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anonymous
04-04-2005, 06:56 PM
This is in response to the 'Anger on the mat' thread.

There is an older man at my dojo, a former judoka who has taken up aikido because he damaged his body too much to continue with judo. He's a perpetual white belt and seems content with that, training because he enjoys it. He's so stiff that it's amazing he can walk, but unfortunately he can also be quite arrogant. Some of his enjoyment comes from feeling superior, as a former judoka, to the aikido students at the dojo.

The problem comes when he has no idea what the hell we're doing. If he dosen't understand the technique, he just makes something up; sometimes this is so ineffective that it's almost laughable, but sometimes he gets a joint just right and it becomes quite dangerous. Often he yells while he is doing this. He does it more often on some days than others.

Once, a couple of years ago, he was doing this while I was training with him and getting worse and worse every time he was nage (sometimes this can indicate that one's technique has been too hard, but iirc I wasn't being hard on him). I got more and more angry each time; I felt like he was being totally disrespectful of my body, my time, my training, etc. Finally he got me into one of the effective locks - I had to take some of the best ukemi I've ever done in my life to get out of it intact, but when the dangerous part was past I whipped around and was as close to punching someone other than my brother that I've ever been in my life. He was totally vulnerable (as he ususally is, though he dosen't seem to notice) and I could have done some serious damage. He finally saw that, and I think he saw how close to snapping I was. We spent the rest of the day training very politely together.

Now: I was upset then, and remain unhappy, that I lost control to such a degree. Philosophically I should have stopped him earlier and said, 'Calm down, dude!'
But it worked. The guy not only has treated me with more respect, he hasn't messed around as much with other dojo members either - he's less dangerous. Sometimes he still breaks out a little, but not nearly to the same degree. I'm not sure that speaking to him would have gained the same respect.

Joezer M.
04-05-2005, 02:40 AM
Well, it isn't the best solution, but sometimes a show of force (or anger) would seem to be the only way when dealing with some people... Basically, you're saying: "If you don't play nice, we can be not-so-nice-and-maybe-a-bit-angry-but-not-so-much too", or, such as in your case: "I'm human, I have my limits, if you push me too hard I'll snap, and that wouldn't do any of us good"... It happened once or twice in my dojo...
Just my half baked opinion... :)

Regards,
Joezer

Amir Krause
04-05-2005, 10:25 AM
Anger is an emotion too, just like love & hate. Anger is deeply routed in our system. Sometimes one should know to ride the wave rather then absorb it inside.


Amir
(I do not claim to be any better at this then the next man)

basil
04-05-2005, 04:23 PM
I'm young, with a lot of miles; and new to the forum. This is important to me, though. Anger is an emotion just like any other, and the fact that it can be more easily turned into action by even the youngest child hints at it's strength. Look to the cause...is it simply anger, or is it fear? The answer to this seems to require us putting aside our ego, so be carefull where your immediate answer comes from.

anonymous
04-05-2005, 04:44 PM
well, yes, it was scary. The guy nearly broke my elbow. That's not, however, why I posted the question.

Perhaps rephrasing will help: has anyone else ever accomplished something through anger, specifically in the context of the dojo, that they think would not have been accomplished otherwise? How much of a fluke was this?
Also, has anyone had a *negative* outcome from nearly losing (or actually losing) their temper on the mat?

Fiona D
04-05-2005, 05:25 PM
anonymous wrote:
"1) has anyone else ever accomplished something through anger, specifically in the context of the dojo, that they think would not have been accomplished otherwise? How much of a fluke was this?
2) Also, has anyone had a *negative* outcome from nearly losing (or actually losing) their temper on the mat?"

To answer those in reverse order:

2) Fortunately not but, as a point of interest, our syllabus list in the Jiu Jitsu style I train in has a section on grading conditions, in which it is specifically stated that anyone who loses their temper during the grading will automatically fail.

1) Anger, frustration and general adrenaline can definitely be channelled constructively. I had a brush with this during my 1st kyu grading on Saturday. We had a line of ukes coming in 1 at a time with hard fast punches and had to defend ourselves using wristlocks only. All was going well until I completely failed to evade one of the punches, which got me square on the nose, causing a substantial cut, bruising & general nosebleed. As I received first aid for this, I was feeling very angry and frustrated - not with my uke of course, after all he was doing exactly what he was supposed to do! - but with myself for not blocking properly and with my nose for taking what felt like an eternity to stop bleeding. Anyway, I wasn't terribly aware of it at the time, but my ukes later told me that my technique was sharper and my evasions and atemi-waza much more decisive after I returned to the mat, and my facial expression during my other randori looked like I was harnessing some serious rage!
(I should add that (a) I didn't lose control and (b) I did manage to pass after all that....)
Also, in other gradings I've been able to use the adrenaline rush to do certain techniques & certain ukemi that I have a lot of trouble making myself do in regular sessions.

Jeanne Shepard
04-05-2005, 07:17 PM
Feeling anger and losing one's temper are not the same thing. Anger can motivate us to do some constructive and not necessarily destructive things.

Personally I would refuse to train with such a dangerous partner, and I would let him know why.

Jeanne

giriasis
04-05-2005, 08:09 PM
I agree with Jeanne. I find that sometimes my anger and "darker" sides rise to the top while practicing aikido, but lashing out against your partner is not the answer.

Anger on the mat is something I have to deal with. The answer is to look deeper within oneself to determine what triggered your anger. Is it fear of being injured? Then tell your partner, no matter their rank, that they are hurting you or came close to hurting you. Are you angry over a partner resisting you? Ask them what they are trying to show you. I've seen partners seem to get flustered over my ukemi and I tell them that I'm trying to resist but holding back out of fear of the ukemi as I'm still slow on the uptake in a couple of throws. Any how, it's interesting to notice that they slow down and stop acting frustrated with me.

If someone is acting out violently on the mat and hurting you, then that is something to worry about. Bowing out and telling your sensei is best thing to do. They might be having a bad day or the sensei might need to give them a serious talking to.

If it's dealing with your own anger, it's important to tell your own partner that you need to bow out and chill out for awhile. Sometimes I have senior ranks (sandans, yondans) who really push me past my limits. It's hard to cope with that at times. With the sandan, we've come to the understanding that when I say "I'm getting frustrated" that he knows it's my signal to not push any further, and I've learned to laugh at myself more than to take myself too seriously. Recently with the yondan, I just had to bow out to him, as I was really having a bad day and was at the point of tears because I just couldn't get past his resistance. I told him such and bowed out instead of acting out. He told me to let go but it just wasn't going to happen that night.

It's funny how a couple of thoughtful words helps ease conflict on the mat.

thomas_dixon
04-06-2005, 06:24 AM
well, yes, it was scary. The guy nearly broke my elbow. That's not, however, why I posted the question.

Perhaps rephrasing will help: has anyone else ever accomplished something through anger, specifically in the context of the dojo, that they think would not have been accomplished otherwise? How much of a fluke was this?
Also, has anyone had a *negative* outcome from nearly losing (or actually losing) their temper on the mat?

If he was as well an established Judoka as you say, wouldn't he have known to some degree how far he could apply a lock before the joint hyper-extended?

Did you happen to ask him if he ever competed? What his rank was? Or even if he could show you a few things?

Jake Karlins
04-06-2005, 09:45 AM
[QUOTE=Anne Marie Giri] I've learned to laugh at myself more than to take myself too seriously.

I really liked your post, Anne Marie. I totally agree about taking yourself too seriously- I'm working on this one too. My sensei talks about uke expecting to find a solid object(ie resistance) when s/he comes in, and not finding it (little or no resistance, like the tenkan rushing-through-a-door feeling). I think this connects. It's easy to get puffed up and offended about lots of stuff (especially for me :) ), but this doesn't happens so much if you can laugh at yourself- less resistance, less being so solid.
Also, I really liked the idea of taking a little time to regroup once you get frustrated. It takes courage to admit that (esp when it feels like we're all supposed to be so serene and enlightened-seeming :p ). I'd never thought of taking time to calm down (and communicating verbally with uke- also a good idea every once in a while!).

anonymous
04-06-2005, 05:34 PM
If he was as well an established Judoka as you say, wouldn't he have known to some degree how far he could apply a lock before the joint hyper-extended?

Did you happen to ask him if he ever competed? What his rank was? Or even if he could show you a few things?

I have no idea what his rank was, or whether or not he competed. I don't know what kind of shape he was in while he did judo, but his body isn't very good now; he's legally blind (can't drive, can't read, can only see blurry white shapes for a partner),can't feel his feet, and has very bad knees and elbows; I suppose some of his posturing/lack of awareness of his openings and other people's bodies is because of that. I doubt very strongly that he could show anyone his old judo techniques without seriously injuring himself.

The incident I described actually happened a couple of years ago - I was just reminded of it by the 'anger on the mat' thread. Since then he's been calmer with me and I've learned to take advantage of his strengths in training with him.

NagaBaba
04-06-2005, 09:01 PM
Anger always is a weakness. It is a sign of incompetence. However, sometimes one can fake being angry for pedagogical reasons. Good instructors do it sometimes.
I felt like he was being totally disrespectful of my body, my time, my training, etc. Finally he got me into one of the effective locks - I had to take some of the best ukemi I've ever done in my life to get out of it intact, but when the dangerous part was past I whipped around and was as close to punching someone other than my brother that I've ever been in my life. He was totally vulnerable (as he ususally is, though he dosen't seem to notice) and I could have done some serious damage.
Training on the eadge is a NORMAL mode of practice. Aikido techniques are dangerouses. There is nothing to be excited about.

Of course, it works on both sides, if somebody decides to push me to my limits, he must expect I will do to him exactly same thing. Such practice is difficult, but without that, one can't develop martial spirit.

As to vulnerability, I would be very careful. In a dojo where I practice there are some folks with great experience on street fighting. They are normally very gently, and make a lot of mistakes and are awkward to apply aikido techniques. Sometimes they enter in the mood of "fighting" and execute techniques in quite dangerous way. However, I would NEVER point out their "vulnerability". It is only our illusion, cos the techniques are prearranged, the attacks are prearranged, and all interaction is completely artificial.

I'm very grateful to be able to practice with them.

xuzen
04-07-2005, 11:40 PM
Question: Is anger ever appropriate?
Answer: No

Question: Is showing emotion ever appropriate in the context of aikido?
Answer: Strictly my personal opinion - No. I strive to be Wuxin (no mind ) and Wuwei (No mindful action) during my mat practice.

Cheers,
Boon.

ian
04-08-2005, 05:28 AM
Your sensei should stop this behaviour. First tell the person, and explain that this does not aid training. If this doesn't help tell the sensei.

The dojo is for training. Some people say 'you have to be realistic' well this is just rubbish; they mean you have to be realistic within my rules. If they want realisim you could just hit them repeatedly and violently when they are partnered with someone else (which is more 'realistic').

On your point, I think anger is a natural reaction and can be useful (anger is often a method of telling someone just how serious you are about how you feel). However I tend to loose respect for anyone who requires me to be violent before they change their behaviour; it suggests that they will only conform to people who can dominate them, rather than doing what they believe to be correct.

ian
04-08-2005, 05:32 AM
PS. Boon, would you not say that anger can arise from wuxin? After all it is a natural emotion.

Different Stroke
04-08-2005, 07:45 AM
PS. Boon, would you not say that anger can arise from wuxin? After all it is a natural emotion.

Ian,

I read his line as he strives to train with wuxin (or Mushin, Japanese). I believe that techniques are not all he seeks at a dojo. Besides polishing his techniques, he is also polishing his spirit - disciplining his mind as well. The purpose of ones training is learning to be calm and relaxed - unemotional.

Am I right, Boon?

Different Strokes

Different Strokes
04-08-2005, 08:13 AM
Question: Is anger ever appropriate?
Answer: No

Question: Is showing emotion ever appropriate in the context of aikido?
Answer: Strictly my personal opinion - No. I strive to be Wuxin (no mind ) and Wuwei (No mindful action) during my mat practice.

Cheers,
Boon.

Boon,

You should come up to one of the dojo I attended. They have a 4th dan assistant instructor who would be a challenge to your wuxin and wuwei principles. Either you would fear being injured by him or be irritated by his BS lectures and techniques. The fact that he remains an assistant instructor despite his rank is because he might drive away all the students (which he did before), he is too lazy and good for nothing (always borrowing from students) to start his own dojo. His parents own the dojo. In his 30's, he now instructs under supervision by his parents. That too, he is a good for nothing son, always ridiculing his parent's instructions to the students.

DS

Unresolved
04-08-2005, 09:16 AM
In my training, I've felt kinds of emotions - lust, indiference, annoyance, anger, joy, frustration, and that vague feeling that I am missing something important. The key is to keep those emotions from taking over, and to express them in a way that is helpful or at least non-destructive.

I'm not 100% up on the concept of mushin/wuxin, but from my understanding of meditation, the point is not to deny or repress thoughts and emotions, but to let them pass by, not to be controlled by them. In my opinion, if I'm not feeling some kind of emotion in my training then I'm not really there. I know that some people say you should leave all your "stuff" off the mat, but aren't we trying to train as whole people?

I mean, even if I'm angry with someone, I can still be respectful of them, still communicaite, still keep the dialogue open. The emotion is mostly a problem when it takes over and becomes all-consuming and disrespectful of others. Normally, it's just a part of ourselves that we should be able to live - and train - with.

And, if someone's behavior is inappropriate or destructive, something should at least be said/expressed about it!

(original poster from the "Anger on the Mat" thread).

cguzik
04-08-2005, 10:20 AM
Everyone will feel anger at one time or another, but it is what we choose to do with it that matters.

However, sometimes one can fake being angry for pedagogical reasons. Good instructors do it sometimes.

Szczepan has hit the mark with his statement: If I intentionally supress my response to someone else's choice, which has affected me, then I may be doing them a disservice. That is, it may be appropriate to let the person see how their choice has affected me, and by showing them an angry response, it may get them to think about how their actions affect others. Then again, there are times when someone is trying to push buttons or elicit such a response, and in those cases, refusal to let yourself become engaged in that game may be the most appropriate response.

Chris

jxa127
04-08-2005, 10:32 AM
Why the heck wouldn't anger be appropriate? The key is (as other have already indicated) what you do with it.

There've been a couple of times I've gotten intensely angry with my instructor. I've not done anything inappropriate, but silence (and maybe some scowling) sent my message pretty clearly. In each case he and I quickly talked it out and things got back on an even keel.

From time to time, I get angry to a lesser or greater extent with my wife, my coworkers, my boss, my parents, the president of the United States, my senators, my representative, the local township commissioners, rude drivers, my graduate school instructurs...well, you get the point.

But this is where I think the "philosophy of aikido" really helps. There's a book called "The Gift of Conflict" by Thomas Crum that really helped me put anger into a useful perspective. Crum bases his approach to conflict on aikido. He makes a few really good points. The first is that for anger to exist, there's some sort of connection, and that even if you go into another rooom, you're still connected to the person with whom you are angry (and visa-versa).

Once you recognize that connection, Crum states that you can approach conflict in a similar manner to how you'd approach an aikido technique. For instance, saying "you may be right" or "I can see how you'd feel that way" is like the off-balancing we do at the beginning of a technique -- instead of responding to a strike with a strike, we make a connection and redirect the incoming energy.

Anyway, read the book. It's good. I'm not sure that aikido is an all encompassing metaphor for all kinds of non-physical attacks (especially passive-aggressive behavior), but it can be a really good way to approach dealing with one's own, or another's anger.

In the same vein, but from a differnt angle, Ellis Amdur has written about using irimi and kiai in non-physical confrontations.

My experience, for what it's worth, is that a lot of anger comes from one person failing to meet the expectations of another person. Talking ahead of time to clear up just what those expectations should be is a good way of avoiding anger, but we all still get angry from time to time.

Regards,

Jake Karlins
04-08-2005, 10:35 AM
I totally agree with your last point about mushin/wuxin, Anon. I think you have to slog through all that bad stuff (anger, frustration, confusion) to improve. I try not to grimace too much :grr: yeah, like that... I try not to grimace too much if I do get upset in class, but if I didn't show ANY emotion, I wouldn't smile when I was enjoying myself, or laugh either.
But then again, there's also a time for really serious training, no messing around, focusing extra-hard (seminars I've been to seem like this, really intense)- Xu, maybe you're saying you try to train this way all the time, and maybe you're right to do that, but that's not my style right now.
Still... Isn't striving totally contrary to the idea of no-mind? We're getting into religious/philosophical territory here, so it's a little sticky.
Also- almost as often as I've seen teachers serious or unemotional, I've seen them laughing and enjoying themselves (even while executing good technique). Think of all those pictures of O-sensei grinning as he tosses his ukes around like rag dolls... ;)

samurai_kenshin
04-08-2005, 10:57 AM
Starting a fight is really going against all of my rules as a person, but if it's the only thing to do, do it politely. To andwer the other question, I don't think anger is ever appropriate but it is ok to have fun while tossing people like balled up paper during randori (also a mispronounciation of "runned away")

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2005, 04:21 PM
Anger is a natural emotion (as many have already said). The important thing is to recognize it for what it is and what is causing it. This requires some introspection. Once you accept the fact that you are angry and acknowledge the cause, it is important to remove the source that is causing the anger.

That can happen in many ways.

Simply letting it pass is one way. The event may be completely ego driven and be a temporary problem, such as someone cutting you off while driving. Putting yourself in the persons shoes that cut you off may help. Maybe that person is heading to the hospital, or had a personal tradegy that caused them to be distracted. We can then reframe that anger and remove it.

Another way is to confront it. Maybe the source is chronic and won't go away. Avoidance would cause us to lose something that is important. In this situation you must speak up for yourself and let the person know.

Maybe this "old guy" is feeling old. He doesn't want to get old and feels the pain of admitting he can no longer do what he enjoys. Not that his actions would be appropriate, but certainly seeking to understand his pain may help us reduce our anger.

Giving us the ability to empathize give us insight into how we can approach the individual allowing him to feel validated and understood. This in itself may be all he needs.

Another thing...after all this, the person may be truly "toxic" and not "redeemable". Then someone may have to confront him and ask him to leave. Even in this situation, we should be in control. You can feel good about yourself knowing that you tried to do the right thing. There should be no anger or guilt feellings since you handled it appropriately.

xuzen
04-09-2005, 02:04 AM
PS. Boon, would you not say that anger can arise from wuxin? After all it is a natural emotion.
Ian, sorry I do not understand your question hence I have no answer to your question. So sorry.

I read his line as he strives to train with wuxin (or Mushin, Japanese). I believe that techniques are not all he seeks at a dojo. Besides polishing his techniques, he is also polishing his spirit - disciplining his mind as well. The purpose of ones training is learning to be calm and relaxed - unemotional.

Am I right, Boon?
Dear Different Strokes, In a nutshell that above would sum my believe. However I beg to differ on the unemotional, the more correct term I chose to abide is unattached or rather non-attachment.

Let me put forth my understanding of wuxin and wuwei.

Wuxin (no-mind) leads to wuwei (non mindful action) leads to open mind leads to pliability leads to principle of ju as in Judo leads to successful execution of aikido/jujutsu technique leads to a happy me.

And lastly...
Boon,

You should come up to one of the dojo I attended. They have a 4th dan assistant instructor who would be a challenge to your wuxin and wuwei principles. Either you would fear being injured by him or be irritated by his BS lectures and techniques. The fact that he remains an assistant instructor despite his rank is because he might drive away all the students (which he did before), he is too lazy and good for nothing (always borrowing from students) to start his own dojo. His parents own the dojo. In his 30's, he now instructs under supervision by his parents. That too, he is a good for nothing son, always ridiculing his parent's instructions to the students.

DS
Dear DS, run, run far far away.

Cheers,
Boon.

Different strokes
04-10-2005, 11:16 AM
...In a nutshell that above would sum my believe. However I beg to differ on the unemotional, the more correct term I chose to abide is unattached or rather non-attachment...

Same thing ;)

babaker
04-10-2005, 02:45 PM
Which kind of anger?

Gee, that question so loaded (is anger ever appropriate) even a straight answer is gonna cause as much trouble as it solves?

It is kinda like asking ... is a tidal wave appropriate? Is a volcano eruption appropriate? Is anything in nature ... appropriate?

Well ... yeah .. it is appropriate, but ... being the THINKING creatures we are, human beings with them big old thinking brains, are we learning to read and use that anger instead of letting it use us?

I am gonna tell you a sad story, and you can do what you want with it.

This week, a 58 year old man, who was part of our aikido group, killed himself because his mind and depression overcame his sanity. Now, I know about depression, and I know about anger, but I also know ... life is too damn short to kill yourself when the fact is that everyone will die when it their time to leave this earth. Sometimes, you gotta get angry at the things in life that need to have anger directed at them so you won't manifest another emotion to replace that anger.

Could anger have constructively changed the life of this person? I think it could have, but that example might be too shallow for most of you as the details would take up many pages, so let's move on.

Anger ... is natural motivation of the human mind coming to grips with thoughts and those thoughts causing a chemical reaction in the body that manifests feedback in our bodies that can be measured both physically, and with the mental abberations caused in what would otherwise be natural behavior. Some of us ... try to learn to control our thoughts, our actions by the interaction of practicing martial arts with other human beings so we can learn to control and focus those thoughts and actions that cause our minds and bodys to take control of us with the extremes that anger can rise to. It is a natural emotion. It is a natural thought process. It is a natural behavior, so how come ... Anger can NOT be appropriate?

Well ... we all have, or will have some moment when we, or someone we know, or some knowledge is encountered, where extreme anger manifests itself into actions our minds do not want to accept. Depending on how we focus, or use the degree of that anger, it will either be a positive behavior, or a negative behavior based upon what our actions do to affect those around us. According the opening to the discussion, and further posts this discussion is about a very tough, angry man who is so stubborn, he is letting those emotions bleed over and affect those around him, which might be appropriate for him to cope and fight with his maladys, but it sure sucks for everybody else, doesn't it?

I don't know what to tell you, except that eventually .. he will die, or give up. That is nature. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean it to be taken so literally that only the bad is seen in those simple statements, but the you do need to look at the OPPORTUNITY that is there for not only your own anger management, but the opportunity to eventually impact some poor schmucks life by being just like him when you get angry. The other choice, which seems pretty obvious, is to NOT be like him, but then you have the ability to get over it and walk away without becoming like him or adopting any of his behavioral/ physical problems problems if you so choose? That is an opportunity!

While he is still alive, and still adjusting to everyone, and you to him, DON'T waste this fabulous opportunity to to train with an old S.O.B. who is probably not gonna be around much longer anyway?

My point is ... what kind of people did you think the world was filled up with? Nice people? Honest people? Aikido people? Not everybody is the way you want them to be, and sometimes, ya just have to suck it up and train ... or .. move on.

Knowing what to do with anger ... is part of what training is about. Aikido is part of the martial arts, but martial arts are not just the narrow band of practice we have come to call aikido training?

I am not so sure that both parties are just as offensive ... for the purposes of this discussion anyway. Think about it. Crotchety old guy who is beat up and half blind bitching and moaning? Young guy who is getting angry because he can't grasp the anger or the behavior of his training partner asking if "Anger is ever appropriate?"

WELL ... yeah!

But .. how are you going to use or control that anger so it is affecting the training to create better human beings who will contribute to a better community?

The little code words of " is some a danger to themselves or others" are the key to this question in the context of this discussion.

I am not gonna say anything more. Use this opportunity, and this unique experience to learn something very important ... or ... don't.

anonymous
04-10-2005, 05:34 PM
It is a natural behavior, so how come ... Anger can NOT be appropriate?

Some things are appropriate in one place but totally inappropriate in another. An ivy vine is fine in England, but in the US it is horribly invasive and smothers everything it grows on. So, to extend the metaphor, what (if anything) is anger's natural context? How can we tell where it will be harmful and where it will be helpful?

...you do need to look at the OPPORTUNITY that is there for not only your own anger management, but the opportunity to eventually impact some poor schmucks life by being just like him when you get angry.

Sorry. I thought I made it clear in the first post that this kind of reaction isn't usual for me. I have *never* injured anyone on this mat, nor even come close to it except in this one incident several years ago. This person has (granted, twice it was because he fell on them). His issue isn't so much anger as pride and/or resentment.

While he is still alive, and still adjusting to everyone, and you to him, DON'T waste this fabulous opportunity to to train with an old S.O.B. who is probably not gonna be around much longer anyway?

I continued to train with him after the incident and have continued to train with him since. We get along fairly well now.

My point is ... what kind of people did you think the world was filled up with? Nice people? Honest people? Aikido people? Not everybody is the way you want them to be, and sometimes, ya just have to suck it up and train ... or .. move on.

Those aren't the only two options. I'm not going to allow anyone to blithely damage me or my dojomates regardless of what kind of person they are; that dosen't mean that I'm going to lose my temper, but it might not mean training or ignoring the problem.

Knowing what to do with anger ... is part of what training is about.

Here I agree with you absolutely. One of the *many* reasons that I have stuck with aikido over the years is that it teaches me so much about myself (sometimes things I'd rather not have seen, for instance when I nearly exploded at a crotchety old guy for pushing me farther than I'd like to be pushed) and how I respond to stress. I hope that I'm a better person now than I was than when I started aikido years ago.

-Anon.

babaker
04-11-2005, 07:19 PM
Hey, that was a good reply.

Don't let anyone harm you, but don't be afraid to train either. Speak up when it gets out of hand, but don't get all out of sorts, frustrated and angry.

Good for you.

James Davis
04-29-2005, 11:13 AM
You can let a person know when enough's enough and still be a nice guy. There's no shame in it. Maybe you should sit down and talk with the guy after class.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 02:12 PM
A student in O Sensei's dojo wore a nice, expensive jacket to class. During keiko, the jacket was stolen.

The instructor (not O Sensei) became very upset and strongly admonished the perpetrator to return the jacket. In passing by, O Sensei stopped and severly criticized the instructor.

When later asked why he took the Sensei to task, O Sensei noted that the instructor had lost his center, when he became angry.

Anger is an emotion. IMO, there is nothing wrong with feeling any emotion, no matter how "negative." The issue lay in how you express these emotions. If the instructor had taken another approach to expressing his anger, O Sensei would not have criticized him.

makuchg
04-29-2005, 02:48 PM
Great analogy, Neil. I've never seen a situation where anger makes it better.

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2005, 03:09 PM
I have. There were a group of other black guys in my high school who delighted in tormenting me. They'd do things like knock my books out from under my arm in crowded staircases (try picking up a bunch of papers in a crowded staircase while someone's doing their best to push you down the stairs :( ). Some white guy (about 250 pounds in high school) decided that since these other yahoos could get away with it, he'd try it.

I lost it...went right for his throat...he appologised profusely, picked up every piece of paper and book himself, straigtened it all out, and handed it back to me. No one ever knocked my books out from under my arm again. 'Course, taking the leader of the black guys into the wrestling room and 'schooling' him might have helped with that, too... :)

RT

makuchg
04-29-2005, 03:38 PM
Sorry Ron I disagree. While the two often go together, violence and anger are two very different things. Anger is an emotion while violece is an act. What you describe is a violent encounter. Don't get me wrong, I truly believe there are times when a proportional violent response is appropriate, but anger is not. An example would be police. An arrest is often a violent event. The police do not usually have any emotional attachment to the perpetrator and the arrest may result in violence but anger is not an issue. When anger becomes an issue, often actions escalate and brutality results.

I worked with troubled teens for a period of time. The facility I worked at did not allow mechanical or chemical restraints. We could however physically restrain a child who was endangering themself or others. This was often very violent, several staff members were injured in these altercations. However they had to be unemotional (no anger) because the child was not acting rationally nor cognizant of their actions. As a result, if anger became an issue it could result in injury or law suits.

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2005, 03:43 PM
I never got a chance to be violent...he appologized too quick. It was the anger that got him...good thing too...I weighed about 128 pounds soaking wet to his 250!

Anger can be *very* usefull. It can also get you in lots of trouble, like in the situations you mention. My point being 'it depends'...

RT