend USAF seminars now and again because not everyone is stuck in the results of an argument that happened several decades ago.

Rob

FWIW, Saotome never personally gave me (or anyone else that I know) any problems about training or visiting Yamada or USAF events - and vice-versa. The only times that I got static or comments was from some of the students (on both sides). Funny how the students presume to treat people badly when the shihan on both sides are actually fairly cool about it.

Best,

Chris

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 02:57 PM
Saotome never personally gave me (or anyone else that I know) any problems about training or visiting Yamada or USAF events either.

I had friends in some of the USAF dojos that actually had to lie on the entrace forms and say I was visiting from some other USAF dojo so I could attend their seminars. I can't explain it, but I have lived it.

Rob

Misogi-no-Gyo
04-01-2005, 03:24 PM
Well, as usual I have a slightly different take on things. For me, new age dojos are dojos that have no direct connection back to O-Sensei. The idea of hard -vs- soft, talking -vs- no talking, hard falls -vs- soft falls or what have you is just typical of an outsider's view. When you hear this nonsense, just lean back and let the wind fly, as it is the irrelevant drivel of the overconfidently uninformed. And just to clarify, I don't mean that one has to not practice aikido to be considered an outsider. That is already obvious.

You see, if a visitor from one of those so-called "hard" dojos outsiders seem to think sets the standard by which Aikido should be judged, be it a tough dojo from the Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, Fugagukai or USAF, etc organizations, showed up at our school, we would be working on kokyu techniques. When training in these techniques, Uke receives a tremendous amount of energy, and Nage expends even more energy if he/she is trying to do them but doesn't know how. This is extremely tiring and exhausting on both a mental and emotional level. 99% of the time, said visitor would walk out thinking to themselves, "Hey, what was with all that new age crap (that I couldn't do and therefore must not need to do)?"

What does all this mean? Where would we be then? Exactly where we are now, and exactly where we were when O-Sensei was still alive and teaching - 99% of the people didn't understand it then, and 99% of the people don't understand it now. Instead they toss it aside and move towards techniques, philosophies, or ideas that fit their own definition of Aikido, regardless of what O-Sensei, himself was doing. See, in the new age, 99% of the people don't want to see, don't want to know, and don't want to understand, and so they don't. Then it becomes easy to walk around saying things like, hard -vs- soft, talking -vs- no talking, hard falls -vs- soft falls or what have you, and use it as some measure of what is good, bad.... blah, blah, blah. It just signifies now what it has always signified, that when you can't, or won't figure it out for yourself for whatever reason, just make something up and keep repeating it until you and those around you believe it. Then you get to have your moral superiority and your badass, mat-slamming, pre-war, blah-blah-blah dojo - attitude, cake and all.

As an example, there is no one who would have considered Tenshin Dojo, or Aikido Doshinokai (my former and present dojos) new age, in the least. However we focus on developing real kokyu power, expressed through all of our techniques, be they hard, soft or flowing. In my experience very few dojos even have a clue what kokyu is, and for that I am truly sorry because kokyu is at the center of O-Sensei's physical waza at the root level. For me, once you remove kokyu from your training, you are a new age dojo (i.e. a dojo in the new age of aikido) . By the way, I have no problem with these schools - as examples, dojos such as Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, Fugagukai, etc… because they have different goals, expressed by the founders of their individual systems. They are beautiful and unique offshoots inspired by certain aspects of O-Sensei's art. However, like Aikido is not Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujitsu, These other forms of Aikido are not O-Sensei's Aikido. They aren't supposed to be, so it is just a mistake when outsiders try to lump them all together to compare them.

However, how I arrive at my definition is only on a comparative basis, and that is only when outsiders put all of these things in one barrel, which is silly at every level. One has to look at the goal of the art form. The goal of aikido is not to be martially effective. Oh, "…but Aikido is a martial art, you moan? Yes, it is. However martial effectiveness is a byproduct of proper training, not the goal of it - period. If you ever have the chance to meet a true yogi master, or a Shaolin or Tibetan monk, this would become immediately clear should you be so deaf, dumb and blind (or just plain stpuid) as to have to ask them what is the goal of their path. We might consider their physical skills at the level of mastery, many of us only hoping to gain even a shadow of their talent and skill. However, ask them if their life's goal or even the goal of their training is to master martial arts, and you will quickly learn that it is not - for it is not. Their martial skills are a byproduct of their path, or may even be looked at as the tools of their craft. However, the tools are not the craft, just as the byproduct of walking one's path is not the path.

Aikido, is a path, and the dojos of the new age don't like this incontrovertible fact and that is why they removed it as the goal of their training, and that is why it is not aikido, and that is why it is silly, short sighted and a moot point to look at aikido from the outside and say, "You are a new age dojo because you don't focus on martial effectiveness. SILLY!

PS - As for all this don't shoot the messenger garbage - let's just kill the messenger, and stop pretending that isn't what used to happen, because it did, more often than not.



.

Chris Li
04-01-2005, 03:52 PM
Saotome never personally gave me (or anyone else that I know) any problems about training or visiting Yamada or USAF events either.

I had friends in some of the USAF dojos that actually had to lie on the entrace forms and say I was visiting from some other USAF dojo so I could attend their seminars. I can't explain it, but I have lived it.

Rob

These days, with so many people practicing, it's becoming increasingly common to limit the number of participants at any given event (ASU does this too) - often by giving priority to members of your own organization. Don't know if that's what happened, but it seems within the realm of possibility.

Best,

Chris

Brion Toss
04-03-2005, 03:48 PM
Hello,
"New Age" is nowadays mostly used as a pejorative, a way to put someone down or shut them up without having to go to the bother of assembling a convincing argument. Like saying "whatever", or "You're just being PC", it's shorthand for "I don't agree with/like/want to deal with the you on the topic at hand."
"New Age" was originally used, as I understand it, in a positive sense, to describe a complex of spiritual practices and ideas that some people hoped would usher in a new age of harmony, enlightenment, etc. Perhaps inevitably, some of these practices and ideas were on the ludicrously naive or self-deluding side, so other people had some easy targets, and great opportunities for slamming the whole concept.
But some of those ideas have survived, and a good thing, I think. Human history is too largely a tale of woe, and any work that anyone can do to make the future less horrific than the past would be welcome. I study Aikido in large part because my understanding is that Ueshiba the elder was one of those people working to improve things, and not one of the deluded ones, either.
If Aikido is concerned primarily with self-improvement, and with inculcating alternative spiritual ideas in its practitioners, the entire spectrum of the art can be (and has been) classified as New Age. What I think lends substance to the negative tone of that usage is the kind of relatively rare dojo where the spiritual side has been utterly distorted and the martial side utterly trivialized (note: I am using the word "side" to make a useful distinction, though I believe that such a distinction is ultimately illusory).
Trouble is, as others have noted, a dojo might be practicing excellent, as-O-Sensei-meant-it-to-be Aikido, and still look, to ignorant or opinionated eyes, like one of the places that are difficult to distinguish from interprative dance, except that interpretive dance is more martially effective.
That seems to leave two realizations. First, as Raven sensei pointed out, 99% of people won't get it, no matter what we're practicing. We just might need to learn to shrug and adopt a mysterious air when someone tars us with a contemptuously-intended "New Age" label. And second, we can't be sure that we necessarily get it either; if it's easy, if anything at all rings of rationalization, if it doesn't temper us, it probably ain't Aikido.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Mike Sigman
04-03-2005, 04:33 PM
"New Age" is nowadays mostly used as a pejorative, [snip] "New Age" was originally used, as I understand it, in a positive sense, to describe a complex of spiritual practices and ideas that some people hoped would usher in a new age of harmony, enlightenment, etc. It meant the "Age of Aquarius", Brion. In other words, whether "pejorative" or not, it referred to people who believed in Astrology, Crystal Vibrations, Peace-Love-and-Harmony, etc. Look at how many people are presenting Aikido, a martial art, as a "Way of Harmony". The tag "New Age" is quite appropriate, Brion. Step up to it in a manly fashion. ;) Perhaps inevitably, some of these practices and ideas were on the ludicrously naive or self-deluding side, so other people had some easy targets, and great opportunities for slamming the whole concept. So why not make the case logically how people who can't really do a martial art, but insist it isn't important in Aikido to do so, are correct. Give us the scenario how O-Sensei would have welcomed them as brethren so that we can all consider it. Fair enough? But some of those ideas have survived, and a good thing, I think. Human history is too largely a tale of woe, and any work that anyone can do to make the future less horrific than the past would be welcome. I study Aikido in large part because my understanding is that Ueshiba the elder was one of those people working to improve things, and not one of the deluded ones, either. I don't have a problem with the views you have, Brion, but you have to sell them to me first... I tend to be a sceptic. Explain to me how O-Sensei in his dotage preached peace and harmony yet how he was so irascible that many people tried to keep him away from Hombu dojo and to avoid his anger and outrages. I.e., my position is that he was quite human and not a Jesus-like figure preaching on the Mount. We just might need to learn to shrug and adopt a mysterious air when someone tars us with a contemptuously-intended "New Age" label. And second, we can't be sure that we necessarily get it either; if it's easy, if anything at all rings of rationalization, if it doesn't temper us, it probably ain't Aikido. Good points. :^)

Mike

Mashu
04-03-2005, 05:34 PM
Description of Your First Name of: Brion
Although the name Brion creates the urge to be reliable and responsible, we emphasize that it limits your versatility and scope, tuning you to technical details. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the elimination system, and through worry and mental tension.

Your first name of Brion has given you a practical, logical, analytical approach to life and a great deal of patience. You enjoy working at anything of a mechanical or technical nature, and believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well. When you are interested in a project, you concentrate all your thoughts on it and do not appreciate being interrupted. This name creates a deliberate and methodical way of thinking and speaking; it takes you time to learn but, once you have mastered a subject, you do not forget it.


[Click here for an analysis of your complete name]


Watch an instructional video that explains "How?" and "Why?" your name creates your mind.

http://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/your.cfm

Step right up! Step right up....
:D

RonRagusa
04-03-2005, 06:59 PM
Because a teacher does not always practice what he teaches does not invalidate or repudiate the teaching. If it did, all ethics professors would have to be perfectly ethical, all religous teachers would have to be without sin. Not practical or attainable.

No one is trying to elevate O-Sensei to the level of a demi-god. But to deny that the main principles of the universe as seen by O-Sensei are harmony and love and that Aikido is built upon this foundation is to put ones head in the sand and say 'what I can't see doesn't exist.'

Reference Aikido Complete by Yoshimitsu Yamada page13.

Mike Sigman
04-03-2005, 07:57 PM
....to deny that the main principles of the universe as seen by O-Sensei are harmony and love and that Aikido is built upon this foundation is to put ones head in the sand and say 'what I can't see doesn't exist.'

Reference Aikido Complete by Yoshimitsu Yamada page13. :) There's nothing I can say to you, Ron. We have different knowledges and perspectives on martial arts, what "harmony" means in the Asian sense, and in our knowledge of Yamada and his history. One thing for sure... whatever my position and perspectives are, I'm not trying to teach something and call it "Aikido", so I don't have to justify what I do and what I charge money for. My interest is in the working of the ki/kokyu mechanics. :cool:

Mike

Lorien Lowe
04-03-2005, 11:12 PM
Trouble is, as others have noted, a dojo might be practicing excellent, as-O-Sensei-meant-it-to-be Aikido, and still look, to ignorant or opinionated eyes, like one of the places that are difficult to distinguish from interprative dance, except that interpretive dance is more martially effective.

iirc there's a section in _Angry White Pajamas_ in which the narrator goes to see the doshu and concludes, 'they're faking it!'

-LK

sunny liberti
04-04-2005, 06:41 AM
I.e., my position is that he was quite human and not a Jesus-like figure preaching on the Mount. My recollection was that Jesus was rather a bad-ass as well... Remember his outrage at the temple?

I fail to see how anger or outrage is entirely outside of the scope of nature and harmony. Seem like a necessary force in many situations to me.

Ron Tisdale
04-04-2005, 07:24 AM
iirc there's a section in _Angry White Pajamas_ in which the narrator goes to see the doshu and concludes, 'they're faking it!'

-LK

I personally take everything the author said in that book with a LARGE grain of salt. He was something of a dilettante...although I did enjoy the book, I found through meeting some of the people he described that he was completely off base in reading people. So I wouldn't take anything he said about the training at hombu seriously.

Likewise, I know some in the yoshinkan who look down their nose at the aikikai a bit. I don't take that view point from them all that seriously either. I've seen good dojo, bad dojo, so-so dojo in just about all styles. I've learned to look at things case by case, as Meik Skoss says, and not to lump them all together.

Ron

Dazzler
04-04-2005, 07:27 AM
:) There's nothing I can say to you, Ron. We have different knowledges and perspectives on martial arts, what "harmony" means in the Asian sense, and in our knowledge of Yamada and his history. One thing for sure... whatever my position and perspectives are, I'm not trying to teach something and call it "Aikido", so I don't have to justify what I do and what I charge money for. My interest is in the working of the ki/kokyu mechanics. :cool:

Mike

Right thats it...I need a holiday....

I agree with Mike to a certain extent here an that the interpretation of harmony has caused a lot of the misconceptions about aikido and the way it is practiced.

We practice to unify yin / yang , positive and negative energies.

Our ideal is the blending of these to create a form where the equal balance of these universal forces produces seemingly effortless technique as a manifestation of ki

So I believe.

I've personally interpreted this balance as 'harmony' rather than any lifestyle directive.

Its a bit of a highbrow explanation....we do also practice with a leaning towards a philosophy where not fighting is considered more ethical than fighting....but at the same time work on the base that if there has to be a fight, start it and finish it.

So I probably agree with Ron too..

Isn't that nice.

D (retires to the fence.....)

ruthmc
04-04-2005, 08:37 AM
What does being a good fighter have to do with being a good martial artist?

I've seen some very good fighters in kindergarten, but I've yet to find a good martial artist there ;)

To me a good martial artist is a disciplined person, not just the person who can hit hardest and damn the consequences.

Ruth

sunny liberti
04-04-2005, 09:04 AM
Ruth, that reminds me of seeing a "Creative Breaking Championship" on TV a few years ago. The winner dislocated his shoulder delivering the winning strike. He looked like a goofball accepting the trophy with a dangling right arm. I thought that if there are no rules that you have to be fully intact after breaking whatever, then why not just shoot someone out of a cannon head first? I'm sure they'd win, seeing as it's darn creative and certain to break stuff.

My point is that "new-age" haters seem to think these types of competitions are "martial" as they exhibit a lot of stationary ki power, and that aikido is not. I don't get it.

happysod
04-04-2005, 09:15 AM
What does being a good fighter have to do with being a good martial artist Wouldn't it be reasonable to consider a good martial artist should also be a reasonable fighter?

How I always think of it is in terms of sports - a good coach may be able to teach the sport and train superb practitioners without necessarily being anything more than average, certainly not a good proponent of their sport.

In a similar vein, you can get martial arts teachers who just blow me away with their technical panache and understanding, but who to be frank are indifferent fighters. I'd call them good martial arts teachers, but not necessarily good martial artists.

Bronson
04-04-2005, 09:30 AM
By 'soft' (man, I hate that term), I meant *very* relaxed upper body, movement concentrated in the hara, not much easily visible emphasis on atemi, not much easily visible attention to form. Feels like not much power, looks like not much power (until uke hits the mat, that is).

Hey, we're a "New Age" dojo....yeah :D :D

Bronson

sunny liberti
04-04-2005, 09:44 AM
Wouldn't it be reasonable to consider a good martial artist should also be a reasonable fighter?Yes,very much so. But she said it the other way around.

happysod
04-04-2005, 10:00 AM
Sunny, I did notice that, but
a) I wanted to see if Ruth was discounting fighting as part of a martial art or not (going from her previous posts, I'd presume not).
b) I wouldn't necessarily not call a good fighter a good martial artist, unlike Ruth - a standing joke is "black belt pool cue/bar stool" used to refer to someone who "just knows how to fight".

I guess I'm less sanguine about the inherent difference between a damn good brawler and a martial artists - and if someone mentions budo I'd like to point out that western fighting arts are also called martial arts and in spite the Marquis of bloody (I don't like to lose) Queensbury's best efforts there is no underlying warrior ethos to a lot of the traditional arts.

Lorien Lowe
04-04-2005, 04:58 PM
I personally take everything the author said in that book with a LARGE grain of salt.

Actually that was sort of my point. He called it wishy-washy or fake because he didn't understand it.

I have trained with yudansha who seem floppy and ineffective, but I think takes some hubris to judge someone, or to judge a dojo, before one has been on the receiving end of their technique. Labeling something 'new age' and therefore dismissable is a cheap way to get out of having to find out for oneself what is actually happening. Sometimes a dojo really is wishy-washy, but if one accepts the Justinian principle of 'innocent until proven guilty,' then the onus is on the accuser to actually try the art.

-LK

ruthmc
04-05-2005, 03:33 AM
Sunny, I did notice that, but
a) I wanted to see if Ruth was discounting fighting as part of a martial art or not (going from her previous posts, I'd presume not).

Correct. I just happen to believe that there's rather more to a good martial artist than the ability to fight :)

Ruth

Brion Toss
04-05-2005, 08:05 AM
It meant the "Age of Aquarius", Brion. In other words, whether "pejorative" or not, it referred to people who believed in Astrology, Crystal Vibrations, Peace-Love-and-Harmony, etc. Look at how many people are presenting Aikido, a martial art, as a "Way of Harmony". The tag "New Age" is quite appropriate, Brion. Step up to it in a manly fashion. ;) So why not make the case logically how people who can't really do a martial art, but insist it isn't important in Aikido to do so, are correct. Give us the scenario how O-Sensei would have welcomed them as brethren so that we can all consider it. Fair enough? I don't have a problem with the views you have, Brion, but you have to sell them to me first... I tend to be a sceptic. Explain to me how O-Sensei in his dotage preached peace and harmony yet how he was so irascible that many people tried to keep him away from Hombu dojo and to avoid his anger and outrages. I.e., my position is that he was quite human and not a Jesus-like figure preaching on the Mount. Good points. :^)

Mike
Hello,
As I said, much of what has been called "New Age" is delusional stuff. This includes some Aikido practices, as I believe I also made clear. My points were: not everything called "New Age" is claptrap; that the good stuff is sorely needed in the world; and that even the good stuff will look like claptrap to many people.
When I said "Ueshiba the elder," I did not mean "Ueshiba in his old age." I was merely trying to distinguish him from his son and grandson. As I understand it, O-Sensei preached peace and harmony (however it might be translated) for many years. And no, I do not think that harmony means the absence of conflict.
As for Jesus, as another poster has pointed out, he could be irascible as they come. Humanity was one of his big selling points, as I recall.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Brion Toss
04-05-2005, 08:12 AM
Description of Your First Name of: Brion
Although the name Brion creates the urge to be reliable and responsible, we emphasize that it limits your versatility and scope, tuning you to technical details. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the elimination system, and through worry and mental tension.

Your first name of Brion has given you a practical, logical, analytical approach to life and a great deal of patience. You enjoy working at anything of a mechanical or technical nature, and believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well. When you are interested in a project, you concentrate all your thoughts on it and do not appreciate being interrupted. This name creates a deliberate and methodical way of thinking and speaking; it takes you time to learn but, once you have mastered a subject, you do not forget it.


[Click here for an analysis of your complete name]


Watch an instructional video that explains "How?" and "Why?" your name creates your mind.

http://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/your.cfm

Step right up! Step right up....
:D
Matthew,
If you have any substantive argument to make, make it. Although the analysis was pretty accurate...
Yours,
Brion Toss

RonRagusa
04-05-2005, 10:23 AM
This snippet was posted by Kensho Furuya Sensei on his Yahoo group message board:

"Over the last few years, we have seen the tremendous growth and popularity of Aikido all over the world. This is really an incredible phenomena to witness. I was talking with a veteran instructor from Aikikai the other day and he said, 'It is all due to O'Sensei's teachings and his idea of peace and harmony (emphasis mine) that Aikido is so popular today.' I (Furuya Sensei) agree with him totally. We really have to appreciate O'Sensei's teaching - that 37 years after his passing, his words and teaching are still very important to us - not only for Aikidoists, but for everyone all around the world."

and,

"At first, you might think that Aikido principles seem idealistic and impractical in our modern world today, but this is not so. Over the years, you will find that they are the most effective and most essential way to live, indeed, it is agreed that if we do not understand or realize Peace in this world, we are in big trouble."

RonRagusa
04-07-2005, 03:35 AM
This is an article by Nishio Sensei who recently passed away. The ideas expressed by Nishio Sensei seemed relevant to this thread. I was going to quote snippets from it but would have ended up quoting the whole thing so here's the link:

http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~nisio/HTML/eigo.html

Don_Modesto
04-07-2005, 01:48 PM
This snippet was posted by Kensho Furuya Sensei on his Yahoo group message board:

"Over the last few years, we have seen the tremendous growth and popularity of Aikido all over the world. This is really an incredible phenomena to witness. I was talking with a veteran instructor from Aikikai the other day and he said, 'It is all due to O'Sensei's teachings and his idea of peace and harmony (emphasis mine) that Aikido is so popular today.' I (Furuya Sensei) agree with him totally. We really have to appreciate O'Sensei's teaching - that 37 years after his passing, his words and teaching are still very important to us - not only for Aikidoists, but for everyone all around the world."

In his Embracing Defeat, John Dower makes the point that the Jpn were able to transfer almost in toto, pre-war slogans to post-war purposes. He says something to the effect that while the Jpn were rampaging through China, they weren't crying out "Up with militarism"; they were advocating peace and cooperation.

The words themselves--peace and harmony--are almost useless.for understanding any behavior based on them. Caveat emptor.

As PAG has mused, it would be extremely interesting to see what aikido would have become had Japan won the war.

RonRagusa
04-07-2005, 02:55 PM
In his Embracing Defeat, John Dower makes the point that the Jpn were able to transfer almost in toto, pre-war slogans to post-war purposes. He says something to the effect that while the Jpn were rampaging through China, they weren't crying out "Up with militarism"; they were advocating peace and cooperation.

The words themselves--peace and harmony--are almost useless.for understanding any behavior based on them. Caveat emptor.

As PAG has mused, it would be extremely interesting to see what aikido would have become had Japan won the war.

Don -

The divergence between ideals and behavior has been noted before in this thread and elsewhere. My question is should we abandon the ideals because the originators of the ideals behave in a manner contrary to their own teachings? I'm not sure. Being a child of the '50s and more at home in engineer boots and black leather jacket than Birkenstocks and wool serape (metaphorically speaking) I must admit that all the peace and harmony stuff has been hard for me to assimilate. However, the behavior of masters who should know better notwithstanding, after many years of training I'm finding that the path laid out by O-Sensei makes sense to me within the context of my Aikido practice. So in daily life, I treat the philosophical foundation of Aikido with the same seriousness as I do the practical application of Aikido principles and techniques. This is how I live, practice and teach.

Ron

Don_Modesto
04-07-2005, 05:31 PM
The divergence between ideals and behavior has been noted before in this thread and elsewhere....the behavior of masters who should know better notwithstanding, after many years of training I'm finding that the path laid out by O-Sensei makes sense to me within the context of my Aikido practice.

Nice post.

Actually, I've come around to a similar conclusion in my training/attitude too, but my knee-jerk reaction is recoil from arguments from authority. But your point is taken--perhaps I'm too inclined to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Thanks.

Mel Barker
04-07-2005, 05:32 PM
...the path laid out by O-Sensei...
Ron

Ron,

I think Don may be saying that the path laid out is possibly not the one Westerners think it is, and that things in the East are never as linear as we would like them to be. He seems to be saying that the actions and words are congruent for that militarized society. They only seem incongruent to us now.

Perhaps the idea of Manifest Destiny is analogous. From my understanding, at the time it was a rather accepted notion of most Americans, where as now, it seems rather arrogant and racist.

From the prospective of hindsight many popular notions seem wrong - Japanese militarism, Manifest Destiny, bell bottoms....

I once heard Sugano Sensei say that the harmony O Sensei was seeking was between him and his Kami. I took this to mean it wasn't based on the cultural assumptions we all seem to project on him. I kind of think you are saying the same thing in your post when you describe how your Aikido practice works for you.

Mel Barker

Mel Barker
04-07-2005, 05:34 PM
Well, Don spoke for himself before I got the chance to do it for him. lol

Mel

RonRagusa
04-07-2005, 06:13 PM
I once heard Sugano Sensei say that the harmony O Sensei was seeking was between him and his Kami. I took this to mean it wasn't based on the cultural assumptions we all seem to project on him. I kind of think you are saying the same thing in your post when you describe how your Aikido practice works for you.

Mel Barker

Mel -

Your assumption is correct. Aikido is, first and foremost, a path I have chosen to travel. The meaning I derive from the teaching I've had and the studying I've done on my own is germane to me and helps shape the road I'm traveling. My students have chosen to come with me for a time and share my interpretation of what Aikido is. Along the way other branches of the path present themselves and sometimes a student will wander away in another direction. We're all responsible for our own Aikido.

My interpretation of O-Sensei's teachings is based solely on what he has written regarding foundational issues gauged from an American perspective. I have also been influenced by my long association with Maruyama Sensei and his interpretation of Aikido. As a way of peace through harmony and mutual respect, Aikido works for me. As a martial art that I can use to protect myself and my family, Aikido works for me too. As a vehicle of personal growth and enlightenment, ditto. These ideas are not mutually exclusive.

What I don't insist is that anyone follow my way. I teach my students that Aikido comes from within and it's my job to provide them with a venue in which to explore the Aikido within themselves and help them to express what they feel. In my universe there is room for a wide variety of Aikido flavors.

Ron

RonRagusa
04-07-2005, 06:19 PM
Nice post.

Actually, I've come around to a similar conclusion in my training/attitude too, but my knee-jerk reaction is recoil from arguments from authority.

Thanks.
Don -

Thanks. I understand the recoil from authority feeling. I've always had a hard time with authoritatively insistant types and my first reaction has always been to question everything they say.

Ron

Peter Goldsbury
04-07-2005, 06:50 PM
I think that here in Hiroshima there is a tendency for world peace to become a kind of mantra, as if by simply uttering the words on every occasion possible, what the words signify will automatically come to pass.

A few years ago, with the completion of expressways around Hiroshima, new highway bus services were started. The routes had to have a name, and many routes ended in '---Liner' and so we have the 'Rose Liner', the 'Reed Liner', the 'Flower Liner' all plying between Hiroshima and various local cities. And, of course we have the 'Peace Liner', as well as hundreds of companies and enterprises, all named 'Peace' or its Japanese equivalent. Hiroshima is often called the International City of Peace and Culture, but really it is no more a 'city of peace' than any other modern Japanese city. In other words, the title is also something of a cliche and, like most cliches, it is important occasionally to stand back and look once again for the meaning behind the cliche.

I think we all have to do what Ron Ragusa states: to train hard and live out our training in the world as we find it. For me in Hiroshima, to hear a less than saintly aikido shihan telling me that O Sensei created aikido in the cause of world peace and this is what we must all strive for, also risks becoming a cliche, subject to the same questions as I occasionally ask my Japanese neighbours here.

All this said, however, there are many ordinary Japanese people who do try to live out their ideals. One of my many vices is a fondness for a particular kind of Japanese beer and my local sake shop stocks it. The shop is run by an 88-year old A-bomb victim, who was one of the very first people to return to Hiroshima immediately after the bombing and try to rebuild his life. Initally he lived in a tent a few yards away from the hypocenter. He was a soldier on leave at the time of the bombing and of course fought for his country. His country was defeated and his home and family were destroyed in an instant. He does not hate Americans and in fact is very happy to sit and calmly talk to me about what happened. He is honest in his own way, just like the Japanese aikido shihan.

Best regards to all,

Ron Tisdale
04-11-2005, 07:13 AM
His country was defeated and his home and family were destroyed in an instant. He does not hate Americans and in fact is very happy to sit and calmly talk to me about what happened. He is honest in his own way, just like the Japanese aikido shihan.

Life is full of interesting contradictions, isn't it? It never ceases to amaze me...
RT

Jake Karlins
04-11-2005, 09:15 AM
Peter- what an amazing post! :eek: fantastic
Really made me think about how it's easy to talk about peace and harmony, but these things take on a new weight in the context of actual war and destruction.