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Red Beetle
06-07-2005, 07:51 AM
When considering how to improve any Martial System it is necessary to take inventory, and examine if what is being taught is logically consistent and beneficial to the system as a whole.

Take for example the teaching of "Ki."

Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense. :p

Students attempt to clear their minds, chant words or syllables, breath a certain way, assume postures, and so forth in the attempt to grasp or develop a magical power that is about as real as George Lucas' "Force." :cool:

Students and Teachers would do better spending their time in the examination of, and actual practice of technical skills, rather than pretending to direct a make believe power from their bowels to their fingers.

Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen. :crazy:

Aikido is love?
Please.

Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.
The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.

Aikido is not love. :yuck:
Aikido is a Martial system.
Aikido class may be a place in which you can practice loving your neighbor, but Aikido is not love.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido claims that what he teaches will bring a moral harmony and love for mankind, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught actually accomplishes his claims.

If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations? Of course not.
They may be impressed, but no such moral assertion will be made from watching such a demonstration.

The reason it would be impossible to deduce a moral principal from a visual or tangible demonstration is because you cannot start with something you see (Aikido demo), and end up with something you cannot see (moral ideas).

One can practice ethics in Aikido class, but one cannot deduce ethics from Aikido.

If ethics are taught at Aikido class, then they did not come from Iriminage or kotegaeshi, but from Asian philosophy or religion. Since that is clearly the case, why should I pay homage to such Asian religious philosophy? Why not some other religion? Why not deontology? Why not utilitarianism?

If I want to go to church, why would I go to Aikido class?

If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training? Aikido is combat training isn't it? The Amish manage not to fight without Aikido. The Amish manage to live in harmony without Aikido. Maybe Morihei Uyeshiba should have joined an Amish community instead of the religious school of Omoto-kyo.


If you don't need Aikido to live in harmony and peace with your neighbor, and clearly you don't, then maybe Aikido doesn't need Asian philosophy of religion in order to function. Maybe Aikido is simply a physical exercise that can be used in a self-defense situation.

RED BEETLE
www.kingsportjudo.com

Mashu
06-07-2005, 08:32 AM
You aren't talking about the mysticism itself but the mistaken/misinterpreted or incomplete views of Aikido that many of it's practitioners have. So your rant is like laughing at one of the blind men groping an elephant. They each think the part they have their hand on(or perhaps in) is the elephant but no matter how vehemently they argue their point they are wrong. Some of them aren't even touching the elephant ffs.

mj
06-07-2005, 10:49 AM
I'm afraid I have to agree.

You obviously have not trained indepth with Aikido so you are coming across as arrogant and insulting, which I am sure you do not intend to be Red.

The first lesson of Aikido, imo, is connection. There is no point discussing until you have this to give us a place to start communicating with each other.

btw I don't consider myself to be a nice guy...just nicer than before :)

Michael Neal
06-07-2005, 11:14 AM
No I think red made some very valid points.

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2005, 11:41 AM
I actually disagree with alot of what he said. I certainly understand from his perspective that this may not be what aikido is to him, but it certainly is to many and I don't consider it to be a waste of time spending time on the "internal" aspects.

Why do you want to focus soley on the technical aspects of the art? What is it that you want to gain. "Combat effectiveness"? Your living in a world of romantic bullshido if you think that any martial art is going to give you skills that will make you combat effective in and of itself. Sure, you can get some good things like kotegaeshi, nikkyo etc...but failure to understand the underpinnings of principle will leave you lacking.

Building character, perception, and the ability to read a situation and people around you is much more important aspect of studying martial arts than any limited technical skills you may learn. The art of awareness, posture, breathing, the ability to keep calm under pressure are much more important to my overall combat effectiveness. I've used all those things in "combat" , rarely have I ever used any of my technical skills.

sure, there are those that I do not consider warriors or "martial artist" that study aikido, but that does not mean that aikido is not meant for them. They get something out of it. I get much of the same that they do.

Aikido can be an allegory for peace and can be a physical manifestation of resolving conflict. I think that is a wonderful thing. What is wrong with that? I don't consider it a waste of time.

If you want simply the "external" things that make you "combat effective". Get yourself a stick, some pepper spray, a gun, and take some classes and learn how to use them the right way. I guarantee you will be miles ahead of anyone who studies TMA or any empty hand art at all.

Please spare me all the "what if" scenarios dealing with why you need to study empty hand while you are alone in a sterile environment. I consider that to be a waste of time for 99.9% of the time.

Don_Modesto
06-07-2005, 11:41 AM
....Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense.

Either that or a problem of translation (and thus, lazy student: study more.)

Students attempt to clear their minds, chant words or syllables, breath a certain way, assume postures, and so forth in the attempt to grasp or develop a magical power that is about as real as George Lucas' "Force."

People who took UKEMI from Osensei have a different opinion, of course.

Students and Teachers would do better spending their time in the examination of, and actual practice of technical skills, rather than pretending to direct a make believe power from their bowels to their fingers.

Assuming there's a contradiction here... Shaun Ravens has some interesting things to say about the "mysticism" of these practices...

Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen. :crazy:

Aikido is love?
Please.
Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.

From the founder himself. But in Japanese it's a pun. "AI", written with different Ch. characters means both "harmony" and "love".


The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.

Yes. A complaint of my own, actually. But read into mysticism a little bit and you find that this is a feature, not a bug.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy,

Not sure he was.

this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido claims that what he teaches will bring a moral harmony and love for mankind, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught actually accomplishes his claims.

Valid point. See essays of Ellis Amdur for a nicely fleshed out argument on this.

If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations?

Yup. People see what they want to see and often what they're told to see.

The reason it would be impossible to deduce a moral principal from a visual or tangible demonstration is because you cannot start with something you see (Aikido demo), and end up with something you cannot see (moral ideas).

Crick saw snakes and imagined DNA; Einstein saw himself on a light beam and saw Relativity.

If I want to go to church, why would I go to Aikido class?

UPAYA/HOBEN/Skilful Means

If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training?

Read Saotome--Aikido and the Harmony of Nature.

Aikido is combat training isn't it?

Precisely, no.

If you don't need Aikido to live in harmony and peace with your neighbor, and clearly you don't, then maybe Aikido doesn't need Asian philosophy of religion in order to function. Maybe Aikido is simply a physical exercise that can be used in a self-defense situation.

Sounds like jujutsu. Aikido has a specific history and purpose. You don't know it, so aikido plays nail to your only tool, the hammer.

Fun post, though. Reminds me of myself. Thanks.

Mashu
06-07-2005, 11:56 AM
When considering how to improve any Martial System it is necessary to take inventory, and examine if what is being taught is logically consistent and beneficial to the system as a whole.

O'Sensei would agree:

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter"

Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen.

愛 or 合? Maybe they were mistaken.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.

I believe O'Sensei was not particularly wrapped up in the western concept of good and evil but I could be wrong. I think he was more interested in what was appropriate.

If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations? Of course not.
They may be impressed, but no such moral assertion will be made from watching such a demonstration.

You can't know it until you are in it. Even then it is difficult. An outsider drawing conclusions about what it is and what it isn't is probably doing himself a disservice.

The reason it would be impossible to deduce a moral principal from a visual or tangible demonstration is because you cannot start with something you see (Aikido demo), and end up with something you cannot see (moral ideas).

Aikido techniques are supposed to be very solution oriented with just the right thing with nothing more and nothing less. From this you could find that this principle is useful in other areas.

If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training? Aikido is combat training isn't it? The Amish manage not to fight without Aikido. The Amish manage to live in harmony without Aikido. Maybe Morihei Uyeshiba should have joined an Amish community instead of the religious school of Omoto-kyo.

Amish people don't fight back as far as I know. This would leave them very vulnerable. They may appear non-violent but the self-violence they potentially open themselves to seems to make them rather violent in a way. This is against Aiki principles and therefore being Amish has nothing to do with Aikido.

Anyway, I hope I haven't stuck my head in the elephant too deeply.

ChrisHein
06-07-2005, 12:10 PM
The Problem with mysticism, is that it's mysterious. If you lose the mystery (not knowing what's going on) then it's no longer mysterious, however if you don't lose the mystery, then you can never learn what you are doing. Mystery is for the ignorant. If you know what "ki" is (or rather what others refer to as being "ki"), it's not mystical anymore. Most people in Aikido are trying to become masters of something that they want to stay in the dark about.

It's very hard to pin Aikidoka (I'm generalizing here) down when it comes to asking them what they want. I think the main reason for this is because they want to keep everything a mystery. They don't want to come to the conclusion that Aikido's syllabus isn't good for everything. They don't want to conclude that Aiki is basically rhythm, and reading of intention. They don't want to discover that "ki" is just alignment and energy exchange that any high school physicist could explain to you. If they came to a conclusion on any of these things they would loose their mystical system. Unfortunately by doing this they limit themselves to mediocrity. By never admitting to yourself that a something is normal, dependable, and useful, you can never master it.

This isn’t a sickness limited only to Aikidoka, it’s an infection you see in the whole traditional martial arts community. They would rather not understand the reason for something, so they can live in the hope that it will never be just “normal”. People want fantasy, and mystery. Thetas all fine and well Intel you attempt to learn, master, and teach something. I’ve often said that most traditional martial artists should join a reenactment group, or theater company and not a dojo.

The only problem with this non-mystical thinking is that it tends to close down openness to new things. Which is what I’m always looking for. If there is some new way to do something (even if I have to dance around in a funny dress, and yell vowels to find it) I want to learn it, this however doesn't mean I should turn a blind eye to what I already know, and be afraid to admit what I have learned.

-Chris Hein

Mary Eastland
06-07-2005, 02:33 PM
I don't think there is anything mystical about training to become stronger and then less likely to become a victim.

Ki is not magic....... it is just co-ordination of mind and body.

Looking at conflict as a way to create peace is a good idea.

Mary

MitchMZ
06-07-2005, 03:22 PM
I would have to disagree with the statement that Ki is not a real thing. In every culture, there is a way to define this natural occurrance. Westerners tend to define in it a secular way, whereas I think Easterners tend to explain it in a spiritual way....either way, it makes sense.

Now, if we merge the study of Ki/Chi with realistic training methods and techniques, I think an art becomes very effective. The only flaw I see with Aikido is the way some people practice it. The techniques have their validity, as does Ki. Applying them effectively comes down to how much we want to train and how we train. Don't confuse your personal failures and the effectiveness of an entire system.

That being said, I think there are a few things most dojos could do occassionally to solidify the effectiveness of their technique.

Keith_k
06-07-2005, 03:28 PM
Red Beetle,

According to your website, you don't practice aikido.
Neither do I.
Although I share your opinions on the role of ki and mysticism in the martial arts, I find it rude that you wish to impose this view on others. Mysticism is an integral part of Aikido. Those who practice Aikido gravitate to it for this reason, and those like you and me choose other arts with less emphasis on mysticism. If Aikidoka want to feel that they are in harmony with the universe and act with love and compassion as they inflict horrible pain (be it temporary or not) on an attacker, that is their business. I'm sure they have equally disdainful opinions about my willingness to strike an attacker full force in the face. I do not wish them to impose their philosophy on my art, as I do not impose mine upon theirs.

Keith

edited to correct spelling

tony cameron
06-07-2005, 04:02 PM
"better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

jss
06-07-2005, 04:27 PM
If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training? Aikido is combat training isn't it? The Amish manage not to fight without Aikido. The Amish manage to live in harmony without Aikido.

Someone, I think on Aikiweb, had (or has?) a signature which came down to this:
True pacifism is having the ability to kill someone and then choosing not to.

I think that definition of pacifism is more in line with aikido than the Amish way of turning the other cheek. (As has been stated by Matthew Zsebik in post #7, btw.)

Michael Neal
06-07-2005, 04:34 PM
I find it rude that you wish to impose this view on others

How is he imposing his views on others? He is just stating his views just like everyone else here.

ChrisHein
06-07-2005, 04:43 PM
Someone, I think on Aikiweb, had (or has?) a signature which came down to this:
True pacifism is having the ability to kill someone and then choosing not to.

I think that definition of pacifism is more in line with aikido than the Amish way of turning the other cheek. (As has been stated by Matthew Zsebik in post #7, btw.)

Well.....
Most Aikidoka don't know if they are capable of defending themselves or not. Atleast the Amish arnt' pretending.

-Chris Hein

jss
06-07-2005, 05:11 PM
Well.....
Most Aikidoka don't know if they are capable of defending themselves or not. Atleast the Amish arnt' pretending.

Touché! :D

akiy
06-07-2005, 05:26 PM
Mysticism is an integral part of Aikido.
That's an interesting statement, one with which I'm not too sure if I personally agree.

But, to make sure we're on the same starting page:

How would you define "mysticism" in the context of your thoughts in this thread?
I'm sure they have equally disdainful opinions about my willingness to strike an attacker full force in the face.
Interestingly, perhaps, at dinner last night, a friend of mine from the dojo said something to the effect of, 'I guess I have no qualms about hitting people." We then exchanged some stories of people hitting aikido shihan in the face (purposefully as opposed to accidentally) when training with them...

-- Jun

Ketsan
06-07-2005, 05:36 PM
Building character, perception, and the ability to read a situation and people around you is much more important aspect of studying martial arts than any limited technical skills you may learn. The art of awareness, posture, breathing, the ability to keep calm under pressure are much more important to my overall combat effectiveness. I've used all those things in "combat" , rarely have I ever used any of my technical skills.


Agree totally.

Don_Modesto
06-07-2005, 05:45 PM
Keith Kolb wrote:
"Mysticism is an integral part of Aikido."

That's an interesting statement, one with which I'm not too sure if I personally agree.

There's always that infinite regress, "What is aikido?"

But I think mysticism was the air the founder breathed and so an integral part of aikido. Interested in your take, Jun.

Mike Sigman
06-07-2005, 05:57 PM
Someone, I think on Aikiweb, had (or has?) a signature which came down to this:
True pacifism is having the ability to kill someone and then choosing not to. And true BS is to say things like this when someone's younger sister can beat your butt. :) I think that definition of pacifism is more in line with aikido than the Amish way of turning the other cheek. Unfortunately, the Amish have been in the news this last week, via a book by a born and raised insider talking about physical and sexual abuse within the Amish community being much greater than perceived.

Mike

ChrisHein
06-07-2005, 06:10 PM
Unfortunately, the Amish have been in the news this last week, via a book by a born and raised insider talking about physical and sexual abuse within the Amish community being much greater than perceived.

Mike


I think we're starting to get off track when we talk about the sexual tendencies of the Amish........

I would agree that mysticism is an integral part of Aikido, I had never really thought of it that way, it's an interesting thought.

-Chris Hein

akiy
06-07-2005, 06:20 PM
But I think mysticism was the air the founder breathed and so an integral part of aikido.
Yes, that's a very good point.
Interested in your take, Jun.
My thought is that mysticism is one manifestation of the spiritual aspects of aikido. I like the definition of "mysticism" that I just found on dictionary.com: A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.

I'm sure there are many people out there who will say that they are not interested in anything but the physical "put your partner's butt onto the ground" part of aikido. For them, I wouldn't necessarily say that any sort of mysticism. That is why I said that I do not necessary agree that mysticism is an integral part of aikido.

-- Jun, off to the dojo to have my butt put onto the ground

Keith_k
06-07-2005, 06:35 PM
How is he imposing his views on others? He is just stating his views just like everyone else here.

"Imposing" may have been too harsh a word, but in effect Mr. Red Beetle is saying that the idea of ki, and the philosophy behind aikido, is rubbish. It is one thing to comment of the effectiveness of technique, but philosophy is neither right nor wrong. For him to say that a certain philosophical approach to martial arts is wrong, is...well wrong. I feel that it would be analogous to going to a dedicated Christian forum and starting a thread that says there is no way that a person could rise from the grave and come back to forgive all your sins and you are are fools for believing it. It just seems out of place in a bad way.

That's an interesting statement, one with which I'm not too sure if I personally agree.

But, to make sure we're on the same starting page:

How would you define "mysticism" in the context of your thoughts in this thread?
I don't believe in the concept of "ki." The idea that there is some form of energy inside us and all around us that we can project from our bellies to our fingertips is a bit mystical to me. I may be wrong, but I think the idea of "ki" is integral to Aikido. "Ki" being a mystical concept, mysticism is integral to Aikido. IMHO of course.

As for striking with the intent to do damage: I will concede that there are aikidoka who have no problem with my willingness to beat the crap out of my attacker if you concede that that are many who would have a problem with it.

Mike Sigman
06-07-2005, 06:40 PM
My thought is that mysticism is one manifestation of the spiritual aspects of aikido. (snip)
I'm sure there are many people out there who will say that they are not interested in anything but the physical "put your partner's butt onto the ground" part of aikido. My two cents is that there is some "mysticism" via Ueshiba in Aikido because of Shinto (animism), but there's a misconception about the "heavenly views" in Asia among many westerners, particularly the New Age. The strong undercurrent that Ueshiba was drawing on was the Asian (read "Chinese", since they were the dominant power whom so many emulated) idea of there being a rationality to all things in the universe. In other words, there is an order, starting with the Yin-Yang explanation and developing in a logical progression. What many are interpreting as "spirituality", "mysticism", and "religious call to love" is actually more of an assurance that from the chaos there is an order of rationality. The Asian "religions" are justifying themselves on ORDER (read "HARMONY"), so "mysticism", in the western sense, is probably not quite accurate.

My opinion.

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-07-2005, 07:01 PM
I think we're starting to get off track when we talk about the sexual tendencies of the Amish........ WE aren't talking about it... it was in a book that just made the bookstores. The point is that you can't point out the Amish as being exemplars of "peace and love" without taking into account the whole picture. It's just like I pointed out to Craig Hocker... you can't writhe and moan about Tohei and Ki while trivializing his habit of drinking. A saint is a saint... a man is a man. ;)

Mike

aikigirl10
06-07-2005, 08:01 PM
I think Aikido fights fire w/fire, which isnt necessarily a bad thing. You cant effectively stop fighting w/out knowing how to fight. I think this is the main idea of aikido. Although it is somewhat violent to learn aikido, it really IS love because it teaches you to use your skills to stop violence, and that shows love for other people. Red beetle , you speak of what you dont know . So learn something about Aikido and then come back here and whine. At least then you can back yourself up

-Paige

Mary Eastland
06-07-2005, 08:04 PM
[QU A saint is a saint... a man is a man. ;)

A saint is a person, too. (perhaps with just a good publicist). :)
Mary

aikigirl10
06-07-2005, 08:09 PM
Keith kolb. You just like "red beetle" do not take aikido, therefore you also dont know what you are talking about. People who dont take aikido have no business coming on an AIKIDO website and posting nonsense.
paige

Nick P.
06-07-2005, 08:12 PM
The original poster is not imposing his views on any of his; this is a forum for everyone (and anyone) to post anything they wish; we can choose to ignore, agree or disagree. And hope Jun is watching closely enough when things get out of hand.

"Aikido is not love.
Aikido is a Martial system.
Aikido class may be a place in which you can practice loving your neighbor, but Aikido is not love."

No?

Aikido is nothing but an expression of the spirit of Love for all living things. &
The secret of aikido is to cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things.

from http://www.aikiweb.com/general/founder.html

How does this relate to a sankyo that makes your eyes water, or an irimi-nage that feels like, well, nothing at all? I have no idea, but I am drawn to these ideals and embrace them as a fundamental under-pinning of Aikido. If I wanted a martial system (aka The 100% effective ass-whoopin' system), then I would look elsewhere....

Maybe you should, as well.

eyrie
06-07-2005, 08:19 PM
Having not seen the original Japanese quote "Aikido is 'love'", I can't really comment otherwise. But here's a thought:

Perhaps "love" (or at least what most people think of "love" in English) is not the right word???
The Chinese character for "love" is a composite pictogram depicting "friends" living under a "roof" with children, implying a harmonious relationship, based on friendship.

Just some food for thought....

Ignatius

Fred Little
06-07-2005, 08:24 PM
So this guy walks into a bar and says:

"This place is full of drinkers and drunks...."

Lan Powers
06-07-2005, 09:54 PM
Quite a little hornets nest has been stirred up here.
For what it is worth, my Sensei's views
(I share them , fancy that :D ) is that ki is a good term for good body mechanics, mental intention, and focus.
I care little for the religion - based aspects of Aikido, but love the discipline of its form and find a lot of value in the traditions....kind of a mixed signals thing, eh?
The ideal of, at least, ATTEMPTING to "de-escalate" violence, is at least a step in the right direction for anyone, regardless of martial art discipline that is followed.
For what it is worth, I have no problem with hitting people, but am better able to NOT hit them from this training.

Self control is everything.
I guess it is only mystical in the sense that it came from another culture. More of an "exotic" thing
Lan

akiy
06-07-2005, 10:56 PM
I don't believe in the concept of "ki." The idea that there is some form of energy inside us and all around us that we can project from our bellies to our fingertips is a bit mystical to me. I may be wrong, but I think the idea of "ki" is integral to Aikido. "Ki" being a mystical concept, mysticism is integral to Aikido. IMHO of course.
Ah -- OK. Personally, I don't equate the notion of "ki" with "mysticism." Rather, I'd probably say that the kind of things that Mike Sigman writes about above (eg Shinto) would more fall along the lines of "mysticism."

There are elements of "faith" in budo training (and pretty much any other kind of endeavor), I think, though. Whether that's "mysticism" or not would probably depend on the person considing it.
As for striking with the intent to do damage: I will concede that there are aikidoka who have no problem with my willingness to beat the crap out of my attacker if you concede that that are many who would have a problem with it.
Oh, of course I'd say that there are some folks out there in the world of aikido who have a problem with people who are willing to "beat the crap" out of someone. The same could probably be said about any martial art, but I'd guess that the percentage of those who have a problem with such is probably higher in aikido than, say, in krav maga. But, then again, I do know of at least one aikido T-shirt that states, "We put the 'harm' back into 'harmony'"...

On the topic of "aikido is love," the founder himself has said things like, "the path of aikido is the path of protecting love," "the path of aiki is the manifestation of love," and "true aikido is 'love'." (First two quotes from "Takemusu Aiki" and the last quote from "Aikido" (thanks, Peter!) both translated from the original Japanese by me.) The character used for "love" is, indeed, 愛. Personally, I'm far from understanding what this really means, so I can't say much about this topic.

Any way, I wouldn't say that aikido is unique in such thoughts. Even Kano sensei has written about the principle of "jita kyoei" (mutual welfare and benefit) for judo. I'm sure that those folks (myself included) who have been on the receiving end of some judo techniques will say that my impact with the earth (oof) sure didn't feel so beneficial to my health! Yet, I can understand how the principle of "jita kyoei" comes through in the actual keiko and the shugyo.

In any case, as far as the topic of those who have not taken aikido who wish to share their views, as long as they do so in a respecful manner that's conducive to meaningul exchanges of thoughts, I'm fine with their participation.

To conclude, I personally think that some interesting observations about aikido have been made by many folks in this thread. If anything, it's an exercise to help delineate my own thoughts in the matter...

Best,

-- Jun

xuzen
06-08-2005, 12:35 AM
Once I come across a Taoist saying:-

Man follows the mandate (rules) of heaven;
Heaven follows the mandate of the Way (Do or Tao);
And the Way follows that which is natural.

-Lao Tzu, a Taoist sage

When I think abt this, I feel that aikido or any of the do art is a system of education that points to the direction of being natural or in compliance with what is natural or in harmony. Mysticism should not be attached to it. Mysticism denotes a very low level of intelligence to explain things.

The concept of Ki or chi is IMO a concept that man develop to explain certain physical aspect that maybe modern science has yet to provide an answer. After more than 5,000 years, this term is still in use. I am wondering whether if we are so attached to this term or rather, if mankind still have need for this term/concept as we still have many issues that cannot be answered by conventional scientific knowledge.

IMO Aikido is devoid of mysticism. It is only practitioners who attach mysticism or supernaturality to it. Hence it can be said mysticism is man-made not natural.

FWIW and my two cents,

Boon.

Erik
06-08-2005, 12:40 AM
Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.
The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.

This is done, indirectly, by certain individuals within sports. I doubt you hear it much in Nascar but you get it indirectly within golf and definitely within baseball although it's presented differently. I bet you could also find it within hunting or similar activities. Aikidoists, however, seldom use those terms to refer to a sport or activity. Better to deride it for allowing competition.

That being said, I agree and disagree with much of what you wrote. Morihei Ueshiba, as Don pointed out, clearly came from a mystical realm and seemingly bought into a lot of stuff I would frankly deem as crap. But, he was what he was and you can't entirely disregard it.

However, at the same time, trying to model everything: diet, no water during training, breathing exercises, etc. when you have no basis to define if any of it accomplishes anything seems dumb too. Maybe Ueshiba ate the diet he did because he couldn't find a steak and with more protein in his diet he would have grown taller and been twice as good as he was? So we come along as the knuckleheads we are and eat a macrobiotic diet like Ueshiba did because, well, that's what he did for a part of his life. And he was really good. And we want to be just like him.

All the spiritual blather sometimes seems exactly the same to me, but you can't just disregard it either, if only for a historical understanding of where the art came from.

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 12:49 AM
.... Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense. :p

Students attempt to clear their minds, chant words or syllables, breath a certain way, assume postures, and so forth in the attempt to grasp or develop a magical power that is about as real as George Lucas' "Force." :cool:

Students and Teachers would do better spending their time in the examination of, and actual practice of technical skills, rather than pretending to direct a make believe power from their bowels to their fingers.


Look at the name of the art: Aikido. Whether or not ki exists, O Sensei certainly believed in it, and it's right there in the name of the art.


Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen. :crazy:

Aikido is love?
Please.

Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.
The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.

Aikido is not love. :yuck:
Aikido is a Martial system.
Aikido class may be a place in which you can practice loving your neighbor, but Aikido is not love.


Towards the end of his life, O Sensei thought of traiding the "Aiki" characters that mean "harmony" to "Aiki" that means love.


Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido claims that what he teaches will bring a moral harmony and love for mankind, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught actually accomplishes his claims.

If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations? Of course not.
They may be impressed, but no such moral assertion will be made from watching such a demonstration.

The reason it would be impossible to deduce a moral principal from a visual or tangible demonstration is because you cannot start with something you see (Aikido demo), and end up with something you cannot see (moral ideas).

One can practice ethics in Aikido class, but one cannot deduce ethics from Aikido.

If ethics are taught at Aikido class, then they did not come from Iriminage or kotegaeshi, but from Asian philosophy or religion. Since that is clearly the case, why should I pay homage to such Asian religious philosophy? Why not some other religion? Why not deontology? Why not utilitarianism?

If I want to go to church, why would I go to Aikido class?

If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training? Aikido is combat training isn't it? The Amish manage not to fight without Aikido. The Amish manage to live in harmony without Aikido. Maybe Morihei Uyeshiba should have joined an Amish community instead of the religious school of Omoto-kyo.


If you don't need Aikido to live in harmony and peace with your neighbor, and clearly you don't, then maybe Aikido doesn't need Asian philosophy of religion in order to function. Maybe Aikido is simply a physical exercise that can be used in a self-defense situation.


Except that the martial artist who did that would be guilty of being grossly disrepectuful to the founder, and failing to to his job of preserving and passing on what was passed to him.

My Kali teacher, who also has permission to teach Pentjak Silat Serak, is constantly emphasizing his role as preserving the arts he is teaching. Martial arts is not just about teaching someone a skill -- it is about passing on part of a culture. That's even true of Jun Fan/JKD; that's why their terminology is in Cantonese. It may even be true of Western Boxing -- you just don't notice the culture becaue we're in it. WRT Serak, Andy always said, "It is very important to do things exactly the way I show you," in no small part to show proper hormat or respect to the founder of the art, Pak Sera, and his disciples.

I don't see why this doesn't apply to Aikido. You are not just teaching joint locks and throws -- you can learn those anywhere. You are getting a small part of Japanese culture that has been refracted through O Sensei's vision. And if the "mystical nonsense" is an important part of what O Sensei wants passed down, then you'd damn well better pass it down, or you are not doing your job as an Aikido student/teacher. Yet it is very odd/dsiconcerting to come to Aikido, supposedly a "traditional" art, and find people 180 degrees from someone in the "non-traditional" arts WRT the role of preservation. I've had that drummed into me for over a year: That part of what we do is to preserve what we are given so it doens't vanish from the face of the Earth. Aikido may have had fifty years to establish itself in the West, but that doesn't make that job any less important.

If you want to learn how to fight, don't go to anyone for formal training in anything. Just move to a bad neighborhood and get in fights every day. Martial arts is about more than that. And if you can't see that or refuse to accept it, then maybe you should ask yourself if you are doing the right thing with your disposable income.

Keith_k
06-08-2005, 01:23 AM
But, then again, I do know of at least one aikido T-shirt that states, "We put the 'harm' back into 'harmony'"...


That is excellent! Being that Hapkido and Aikido mean the same thing in their respective languages, I may just have to borrow that t-shit idea.

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 07:09 AM
I don't have a problem with spirituality and I don't have a problem with people freely expressing their religious views. I just find it annoying and a bit pretentious when people use Aikido or any other martial art as a way to promote their religion when a great deal of people are there to learn a martial art.

ian
06-08-2005, 07:09 AM
I always like the anecdote about aikido in which someone asks Ueshiba "I would like to learn your aikido", whereupon Ueshiba replies "that's funny, everyone else wants to learn their own aikido".

The point being that aikido is more of a personal exploration than a set standard. However, I agree that most mystesism (can't spell!) is just stuff repeated by others, whereas in rare cases it does express a real understanding that cannot be put in conventional terms (for example, I consider ki to be a 'model' of how things work, and one which is flawed, but is simpler for explaining many things). However, we must critically assess all the information which we obtain - and I believe that is a big problem with aikido.

Technological advancement is not done specifically because people are clever, but because people can record knowledge for future generations, and future generations can critically appraise this (whether deductive reasoning or empirical reasoning). As an aikido community we need to get together and produce falsifiable hypotheses i.e. underlying fundamentals in aikido which can be tested and refined or rejected. We are still in a stage where different aikido clubs do radically different things, and there has been no effort to objectively assess the advantages and disadvantages (possibly because an assessment in the dojo is nothing like an assessment within real combat).

Mike Sigman
06-08-2005, 07:15 AM
On the topic of "aikido is love," the founder himself has said things like, "the path of aikido is the path of protecting love," "the path of aiki is the manifestation of love," and "true aikido is 'love'." (First two quotes from "Takemusu Aiki" and the last quote from "Aikido" (thanks, Peter!) both translated from the original Japanese by me.) The character used for "love" is, indeed, 愛. Personally, I'm far from understanding what this really means, so I can't say much about this topic.I've never been exactly sure how to handle some of the things O-Sensei did toward the end of his life. He was emotionally erratic, often irrascible, and treated with kid-gloves because of his temper outbursts (not always was he like this, but enough so that it was a common conversation). He awarded a woman dance teacher a 10th dan in Aikido and was seen in public demonstrations with her... notice how it's very difficult to find any mention of this in the literature. In other words, there was a certain amount of behavior and pronouncements that most of the Japanese surrounding O-Sensei sort of studiously avoid talking about.

So when it gets down to the "Aikido is Love" part, I would have several questions about it, if I wanted to be sure I understood what he was talking about. First of all, I'd want to be sure that the "love" translation really equates to the concept of "love" that westerners are thinking about when they hear that term. Secondly, I'd want to know how old he was when he made that pronouncement. Thirdly, I'd look at the uchi-deshi of the time and see how much their training focuses on and mentions "Aikido is love".... if it's not a big factor in what they say or train, then I wouldn't put a lot of weight onto the "Aikido is love" idea. ;)

FWIW

Mike

SeiserL
06-08-2005, 07:36 AM
IMHO, Aikido is a tool, a discipline. It can be studied without the mysticism. But I personally like it.

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 08:15 AM
I have found more personal spirituality practicing Judo than I ever did with Aikido, even though there is no discussion whatsoever of spirituality in my Judo class or after class for that matter. I guess what I am trying to say that spirituality is a personal experience, and while your religious experience can tranfer to all aspects of your life it is better to leave the practice of religion to church and your personal time. Outward religious practice certainly does not belong in a martial arts class. How would you like it if your sensei was a Catholic and they did Catholic religious rituals during class?

rob_liberti
06-08-2005, 08:19 AM
When I think about the idea: "aikido is love" - I think about what does "aikido" mean to me, and what does "love" mean to me, and I think about how to reconcile the two things. I think the mental materialism approach of "I already know what aikido is, and I already know what love is, and they are not the same thing" is not quite the point. It is directly against the message of "shoshin".

This kind of topic reminds me of Plato's "forms" - like what is "justice"? what is friendship? what is virtue? can virtue be taught?

It might not be such a horrible thing to ask yourself now and again, things like: what is "ki"? what is "aiki"? what is "do"? what is "ikkyo"? what is "iriminage"? what is the "wa"? etc.

Giving credit where credit is due, I would say that Mike Sigman has done a really good job with what is "ki"? I would love to read about some of the other ideas - I just mentioned - thought about to that degree or more.

Rob

akiy
06-08-2005, 09:03 AM
Hi MIchael,
I don't have a problem with spirituality and I don't have a problem with people freely expressing their religious views. I just find it annoying and a bit pretentious when people use Aikido or any other martial art as a way to promote their religion when a great deal of people are there to learn a martial art.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, but I'm a bit lost. I'm not too sure if anyone here has said that aikido should contain religious teachings. Can you expand a bit on your thoughts about this? In what manners have you seen aikido people using aikido to promote their religion?

-- Jun

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 09:49 AM
Jun, many are promoting Aikido as a Religion, and practically worhipping Ueshiba as a diety.

Magical powers of Ki, absolute faith in magical like acts performed by Ueshiba even though they never experienced it themselves, etc.

I can spend a bit of time here on Aikiweb collecting the quotes if you would like

Mike Sigman
06-08-2005, 09:53 AM
Jun, many are promoting Aikido as a Religion, and practically worhipping Ueshiba as a diety. C'mon, Michael.... he wasn't THAT fat. ;)

Mike

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 10:56 AM
Jun, many are promoting Aikido as a Religion, and practically worhipping Ueshiba as a diety.

Magical powers of Ki, absolute faith in magical like acts performed by Ueshiba even though they never experienced it themselves, etc.

I can spend a bit of time here on Aikiweb collecting the quotes if you would like

Mike, last fall I attended an anual seminar here in CNY with an Okimura Sensei, who started training under O Sensei in the 1950s and is also a Buddhist priest. So he should know whether Aikido is relgious or not. He said flat out, no ifs, ands, or buts, "Aikido is not religion." That's a quote. Make of that what you will.

Ron Tisdale
06-08-2005, 11:06 AM
None of the yoshinkan schools I know of practice aikido as religion. Maybe you just hang out in the wrong places....
:D
Ron

jonreading
06-08-2005, 11:18 AM
Separation of Church and Class!?

I have a very hard time with this same concept. So far, this is about all I can say:

Religion exists in aikido because the founder was very religious (in many eyes fanatical). The interaction of religion and aikido is important to training because concepts, ideas, and philosophies of aikido are derived from religious beliefs; just as many physical techniques were derived from daito ryu.

Aikido people are required to understand the religious interaction of aikido to excel in training; they are not required to believe it, live it, or do anything else with it. Aikido people are required to understand the physical interaction of aikido to excel in training; they are not required to practice it, live it, or do anything else with it. This is the balance of aikido. To remove the spiritual component would leave you with a collection of techniques that resemble daito ryu. To remove the physical component would leave you with religious doctrine. Together, you have a martial art called aikido.

That said, I have found that aikido is growing in spiritual zealots unbalancing aikido practice. If taken out on context, many of O'Sensei's comments would seem fanatical or mystical (heck, even taken in context some of his quotes and ideas are "excentric"). To that extent, I agree that we need to pay closer attention to what the aikido community protrays is aikido, but I don't think that was the focus of the thread. Aikido a a budo; an ideology to improve life in all aspects, not just fighting...

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 11:23 AM
"Separation of Church and Class"

I love it! :) That should be the #1 rule of Aikido

Fred Little
06-08-2005, 11:50 AM
He awarded a woman dance teacher a 10th dan in Aikido and was seen in public demonstrations with her... notice how it's very difficult to find any mention of this in the literature. In other words, there was a certain amount of behavior and pronouncements that most of the Japanese surrounding O-Sensei sort of studiously avoid talking about.



Mike:

Having talked with at least senior practitioner who saw the woman in question perform a piece in which (I am told) she danced an entire life cycle from youth through old age, and despite her advanced age at the time, managed to precisely convey the qualities of emotional affect and movement of her character at each of those stages, I don't find this particular story terribly baffling.

In the context of Japanese society, it seems unlikely that there was any risk of her opening her own martial arts school on the basis of the certificate, a kind of abuse of honorary rankings we have seen too often here in the States.

One can also think of such an award as a slap upside the head of those of his students at the time that were under the impression that all they were studying was a body of martial arts technique.

None of which means that he was the easiest man in the world to be around. At the end of the day, even an incarnate god is human, and the limits of being human are evident all around us.

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 12:11 PM
Michael Neal has some good points I believe.

I am a buddhist basically which is really interesting, cause I don't know how you claim that as a religion since it is basically anti-dogmatic, and a philosophy..so how could you "be" it....but in the west we tend to like things in neat little boxes with labels.

I personally have a problem when you start becoming dogmatic with anything simply because it means you stop thinking for yourself and allow the group or authority to think for you. I have experienced this to a small degree in aikido with sensei worship and O'Sensei worship for sure.

As far as separation of religion from aikido. Well If I had to choose, i'd say that aikido tends to be a part of my personal spiritual practice...and if you had to use the western concept of religion, then I guess you could say it was a part of my religious rites. For me it is inseparatable. That said, does not make it a religion.

Really my problem with the world as a whole is dogmatic practices. Once you stop thinking and questioning things for yourself, or start stating ultimatiums, or judging others, well there will be something contrary to that view. That is when you have conflict!

This is why we study aikido I believe and what the founder wanted us to take away from it. We can never acheive his goals unless we "GET IT".

You can never GET IT unless you have the spiritual aspects integrated. As far as I am concerned, why waste your time studying the art if this is not your goal...there are much more fun martial arts out there that focus on techniques, dominating and winning.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2005, 12:26 PM
Having talked with at least senior practitioner who saw the woman in question perform a piece in which (I am told) she danced an entire life cycle from youth through old age, and despite her advanced age at the time, managed to precisely convey the qualities of emotional affect and movement of her character at each of those stages, I don't find this particular story terribly baffling.

In the context of Japanese society, it seems unlikely that there was any risk of her opening her own martial arts school on the basis of the certificate, a kind of abuse of honorary rankings we have seen too often here in the States.

One can also think of such an award as a slap upside the head of those of his students at the time that were under the impression that all they were studying was a body of martial arts technique.

None of which means that he was the easiest man in the world to be around. At the end of the day, even an incarnate god is human, and the limits of being human are evident all around us. Hi Fred:

My comment was more in the way that as O-Sensei got older he did and said some unusual things which arguably may have been related simply to the fact that his body and mind were aging. There's nothing wrong with that; it's a natural process. The point is that if the "Aikido is Love" stuff came near the end of his life, there is a viable reason to not place too much weight on it. Looking at what the Aikido the uchi-deshi wound up teaching and how few of them engage in any remarks resembling "Aikido is Love", the inclination is to go the route of not putting much weight to the comment seems probably correct. My opinion. I'm not a god, myself, although many people have told me I have the body of a god. Unfortunately, they point out that it's Hotei, the "Laughing Buddha". ;)

Mike

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 12:32 PM
You can never GET IT unless you have the spiritual aspects integrated. As far as I am concerned, why waste your time studying the art if this is not your goal...there are much more fun martial arts out there that focus on techniques, dominating and winning.

That is one reason why I know Aikido is not for me, I already have firm religious/spiritual beliefs. While I do still believe Aikido teaches many worthwhile martial principles, to me it is not worth all the other aspects (including but not limited to religion) that do not interest me.

akiy
06-08-2005, 12:41 PM
While I do still believe Aikido teaches many worthwhile martial principles, to me it is not worth all the other aspects (including but not limited to religion) that do not interest me.
You've never trained in an aikido dojo that did not include spiritual and/or religious trappings?

-- Jun

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 01:09 PM
Jun, as I said above my reasons were "including but not limited to religion."

The instructor had no religious trappings whatsoever. Again it was not the leadership of my former Aikido dojo that turned me away from Aikido, I will sing praises to them until the end of time. I have said over and over here that Jim is a superb instructor and his Aikido is amazing, and he is a great person as well. It was Jim's talent and personality alone that made me join the dojo and kept me training there for as long as I did.

But as we all know, a dojo consists more of just the instructor, it is a group of people who all bring something of their own to the table.

But I found that the way the leadership of my dojo approached Aikido was relatively unique and I would basically have to remain isolated there to be insulated from the spirituality stuff. As you know, Aikido is a large community that cross trains frequently at seminars and other dojos and such, and the ANV is lead by Saotome who is quite a spiritual guy. In Judo I don't feel as isolated and can comfortably go from dojo to dojo and not worry about dealing with that stuff. I can not and will not suffer it.

And as i said it was not only the spirituality stuff that I did not like about Aikido. After taking some Judo I learned I liked lots of randori, I do not like suwariwaza or bokken practice, I dislike many of the Aikido techniques, I do not like some of the formality, and I was uncomforatable practicing with several members of the dojo for a variety of reasons, including a few that always wanted to talk about ki, argh!

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 01:12 PM
That is one reason why I know Aikido is not for me, I already have firm religious/spiritual beliefs. While I do still believe Aikido teaches many worthwhile martial principles, to me it is not worth all the other aspects (including but not limited to religion) that do not interest me.

Then I cannot fathom why you even spend your time here???

Maybe you and I view spirituality in religion in different ways??? ....That is the issue???

I have never experienced outwardly practice of dogmatic religion in ANY aikido dojo. It just is not a part of it. Is it a religious practice for me...well yes....but that is my issue and would never affect our interaction or training....it is personal in nature.

I have had spiritual experiences in the most non-relgious environments. In fact probably the biggest one for me occurred about 10 years ago in U.S. Army Ranger School. Now what does THAT have to do with ANY religous or spiritual practice!

Having 5 friends killed in the Pentagon on 9-11 was a religous/spiritual experience for me that affected me deeply!

There are many, many people out there that do not box up there religion and spirituality in a box only to be opened on Sunday mornings during service. Many Western Christians that believe that every action they take, thought they think, and practice they take is a part of their religous and spiritual practice.

While aikido may be a part of many peoples relgious or spiritual journey....it doesn't mean that the training focus is on that, it is simply a benefit to be gained.

Jun already split the thread...i'd too would be very interested in discussing how you see religion blatantly integrated and practiced in aikido.

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 01:19 PM
Kevin you said it yourself

"You can never GET IT unless you have the spiritual aspects integrated. As far as I am concerned, why waste your time studying the art if this is not your goal...there are much more fun martial arts out there that focus on techniques, dominating and winning."

To me that is religious regardless if it is dogmatic or not. And I also see Ki as a religious concept as well.

Then I cannot fathom why you even spend your time here??? :) Because some Aikidoka keep throwing chum in the water by starting threads about judo, I will keep swimming around awhile until i know there is no more blood in the water. Then i will go peacefully back to judoinfo.com.

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 01:27 PM
Sure, I suppose KI could be a religous concept for some. But it is not necessary to believe or accept it in order to fully experience aikido and have it work for you.

Many will argue that you would still experience it and it would still be there even if you don't accept it.

Sort of like the world being round or flat. It never was too important to your ability to survive and live on the planet to accept/state belief in or the other on a basic level.

Ron Tisdale
06-08-2005, 01:28 PM
Well, you could just ask Jun to post a red neon sign that says www.judoinfo.com and lights up every time the chum hits the water....

Ron :)

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 01:29 PM
So are you saying that not believing in Ki is like believing the world is still flat :)

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 01:32 PM
Michael,

Wanted to add this as well. Not to be disrespectful to KI society folks out there by any means...

But, I could see how KI Society may not be your cup of tea since they might tend to emphasize this aspect a little more than you feel is necessary.

I think the middle road is key. You have to have balance and keep things in perspective.

If you spend all your time focusing on KI...you DON"T GET IT.
If you spend all your time wearing Hakama and Placing flowers on the Kamiza you DON"T GET IT.
If you spend all your time on perfecting the perfect combat speed nikkyo against a fully resistant opponent you DON'T GET IT.
If you spend all your time practicing smiling, blending, and going slow you DON'T GET IT.

However, if you spend a little time doing ALL those things, balanced and in perspective...well you MIGHT GET IT :)

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 01:35 PM
So are you saying that not believing in Ki is like believing the world is still flat

Yea good one :)

No, just that belief in the existence or theory is not necessarily essential to understanding or studying aikido principles....you can label KI however you want...physics, mystics..whatever..

Michael Neal
06-08-2005, 01:36 PM
Well, you could just ask Jun to post a red neon sign that says www.judoinfo.com and lights up every time the chum hits the water....

Ron :)

:) yes, I think some of you guys should go over to judoinfo.com and post how you beat up some judoka or whatever. You will at least get another perspective.

Don_Modesto
06-08-2005, 01:42 PM
Mike, last fall I attended an anual seminar here in CNY with an Okimura Sensei, who started training under O Sensei in the 1950s and is also a Buddhist priest. So he should know whether Aikido is relgious or not. He said flat out, no ifs, ands, or buts, "Aikido is not religion." That's a quote. Make of that what you will.

Osensei said this himself, right?

Fred Little
06-08-2005, 07:17 PM
Osensei said this himself, right?

This olive is not a martini. It is the completion of all martinis.

FL

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 08:36 PM
.... some Aikidoka keep throwing chum in the water by starting threads about judo, I will keep swimming around awhile until i know there is no more blood in the water. Then i will go peacefully back to judoinfo.com.

I think there are plenty of Aikido people who cross-train in Judo (and vise versa) that they have no illusions about either one. In fact, I remember visiting this Judo forum you go to and recognizing people from Aikiweb.

I think it's already covered. So you don't have to be here if you don't want to be.

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 08:39 PM
Osensei said this himself, right?

I have no idea. I do know what someone who is a Buddhist priest with 50 years of training said, and with that background, maybe, just maybe, he just might know what he's talking about.

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 08:43 PM
Keven Leavitt wrote:

I personally have a problem when you start becoming dogmatic with anything simply because it means you stop thinking for yourself

Really my problem with the world as a whole is dogmatic practices. Once you stop thinking and questioning things for yourself, or start stating ultimatiums, or judging others, well there will be something contrary to that view. That is when you have conflict!



Keven,
Not becoming dogmatic with anything is itself a dogmatic practice.
The dogma you are teaching is that we must always question and think for ourselves.
You are being what you what you wish others would not, that is, you are being dogmatic.
Your position is absurd.

Red Beetle

DaveO
06-08-2005, 08:57 PM
'Lo all!
Well; I think it's time I threw my own 2 cents into the fray; but before we get on to the subject of ki; I want to address a point that has not yet been touched on.
It's the initial poster's opening remarks:
When considering how to improve any Martial System it is necessary to take inventory, and examine if what is being taught is logically consistent and beneficial to the system as a whole.

Take for example the teaching of "Ki."

Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense.

And indeed; the title of the thread itself:
Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Now; this is not simply the opening line of one who wishes to create a discussion/constructive argument. It's a deliberate; outright antagonistic statement.
I notice that mr...er..."beetle" has not responded since the initial post.

I don't know about the rest of the folks and of course I defer to Jun's judgement; but where I come from this is considered rude behaviour. I therefore charge Mr. "Beetle" to return to this thread and answer some questions.

First - by what argument and methodology do you make the claim that aikido without mysticism is a 'step forward'? Without - I might add - no clear attempt at describing your definition of mysticism?

Second - how do you - one who has no aikido training - have the ability, knowledge or moral right to not only determine aikido needs improving; but also to identify precisely where such improvement should happen?
I am very curious - and demand answers.

Now - on to Ki.

As one who started with the ki society; I was initially extremely skeptical of the 'ki' aspect found in shin shin toitsu. With my background as a combat veteran; and as one who's been required to use physical skills on a number of occasions; I didn't see the point - not at all. Technique was what was important, right?

But as I learned; I began to understand a little of what the 'ki' aspects involve. However you wish to define ki; the common concensus is that it is a focussing of will/intent/energy along a given direction. Whether it is a spiritual matter, a physiological phenomenon, or whatever; it works, essentially, by directing your will in a specific manner.

In my experience; there are few of the techniques we practice which would be of vaalue as they are practiced in a real-life encounter. That is not - I submit - the intent of kumi-waza. Rather; the techniques are there to teach the mind and body to move unconciously in particular ways - ways that are stable, fluid, effective and constructed of a minimum of body movements.
Ki training does the same thing in a different manner - as the techniques teach us to use the body in specific ways; so ki training teaches us to use the mind in similar ways.
The end result - assuming for the moment the student learns correctly and can apply what he learned; which is a huge assumption - is that in a critical situation; the practicioner will be able to move his mind and body together; as a single unit in ways which are stable, smooth and effective.
In other words; the techniques and ki training are not final goals in and of themselves; they are there to teach effective defensive movement.

It's good movement - not fancy techniques - which helps someone escape a dangerous situation.

Now; obviously people sometimes go (in my opinion) overboard and start looking at aikido as something other than what it is - a defensive, internal art. They swoon over peace/love; make happytalk about spiritual happiness, feeling the ki of the little birds, etc. We occasionally get E-mails from people wanting to learn how to throw ki-balls. Lots of people want to believe in greater things and unfortunately some folks let their enthusiasm exceed their common sense - heck; just look at Yellow Bamboo.
So IMO ki training is a fascinating and integral part of my aikido training. However anyone else feels; that's cool with me.

Eh - whatever turns their crank; IMO. IMO; they're confusing the goal with the tools needed to reach the goal but as long as they're happy, I'm happy.

Cheers!

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 09:19 PM
Paige wrote:
I think Aikido fights fire w/fire, which isnt necessarily a bad thing.

Well Paige, if Aikido is fighting fire with fire, then Aikido attempts to stop violence with violence. To you, Aikido is simply violence. You even say, "...it is somewhat violent" So now do the math.
You claim Aikido is love.
You claim that Aikido is violence.
Would you claim that violence is love?

Are you saying that when someone comes to harm you they are simply showing you their love?

I thought violence was a form of coercion.




You cant effectively stop fighting w/out knowing how to fight. I think this is the main idea of aikido.
A New York city mugger could jump on some poor housewife who has never had one boxing lesson, one Aikido lesson, nor one Judo lesson, and begin to beat the crap out of her. He may then stop momentarily to say to her, "If you want me to stop fighting you, then give me your money!) The poor housewife then hands him her money. The mugger stops fighting her and leaves. The woman has effectively stopped the fight and without knowing how to fight. This counter-example demonstrates two things. First, that you do NOT have to know how to fight in order to be effective at stopping a fight. Second, fighting is just a form of coercion. Fighting is an attempt to physically force a person into doing what you want them to do. Fighting is an attempt to force a person to: 1) stop flirting with my girlfriend, 2) never cut me off in traffic again, 3) stop calling me names, 4) give me your money, 5) leave my family alone, and so.


Although it is somewhat violent to learn aikido, it really IS love because it teaches you to use your skills to stop violence, and that shows love for other people
Stalin violently took over Russia. He then used his skills to stop future violent uprisings by killing anyone who might disagree with him (genocide). According to you, these violent murders of Stalin would have to be considered acts of love. Your position is absurd.
Aikido is coercion, not love.


Aikido attempts to force a person, whose goal is to hurt you, not to hurt you. It is forcing a person to do something against their will. Their will is to harm you. Your will is that they do not harm you. You try to force them to not harm you. You use Aikido as a means to accomplish this. Coercion.

Red Beetle

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 09:21 PM
even,
Not becoming dogmatic with anything is itself a dogmatic practice.
The dogma you are teaching is that we must always question and think for ourselves.
You are being what you what you wish others would not, that is, you are being dogmatic.
Your position is absurd.

Red Beetle

Thinking for yourself, not judging others, not accepting things at face value....is absurd????

Kinda contrary to the whole thread. If you believe this is absurd, then why do you bother to say "removing mysticism from aikido is a step forward". That in itself is a step away from the dogma of aikido in your argument. Which in your above statement about my beliefs , would make your argument absurd.

I am confused. Can you clarify your contradiction?

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 09:28 PM
Paige wrote:
Keith kolb. You just like "red beetle" do not take aikido, therefore you also dont know what you are talking about. People who dont take aikido have no business coming on an AIKIDO website and posting nonsense.
paige

I am not taking any classes in philosophy right now, but I could tell you that epistemology is the study of how we know what we know.

What makes you think that I do not know what I am talking about when it comes to Aikido just because I am not currently taking any Aikido classes? I don't take Aikido, I can teach it. I choose not to at this time.

Red Beetle

www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 09:38 PM
[QUOTE]Aikido is nothing but an expression of the spirit of Love for all living things. &
The secret of aikido is to cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things.

WRONG
AIKIDO IS COERCION

How does this relate to a sankyo that makes your eyes water, or an irimi-nage that feels like, well, nothing at all? I have no idea,
You don't know how it relates, because it does not relate. You have no logical connection. It does not relate, because love is not coercion. Aikido is not love.

but I am drawn to these ideals and embrace them as a fundamental under-pinning of Aikido.
You embrace these ideals irrationally, that is mystically, like so many others do.

RED BEETLE

www.kingsportjudo.com

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2005, 09:46 PM
What makes you think that I do not know what I am talking about when it comes to Aikido just because I am not currently taking any Aikido classes? I don't take Aikido, I can teach it. I choose not to at this time.

Red Beetle

What is your current rank? From where do you draw your lineage from? That is who awarded you yor rank?

Aikido is COERCION??? Please explain your position on this, and give examples.

eyrie
06-08-2005, 09:50 PM
What makes you think that I do not know what I am talking about when it comes to Aikido just because I am not currently taking any Aikido classes? I don't take Aikido, I can teach it. I choose not to at this time.


Just curious, have you ever done aikido, and for how long, and who were your teachers? Just trying to establish the epistemological basis from which you are making your claims.

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 10:03 PM
Jun wrote:
Any way, I wouldn't say that aikido is unique in such thoughts. Even Kano sensei has written about the principle of "jita kyoei" (mutual welfare and benefit) for judo. I'm sure that those folks (myself included) who have been on the receiving end of some judo techniques will say that my impact with the earth (oof) sure didn't feel so beneficial to my health! Yet, I can understand how the principle of "jita kyoei" comes through in the actual keiko and the shugyo.

Jita-Kyoei is often taught as a principal part of Judo. This is false.
Jita-kyoei cannot be deduced from the Gokyo-no-waza, shime-waza, kensetsu-waza, and so forth. It is an ethical principal that was smuggled into jacketed wrestling (Judo). To claim that it came from Judo is ridiculous.

I was actually asked to leave one Judo school because when the teacher asked me what I thought Judo was (in front of everyone) I told him, "Judo is jacketed wrestling." The teacher said, "You can't mean that! Tell me that is not what you mean!" I told him, "That is exactly what I mean, and that is exactly what Judo is." The teacher said to me, "But, Beetle, don't you think that Judo can teach people to be better moral people? Don't you think Judo has the potential to bring about world peace?" I tell this nut, "Judo teaches a person how to throw, pin, lock, and strangle another person. These techniques have no bearing on whether I steal a car or pay for it. They neither encourage me to support democracy nor anarchy."

Being a master of Judo does not mean you are a good, peaceful, and moral person. One of the best Judo players I know loves to hang out at strip joints, get drunk, start fights, whip the bouncers when they come to stop the fights, and is often having to be bailed out of jail the next day. He will then go teach his kid's class about how Judo gives the moral strength to do the right thing. He knows that such moral claims attracts more students, and more students mean more money, and more booze, strippers, .....

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 10:12 PM
Just curious, have you ever done aikido, and for how long, and who were your teachers? Just trying to establish the epistemological basis from which you are making your claims.

Yes I have done Aikido.
Epistemology is the study of how humans learn knowledge.
Do we learn through our senses?
Do we learn by deducing propositions from an axiom.
Do we learn by divine revelation.
And so on.

What you want to establish is my Aikido resume.
A list of experts who were my teachers has nothing to do with the argument at hand. This is a informal fallacy, a mistake in reasoning.

Red Beetle

eyrie
06-08-2005, 10:29 PM
A person who does ONE class of Aikido can also say I've done aikido, and my teacher was such and such. Does that mean that that person "learnt" or even "knows" aikido? I think not....

So, answer the question....how long for and who "taught" you? What's your experiential basis for making these claims?

maikerus
06-08-2005, 10:36 PM
Yes I have done Aikido.
Epistemology is the study of how humans learn knowledge.
Do we learn through our senses?
Do we learn by deducing propositions from an axiom.
Do we learn by divine revelation.
And so on.

What you want to establish is my Aikido resume.
A list of experts who were my teachers has nothing to do with the argument at hand. This is a informal fallacy, a mistake in reasoning.

Red Beetle

I know that this has been discussed a number of times recently, but establishing credentials is important in a forum like this where no one knows you.

As an alternative to telling everyone who your teachers were and how long you trained and what style you trained in you could give us access to a number of videos where you are doing Aikido both as shite and as uke.

If you haven't had any formal training in Aikido then it is possible that you don't have the right to have an opinion about Aikido.

This is something many people forget...if you don't know anything about something then you should either go find out about it or keep quiet. Handing out opinions on something you have no knowledge of is like practicing medicine without a license. Maybe you think you're helping...but probably not.

Oh...and as for definitions...

e·pis·te·mol·o·gy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-pst-ml-j)
n.
The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.


That all being said...I've enjoyed your posts. But evading the issue of lineage is stupid if you want any respect here. And starting an obviously controversial thread entitled "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward" without answering simple questions on where you come from and what you base your opinion on seems to me to be blatantly provocative.

FWIW,

--Michael

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 10:50 PM
[QUOTE]Look at the name of the art: Aikido. Whether or not ki exists, O Sensei certainly believed in it, and it's right there in the name of the art.
A rose by any other name is still the same.
We can keep all the techniques of Aikido, but call it something else.



Except that the martial artist who did that would be guilty of being grossly disrepectuful to the founder, and failing to to his job of preserving and passing on what was passed to him.
So what.


My Kali teacher, who also has permission to teach Pentjak Silat Serak
This is the United States of America. I don't have to have permission from any punk to teach Judo, Jiu-jitsu, or Pentjak Silat. If I learn something, and I want to teach it, then have at it. This is the beauty of a free market. The U.S. Constitution is all the permission I need. I say this, because I know all to well about how some of these oriental socialists think. You don't need permission to teach martial arts. Thank God the Gracies didn't listen to those stupid oriental traditions when they decided to break from the traditional nonsense to establish a more practical system.


Martial arts is not just about teaching someone a skill -- it is about passing on part of a culture
You can use part of your class time to explain how Japanese people eat, sleep, and worship, and if your students are dumb enough to not object, then who cares. But if a person comes to you and pays you to learn how to defend himself, and you show him how to eat with chop-sticks, then I would say that you are in breach of contract.


that's why their terminology is in Cantonese. It may even be true of Western Boxing -- you just don't notice the culture becaue we're in it.
It makes no difference if you call the 6th throw of the Judo by the following names: O-goshi, Hip Toss, Big Hip Throw, or The Red Beetle Special.
A rose by any other name is still the same.
I don't need to know Japanese culture to be able to hip toss a guy.
The Greeks were hip-tossing people long before the Japanese had Judo (see the Illiad circa 9th century b.c.).




And if the "mystical nonsense" is an important part of what O Sensei wants passed down, then you'd damn well better pass it down, or you are not doing your job as an Aikido student/teacher.
If your math teacher decides that you should add 5+5 to get 12, will you keep practicing this, and teaching it to others? What if it is wrong to add 5 and 5 to get 12? Should we dare go against our teacher and add 5 and 5 to get 10? Will teacher get mad at us for doing math correctly, rather than the way he wants us to?
If O-sensei was wrong, then he should be corrected.
It would be stupid to take his word for it just because he was taught by this guy, and that guy, or because he is the founder of this system, ot that system.


If you want to learn how to fight, don't go to anyone for formal training in anything. Just move to a bad neighborhood and get in fights every day.
Now apply your reasoning to driver education.
If you don't know how to drive, but you want to learn how, then don't go to someone to teach you how.....just get into a car and pull out into traffic. You will learn how from experience...if you don't kill yourself or others. This is not a good idea for learning how to drive, and it is not a good idea to learn how to fight.

RED BEETLE

eyrie
06-08-2005, 11:00 PM
I was actually asked to leave one Judo school because when the teacher asked me what I thought Judo was ... I tell this nut, "Judo teaches a person how to throw, pin, lock, and strangle another person. ...
Being a master of Judo does not mean you are a good, peaceful, and moral person....

And rightly so! In fact, why call what you do Judo? Why not just call it jiujitsu? All you're practising is techniques of base violence, devoid of any moral and ethical basis. Let's call a spade a spade.

Yes, you can take the principles of aiki and apply it to what you do, devoid of any spiritual mysticism - but can you call what you do "aiki-do"?

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 11:13 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]

A rose by any other name is still the same.
We can keep all the techniques of Aikido, but call it something else.


You might lose more than the name.



So what.


So this: Respect. It is a very big deal in many Asian cultures. My Kali instructor -- who, BTW, is a red-blooded American -- takes it very seriously. If you don't, that's your perogative.


This is the United States of America. I don't have to have permission from any punk to teach Judo, Jiu-jitsu, or Pentjak Silat. If I learn something, and I want to teach it, then have at it. This is the beauty of a free market. The U.S. Constitution is all the permission I need. I say this, because I know all to well about how some of these oriental socialists think. You don't need permission to teach martial arts. Thank God the Gracies didn't listen to those stupid oriental traditions when they decided to break from the traditional nonsense to establish a more practical system.


In the first place, Guro Andy's Serak instructor, Maha Guru Victor de Thouars, is not an "asian socialist." He is a Dutch Indonesian who has lived in this country since the 1950s (I think). He served in the US Marine Corps, and is probably more patriotic than some people who were born here. He certainly doesn't have anything nice to say about people who would burn the flag.

But he is also a traditional Indonesian master. Why do you need permission from him to teach Serak? Because it isn't just something he picked up somewheres -- it's a sacred family heirloom. That's why he's working so hard to promote it, to insure it doesn't die off. When you're in with him, it's the best. But when you're out, you're out, and not showing proper hormat or respect is a good way to get booted out. And people have been.

Before putting your other foot in your mouth, please reread the paragraph before the last one. Thank you.


You can use part of your class time to explain how Japanese people eat, sleep, and worship, and if your students are dumb enough to not object, then who cares.But if a person comes to you and pays you to learn how to defend himself, and you show him how to eat with chop-sticks, then I would say that you are in breach of contract.


The martial art itself is a part of the culture. You are preserving it whether you like it or not.


I don't need to know Japanese culture to be able to hip toss a guy.
The Greeks were hip-tossing people long before the Japanese had Judo (see the Illiad circa 9th century b.c.).


You might to be a good martial artist.


If your math teacher decides that you should add 5+5 to get 12, will you keep practicing this, and teaching it to others? What if it is wrong to add 5 and 5 to get 12? Should we dare go against our teacher and add 5 and 5 to get 10? Will teacher get mad at us for doing math correctly, rather than the way he wants us to?
If O-sensei was wrong, then he should be corrected.
It would be stupid to take his word for it just because he was taught by this guy, and that guy, or because he is the founder of this system, ot that system.


If after doing martial arts for however long you've been doing them, you don't have the vaguest understanding of giving people the respect they're due, then I won't bother. But maybe you should do something else with your disposable income.

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 11:17 PM
.... some Aikidoka keep throwing chum in the water by starting threads about judo, I will keep swimming around awhile until i know there is no more blood in the water. Then i will go peacefully back to judoinfo.com.

Well, then let's call a truce: Aikidoka will stop "chumming" by posting about Judo, and loudmouthed Judoka won't make any more posts about Aikido. Ok? :grr:

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 11:19 PM
[QUOTE]but establishing credentials is important in a forum like this where no one knows you.
It may be important to those who do not understand logical reasoning. But, the fact remains, you are not correct just because you are person X, but you are only correct if what you teach is correct.

If a teacher of math claims that 2+2=5
while a 5 year old claims that
2+2=4
then would you listen to the 5 year old?
But, he is not one with credentials!
He has not graduated from the math dept. at Harvard!
How could the math teacher be wrong?
Stars above, this guy teaches math, shouldn't he know?

It doesn't matter who you are, or who taught you.
If you are right, then you are right.
The attempt to determine if a person's argument is valid or not based upon who that person's teachers were is an informal logical fallacy (that means it is a mistake) called ad hominem.
In English it is known as the Fallacy of Expertise.


As an alternative to telling everyone who your teachers were and how long you trained and what style you trained in you could give us access to a number of videos where you are doing Aikido both as shite and as uke.
Check my web-site from time to time. I will be uploading such video clips for view.


If you haven't had any formal training in Aikido then it is possible that you don't have the right to have an opinion about Aikido.
Nonsense.
I don't have to have any training in Aikido to have an opinion about it.
What about informal training? Would I have the right to have an opinion then?
I love how some the people here have the audacity to tell others that they do or do not have the right to think.

I have never played Major League Baseball. I have never had any "formal" training in Major League Baseball, but I have the opinion that those guys get paid way too much for just playing a child's game.


Handing out opinions on something you have no knowledge of is like practicing medicine without a license. Maybe you think you're helping...but probably not.
You can practice medicine without a license. A license does not make a doctor good at what he does. It just means that someone approves of him. Doctors screw up, kill people, and get the hell sued out of them everyday.

Oh...and as for definitions...
The definition supports what I said about Epistemology.
The nature of knowledge would be whether knowledge is sensation, or propositional (which relates directly back to empiricism or rationalism)

But evading the issue of lineage is stupid if you want any respect here.
Being logical is not stupid.
I am not interested in anyone respecting me.
I am more interested in the truth.
Let others kiss butt and suck up if that is how one gets respect in this place.

And starting an obviously controversial thread entitled "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward" without answering simple questions on where you come from and what you base your opinion on seems to me to be blatantly provocative.
Seems to me that you just can't step back and examine some basic premises of Aikido.

RED BEETLE

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 11:27 PM
[

[QUOTE]You might lose more than the name.
Please demonstrate how changing the name of a throw will change the throw, rather than assume such nonsense.



So this: Respect. It is a very big deal in many Asian cultures
It is even a bigger deal in Western culture, because respect has to be earned, not taken for granted.


But he is also a traditional Indonesian master. Why do you need permission from him to teach Serak? Because it isn't just something he picked up somewheres -- it's a sacred family heirloom.
Big deal. He needs to get legal rights to it if he wants to dominate it in the public. Rorion Gracie did this with the name Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Your teacher may look into this.



The martial art itself is a part of the culture. You are preserving it whether you like it or not.
You have yet to prove this.


RED BEETLE

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 11:33 PM
[QUOTE] Aikido is a tool
This is a true statement.


It can be studied without the mysticism.
Also true.

RED BEETLE

www.kingsportjudo.com

maikerus
06-08-2005, 11:41 PM
It may be important to those who do not understand logical reasoning. But, the fact remains, you are not correct just because you are person X, but you are only correct if what you teach is correct.


I agree with you. But so far all we have seen are words. To believe that the words are true or even that they are your words requires either training with you, watching numerous videos of you training or finding out where you learned Aikido from.


Nonsense.
I don't have to have any training in Aikido to have an opinion about it.
What about informal training? Would I have the right to have an opinion then?


Certainly. As long as training is involved. What do you mean by informal training anyway? I am hoping you don't mean that had a discussion with a guy over coffee who once saw an Aikido class 10 years ago and learned everything you know about Aikido in that informal setting.

So...are you telling us that you received your Aikido training "informally"?



I love how some the people here have the audacity to tell others that they do or do not have the right to think.


Actually, I said it was *possible* that you didn't have a right to an opinion. It depends if you know anything about Aikido or not. Simple, eh?

So far you haven't said anything that couldn't be parroted from someone else. Are these original thoughts you are having?



I have never played Major League Baseball. I have never had any "formal" training in Major League Baseball, but I have the opinion that those guys get paid way too much for just playing a child's game.


:D

Opinion One: Childs game. I guess you haven't played it seriously...as those who make their livelyhood at it might. Of course, I am not a professional baseball player either. Maybe you're right...maybe they do consider a child's game.

Opinion Two: Way too much money. If they get paid it then it can't be too much as far as the people paying their salary is concerned. Of course...that could just be a business decision that you obviously have more experience and knowledge to make for the owners of baseball teams, though.

/sarcasm off.


Seems to me that you just can't step back and examine some basic premises of Aikido.

RED BEETLE

Seems to me you have to know some first...and you haven't demonstrated that to my satisfaction. Sorry...just the way it is.

cheers,

--Michael

Red Beetle
06-08-2005, 11:45 PM
How would you like it if your sensei was a Catholic and they did Catholic religious rituals during class?

If your opposed to Catholicism, then you may quit or disregaurd such rituals.

At one school where I trained I always refused to participate in Judo "meditations", and I told my teacher why.

At my school now, we do not bow.
Some traditional guys come to my school and they say, "Beetle, why don't you bow?" I say, "I am not Asian."
They say, "Beetle, why don't you clear your mind with meditation before doing Judo?"
I say, "Your mind needs to be on Judo when you do Judo, not on nothing. If your mind is clear when the guy attacks with Harai-goshi, then your going to get slammed. You wouldn't want to be riding in a car with a guy who's mind is clear and on nothing. No, you would say, 'Hey, get your mind on your driving before you kill us!'
Judo, like Aikido, requires a mind full of knowledge, not a mind that is clear, blank, and focused on nothing.

People at my school know that I am a Calvinist.
But, I don't get paid to teach Calvinism.
I get paid to teach Jacketed wrestling (Judo and Jiu-jitsu), and NO-Gi wrestling (Greco-Roman, Free-style, and Folk-style).

RED BEETLE

CNYMike
06-08-2005, 11:46 PM
Big deal. He needs to get legal rights to it if he wants to dominate it in the public. Rorion Gracie did this with the name Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Your teacher may look into this.


:grr: Pak Vic trademarked the name "Serak" some years ago. Done.

The rest of your post is not worth responding to. If you can debate an issue without resorting to a combination of insults, evasions, and finger-wagging lectures on logic, I'll be happy to debate you. Othwerwise, not interested. 'Bye.

PeterR
06-08-2005, 11:51 PM
Interestingly I was defending RB at Honbu last Sunday - now I'm embarrased.

Shades of Mark T.

Keith_k
06-08-2005, 11:57 PM
Being logical is not stupid.
Very well, Mr. Beetle. Logic it is.

The nature of your knowledge of Aikido is in dispute, yet you refuse to detail how you came about your knowledge. Did you receive instruction? Did you read books? Did you simply watch a few videos? The topic of debate is the effectiveness and/or usefulness of Aikido philosophy, so the extent of your knowledge of this philosophy is relevant. For example: I may watch a few UFC matches and conclude that shooting for the legs is an stupid technique because a good kicker can kick the shooter in the face as he shoots. However, if I actually trained in MMA/grappling, I may have a different, and more knowledgeable, opinion. Those who have this more knowledgeable opinion my disregard my un-knowledgeable opinion on the basis that I do not have enough experience with grappling to know how effective the technique is. This would be rational. The Aikidoka who are disputing you feel that they can disregard your opinion in a similar way, because you do not have enough knowledge of Aikido philosophy to have a realistic opinion. Please detail for us exactly what you know about Aikido, so we may know how seriously to take you. Your refusal to do this is an indication that you have something to hide.

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 12:00 AM
[QUOTE]I agree with you. But so far all we have seen are words. To believe that the words are true or even that they are your words requires either training with you, watching numerous videos of you training or finding out where you learned Aikido from.
Again, your attempting to change the subject of this thread. You seem to be intellectually bankrupt on this topic.
The Red Herring won't work


RED BEETLE

JamesDavid
06-09-2005, 12:06 AM
What does early Canadian salt workers habits and bears have to do with anything

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 12:14 AM
Very well, Mr. Beetle. Logic it is.
What you wrote was rhetoric, not logic.


The nature of your knowledge of Aikido is in dispute
No, the topic of this thread is not "the nature of my knowledge of Aikido. Please read the thread topic, and return to the subject of discussion.

, yet you refuse to detail how you came about your knowledge
Because that is a red herring. Take a course on logic.

. Did you receive instruction? Did you read books? Did you simply watch a few videos?
Are you denying that you cannot learn knowledge from such mediums?


The topic of debate is the effectiveness and/or usefulness of Aikido philosophy
No, the topic is Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward


I may watch a few UFC matches and conclude that shooting for the legs is an stupid technique because a good kicker can kick the shooter in the face as he shoots. However, if I actually trained in MMA/grappling, I may have a different, and more knowledgeable, opinion. Those who have this more knowledgeable opinion my disregard my un-knowledgeable opinion on the basis that I do not have enough experience with grappling to know how effective the technique is. This would be rational.
This is not rational. It does not matter what one's opinion is, but what the truth is. If it is true that one should not shoot for the legs under specific circumstances, then you should not.


The Aikidoka who are disputing you feel that they can disregard your opinion in a similar way, because you do not have enough knowledge of Aikido philosophy to have a realistic opinion.
Again, apply the reasoning to math.
A guy claims to a group of people that 2+2=4
The group thinks the guy doesn't have enough math classes under his belt to make such a claim. So, they pass off what the guy is saying as foolishness. Again, it matters not who is saying the proposition, but what matters is that the proposition that is being said is true or false.



Please detail for us exactly what you know about Aikido, so we may know how seriously to take you. Your refusal to do this is an indication that you have something to hide.
This line of reasoning is fallacious.
It is like when a person is arrested and the police question the person. The person says, "I would like my lawyer present."
The police respond in an attempt to intimidate the person and say, "Only someone who has something to hide, or has done something wrong needs a lawyer." Such nonsense works on some, but not those who understand basic Logic.

I can refuse to tell you who my father is, and that does not mean that I have malicious intent towards you. I can refuse to tell you who trained me, and how long I trained, and that does not mean that I mean you evil. You are arguing from what has not been said. Try arguing from what has.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 12:25 AM
Separation of Church and Class!?


[QUOTE]To remove the spiritual component would leave you with a collection of techniques that resemble daito ryu. To remove the physical component would leave you with religious doctrine. Together, you have a martial art called aikido.

If you see a guy in a room full of mats execute iriminage (Do I need to show my list of credentials before I use this term?), then do you run up and ask him if he believes the spiritual doctrines of Uyeshiba before concluding that this guy knows some Aikido?

Red Beetle

maikerus
06-09-2005, 12:26 AM
When considering how to improve any Martial System it is necessary to take inventory, and examine if what is being taught is logically consistent and beneficial to the system as a whole.


Makes sense to me. Good thought.



Take for example the teaching of "Ki."

Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense. :p



Interesting. I have never had this experience in my 20+ years of Aikido. I wonder where you got it...where did you train anyway?


Students attempt to clear their minds, chant words or syllables, breath a certain way, assume postures, and so forth in the attempt to grasp or develop a magical power that is about as real as George Lucas' "Force." :cool:

Students and Teachers would do better spending their time in the examination of, and actual practice of technical skills, rather than pretending to direct a make believe power from their bowels to their fingers.


Interesting. I have found that people who come to Aikido with this attitude usually leave within a few weeks since it obviously doesn't work like that. Usually they are smart enough to figure this out and either get with the program or run away.

Where have you seen this - yourself - happen? I would like to know so that if I meet any students from there I can be careful with them.



Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen. :crazy:

Aikido is love?
Please.


Good point. That bothered me, too. On the other hand I did enjoy the Aikido in the clip itself. Some of it was similar to what I study and some different...but the principles were there to see.


Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido claims that what he teaches will bring a moral harmony and love for mankind, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught actually accomplishes his claims.


If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations? Of course not.
They may be impressed, but no such moral assertion will be made from watching such a demonstration.



Okay...makes sense to me.


One can practice ethics in Aikido class, but one cannot deduce ethics from Aikido.

If ethics are taught at Aikido class, then they did not come from Iriminage or kotegaeshi, but from Asian philosophy or religion. Since that is clearly the case, why should I pay homage to such Asian religious philosophy? Why not some other religion? Why not deontology? Why not utilitarianism?


Not sure what you are getting at here. Why would ethics have to come from Asian philosophy or from religion at all. I would guess that it would be the ethics of the instructors that would mold the dojo culture...but I don't see religion getting into it.

Where you trained, was religion an integral part of the teachings of the dojo? Where did you train, anyway?


If you don't need Aikido to live in harmony and peace with your neighbor, and clearly you don't, then maybe Aikido doesn't need Asian philosophy of religion in order to function. Maybe Aikido is simply a physical exercise that can be used in a self-defense situation.


Makes sense to me.

Just out of curiousity, where did you train and how long have you been training. You said a couple of things I haven't experienced and I'm wondering what style and what lineage shaped your obviously strong opinions.

Looking forward to your response.

--Michael

Keith_k
06-09-2005, 12:38 AM
The nature of your knowledge of Aikido is in dispute
No, the topic of this thread is not "the nature of my knowledge of Aikido. Please read the thread topic, and return to the subject of discussion.
Please read carefully. I did not say that the topic of discussion was your knowledge of Aikido. I simply said that you knowledge of Aikido is in dispute. Do you deny that the origins of your aikido knowledge have been questioned?
yet you refuse to detail how you came about your knowledge
Because that is a red herring. Take a course on logic.
How so? What you know about Aikido's mysticism is relevant, by the topic you set.
Did you receive instruction? Did you read books? Did you simply watch a few videos?
Are you denying that you cannot learn knowledge from such mediums?
It is improper to answer a question with a question. I do not deny that information can be obtained from a variety of sources, I simply asked what source you obtained your information from. You still have not answered.
The topic of debate is the effectiveness and/or usefulness of Aikido philosophy
No, the topic is Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward
No. "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward" is the title of the thread.
Please detail for us exactly what you know about Aikido, so we may know how seriously to take you. Your refusal to do this is an indication that you have something to hide.
This line of reasoning is fallacious.
It is like when a person is arrested and the police question the person. The person says, "I would like my lawyer present."
The police respond in an attempt to intimidate the person and say, "Only someone who has something to hide, or has done something wrong needs a lawyer." Such nonsense works on some, but not those who understand basic Logic.

I can refuse to tell you who my father is, and that does not mean that I have malicious intent towards you. I can refuse to tell you who trained me, and how long I trained, and that does not mean that I mean you evil. You are arguing from what has not been said. Try arguing from what has.
It is you who is arguing from what is not said. I did not say, nor imply, that hiding the origins of your aikido knowledge was evil or malicious. I simply said that not revealing your sources implies that you are hiding them. If you are hiding something, it is reasonable to assume you have a reason for hiding. The simplest and most obvious reason that you would not say how you came about your knowledge of Aikido is that you fear that this information would weaken your position. The only way this information would weaken your position is if your knowledge of Aikido is inferior. I can therefore assume that if you do not tell us how you know about Aikido then your knowledge of Aikido and it's philosophy is inferior.

maikerus
06-09-2005, 12:51 AM
It is you who is arguing from what is not said. I did not say, nor imply, that hiding the origins of your aikido knowledge was evil or malicious. I simply said that not revealing your sources implies that you are hiding them. If you are hiding something, it is reasonable to assume you have a reason for hiding. The simplest and most obvious reason that you would not say how you came about your knowledge of Aikido is that you fear that this information would weaken your position. The only way this information would weaken your position is if your knowledge of Aikido is inferior. I can therefore assume that if you do not tell us how you know about Aikido then your knowledge of Aikido and it's philosophy is inferior.

Seems logical to me ;) :D :cool:

Keith_k
06-09-2005, 01:40 AM
Let's start from the beginning.

Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

You don't just say that mysticism is unnecessary. You say that dropping mysticism is a step forward. This implies that keeping the mysticism is a step back. You are saying that mysticism somehow makes the techniques less effective. Please explain how this is so.

Take for example the teaching of "Ki."

Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense.

Ki can be a way to explain natural phenomena otherwise covered by physics, anatomy and neurology. Some people have a better time grasping concepts explained this way rather than with torque, moments of inertia and center of gravity. I do not see how this reduces the effectiveness of the art.

Students attempt to clear their minds, chant words or syllables, breath a certain way, assume postures, and so forth in the attempt to grasp or develop a magical power that is about as real as George Lucas' "Force."

Maybe you miss the point of clearing your mind. Bruce Lee, a very pragmatic martial artist, stressed the point of clearing your mind. The point is to not be focused on a certain technique and to be open to whatever technique is appropriate to the situation. And of course if your mind cluttered with thoughts of things other the situation you are in you will not be as effective.

Students and Teachers would do better spending their time in the examination of, and actual practice of technical skills, rather than pretending to direct a make believe power from their bowels to their fingers.

Do you know for certain that students and instructors do not spend time examining and practicing technique? This is where your own knowledge of aikido, and how you came about this knowledge become relevant.

Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen.

Aikido is love?
Please.

Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.
The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.

Why does this one video exemplify the entire art? If some Aikidoka wish to view their art as an expression of love, will this make their technique ineffective?

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.

As it was pointed out to me, many schools of Aikido do not emphasize kindness, and have no problem dishing out hurt when appropriate. Also, there is no reason why it is wrong or ineffective to strive to do as little harm to your opponent as possible (while still keeping yourself safe).

If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations? Of course not.
They may be impressed, but no such moral assertion will be made from watching such a demonstration.

Why do you assume that these demonstrations were meant to convey this message?

The reason it would be impossible to deduce a moral principal from a visual or tangible demonstration is because you cannot start with something you see (Aikido demo), and end up with something you cannot see (moral ideas).

One can practice ethics in Aikido class, but one cannot deduce ethics from Aikido.

If a dojo chooses to teach morality as part of Aikido, then morality becomes part of their Aikido. There is not reason why teaching self defense technique excludes teaching morality.

If ethics are taught at Aikido class, then they did not come from Iriminage or kotegaeshi, but from Asian philosophy or religion. Since that is clearly the case, why should I pay homage to such Asian religious philosophy? Why not some other religion? Why not deontology? Why not utilitarianism?

If I want to go to church, why would I go to Aikido class?

Why can't philosophy be taught in conjunction with technique? As you have pointed out yourself, it is a free country. Those who do not like philosophy or spirituality with their martial art are free to seek instruction else ware.


If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training? Aikido is combat training isn't it? The Amish manage not to fight without Aikido. The Amish manage to live in harmony without Aikido. Maybe Morihei Uyeshiba should have joined an Amish community instead of the religious school of Omoto-kyo.


If you don't need Aikido to live in harmony and peace with your neighbor, and clearly you don't, then maybe Aikido doesn't need Asian philosophy of religion in order to function. Maybe Aikido is simply a physical exercise that can be used in a self-defense situation.

Again, there is no logical reason why conflict avoidance could not, nor should not, be taught in conjunction with self defense technique, nor is there a reason why teaching conflict avoidance or philosophy or spirituality would render technique less effective.

Bronson
06-09-2005, 02:08 AM
I don't take Aikido, I can teach it. I choose not to at this time.
I don't have to have permission from any punk to teach Judo, Jiu-jitsu, or Pentjak Silat. If I learn something, and I want to teach it, then have at it.

Can you teach it (aikido) because you want to or because you're qualified to?

Off topic:
The teacher said to me, "But, Beetle...
Some traditional guys come to my school and they say, "Beetle, why don't you bow?"

Do these people really call you Beetle? :confused:

Bronson

batemanb
06-09-2005, 02:20 AM
I just find it annoying and a bit pretentious when people use Aikido or any other martial art as a way to promote their religion when a great deal of people are there to learn a martial art.

I find it odd that you think this with regards to Aikido, since a lot of what I have read about the art over the years clearly outlines that Aikido was devised by Ueshiba Morihei as a means of combining his martial arts with his religious beliefs. If it wasn't devised like that he may just as well have continued with Daito Ryu jujutsu and not bothered creating his own way.

Now I can't say that I have ever been in a dojo that ever talked about any of the religious aspects of the art. It's true that many people come to Aikido to learn a martial art, but if they looked into the history of it, they shouldn't be surprised or upset if someone does involve any of the religious/ spiritual aspects. If they then decide that it's not for them, or it goes against other beliefs they had, then by all means switch to something else. Don't come and moan about it :rolleyes:

rgds
Bryan

batemanb
06-09-2005, 02:26 AM
WRONG
AIKIDO IS COERCION


RED BEETLE



Err, no it isn't.


Dictionary.com defines coercion as thus:

Main Entry: co·er·cion
Pronunciation: kO-'&r-zh&n, -sh&n
Function: noun
: the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will; also : the defense that one acted under coercion —see also DEFENSE, DURESS —compare UNDUE INFLUENCE


Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


coercion

n 1: the act of compelling by force of authority 2: using force to cause something; "though pressed into rugby under compulsion I began to enjoy the game"; "they didn`t have to use coercion" [syn: compulsion]


It all boils down to the individual doing it but if done correctly, it certainly ain't anything like coercion.

rgds

Bryan

Pauliina Lievonen
06-09-2005, 04:18 AM
About coercion - I have met teachers who say things like "and here you take ukemi because otherwise I would hit you"... to me that fits the definition pretty well.

If that is good aikido though is the question.

We never have threads like this on aikido-l anymore... <wistful>

:D
kvaak
Pauliina
going for another bowl of popcorn

Kevin Leavitt
06-09-2005, 05:46 AM
Until RB can back up his words with documentation or proof, basically in my book he is a BS artist who is only interested in the attention he is receiving.

I personally have little tolerance for people that claim knowledge and competence in things they cannot backup. Especially when they join a group and post 39 post within the first 2 weeks of joining, form opinions, and arguments, but evade very direct and pertinent questions.

He has a long way to go before he wins any respect or recognition out of me. His opinions until he can back them up have no value to me.

I would not waste my time with responses until he proves to be constructive in nature.

BTW, good comments Michael Stuempel

eyrie
06-09-2005, 06:15 AM
I agree, Kevin. Have you seen his website? :rolleyes: Take that into consideration with this coment he made:

...I don't have to have permission from any punk to teach Judo, Jiu-jitsu, or Pentjak Silat. If I learn something, and I want to teach it, then have at it. This is the beauty of a free market. The U.S. Constitution is all the permission I need. I say this, because I know all to well about how some of these oriental socialists think. You don't need permission to teach martial arts.

If he can take the "mysticism" out of aiki and come up with his own thing, then all he's got is bunch of aiki-like techniques (omote-waza). But he ain't got aiki (ura-waza) and never will - certainly not with that attitude.

rob_liberti
06-09-2005, 07:17 AM
About coercion - I have met teachers who say things like "and here you take ukemi because otherwise I would hit you"... to me that fits the definition pretty well.

If that is good aikido though is the question.

I would say it is good aikido to take ukemi such that the nage cannot hit you! I don't think both side have to be training the best aikido at the same time all of the time. But, I do bother to explain that when I'm trying to teach, and I wish others would do the same.

Rob

Bronson
06-09-2005, 12:07 PM
Have you seen his website?

No I haven't, what's the URL?

I did do a Google search though--result (http://www.costumecraze.com/RNGR03.html) ;)

Bronson

Fred Little
06-09-2005, 01:01 PM
Being a master of Judo does not mean you are a good, peaceful, and moral person. One of the best Judo players I know loves to hang out at strip joints, get drunk, start fights, whip the bouncers when they come to stop the fights, and is often having to be bailed out of jail the next day. He will then go teach his kid's class about how Judo gives the moral strength to do the right thing. He knows that such moral claims attracts more students, and more students mean more money, and more booze, strippers, .....

Red Beetle

It is certainly possible to frame things in terms of good and bad with no middle ground.

It is also possible to think in terms of "harm reduction" as a helpful approach.

Is it possible that if this individual hadn't channeled his efforts into Judo, at which you say he earns enough to cover his tab at the titty bar, he might be a gangbanger, a bullyboy, a loan shark's collector, or something much worse?

Nobody is perfect, but I can think of a number of folks I know who will freely say that martial arts practice may not have made them saints, but it kept them out of a lot of trouble, and kept them from making trouble for a lot of other folks.

That sounds like a win/win unless you're in the business of letting the most excellent be the enemy of the better.

Keith_k
06-09-2005, 01:13 PM
No I haven't, what's the URL?

I did do a Google search though--result (http://www.costumecraze.com/RNGR03.html) ;)

Bronson

He posted his website at the end of his very first post: www.kingsportjudo.com
He is a troll in the classic sense. he is trolling for response. Simply an attention seeker who thinks he's a master of written argument because he took a critical thinking class.

Bronson
06-09-2005, 01:28 PM
Hmmm, all I get is the frontpage. None of the links seem to work for me.

Bronson

Pankration90
06-09-2005, 01:36 PM
Look at the name of the art: Aikido. Whether or not ki exists, O Sensei certainly believed in it, and it's right there in the name of the art.

My guess is that the name came from the fact that much of aikido came from aikijujitsu.

Except that the martial artist who did that would be guilty of being grossly disrepectuful to the founder, and failing to to his job of preserving and passing on what was passed to him.
Ueshiba himself is guilty of not passing on what he learned; instead, he founded his own style.

Martial arts is not just about teaching someone a skill -- it is about passing on part of a culture.
If a martial art travels to different cultures, why does it have to take it's original culture with it? Aikido, judo, wing chun, etc. could all be learned in a "western" way. Western grappling techniques have a LOT in common with Asian ones, the culture an art is made in doesn't matter.

Here's a question for you. If your martial arts instructor was a devout Christian and you weren't, would you have to become a Christian just to learn from him? My guess is that you're answer would be "no." Why, then, would you have to start believing in whatever Ueshiba believed?

If aikido is to be seen as a martial art and not a religion, people need to start treating it that way. Why hold on to Japanese culture from 50 years ago when most people in Japan don't even do it? Why take on someone's spiritual beliefs just so you can learn the martial art he created?

Zato Ichi
06-09-2005, 06:15 PM
Hmmm, all I get is the frontpage. None of the links seem to work for me.

Disable the CSS, Bronson. AFAIK that's the only way to see any of his content.

But here is the profile he has online to give you an idea: Red Beetle profile (http://www.kingsportjudo.com/menu/1_main/General%20Info.htm)

PeterR
06-09-2005, 08:22 PM
I believe that if spiritual/mystical concepts get in the way of hard training on the mat then the thread topic has some relevance. Certainly you don't get this sort of interference where I regularly train and I really can't recall anywhere else that occurred where I visited. If it did they probably would not get a second visit but in any case

As soon as someone starts to talk about all these mystically obsessed Aikidoka running around I have to wonder, based on my experience, what their experience of Aikido is. Yeah I know they exist but damm are they hard to find.

Another observation which has some relevance is the rejection of concepts that really aren't understood. The idea of Mu really isn't about lack of focus or an empty mind - rather it is the Buddhist concept of non-lingering mind. It may sound like a mystical term but in actual fact it has its equivalent in Western fighting arts and just describes a state of mind. The French call it sang froid or "cold blood" and reflects an emotional detachment to what comes next. Western and Eastern fighting arts both seek fluid responses to an infinite variation of attacks - they just use different ways of describing it - surely blood doesn't actually become colder.

Logic - as a hard core scientist I'm driven nuts by people describing their beliefs as fact and trying to use grade school logic in pretty imaginative ways to make their case. Doesn't impress - sorry.

Finally - you can teach Aikido-like techniques but to teach Aikido requires some history in Aikido. That is what lineage is all about - it is not enough to declare the value of your opinion by saying I can teach Aikido.

CNYMike
06-09-2005, 08:45 PM
My guess is that the name came from the fact that much of aikido came from aikijujitsu.


And even then the "aiki" concept is also there. But he also said that (paraphrasing here) that whereas he'd learned many systems, Aikido techniques came out of the flow of ki.


Ueshiba himself is guilty of not passing on what he learned; instead, he founded his own style.


His prerogative.


If a martial art travels to different cultures, why does it have to take it's original culture with it?.....

It just does -- it's part of the package. Yeah, you could just do the technique, but that's not the whole package. As I've said, that's why Jun Fan people -- including my Kali instructor, who is also a Jun Fan instructor -- use cantonese terminology, instead of translating it all into English. Dan Inosanto himself has made a point of the cultural aspects. Feel free to go to his web site, http://www.inosanto.com, and e-mail him and let him know how wrong-headed he is about that. Go right ahead.


Here's a question for you. If your martial arts instructor was a devout Christian and you weren't, would you have to become a Christian just to learn from him? My guess is that you're answer would be "no" ....

It is "no," and, as a matter of fact, my Kali instructor is a devout Christian. But he as also made a point of the cultural preservation aspects of Kali and Pentjak Silat Serak. These arts are definitely more "combative" than Aikido, especially Serak, yet he takes respect very seriously and emphaszies that you are getting part of a culture. You don't want to do that, fine, but that's been drummed into me for months now since he started his own class.

Maybe it's easy to get "spoiled" with things like karate, Kung Fu, and other systems that have been established for 40 or fifty years. But in the case of Serak, there are maybe at most a half dozen old men who have the whole system; maybe -- I'm guessing here -- a few thousand pracitioners world wide if that! I may be generous in my estimate. It was kept locked down, totally secret, by a member of the de Thouars family until ten years ago; Victor de Thouars had to break with his own family to take the art public, and the reason he did it was very simple: to keep it from vanishing.

Even with Kali, it's not as rare as Serak, but pretty rare. In both cases, Guro Andy has emphasized he is "passionate" about preserving these arts. That means recognizing not just the techniques but the cultures they came from. That's true of everything, really, but most people don't think of that. I didn't until Maha Guru Vicotr de Thouars pointed that out at a seminar last year.


Why, then, would you have to start believing in whatever Ueshiba believed?


I'm not talking about believing what he believed; I'm talking about learning what has been passed to me so I can pass it to somebody else. That's how the art stays alive. That's how the arts you know have stayed alive, and really, they will only conitnue to exist as long as people learn them. Videos and NHB events won't do the job unless people actually go in to learn how to do it.

In the case of Aikido, it is the most spiritual martial art. Not "religous;" religion and spirtuality are slightly different. If that is where O Sensei's priorities are, and you want to do your job of passing down what has been passed to you, then you have to pay attention to it. I don't see how you can handle it any other way.


If aikido is to be seen as a martial art and not a religion, people need to start treating it that way. Why hold on to Japanese culture from 50 years ago when most people in Japan don't even do it? Why take on someone's spiritual beliefs just so you can learn the martial art he created?

My sensei wrote a handout for new people in which he says Aikido is not an "intellectual process" but a training programmed leavened done in an atomosphere of "good will and sweat." In other words you don't read about O Sensie and think about what he said -- you go in and practice what he came up with which was informed by his beliefs. You'll get it whether you like it or not.

JamesDavid
06-09-2005, 08:58 PM
"as a hard core scientist I'm driven nuts by people describing their beliefs as fact"

Peter, as a scientist I can only agree. It is difficult for some people to understand the difference between subjective and objective thought, let alone the difference between ontology and epistemology. As scientists we realize that the empirical world imparts truth only within the paradigm of inquiry. Alas, many do not realize this….

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 09:55 PM
[QUOTE=Bronson Diffin]Can you teach it (aikido) because you want to or because you're qualified to?

I can teach Aikido if I want to.
Here is what one needs in order to be able to teach.
1) An understanding of the doctrine which is to be taught.
2) The ability to communicate this doctrine clearly.
Off topic:

Way back in 1995 I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to train with Helio Gracie. This was a technical seminar which was being held while Royce Gracie was about to fight in the 3rd UFC.

A delegation from Japan was present among many of those there to train. One Japanese person identified himself as a Master of Okinawan Karate, and a Rokudan in Kodokan Judo. He asked Helio Gracie, through his oldest son Rorion, just how he was qualified to change the old techniques, then to teach his Jiu-jitsu. Rorion smiled before relaying the message. Helio's expression was serious before and after the question came to him. He responded in Portuguese while looking the Japanese man in the eyes. When Rorion explained that they were not Japanese, and that they did not care about their traditions or having their permission, the Japanese fellow turned red with anger. Rorion then laughed right in the guy's face. I thought my friend and I were about to see UFC 3 a little early that day, but the Japanese guy didn't have the courage to act on his anger.

You can see a picture of this very seminar on my web-site under the "Instructor" button. Scroll down and you will see a picture of Helio Gracie, his son Roker Gracie, and of course ...




Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:03 PM
Err, no it isn't.


Dictionary.com defines coercion as thus:

Main Entry: co&middot;er&middot;cion
Pronunciation: kO-'&r-zh&n, -sh&n
Function: noun
: the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will; also : the defense that one acted under coercion —see also DEFENSE, DURESS —compare UNDUE INFLUENCE


Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, &copy; 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


coercion

n 1: the act of compelling by force of authority 2: using force to cause something; "though pressed into rugby under compulsion I began to enjoy the game"; "they didn`t have to use coercion" [syn: compulsion]


It all boils down to the individual doing it but if done correctly, it certainly ain't anything like coercion.

rgds

Bryan



Aikido, as I said, attempts to force an attacker to do something which is clearly against his will: not to hurt you.
This fits nicely under number 2 from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law. By the way Merriam-Webster hasn't had a good Dictionary out since the 19th century, but thanks for reinforcing my point.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:05 PM
About coercion - I have met teachers who say things like "and here you take ukemi because otherwise I would hit you"... to me that fits the definition pretty well.

If that is good aikido though is the question.

We never have threads like this on aikido-l anymore... <wistful>

:D
kvaak
Pauliina
going for another bowl of popcorn

Yes, sounds like coercion.
Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:09 PM
Until RB can back up his words with documentation or proof, basically in my book he is a BS artist who is only interested in the attention he is receiving.

I personally have little tolerance for people that claim knowledge and competence in things they cannot backup. Especially when they join a group and post 39 post within the first 2 weeks of joining, form opinions, and arguments, but evade very direct and pertinent questions.

He has a long way to go before he wins any respect or recognition out of me. His opinions until he can back them up have no value to me.

I would not waste my time with responses until he proves to be constructive in nature.

BTW, good comments Michael Stuempel

I don't know if you have the proper qualifications to make such conclusions about my posts.

How do we know you were not trained by some quack. Cause if you were, it would weaken your thoughts that I am full of it. And, unless you have outstanding credentials which I approve of, then you really don't have the right to tell others that they should not respond to me.

Sarcasm

It does have its place


Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:17 PM
[QUOTE=Ignatius Teo]I agree, Kevin. Have you seen his website? :rolleyes: Take that into consideration with this coment he made:



Your just jealous.
Red Beetle's web-site Rulz!

Anyway, your not qualified, or certified, to crack on my web-site.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:20 PM
Hmmm, all I get is the frontpage. None of the links seem to work for me.

Bronson

My site refuses to let unqualified persons browse.
Sorry.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:28 PM
Logic - as a hard core scientist I'm driven nuts by people describing their beliefs as fact and trying to use grade school logic in pretty imaginative ways to make their case. Doesn't impress - sorry.

Well, I don't use the term fact in it's scientific sense. I believe in propositions, not scientific facts. Science in based on empiricism. More specifically, it is based upon the Verification Principal (maybe you've heard of this). The verification principal states that if something cannot be sensed, then it must be rejected. The verification principal itself is a proposition, which cannot be sensed (but it can be understood), therefore it must be rejected. Science itself is based upon a self-refuting principal. See Brand Blanshard.

As for your misology, you must use logic in order to attack it. Again, you are self-referentially absurd, as Alvin Plantinga would put it.

Finally - you can teach Aikido-like techniques but to teach Aikido requires some history in Aikido
Wrong, I have been to plenty of Aikido classes where they didn't teach the history of Aikido. You are trying to smuggle this in.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-09-2005, 10:38 PM
[QUOTE] As scientists we realize that the empirical world imparts truth only within the paradigm of inquiry. Alas, many do not realize this….[/[/QUOTE

The empirical world DOES NOT impart truth. Science has NEVER demonstrated that man learns through his senses. If you think you can, then you should write a book demonstrating this. It will be an instant hit! Because, George Berkley, David Hume, John Locke, Francis Bacon, and many others have tried to prove that man learns through his senses, but they all failed miserably. The world of epistemology awaits gentlemen.

You would think that a scientist would have at least had a class or two on the history of modern philosophy.

I would recommend that you "scientists", if there is such a thing, visit my friend's web site: www.trinityfoundation.org
You can go through his archives and find plenty of essays refuting the so-called Scientific-method.

Science can never discover truth.
Plus, why don't you guys use the "scientific-method" to prove mysticism, then you can stick to the thread at hand.

Red Beetle

PeterR
06-09-2005, 10:45 PM
Here we go. Have fun guys ....

And it was clear from context that I meant personal history.

JamesDavid
06-09-2005, 10:53 PM
The rest of the sentence went something like “only within the paradigm of inquiry” Do try to get to the end of the sentence then it might make sense to you. by the way I have studied philosophy, formally. Which is good as it meant that I got a balanced view…i am not about to engage in a debate with you about the issues you raised, it would be an endless discussion. But I will note how sure you are of the irrefutability of you points, the irony, what would you call it, oh yes, self-referentially absurd LOL…

Kevin Leavitt
06-09-2005, 11:23 PM
Red Beetle,

What qualifications do I need to recognize a BS artist, or someone who knows very little about aikido? From your website it appears you have Shodan in something related to Judo/jiujitsu. I have been doing BJJ for about a year now. I certainly would not pretend to go on a BJJ site and spout off what was messed up about it, and not be prepared to back it up with actual facts and proof, which for BJJ would probably be winning several major events and defeating reputable opponents.

I put very little stock in rank to be quite honest, so I don't really care about lineage and all that, but I do think it is relevant when you elude to experience and a claim that you can teach aikido. Especially since aikido is a non-competitive, internal art that is hard to measure success through external means such as tournaments etc. You'd probably be hard pressed to have any aikido students.

From viewing your website, my impression is that you are looking at aikido from a grappling, jiujustsu standpoint. I can certainly see as an outsider to aikido looking at it from that paradigm that you would form some of your criticisms. Some of us have the same and therefore, we crosstrain in other arts.

No one I believe on this thread has said aikido is the end all of all martial arts.

But I believe the argument is...if you take out the spiritual and internal aspects of the art...then you no longer have aikido, you would have something else...maybe along the lines of what you practice...so I guess we are back to where we started from...

You are qualified to teach what you teach. You remove that which you don't like from aikido, you are doing what you are doing and teaching....therefore, you are qualified to teach aikido.

How is that for philosophy?

I don't buy the fact that it would be aikido...but certainly I could see how you might see that on a very primitive level.

Pankration90
06-09-2005, 11:48 PM
And even then the "aiki" concept is also there. But he also said that (paraphrasing here) that whereas he'd learned many systems, Aikido techniques came out of the flow of ki.
According to what I've read about daito ryu aikijujitsu, many of the aikido techniques were already around long before aikido.

His prerogative.
So it's okay for Ueshiba to disregard tradition, but not us lowly mortals?

It just does -- it's part of the package. Yeah, you could just do the technique, but that's not the whole package. As I've said, that's why Jun Fan people -- including my Kali instructor, who is also a Jun Fan instructor -- use cantonese terminology, instead of translating it all into English. Dan Inosanto himself has made a point of the cultural aspects. Feel free to go to his web site, http://www.inosanto.com, and e-mail him and let him know how wrong-headed he is about that. Go right ahead.
Using the term "sticky hands" instead of "chi sao" or "horse stance" instead of "ma bow" doesn't change anything. There is no reason a martial art has to be learned in its original language.

If someone in Japan, China, Korea, or wherever wanted to learn Western wrestling, would they have to use the terms "stance", "level change", "penetration step", "hip heist", etc.? No. They can call it whatever they want as long as it's done the same...

It is "no," and, as a matter of fact, my Kali instructor is a devout Christian.
If you don't feel the need to follow your Kali instructor's religious beliefs when he is teaching you directly, why follow the beliefs of a man that you never met?

In the case of Aikido, it is the most spiritual martial art. Not "religous;" religion and spirtuality are slightly different. If that is where O Sensei's priorities are, and you want to do your job of passing down what has been passed to you, then you have to pay attention to it. I don't see how you can handle it any other way.

A collection of techniques and principles can't be spiritual. It just has a bunch of spiritual baggage attached to it.

Here's a hypothetical scenario for you. Let's say Ueshiba had two students that weren't from Japan. He taught them both the same things over the same amount of time. The only difference was that he taught one using Japanese terms, clothing, spirituality, traditions, etc. and he taught the other one with a Western approach. If they were in the same room demonstrating the same techniques, do you think you would be able to tell which one was "spiritual" and which one wasn't?

CNYMike
06-10-2005, 12:04 AM
According to what I've read about daito ryu aikijujitsu, many of the aikido techniques were already around long before aikido.


Yes, and are found in other non-Japanese arts, too. John Stevens said as much in one of his books; my Aikido sensei has made reference to that to. There are versiond of the joint locks in Kali; I just see the Aikido versions more often because the breadth of Kali means it takes Guro Andy a long time to cycle back to whatever he covers on any given night. So this is not news to me. Point?


So it's okay for Ueshiba to disregard tradition, but not us lowly mortals?


Not quite sure about this to be honest.


Using the term "sticky hands" instead of "chi sao" doesn't change anything. Using the term "horse stance" instead of "ma bow" doesn't change anything. There is no practical purpose for learning a martial art in a foreign language.


If there wasn't a good reason for it, do you think Jun Fan/JKD people would use Cantonese terminology? They do. I know it for a fact.


If someone in Japan, China, Korea, or wherever wanted to learn Western wrestling, would they have to use the terms "stance", "level change", "penetration step", "hip heist", etc.? No. They can call it whatever they want as long as it's done the same...


I don't know; how is Western wrestling taight in Japan, China, and Korea?


If you don't feel the need to follow your Kali instructor's religious beliefs when he is teaching you directly, why follow the beliefs of a man that you never met?


Asked and answered in my previous post; I won't repeat myself, so you'll have to scroll up.


A collection of techniques and principles can't be spiritual. It just has a bunch of spiritual baggage attached to it.


A lot of people -- starting with O Sensei -- seem to consider Aikido spirtual. So much for that.


Here's a hypothetical scenario for you. Let's say Ueshiba had two students that weren't from Japan. He taught them both the same things over the same amount of time. The only difference was that he taught one using Japanese terms, clothing, spirituality, traditions, etc. and he taught the other one with a Western approach. If they were in the same room demonstrating the same techniques, do you think you would be able to tell which one was which?

Meaningless scenario -- there's no indication he'd use a "Western approach." Furthermore, the spiritual side of things appears to have been the most important to him. So he wouldn't drop it. So much for that.

Zato Ichi
06-10-2005, 12:33 AM
My site refuses to let unqualified persons browse.
Really? And exactly what language do you use to do that? Surely it's not within the W3C standards, unless I'm getting behind on my reading. Perhaps an advanced Flash script? Java? JavaScript? Maybe its server side... PHP or ASP. Please tell me, as I'm dying to know.

Hmmm, all I get is the frontpage. None of the links seem to work for me.
Use Win IE. If you use a standards compliant browser (Firefox, Safari, etc) you'll get nothing. You're not really missing much though - typical tough guy wanna-be posing, mostly.

Pankration90
06-10-2005, 12:45 AM
Point?
They did not come from the "flow of ki".

If there wasn't a good reason for it, do you think Jun Fan/JKD people would use Cantonese terminology?
I don't know their reason for it, but they could learn just as easily in their own language. I understand "penetration step" better than "tou bu" (a rough pinyin translation).

If you continue to ignore a large portion of my posts we aren't going to get anywhere.

Here are some quotes for you to think about (from "The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba" by Morihei Ueshiba, John Stevens)

Aikido was revealed to Morihei as an all-embracing path, an eclectic system containing elements of esoteric Shinto, Tantric Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and even Christianity.

The Aikido I practice has room for each of the world's eight million gods and I cooperate with each one of them. The Great Spirit of Aiki enjoins all that is Divine and enlightened in every land. Unite yourself to the Divine, an dyou will be able to percieve gods wherever you are.
So much for not containing religious aspects, eh?

Bronson
06-10-2005, 12:49 AM
[QUOTE]

I can teach Aikido if I want to.
Here is what one needs in order to be able to teach.
1) An understanding of the doctrine which is to be taught.
2) The ability to communicate this doctrine clearly.


And maybe some training in said art wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Bronson

maikerus
06-10-2005, 12:59 AM
BTW, good comments Michael Stuempel

Thanks Kevin...sometimes its fun to bait a Troll :)

eyrie
06-10-2005, 01:24 AM
Actually, Mr Collier has a point. If you take the "mysticism" out of aikido what are you left with? Can what's left still be called "aikido"? Can what's left be reasonable used as a step forward...to something else?

Mr Kirkan also has a point. You don't need to teach an Asian MA with all the associated Eastern esoterica. The art can be quite reasonably transmitted in another language and terminology, as evidenced by the host of Japanese teachers teaching aikido in the West.

There is absolutely no reason Mr Collier cannot teach aikido - at whatever level of knowledge and understanding he has of the art. Who here can profess that they know absolutely everything there is to know about aikido, much less everything there is to know about teaching (aikido)?

By all means, Mr Collier, we can only teach what we "know".

Ian Upstone
06-10-2005, 02:35 AM
There is always going to be room for improvement, and as I presume we are all continually learning until we either give up or die, we should all keep trying to improve.

'Improvement' normally means adding things that work and discarding things that don't. On a personal level with our own training this makes sense, and we all do it naturally.

The problem with doing this to an entire art though, especially one as deep and complex as aikido, is that quite often in these attempts to improve the art or 'take a step forward' as it were - there may be some throwing out of the baby with the bathwater.

The flip side of that also, is that by sometimes adding what you think is 'missing' - you may be introducing something that contradicts other parts of the art - but don't see it at the time. Indeed, the problems caused by that addition may not surface until many years down the line, when it is way too late to recognise (let alone correct!) where the problem came from.

Personally speaking, I don't have either the intelligence or the experience of those that shaped the art, so I'd be very wary of changing what I don't understand - I'm quite happy improving what I know and trying to understand what I don't.

The best bet IMHO is to question everything, but not dismiss anything out of hand either.

Just some random thoughts. Back to lurkdom...

DaveO
06-10-2005, 02:36 AM
There is absolutely no reason Mr Collier cannot teach aikido - at whatever level of knowledge and understanding he has of the art.

True - there's no reason I can't teach Kung-fu either.
Never taken it; never studied it and I know absolutely d***-all about it; but hey - I've seen every saturday morning kung-fu movie made; so I guess that makes me an expert! :rolleyes:

EDIT:
While we're at it of course; I must point out that the Judo club uses the mats before we do - we often watch their class before setting up.
Maybe I should start teaching Judo too - it's just a few hip throws, innit?

xuzen
06-10-2005, 02:50 AM
There is absolutely no reason Mr Collier cannot teach aikido - at whatever level of knowledge and understanding he has of the art. Who here can profess that they know absolutely everything there is to know about aikido, much less everything there is to know about teaching (aikido)?

By all means, Mr Collier, we can only teach what we "know".

By that argument, can I teach Kenjutsu? I know a little of aikiken. :rolleyes: And I have watched the Seven Samurai movie and not forgetting Rurouni Kenshin. Does that make me an expert kenjutsu sensei?

Boon.

Pauliina Lievonen
06-10-2005, 05:37 AM
Yes, sounds like coercion.
Red Beetle

And bad aikido. :yuck:

kvaak
Pauliina

eyrie
06-10-2005, 05:50 AM
Yes Dave, Yes Boon... ;) Read Ian's comments because he is saying exactly what I am saying. No, there is no reason at all. Heck I can even teach arnis or even BJJ... I have books, videos, attended a few seminars, and I implicitly understand everything there is to know about the art. Doesn't that make me a qualified instructor of XYZ (chop-suey-kung-fu-do)? Who's to say that I'm not?

Yes, in fact, Red Beetle should approach the World Soke Council and request, nay, demand that he be recognized as Soke of Red Beetle-Ryu aiki-jujitsu, because he is now qualified somehow to teach his style of aiki-something.

Nick P.
06-10-2005, 10:07 AM
It's like standing next to a fire-hose gone mad; everything and everyone gets wet.....

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Nick P.
06-10-2005, 10:20 AM
Yes, in fact, Red Beetle should approach the World Soke Council and request, nay, demand that he be recognized as Soke of Red Beetle-Ryu aiki-jujitsu, because he is now qualified somehow to teach his style of aiki-something.

You forgot to add he should demand he have all non-believers stripped of their ranks while they are at it.

And many years from now, the heathens have passed on....http://media.isnet.org/kristen/Ensiklopedia/CadaverSynod.html

mazmonsters
06-10-2005, 11:04 AM
If you are filled with arrogance because of an ego problem, you will never be able to understand the higher levels of Aikido. It is absolutely essencial to be "empty" during combat...if you are so focused on technique, your mind will shut down your body if that technique doesn't execute...the birth of something else takes place...and if you can't feel that, if your mind is so focused on what you are supposed to do, what techniques to do, etc..., then you will be overcome. The empty state of mind (mushin) is to react without thinking. This is what Aikido has taught me, and for someone to constantly speak of how ki is not important, non-existant, etc..then it is only because that person is ignorant to it, and has never experienced it for themselves. It is not some sort of magical force, it is a natural force of energy that unless felt, can never be understood. And unless you stop thinking, and empty your mind, you will never feel it...i remember one day in the dojo we were training with the jo. I accidentally hit this guy in the crotch, and I could literally feel what it was I hit at the end of the jo that was in my hand. I said, "I hit your left nut, didn't I?" It felt like someone put a walnut or something in the palm of my hand and then removed it in a split second. At that time in my life, I was very calm, happy, stress free, etc...then after a few months, some things that were happening caused me to be stressed out...and I couldn't feel the same things on the mat (or off the mat for that matter) as I did before. I was "empty" before, then as the stress hit, my mind became "clouded," and things changed. There is definately something real in Aikido, beyond waza...only those who want to experience it can. The highest level of Aikido is to take someone's sword without causing them injury..the lowest form is to be destructive and beligerant. Aikido was created as a means of reconciliation, not one of destruction...and this is why it takes so long to "master" it...if that is even possible.

Michael Neal
06-10-2005, 11:16 AM
It seems like the concepts of emptying your mind and focusing on Ki contradict eachother, I think you can empty you mind and have no belief in Ki whatsover.

mazmonsters
06-10-2005, 11:30 AM
There is no "focusing onf Ki." Again, it is useless to argue about something that one hasn't ever felt. It would be like describing the feeling of weightlessness to me, because I have never been in space...or in one of those anti-gravity rooms. Or trying to tell someone the feeling of swimming under water, when the other person has not. Whether you call it "ki" or not, you can feel something similar to what it feels like when you try to put the same ends (positive or negative) of two magnets together..but you can really only feel that if you are not focused on trying to feel it, or thinking about anything. Here's a good excercise to experiment with: Hold a jo with a comfortable grip. Have someone grab the end of it and you try to get them into a technique, like shiho nage, with the jo. Tell them to resist at all times. You won't be able to get shiho nage...don't go fast or hard. You then have to start moving the jo around, feeling for the right angles...you'll start to feel the point of least resistance eventually, and in your own center, you can feel like you are channeling into a strong current of some sort, it feels like there is no strength involved...it's a different kind of strength being felt...that is a type of "ki." There's nothing mystical about it.

Michael Neal
06-10-2005, 11:32 AM
bah!

Michael Neal
06-10-2005, 12:25 PM
i remember one day in the dojo we were training with the jo. I accidentally hit this guy in the crotch, and I could literally feel what it was I hit at the end of the jo that was in my hand. I said, "I hit your left nut, didn't I?" It felt like someone put a walnut or something in the palm of my hand and then removed it in a split second.

LOL, I can't believe I did not read that before. I really don't know how to respond to that, it will haunt me for some time.

Michael Neal
06-10-2005, 12:49 PM
remind me to never practice the jo with you

Kevin Leavitt
06-10-2005, 01:13 PM
This is getting too, too funny! I am laughing my ass off right now!

Ron Tisdale
06-10-2005, 01:30 PM
I can absolutely swear that no one has ever felt my left nut through contact with a Jo. Absolutely. Never. The right one, but never the left one...

Ron (sorry, couldn't help it) :)

Michael Neal
06-10-2005, 01:39 PM
Here's a good excercise to experiment with: Hold a jo with a comfortable grip. Have someone grab the end of it and you try to get them into a technique, like shiho nage, with the jo. Tell them to resist at all times. You won't be able to get shiho nage...don't go fast or hard. You then have to start moving the jo around, feeling for the right angles...

Trying to desperately recreate that experience of feeling a walnut in your hand are you?

Ron Tisdale
06-10-2005, 01:45 PM
I said, "I hit your left nut, didn't I?" It felt like someone put a walnut or something in the palm of my hand and then removed it in a split second.

Was that his left, or your left? (I know it wasn't my left...)

Ron :)

Michael Neal
06-10-2005, 01:51 PM
I mean seriously, If I had that experience I would never pick up a jo again.

That is the dark side of the force young jedi

Yo-Jimbo
06-10-2005, 02:43 PM
Aikido attempts to force a person, whose goal is to hurt you, not to hurt you. It is forcing a person to do something against their will. Their will is to harm you. Your will is that they do not harm you. You try to force them to not harm you. You use Aikido as a means to accomplish this. Coercion.
You are partially correct. While aikido's main goal is to change the other's mind to peace and it avoids reliance on fear or counter force to accomplish this goal, coercion may be the only reasonable avenue at the time.

But your assertion the love is never manifested through coercion, is just plain wrong. Parents (good ones at least) coerce there children all the time when what the child wants is not (in their view) best for the child.

If someone tries to shoot me and I push the gun in a direction that doesn't point at anyone or I move out of the way, I'm not using coercion to defend myself. If I turn the gun on the attacker or if I move straight through the attacker, I would be using coercion. All of these are within the realm of "legal" aikido solutions. I can choose to use any of these tactics out of love or not. If I turn the gun toward the attacker, I change the attacker's mind on the prudence of pulling the trigger. If I shoot the attacker in the foot with it, perhaps I won't need to shoot for the head. Being able to choose the least coercive method (preparing ahead of time so that those options will be available) and doing so (acting on the most considerate option) is an act of love.

Coercion is just a tool that can be used for love, greed or any other motivation which it can further. Below you show an inability to separate the means from the end.
Stalin violently took over Russia. He then used his skills to stop future violent uprisings by killing anyone who might disagree with him (genocide). According to you, these violent murders of Stalin would have to be considered acts of love. Your position is absurd.
Aikido is coercion, not love.
Talk about absurd. Of course Stalin is using coercion and of course he is not acting out of love (other than love of himself). Mass murder and democratic reforms are both things that can help to avoid uprising (history has shown which is the wiser and more effective). Stalin wasn't following the principles of aikido when he made his choice. Indiscriminate genocide and the rule of law both are coercive. Aikido teaches to choose non-coercive over coercive whenever possible and the minimum level of coerciveness when it is unavoidable.

I disagree with you. I could try to change your mind by ignoring you, insulting you, discussing it with you or hitting you with a stick (by no means and exhaustive list).

Ignoring you is the least coercive, but this isn't enough by itself to justify it as the course of action. The course I choose should have the highest chance of success (low as it may be) combined with safety for me and a love for you and humanity. Ignoring you leaves you dangerously mired in ignorance that others could get pulled into by your flailings (which endangers them and I feel this would be irresponsible by me).

Insulting you is more coercive (unless your are masochistic). It could be effective at getting your attention, but causes many people to reflexively harden to their positions. Making someone feel bad without a reasonable chance of changing them for the better is not love or aikido.

Discussing this openly is only slightly coercive in that if you don't admit that you are wrong (where you are wrong), you must fear my future discourse. I can't guarantee that I will bother though. Just because I disarmed you, doesn't mean I'm going to take you home and feed you. I'm not a fountain of infinite love.

Finally, hitting you with a stick is illegal if you don't agree to it in a dojo setting and has obvious proximity limitations. While it has the highest chance of changing your mind in some way, it is not as likely as some tactics to change it for the better. Even in this realm, there is a difference between and instructional rap that teaches a martial or social lesson and a mean and anti-social crack the caves in the skull, but teaches only death (I am not in any way threatening actually violence of course). The aikido principle for this option is also clear.

This discussion reminded me of the following lyrics from "Whistling in the Dark" on Flood by They Might Be Giants:
---
A man came up to me and said
"I'd like to change your mind
By hitting it with a rock," he said,
"Though I am not unkind."
We laughed at his little joke
And then I happily walked away
And hit my head on the wall of the jail
Where the two of us live today.
---
So I choose the way that is motivated by concern for both myself and my fellow human beings. It might not be the most expedient or immediately satisfying, but in the long run it may create better people.

PS BTW, your site counter is logging a new hit for each area (even though there is nothing under any of them).

Tim Schmelter
06-10-2005, 05:39 PM
I accidentally hit this guy in the crotch, and I could literally feel what it was I hit at the end of the jo that was in my hand. I said, "I hit your left nut, didn't I?"

This is without a doubt the best mental image of ki I have ever been able to form. I will treasure it always.

NagaBaba
06-10-2005, 09:53 PM
Hi all,
Having spent one hour reading this excellent topic, I decided to open my new school of MA. Thank you Red Beetle for inspiration! As I have some informal training in few arts, my school will teach many future champions!

1. I'll teach judo not only without mystical bowing but also without any stinky jacket. Some traditional judo masters still use jackets, but we must be ready to defend ourselves naked too (shower, sauna…etc). With some special, secret jo techniques. ;) :p To reinforce martial spirit, as a greeting students will kick each other in the face before and after each technique.

2. I'll teach also Bjj while driving a car. Gracie pedagogical approach is a prehistoric one, daily needs of our population forced me to complete reevaluation of this not very efficient system. Most ppl spend about 2-3 hours in their cars, and they must defend themselves in such environment. They know that 2+2 = 4 and not 5!!!! They don't need any instructor. They must be also armed, know how to use different weapons while in mounting position or in guard. My students will train not on the tatami but on the way to/from work in cars, without any instructor. They can use my new series of DVD (soon I'll offer special prices!!)

3. I'll teach also one hand wrestling in suit. Almost everybody is using suits in office work. 99% of time they use one hand to handle cell phone or notebook. Classic wrestling is completely out of date in present civilization. Student from my school will train everywhere, on the streets, in the office, in the lift, on the roofs, even in McDonalds! It would be particularly useful for police officers and house-wifes. While fighting, officers could check with other hand on their computer a data about criminal, and during shopping fighting the woman can sign up paying with credit card.

I'm wondering about a name of my new school……..Second Step Forward Killers Team? evileyes

any ideas?

CNYMike
06-10-2005, 09:54 PM
They did not come from the "flow of ki".


Well, let's try and back up to your point about O Sensei creating his own system.

On the one hand, Dan Inosanto is the headmaster of LaCoste Inosanto Kali; he created his own system. Yet at the end of a Panantukan tape I have, Panantukan being part of Kali, he lists his teachers and says, "These are not my teachniques, these are their techniques." Guro Andy, of course, is studying Guro Dan's system, and doesn't want to do anything differently unless he sees what Guro Dan's doing right now. And yes, Guro Dan does change things.

In the year plus since Andy set up his own academy, he's been drumming the values of respect and the need to pass on what you have learned. Yet there is the other side of thing where masters found their own systems.

So when we come back to Aikido, yes, O Sensei founded his own art, which he distinguished from what he'd studied (which was a heluva lot). But I'm, if I'm generous about it, maybe where O Sensei was when he was learning jujitsu: I'm a student of that art, and my job as I see it is to absorb what is being presented to me. And if the spiritual side of it is where Aikido goes to town, then I wouldn't be doing my job if I neglected it.


I don't know their reason for it, but they could learn just as easily in their own language .....

But they don't, and I told you why: It's not just about learning a skill, but maintaning and retransmitting part of a culture. If you throw that out, you lose something. That's another point Guro Andy has been making, and he can pit out Canotnese names for all the blacks, strikes, and so forth. We do Chinese, Japanese and Filipino arts without thinking about that side of it, but that's what we're doing.


If you continue to ignore a large portion of my posts we aren't going to get anywhere.


Endlessly repeating ourselves won't get us anywhere either -- unless you like going in circles.

CNYMike
06-10-2005, 09:58 PM
Hi all,
Having spent one hour reading this excellent topic, I decided to open my new school of MA. Thank you Red Beetle for inspiration! As I have some informal training in few arts, my school will teach many future champions!

1. I'll teach judo not only without mystical bowing but also without any stinky jacket. Some traditional judo masters still use jackets, but we must be ready to defend ourselves naked too (shower, sauna…etc). With some special, secret jo techniques. ;) :p To reinforce martial spirit, as a greeting students will kick each other in the face before and after each technique.

2. I'll teach also Bjj while driving a car. Gracie pedagogical approach is a prehistoric one, daily needs of our population forced me to complete reevaluation of this not very efficient system. Most ppl spend about 2-3 hours in their cars, and they must defend themselves in such environment. They know that 2+2 = 4 and not 5!!!! They don't need any instructor. They must be also armed, know how to use different weapons while in mounting position or in guard. My students will train not on the tatami but on the way to/from work in cars, without any instructor. They can use my new series of DVD (soon I'll offer special prices!!)

3. I'll teach also one hand wrestling in suit. Almost everybody is using suits in office work. 99% of time they use one hand to handle cell phone or notebook. Classic wrestling is completely out of date in present civilization. Student from my school will train everywhere, on the streets, in the office, in the lift, on the roofs, even in McDonalds! It would be particularly useful for police officers and house-wifes. While fighting, officers could check with other hand on their computer a data about criminal, and during shopping fighting the woman can sign up paying with credit card.


But where's the defense against someone attacking you with a banana!? How cna you neglect it? That's justifiable lethal force that is! You have to have youor students fend off attackers with bananas in their cars going the wrong way on the freeway at 95 mph in a hail storm on the fourth of july headlong into a heard of elephants and a baby zebra without an instructor. THEN your curriculum will be complete.


I'm wondering about a name of my new school……..Second Step Forward Killers Team? evileyes

any ideas?

Team America World Police?

Red Beetle
06-10-2005, 10:08 PM
[QUOTE]So it's okay for Ueshiba to disregard tradition, but not us lowly mortals?

Good point. Tradition is mostly for those uncreative persons who have to be told what to do. They are only comfortable when someone is ruling them. Those who advocate tradition usually despise individualism, and freedom!

Using the term "sticky hands" instead of "chi sao" or "horse stance" instead of "ma bow" doesn't change anything. There is no reason a martial art has to be learned in its original language.



If someone in Japan, China, Korea, or wherever wanted to learn Western wrestling, would they have to use the terms "stance", "level change", "penetration step", "hip heist", etc.? No. They can call it whatever they want as long as it's done the same...

Somebody is seeing through the mystical fog.



A collection of techniques and principles can't be spiritual. It just has a bunch of spiritual baggage attached to it.


Absolutely correct! And we can put the baggage down without losing the technique.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-10-2005, 10:11 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]But where's the defense against someone attacking you with a banana!?

Try using your Ki.
It has to be good for something. It certainly isn't good for anything else.

Red Beetle

Keith_k
06-10-2005, 10:14 PM
Absolutely correct! And we can put the baggage down without losing the technique.


But the five thousand dollar question is: can you logically (you seems to like logic although you make very poor use of it) prove that studding spirituality/mysticism/tradition along with technique actually degrades the effectiveness of the techniques?

Pankration90
06-10-2005, 10:15 PM
Well, let's try and back up to your point about O Sensei creating his own system.
Not sure what you're getting at here.

I'm a student of that art, and my job as I see it is to absorb what is being presented to me.
You may see your training as a 'job', but others don't. People train for many reasons.

But they don't, and I told you why: It's not just about learning a skill, but maintaning and retransmitting part of a culture.
It seems to me you want to preserve an art, rather than a system of self defense. Ueshiba wasn't concerned with preserving a piece of culture; he changed what he didn't like about the 'arts' he studied without hesitating.

Honestly, what does keeping aikido in it's original form serve? You aren't truly preserving a piece of culture. One man does not constitute a culture. You are preserving the beliefs of one man.

Doesn't that sound a little like a religion?

Red Beetle
06-10-2005, 10:18 PM
[QUOTE]But they don't, and I told you why: It's not just about learning a skill, but maintaning and retransmitting part of a culture. If you throw that out, you lose something.

Absurd. You lose nothing by changing the name of a technique. You need to stop assuming your position (begging the question), and demonstrate what would be lost by changing the name of a technique. If I change the name of iriminage to "the head-hunter", then how exactly would that affect the technique? Who cares if the "culture" is lost. Japanese culture is small compared to western civilization.



Endlessly repeating ourselves won't get us anywhere either -- unless you like going in circles.

You like going in circles. That is why you continuosly assume what you should prove.

Red Beetle

Keith_k
06-10-2005, 10:27 PM
Japanese culture is small compared to western civilization.


What standard are you using to quantify culture as "small" or "large"? If Japanese culture is indeed "small" does that mean that it has no value?

You are also comparing culture to civilization. Apples and oranges.

Pankration90
06-10-2005, 10:37 PM
Just a quick point- we aren't talking about preserving Japanese culture. We're talking about the beliefs of one man from nearly 40 years ago. Even if his beliefs represented Japanese culture at that time (which I doubt), the people who's culture we are talking about have already moved on...

Red Beetle
06-10-2005, 10:39 PM
But the five thousand dollar question is: can you logically (you seems to like logic although you make very poor use of it) prove that studding spirituality/mysticism/tradition along with technique actually degrades the effectiveness of the techniques?

I do not have to prove that mysticism is useless.
I don't sell mysticism, but only technique.
Those trying to get someone to accept mysticism as part of Aikido must prove that mysticism is useful.


Mysticism is defined to mean that which is irrational, unsystematic, and based upon personal experience.
Technique is defined to mean that which is systemic, logical, understandable, and capable of being taught. It is propositional.

By definition mysticism has nothing to add to technique. Sensual experience has no inherent meaning, but must have meaning imputed to it by those who hold to mysticism. And, the imputed meaning itself must be propositional, and not mystical. That very fact alone contradicts the nature of mysticism. A better name for mysticism would be: "that which we know not what."
Here is the basic syllogism anyone who prefers logical systemic technique over irrational mysticism may use:

1) Anything which cannot be demonstrated to improve upon technique is something which should be disregarded

2) Mysticism is something which cannot be demonstrated to improve upon technique
_____________________________________________________

3) Therefore, Mysticism is something which should be disregarded


Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-10-2005, 10:42 PM
Just a quick point- we aren't talking about preserving Japanese culture. We're talking about the beliefs of one man from nearly 40 years ago. Even if his beliefs represented Japanese culture at that time (which I doubt), the people who's culture we are talking about have already moved on...

I agree.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-10-2005, 10:44 PM
What standard are you using to quantify culture as "small" or "large"? If Japanese culture is indeed "small" does that mean that it has no value?

You are also comparing culture to civilization. Apples and oranges.

Scripture Alone
Specifically, the 66 books of the Protestant Bible

Red Beetle

Keith_k
06-10-2005, 10:51 PM
I do not have to prove that mysticism is useless.

But you do. Perhaps you should take a refresher course on critical thinking. The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. You make the claim: "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward," implying that Aikido with mystic is a step backward from Aikido without mysticism. If you wish to be logical, you must back up your claim.

Those trying to get someone to accept mysticism as part of Aikido must prove that mysticism is useful.
Why must they here? If they fail to do so, their students will leave. If you do not like mysticism in martial arts, vote with your wallet and take you business else ware. The usefulness of the mysticism is irrelevant to the student who WANTS a mystical martial arts experience.

However, if you wish to discuss mysticism in Aikido, you must prove that it is not useful and/or desirable, or concede that you are arguing from opinion and quit pretending that you are being logical.

Edited to correct spelling mistakes

Keith_k
06-10-2005, 10:52 PM
Scripture Alone
Specifically, the 66 books of the Protestant Bible

Red Beetle

I am atheist.

Pankration90
06-10-2005, 11:00 PM
I am atheist.
Do you think aikido is spiritual?

Keith_k
06-10-2005, 11:05 PM
Do you think aikido is spiritual?

I don't practice Aikido. I don't think I have enough information to say one way or the other.

Pankration90
06-10-2005, 11:07 PM
I just thought I'd ask. I think it's odd for someone who claims he doesn't believe in spirits to talk about spirituality.

Keith_k
06-10-2005, 11:11 PM
I just thought I'd ask. I think it's odd for someone who claims he doesn't believe in spirits to talk about spirituality.
Part of it is that I like to argue :)

I personally think this Red Beetle character is a bit of an arrogant ass and I like knocking these people down a peg or two.

Also, I am not defending spirituality for its own sake, but simply saying that it should not be dismiss out of hand. There are people who like spirituality in their martial arts and I do not think these people should be labeled as "wrong."

sutemaker17
06-10-2005, 11:30 PM
Monty,
I am new to the aikiweb.
As a matter of fact this is the first thread I have replied to. Here's my take. Ki is your relationship to the earth. Period. You have timing, distance, connection, relative speed, shiesei, kime, kan-ken, isshin and yoyu to deal with. These are all common english concepts: posture, descisiveness, trusting intuition, commitment and proper margin in your movement.

Your original post was about mysticism right? I see no mysticism in Aikibudo. If you can cause a man to pray for a third leg you have applied an effective Aikido technique.

Some people will try to influence you into believing that they have the end all be all on Aiki understanding and Ki is the answer to why your technique is lacking. BS you keep training and your questions will be answered. You are on the right track.

My teachers taught me to be questioning, respectful but questioning.

Jason Mokry

Pankration90
06-11-2005, 12:27 AM
In "Total Aikido" by Gozo Shioda 'ki' is explained as a mastery of balance or something like that. I've also heard tai chi guys explain "chi" as proper body mechanics.

CNYMike
06-11-2005, 10:12 AM
.... You may see your training as a 'job', but others don't. People train for many reasons.


:rolleyes: Then replace "job" with whatever word you wish to describe what a student does. It's a figure of speach.



... You aren't truly preserving a piece of culture. One man does not constitute a culture ....

The culture is there, refracted through O Sensei's ideas.

CNYMike
06-11-2005, 10:18 AM
..... You lose nothing by changing the name of a technique .... Who cares if the "culture" is lost .....

I care. So does Guro Dan Inosanto and Maha Guru Victor de Thouars and others; and my Kali instructor, Guro And Astle, who's studied under the above gentlemen. All of them are adamant about the cultural preservation side of the martial arts.

Maybe the question shouldn't be "who cares?" but "why don't you?"

CNYMike
06-11-2005, 10:35 AM
Mysticism is defined to mean that which is irrational, unsystematic, and based upon personal experience.
Technique is defined to mean that which is systemic, logical, understandable, and capable of being taught. It is propositional.


Under that broad definition of "mysticism," just the act of training on your own, making improvements, or even noticing things while you train -- which all fall under the heading of "personal experience" --- become "mystical" and according to you, should be disgarded. But there's nothing mystical about it -- just putting the time in. Yet since anything that involves personal experience must be disgarded, so the very act practing then, has to be mystical and thus disgarded.

By the same token, as you may know, there are drills such as the immovable arm drill which are based on the flow of ki. Whether or not the ki is actually there, the drills instill the body mechanics and ideas -- upper body relaxed, breathe and move from your abdomen (which are important ideas in many martial arts) -- which are the basis of the techniques. Improving on those areas improves on those techniques whether ki is really there or just gives you a mental frame of reference for what you're doing. Meaning it does improve on technique, and, according to you, should not be disgarded.

So it seems you have validated ki and invalidated martial arts training at the same time. Congratulations!

Pankration90
06-11-2005, 12:33 PM
By the same token, as you may know, there are drills such as the immovable arm drill which are based on the flow of ki. Whether or not the ki is actually there, the drills instill the body mechanics and ideas -- upper body relaxed, breathe and move from your abdomen (which are important ideas in many martial arts) -- which are the basis of the techniques. Improving on those areas improves on those techniques whether ki is really there or just gives you a mental frame of reference for what you're doing. Meaning it does improve on technique, and, according to you, should not be disgarded.
The fact is that you don't know that ki is there and no one can agree on just what exactly "ki" is. If you taught these things as "drills that instill body mechanics and ideas" instead of talking about the flow of ki I'm sure you'd get exactly the same results.

Pankration90
06-11-2005, 12:50 PM
Then replace "job" with whatever word you wish to describe what a student does. It's a figure of speach.
Not everyone trains just to pass on the beliefs of Ueshiba. Some want self defense training, a hobby, etc.

The culture is there, refracted through O Sensei's ideas.
What does "aikido is love" and all the other stuff Ueshiba said have to do with the beliefs and ideas of the Japanese society as a whole during the 60s? Aikido training does not reflect Japanse culture.

If you want to preserve a culture, take up capoeira. It has songs, dancing, music, etc. All of these things represent culture better than wearing outdated Japanese clothing and discussing the religious beliefs of Ueshiba.

NagaBaba
06-11-2005, 04:02 PM
But where's the defense against someone attacking you with a banana!? How cna you neglect it? That's justifiable lethal force that is! You have to have youor students fend off attackers with bananas in their cars going the wrong way on the freeway at 95 mph in a hail storm on the fourth of july headlong into a heard of elephants and a baby zebra without an instructor. THEN your curriculum will be complete.



Team America World Police?
Noted. will be added to curriculum.

NagaBaba
06-11-2005, 04:39 PM
.
Those trying to get someone to accept mysticism as part of Aikido must prove that mysticism is useful.
Red Beetle
Very easy task.
If you look at terrorists in Middle East, what is most important thing that allows them suicide attacks with bombs?Only military technique? Of course not! Mysticism? Yes, of course only this factor can push these ppl to all those horrible things. We are right in the middle of martial environment. But during each war, there are plenty of examples where some more or less mystical idea (God, Honor, Homeland, Gold….) pushed/helped/allowed ppl to things far beyond their normal capacity.

Aikido isn’t any exception as far as you practice aikido as expression and embodiment of BUDO's spirit/mind. You can practice at merely technical level, but this way you can’t apply the entirety of yours abilities and wisdom.

CNYMike
06-11-2005, 05:11 PM
Not everyone trains just to pass on the beliefs of Ueshiba. Some want self defense training, a hobby, etc.


But if you train long enough and become an instructor, guess what you end up doing? Passing on what was passed to you; it doesn't matter in what.



What does "aikido is love" and all the other stuff Ueshiba said have to do with the beliefs and ideas of the Japanese society as a whole during the 60s? Aikido training does not reflect Japanse culture.


(A) I said "refracted through his ideas." It's not undiluted. (B) IIRC, the Japense government supports martial arts, including Aikido, and also the classical bujitsu systems. Something about nationa heritage?


If you want to preserve a culture, take up capoeira. It has songs, dancing, music, etc. All of these things represent culture better than wearing outdated Japanese clothing ....


Yeah, you want to tell the BJJ people to stop doing that? They want to be on the cutting edge, shouldn't they stop weating gis? Esepcailly as the Gracies are Brazillian, not Japanese. :p


.... and discussing the religious beliefs of Ueshiba.

FYI, my sensei's intorductory handout says Aikido is "not an intellectual process," meaning you sit around and talk about it, but a "training program." Meaning you do something. So I guess that's covered.

CNYMike
06-11-2005, 05:14 PM
The fact is that you don't know that ki is there and no one can agree on just what exactly "ki" is ....

True; there are even multiple theories about whether it comes out through the fingers, back of the hand, or the palm. But how do you prove something ISN'T there?

..... If you taught these things as "drills that instill body mechanics and ideas" instead of talking about the flow of ki I'm sure you'd get exactly the same results.

Maybe. But if results are all that matters, then it doesn't matter, especially if ki visualization works.

Red Beetle
06-11-2005, 09:01 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]But if you train long enough and become an instructor, guess what you end up doing? Passing on what was passed to you; it doesn't matter in what.
You are choosing to ignore his main point, because you know that he is right. Teaching a hip toss to someone does not require me to tell them before, during, or after the lesson that Jigoro Kano was the founder of Judo.

I studied Judo under an instructor for years without even knowing that Judo was from Japan, or who systematized it. He never taught the history to us, and I was more concerned with perfecting the technique to ask. When I finally went to other schools, they were impressed with my Judo, but were stunned to learn that I didn't know the Japanese terminology or history. Turns out, that my first instructor hated the Japanese. He would not disrespect his school by even mentioning them, or using their terms. He taught Judo, but without the Japanese culture. He was a South Korean national champion.

You can teach the Judo syllabus, change the names of the techniques, and call the system by another name, and the ones who are fresh to Martial Arts will be none the wiser.

A rose by any other name is still the same.


(A) I said "refracted through his ideas." It's not undiluted. (B) IIRC, the Japense government supports martial arts, including Aikido, and also the classical bujitsu systems. Something about nationa heritage?

This depends on what government is ruling Japan. Martial arts were outlawed more than once in the history of Japan. What some people consider heritage, others consider trash.


Yeah, you want to tell the BJJ people to stop doing that? They want to be on the cutting edge, shouldn't they stop weating gis?

Some have stopped wearing kimonos. Others only wear the kimono. Some practice with and without the kimono evenly.


Esepcailly as the Gracies are Brazillian, not Japanese.
Yeah they do Jiu-jitsu the Gracie way, not the Japanese cultural way. This also annihilates your fuzzy cultural attachments. You don't need a national culture to do Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, bowling, chess, and so on.





FYI, my sensei's intorductory handout says Aikido is "not an intellectual process

First of all, let's just state the obvious. You have to use an intellectual process to attack intellectual process. This is self-contradicting....absurd. You have to use your intellect in order to tell us that Aikido, which is in the intellect, is not intellectual. That is sad.
I believe what you say about this Aikido handout.
You are irrational. And your sensei is wrong. Aikido is intellectual, not physical. If you do not KNOW technique, then you can not expect to execute technique. A person's body being projected with iriminage is the result of the intellect's control over matter.
The techniques of Aikido are not magical, they are propositional, intellectual, and rational. The body is merely the instrument that you play the Aikido with.

," meaning you sit around and talk about it, but a "training program." Meaning you do something. So I guess that's covered
I wouldn't waste my time learning from some guy who couldn't verbally explain how a technique is done. The reason technique can be verbally explained is because all technique is propositional. If the guy has to say, "let me just show you." Or, if he has to say, "you just got to do Aikido in order to learn it.", then I would say that he doesn't know how to teach it. You should be able to verbally explain how to execute technique without ever having to show it.

Again, you are going to have to intellectually understand how to do something, before you can do something.


Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Go to my web-site and see my June Newsletter for an example of how Kesa-gatame is to be done, without a group of pictures that take you step by step through the process.

Red Beetle
06-11-2005, 09:20 PM
[QUOTE=Szczepan Janczuk]Very easy task.
If you look at terrorists in Middle East, what is most important thing that allows them suicide attacks with bombs?Only military technique? Of course not! Mysticism? Yes, of course only this factor can push these ppl to all those horrible things

You are stating that mysticism is what motivates terrorism. I am not saying that mysticism cannot motivate a person to do iriminage, or Aikido, but I am saying that mysticism does not add to the technique of Aikido. Mysticism does not make the terrorist's gun's shoot better, or their bombs to be more explosive. Their engineering in bomb development, and gun construction is what makes these weapons good or bad....not mysticism.

The same applies to Aikido. Mysticism does not make one's koshi-nage better. The way they execute the technique of Koshi-nage is what makes it better or worse.

You need to show how Mysticism is going to make the actual technique better in order to sale your snake-bit remedy. Showing that a belief can motivate a person to do this or that does not make your argument. You are off the subject. You need to show how irrational thought helps one's rational technique.


You can practice at merely technical level, but this way you can't apply the entirety of yours abilities and wisdom.


Mysticism is not an ability, and it is not wisdom. Ability and wisdom both denote intellectual propositional content that can be understood, learned, and taught. Mysticism is irrational and inconsistent.

Since Mysticism has nothing to technically add to Aikido, it therefore follows necessarily that you can only practice Aikido at the technical level.

Your statement is false.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-11-2005, 09:34 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]Under that broad definition of "mysticism," just the act of training on your own, making improvements, or even noticing things while you train -- which all fall under the heading of "personal experience" --- become "mystical" and according to you, should be disgarded. But there's nothing mystical about it -- just putting the time in. Yet since anything that involves personal experience must be disgarded, so the very act practing then, has to be mystical and thus disgarded.

Nope. By personal experience, I do not mean practicing intellectual propositional techniques which require thought, study, and understanding. By personal experience I mean sensations that can only be experienced by the one experiencing them. Experience is an equivocal term. When I say experience, then I am referring to empirical experience, not the knowledge one acquires from studying and practicing an intellectual system.

By the same token, as you may know, there are drills such as the immovable arm drill which are based on the flow of ki. Whether or not the ki is actually there, the drills instill the body mechanics and ideas -- upper body relaxed, breathe and move from your abdomen (which are important ideas in many martial arts) -- which are the basis of the techniques. Improving on those areas improves on those techniques whether ki is really there or just gives you a mental frame of reference for what you're doing. Meaning it does improve on technique, and, according to you, should not be disgarded.

You just admitted that Ki has nothing to offer to the technique.
You could replace Ki with rock music, and it really wouldn't matter.
When you say, "whether ki is really there or not just..." denotes that ki doesn't matter. It is excess which can be cut away. It is useless. The time spent teaching about ki could be spent on improving someone's technical abilities.

So it seems you have validated ki and invalidated martial arts training at the same time. Congratulations!

You are in a fairy-tale world.
But I have an idea for your next Aikido class.
When sensei begins to teach about ki, remind him/her to open with the phrase, "Once upon a time..."

Red Beelte

Red Beetle
06-11-2005, 09:42 PM
I care. [QUOTE]So does Guro Dan Inosanto and Maha Guru Victor de Thouars and others; and my Kali instructor, Guro And Astle, who's studied under the above gentlemen. All of them are adamant about the cultural preservation side of the martial arts.

You can appeal to big name martial artists, but that is only an ad-hominem fallacy.

All of them care, yet none of them can demonstrate that changing the name of a technique will alter the technique. The reason they can't is because it doesn't change the technique, but only the name.

When water falls from clouds in the sky one person says, "It is raining." and another says, "Esta lloviendo." Neither English nor Spanish alters the weather.


Maybe the question shouldn't be "who cares?" but "why don't you?"

I am not interested in their culture, but their fighting technique.

Red Beetle.

Red Beetle
06-11-2005, 09:49 PM
[QUOTE=Keith Kolb]But you do. Perhaps you should take a refresher course on critical thinking. The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. You make the claim: "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward," implying that Aikido with mystic is a step backward from Aikido without mysticism. If you wish to be logical, you must back up your claim.


Why must they here? If they fail to do so, their students will leave. If you do not like mysticism in martial arts, vote with your wallet and take you business else ware. The usefulness of the mysticism is irrelevant to the student who WANTS a mystical martial arts experience.

However, if you wish to discuss mysticism in Aikido, you must prove that it is not useful and/or desirable, or concede that you are arguing from opinion and quit pretending that you are being logical.


Please see the definitions and syllogism that I provided in post 165. I am claiming that this disproves mysticism has anything positive to add to the technical aspects of Aikido. It can be disreguarded, and more time directed to improving technique, rather than having empirical mystical episodes.

Red Beetle

eyrie
06-11-2005, 10:18 PM
Monty, (may I call you Monty?)

You are absolutely right. You do not need the mysticism in aikido to learn or teach it - a'la Shioda and Tohei. Mysticism is simply a tool for explaining things (and how O'Sensei explained his universe of meaning).

Personally, I prefer the mysticism part and find it easier to understand than something expressed in the much clumsier English language. Very often, things get lost in "translation" and the transliteration does not always convey the "correct" meaning.

Maybe that's how I'm wired.... YMMV. To each their own.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 12:28 AM
[QUOTE]
You are choosing to ignore his main point, because you know that he is right. Teaching a hip toss to someone does not require me to tell them before, during, or after the lesson that Jigoro Kano was the founder of Judo.

I studied Judo under an instructor for years without even knowing that Judo was from Japan, or who systematized it. He never taught the history to us, and I was more concerned with perfecting the technique to ask. When I finally went to other schools, they were impressed with my Judo, but were stunned to learn that I didn't know the Japanese terminology or history. Turns out, that my first instructor hated the Japanese. He would not disrespect his school by even mentioning them, or using their terms. He taught Judo, but without the Japanese culture. He was a South Korean national champion.

You can teach the Judo syllabus, change the names of the techniques, and call the system by another name, and the ones who are fresh to Martial Arts will be none the wiser.

A rose by any other name is still the same.


You can do that, but should you? Was your sensei the exception or the rule in not mentioning Judo's history (or at least in not giving you a handout that outlined it right away)?




This depends on what government is ruling Japan. Martial arts were outlawed more than once in the history of Japan. What some people consider heritage, others consider trash.


Well, the current government into Japan doesn't think it's trash.



Some have stopped wearing kimonos. Others only wear the kimono. Some practice with and without the kimono evenly.


You mean the hakama, right?


Yeah they do Jiu-jitsu the Gracie way, not the Japanese cultural way. This also annihilates your fuzzy cultural attachments. You don't need a national culture to do Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, bowling, chess, and so on.


They still wear gis and use a Japanese name.



First of all, let's just state the obvious. You have to use an intellectual process to attack intellectual process. This is self-contradicting....absurd. You have to use your intellect in order to tell us that Aikido, which is in the intellect, is not intellectual. That is sad.
I believe what you say about this Aikido handout.
You are irrational. And your sensei is wrong. Aikido is intellectual, not physical. If you do not KNOW technique, then you can not expect to execute technique. A person's body being projected with iriminage is the result of the intellect's control over matter.
The techniques of Aikido are not magical, they are propositional, intellectual, and rational. The body is merely the instrument that you play the Aikido with.


What's also obvious is he is not using the words "intellectual process" the way you do. What you refer to as the intellectual process of learning a technique he calls a "training program."

And since he's been doing Aikido for about 30 years -- that's what, longer than you've been alive -- I have a hunch he may be right about two or three things.


I wouldn't waste my time learning from some guy who couldn't verbally explain how a technique is done ....

Well, then, you needn't worry about me because he explains it verbally quite well.


The reason technique can be verbally explained is because all technique is propositional. If the guy has to say, "let me just show you." Or, if he has to say, "you just got to do Aikido in order to learn it.", then I would say that he doesn't know how to teach it. You should be able to verbally explain how to execute technique without ever having to show it ..... Go to my web-site and see my June Newsletter for an example of how Kesa-gatame is to be done, without a group of pictures that take you step by step through the process.

That speaks for itself.

Keith_k
06-12-2005, 12:30 AM
If you wish to use this as your logical argument, very well.


1) Anything which cannot be demonstrated to improve upon technique is something which should be disregarded
2) Mysticism is something which cannot be demonstrated to improve upon technique
_____________________________________________________

3) Therefore, Mysticism is something which should be disregarded


Red Beetle

Your argument is deductive. It is also valid; however it is not sound due to the following:
1) This premise asserts an absolute. By finding at least one instance where something that does not improve technique may be desirable voids this premise. This is simple: law. You may be able to teach a student the most effective lethal technique mankind can possibly execute, but if the student is afraid of going to jail for using it, you might as well have taught the student nothing. Clearly, law cannot be disregarded. So there is at least one subject that does not directly effect the execution of technique but cannot be disregarded. This makes premise 1 false, and your argument logically unsound.

2) As Szczepan Janczuk wrote, mysticism can drive people to feats beyond normally possible. A fanatic can resist more pain, take greater risks, and stay more focused on a goal than a non-fanatic. All of these things can aid in successful execution of technique. Mysticism can provide this sort of fanaticism, and therefore, aid technique. Premise 2 is also false, again rendering your unsound.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 12:33 AM
[QUOTE]

Nope. By personal experience, I do not mean practicing intellectual propositional techniques which require thought, study, and understanding. By personal experience I mean sensations that can only be experienced by the one experiencing them. Experience is an equivocal term. When I say experience, then I am referring to empirical experience, not the knowledge one acquires from studying and practicing an intellectual system.



Except that in grappling, touch sensitivity is important; only you can feel what your partner is doing and respond to it, and that's the only way to do it in grappling range -- your eyes are uesless. So you've just ruled out randori, because it requires experiencing something no one involved can.


You just admitted that Ki has nothing to offer to the technique.
You could replace Ki with rock music, and it really wouldn't matter.
When you say, "whether ki is really there or not just..." denotes that ki doesn't matter. It is excess which can be cut away. It is useless. The time spent teaching about ki could be spent on improving someone's technical abilities.


You have it bass-ackwards -- if visualizing the ki flow helps the technique work better, then it IS helping.

As for the rest of your post, I won't sink to your level.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 12:37 AM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]I care.

You can appeal to big name martial artists, but that is only an ad-hominem fallacy.


Yeah, god forbid martial arts masters who have forgot more than you or I will ever know should know something.


All of them care, yet none of them can demonstrate that changing the name of a technique will alter the technique. The reason they can't is because it doesn't change the technique, but only the name.


The point is not that it changes the technique; the point is that martial arts are about MORE than just the techniques.




I am not interested in their culture, but their fighting technique.

Red Beetle.

That's your choice; I've spelled out my views. The lineages I'm a part of attach more significance to things you don't give a damn about. Well, that's fine, for you. If you're happy, great. Happy training.

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 01:19 AM
Keith,
thanks for dealing with the argument.


Your argument is deductive. It is also valid

Thank you.


By finding at least one instance where something that does not improve technique may be desirable voids this premise.


This is simple: law.


Clearly, law cannot be disregarded. So there is at least one subject that does not directly effect the execution of technique but cannot be disregarded.

Law can, and often is, disregarded. This is why we have to have police to enforce the law. The fact that one may disregard the law and do you physical harm is one of the main reasons people study martial arts. So much for your attack on my first premise.

You may be able to teach a student the most effective lethal technique mankind can possibly execute, but if the student is afraid of going to jail for using it, you might as well have taught the student nothing.

This has nothing to do with the formulation of technique. It addresses the ethical question of "should I use the technique."
We are talking about "should I keep something in my system that does not improve upon technique itself." We are not talking about "Should I use the system that I have in light of the law of the land."

This makes premise 1 false, and your argument logically unsound.
Sorry, you will have to do better.


2) As Szczepan Janczuk wrote, mysticism can drive people to feats beyond normally possible. A fanatic can resist more pain, take greater risks, and stay more focused on a goal than a non-fanatic.

This has nothing to do with actual Aikido technique itself. You could direct this to the ability to finger paint while in a bar room brawl. Again, we are talking about disregarding anything that cannot improve the actual technique itself. We are not talking about that which encourages me to use, or not use technique.


All of these things can aid in successful execution of technique.

Possibly, but again, they do not aid in the production of technique, or better technique. Studying how the body can and cannot move will lead to better technical advancement, but mystical practices have nothing to offer technique itself.


Mysticism can provide this sort of fanaticism, and therefore, aid technique.

You mean that mysticism can aid in the motivational use and execution of technique, but not in the production and development of that technique. You are off the subject.

Premise 2 is also false, again rendering your unsound.

Wrong. You have not attacked the premise. But another premise that I did not mention.


The mystical sensation of power does not improve the iriminage that I have been taught. The lack of mysticism does not improve the technique of my iriminage. But, by crafting my technique to be closer to how iriminage is to be done will improve my Aikido technique.


Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 01:40 AM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher][QUOTE=Monty Collier]

Except that in grappling, touch sensitivity is important; only you can feel what your partner is doing and respond to it, and that's the only way to do it in grappling range -- your eyes are useless. So you've just ruled out randori, because it requires experiencing something no one involved can.

Your remarks presuppose that people learn through their senses. I do not believe that people learn through their senses. I am not an empiricist.

It is no safe guide to rely upon one or more of your senses. They all can deceive you. It may look like I can pass his guard, but it turns out I cannot. It may feel like he doesn't have my arm in bad position, but it turned out that it was in even worse position than I thought. I didn't hear him tapping, but it turned out that he was, and I snapped his elbow regardless. Sensations cannot be trusted in wrestling. Only sound technique, which is based upon rational propositions can be trusted. I am claiming that systems like Aikido, Judo, and Jiu-jitsu are like geometry or mathematics in general. No one has ever seen the laws of logic, the number 2, or a triangle, but you can understand the propositions that such ideas are made of. They are invisible, inaudible, intangible, but no less real.

An armbar, for example, is not a conglomeration of sensations, but it is a collection of propositions that are combined in such a way that it has a qualitative affect on my adversary. The affect is that his arm is hyper-extended at the elbow. It doesn't matter if it looks like it is, or if it feels like it is.





You have it bass-ackwards -- if visualizing the ki flow helps the technique work better, then it IS helping.

We are talking about improving the technique itself, not aiding the existing technique. Keith had the same problem. You guys are thinking hard, but your not on target yet. Keep up the good work though!


Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 01:48 AM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher][QUOTE=Monty Collier]

Yeah, god forbid martial arts masters who have forgot more than you or I will ever know should know something.

This pious attitude towards the holy fathers of the martial arts world does not justify your ad hominem fallacy. They may know ten times the technique, but if they are wrong at this point, then they are wrong. Changing the name does not change the technique.


The point is not that it changes the technique
You argued that this was exactly the point in the past.
Have you receded your original position?

; the point is that martial arts are about MORE than just the techniques.
But, that is not what this thread is about.
Please read the topic of the thread again.



Red Beetle

Keith_k
06-12-2005, 02:40 AM
Clearly, law cannot be disregarded. So there is at least one subject that does not directly effect the execution of technique but cannot be disregarded.
Law can, and often is, disregarded.
This is fallacious reasoning: appeal to authority. Just because other dojos neglect to teach their students about the legal consequences of using technique does not mean that it is proper or desirable to do so.
This is why we have to have police to enforce the law. The fact that one may disregard the law and do you physical harm is one of the main reasons people study martial arts.
The actions of other people have no bearing on how a student learns technique.
You may be able to teach a student the most effective lethal technique mankind can possibly execute, but if the student is afraid of going to jail for using it, you might as well have taught the student nothing.
This has nothing to do with the formulation of technique. It addresses the ethical question of "should I use the technique."
We are talking about "should I keep something in my system that does not improve upon technique itself." We are not talking about "Should I use the system that I have in light of the law of the land."
It is true that the legal consequences of using technique have no effect on the actual execution of a technique, but it has every effect on whether or not the technique even takes place. Without legal, or at least moral, context, a technique can never be applied outside of the dojo. You would no longer be practicing self defense. If the dojo does not provide a legal or moral context as to when a technique can be used, the student will be forced to either compose his or her own context, or never use the technique. Without context, the technique is useless. Even in sport competitions, the student must know the rules. If a grappler enters a competition without knowing the rules, he or she my use a technique that is illegal and get disqualified, or he or she my fail to use an effective legal technique and be defeated. Knowledge of the rules of competition does not aid in the actual execution of technique, but without this knowledge there is no way to achieve the primary goal: victory. Without knowledge of when and what is acceptable on the street, the martial artist will again fail to achieve the primary goal: survival.

As Szczepan Janczuk wrote, mysticism can drive people to feats beyond normally possible. A fanatic can resist more pain, take greater risks, and stay more focused on a goal than a non-fanatic.
This has nothing to do with actual Aikido technique itself. You could direct this to the ability to finger paint while in a bar room brawl. Again, we are talking about disregarding anything that cannot improve the actual technique itself. We are not talking about that which encourages me to use, or not use technique.
Focus does not aid in proper execution of technique? What about confidence (which can also be improved through mysticism)?
All of these things can aid in successful execution of technique.
Possibly,
Then you admit that mysticism can have some value?
but again, they do not aid in the production of technique, or better technique. Studying how the body can and cannot move will lead to better technical advancement, but mystical practices have nothing to offer technique itself.
Let us take, for example, a hip throw. I can describe why it is necessary to have your hips lower than the person you are trying to throw with physics and with ki.
Physics: Your hips form and axis of rotation about which you will rotate your opponent's body. His center of gravity is about the level of his hips, so if you place your axis of rotation below his center of gravity you need only start the initial rotation and then the tangential component of the gravitational force vector will aid the torque and facilitate the rotation with greater ease.
Ki: By getting your Dan Jun (Korean word, I forgot the Japanese word for this) closer to the earth than his, you will draw greater ki from the earth and you will have the power to throw him with ease.
Both explanations will allow the student to execute a successful hip throw. However, ki explanation may be easier for some students to understand. In fact, I could construct a whole system of rules for ki, which may mimic the laws of physics but be simpler to understand, that would allow students to understand the principles behind technique and successfully execute and formulate said technique. This would be a great learning aid: students would be able to understand technique without having to study the extensive and complicated field of physics. Many successful martial artists say that their techniques are founded in physics, but very few of them have actually studied physics in depth enough to really have a good understanding of the physics behind much of what they do. They explain things in simplified layman's terms, yet they are still successful. Explaining technique in terms of ki accomplishes this same goal and is just as valid as some of the physical explanations I've heard.

Kevin Leavitt
06-12-2005, 04:37 AM
Red Beetle,

Why do you think the Army and the Marine Corps are putting a big emphasis on Martial Arts training right now????

I can tell you why...it has nothing to do with the technical skills you gain from the art. It has everything to do with the mental aspects of developing qualities you want in warriors.

For the Army at least, those things are Leadership, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service,Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage.

If you read a few books on Aikido you wil also find that many view the seven pleats in the hakama represent the seven values of aiki spirit.

You will find that the claps we do at the beginning of class serve as a reminder.

In the military we have customs and courtesies...we salute, we call each other sir and sergeant. We do many things that make the system work.

Martial arts is much the same way. You don't study them for the technique you learn, but for the friendships you gain, the values the art emulates, the spirit it evokes so on ans so on.

This mysticism you talk about is tied up in that.

Sure there are misguided souls that study martial arts. We have aiki bunnies in aikido. In BJJ you have guys with pierced tonques and tatoos that run around thinking they are bad asses, other martiall arts have ninjas, and all that stuff...

That does not mean that the spiritual aspects the art inclusive in the arts is a waste of time.

Trust me, I have very little room for wasting my time. I find the way we practice aikido relevant to my profession. Not sure what you do for work, but I can vouch it works for me personally.

I have read a great deal of your website, It appears that you do have some background in judo, and seem to know a fair amount about what you are talking about. I will give you that much. Leaves me nothing to doubt that you probably are proficient at grappling.

There are much more to Martial Arts and Budo than technical skills to be gained. I find it ironic that there is a picture of you in a swariwaza pose "thinking bout judo and jujitsu". Also one of you in seiza doing what looks like a "heaven and earth" and posture related to kokyu...the very essence of KI.

What do these two pictures have to do with the technical skills of judo?

You also have several pictures of you striking a pose with "attitude".

I think those are wonderful things...things that make up the warrior spirit. Are the technical skills, no they are mental skills....those mental skills can be learned through training. They make you feel good and strong.

That my friend is "mysticism" at it's best. It is the spiritual aspects that make studying budo important.

Call it what you want, and attempt to scowl and be disrepectful...but in the end, what we have is ourselves and what makes us up as a whole person...and it is more than techniques.

mj
06-12-2005, 05:17 AM
I'm reminded of The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai "Sweep the leg!"

Morality is not mysticism.

tedehara
06-12-2005, 10:59 AM
...You are in a fairy-tale world.
But I have an idea for your next Aikido class.
When sensei begins to teach about ki, remind him/her to open with the phrase, "Once upon a time..."

Red BeelteAfter looking at your web site, I noticed there wasn't any aikido classes listed. Have you studied aikido and with who?

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 11:31 AM
[QUOTE][QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]

This pious attitude towards the holy fathers of the martial arts world does not justify your ad hominem fallacy. They may know ten times the technique, but if they are wrong at this point, then they are wrong .....

By the same token, if they are right, they are right.

..... Please read the topic of the thread again.



Red Beetle

I not only reread the topic, but reread your first post. Since I already replied to it, no need to do that again. But if you want to see it, here, for your convenience, is the link to my initial post:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=107570&postcount=36

aikigirl10
06-12-2005, 11:32 AM
Red beetle,
apparently you are just a beginner in aikido since you wont let anyone in this forum know your credentials. Typical of people who go about rambling nonsense of things they have no clue about. why dont u leave? Why do u have to come on here and start fights with everyone? As you can see you are out numbered by far so just go away. No one cares enough about you to want to talk to or about you.

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it"

Apparently you lack all three of these traits.

aikigirl10
06-12-2005, 11:35 AM
im done with this forum , just one ignorant person , making ridiculous attacks at everyone.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 11:35 AM
[QUOTE][QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]

Your remarks presuppose that people learn through their senses. I do not believe that people learn through their senses. I am not an empiricist.

It is no safe guide to rely upon one or more of your senses. They all can deceive you. It may look like I can pass his guard, but it turns out I cannot. It may feel like he doesn't have my arm in bad position, but it turned out that it was in even worse position than I thought. I didn't hear him tapping, but it turned out that he was, and I snapped his elbow regardless. Sensations cannot be trusted in wrestling ....

Fine. Then how do you tell which techniques to apply? If sensory input doesn't tell you what to do, then what does?


We are talking about improving the technique itself, not aiding the existing technique.

Well, then what are you talking about?

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 11:36 AM
im done with this forum , just one ignorant person , making ridiculous attacks at everyone.

Sorry you feel that way, but as you said, it's just one person messing things up. There's a whole bunch of other people who don't act like that. Hope you reconsider. :(

RebeccaM
06-12-2005, 11:57 AM
I've got an idea.

Stop feeding the troll!

Kevin Leavitt
06-12-2005, 01:40 PM
Yea I too am hesistant to feed a troll...but the activity has lead to some good conversation, even though the guy who started the thread has proven to actually no zip about aikido, even though he said he could teach it.

RebeccaM
06-12-2005, 01:56 PM
Hmm, yes. Well, to each their own but apparently he thinks anyone can learn a physical skill simply by watching and listening. I've never had much luck with that approach but like I said, to each their own.

Pankration90
06-12-2005, 03:24 PM
But if you train long enough and become an instructor, guess what you end up doing? Passing on what was passed to you; it doesn't matter in what.
If I reached a high level in aikido and started teaching, I Wouldn't teach my students that I was teaching them "love". I wouldn't force them to wear hakama. It would probably be a really informal class...

Yeah, you want to tell the BJJ people to stop doing that? They want to be on the cutting edge, shouldn't they stop weating gis? Esepcailly as the Gracies are Brazillian, not Japanese.
Most bjj'ers also do no-gi and quite of a bit of them do vale tudo training as well. The gi in bjj or judo and the kurtka in sambo seem more like a piece of equipment for those sports.

True; there are even multiple theories about whether it comes out through the fingers, back of the hand, or the palm. But how do you prove something ISN'T there?
If people could agree on what exactly 'ki' is, then disproving it (or proving it depending on the defition... as I said some people think it is just good technique) would be a lot easier.

Maybe. But if results are all that matters, then it doesn't matter, especially if ki visualization works.
You might actually get better results teaching people without using the term 'ki' because they might understand it faster.

Yeah, god forbid martial arts masters who have forgot more than you or I will ever know should know something.

What does the term 'master' mean to you? I've seen plenty of demonstrations where so-called 'masters' performed party tricks or demonstrated on compliant students. I've yet to see any of them in a fight.

The point is not that it changes the technique; the point is that martial arts are about MORE than just the techniques.
You're confusing your reason for training with the reason these martial arts were developed. You seem to be caught up in the mindset where martial arts aren't about hurting people, but self improvement. That mindset was an attempt to get rid of the bad image jujitsu etc. had during the early 19th century. People thought jujitsu was only for thugs, so Kano developed judo and claimed it was for self improvement. You see this trend again after WW2 with aikido.

I can tell you why...it has nothing to do with the technical skills you gain from the art. It has everything to do with the mental aspects of developing qualities you want in warriors.

For the Army at least, those things are Leadership, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service,Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage.
Well the Army isn't trying to teach people that the techniques they are learning to maim or kill their enemies are "love". From what I've heard and read, martial arts training in the military is more about developing aggression and confidence.

How does submission grappling, boxing, etc. (which the Marines do) develop leadership, duty, selfless service, etc?

Martial arts is much the same way. You don't study them for the technique you learn, but for the friendships you gain, the values the art emulates, the spirit it evokes so on ans so on.
Maybe that's why you train but many, many people don't.

...the very essence of KI.
If you know what the essence of ki is, you must also know what ki itself is. Care to explain your flawless defintion that everyone can agree on?

....those mental skills can be learned through training. They make you feel good and strong.
The mental attributes necessary for fighting (confidence etc.) are more easily achieved through hard training than through what you might find in a lot of aikido dojos. It's hard to be sure of yourself if you've never tested yourself...

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 03:35 PM
[QUOTE=Ignatius Teo]Monty, (may I call you Monty?)

You are absolutely right. You do not need the mysticism in aikido to learn or teach it

Thank you.


Mysticism is simply a tool for explaining things (and how O'Sensei explained his universe of meaning).

Here is where we would disagree.


Personally, I prefer the mysticism part and find it easier to understand than something expressed in the much clumsier English language.

I claim that mysticism is not understandable. It is better and more cogent to use the English language.


Very often, things get lost in "translation" and the transliteration does not always convey the "correct" meaning.

I deny this. It is because all language is propositional that it can be translated in the first place. If there is propositional meaning, then it can be translated. If something is lost in the translation, then you need a better translation.


Thanks.
Red Beetle

www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 03:45 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher][QUOTE=Monty Collier]

You can do that, but should you? Was your sensei the exception or the rule in not mentioning Judo's history (or at least in not giving you a handout that outlined it right away)?

The point of the this thread is that you can eliminate mysticism and advance Aikido. I am glad to see that you now agree. You are right when you bring up the topic of SHOULD we eliminate mysticism. I would say yes, but others might not.



They still wear gis and use a Japanese name.
As we talked about earlier, you can change the name and still have the content. Here, the Brazilians have kept the name 'Jiu-jitsu', but have altered much of the content and stratagems. This is interesting.



What's also obvious is he is not using the words "intellectual process" the way you do. What you refer to as the intellectual process of learning a technique he calls a "training program."

Then disregard my comments if they do not apply.

And since he's been doing Aikido for about 30 years -- that's what, longer than you've been alive -- I have a hunch he may be right about two or three things.

Maybe, but an appeal to numbers is a fallacy (ad populum). It is always better to be right because you are right, not because your 60 years old (or have been doing something 35 years, and so on).


Well, then, you needn't worry about me because he explains it verbally quite well.

Good for you.


Red Beetle

Kevin Leavitt
06-12-2005, 04:21 PM
Well the Army isn't trying to teach people that the techniques they are learning to maim or kill their enemies are "love". From what I've heard and read, martial arts training in the military is more about developing aggression and confidence.

How does submission grappling, boxing, etc. (which the Marines do) develop leadership, duty, selfless service, etc?


I don't believe I ever mentioned the word LOVE in my post. The thread has to do with mysticism. I am still a little confused, to be quite honest about what various people are defining as mysticism. I assume it is anything that is not related to combat effective technique. If you read my post as an entire, you will see my point is that there is much more to BUDO than technique, in fact, I believe technique to be the least important part of BUDO. again, never mentioned LOVE. Although LOVE, as defined as compassion is not necessarily a bad thing.

I also do more than "hear, or read" what the Army is doing with combatives...I teach it. We are not teaching this stuff to maim or to kill. It really has little to do with that. It has more to do with attitude, spirit, and confidence that you did mention.

developing Army Values: It would be a long disertation to define how it does this. Basically developing and encouraging the warrior spirit is the bottomline. Team work, commaraderie are a wonderful thing that causes many things to happen. Again, nothing to do with techniques.


Phillip I agree with you on your point that states "that is why YOU train". You are correct, I wrote a bad assumption there. It is why I train. I guess my argument is that those who train for just technique are missing out on alot. If you compete in the octagon, or NHB fighting, then I could certainly see training for simply technique. There is a big difference in "game" training and "combat" training.

Many romaticize about what they do is training for combat. Few really understand what it takes to make a competent warrior. It is more than empty hand, escrima sticks, knife fighitng, and marksmanship. You first must have a warrior that is mentally and physically prepared to fight. This is something I do know quite a bit about.

Ya got me on the KI part! No there is no way you can ever get anyone to agree on a definition on KI. My point was that you have a guy who comes on an aikido website, and starts a topic that basically proposes that stripping out all the "fluff" in aikido would make it more effective. You go to his website, and he is doing those things that he himself thinks is irrelevant. My point is that while he may not think he identifies with these things, he pictures say otherwise. Small point, yes, but it is the small things that make up aikido that he is arguing should be removed.

Phillip, I also agree with you that you must train hard. However there is a big difference between hard with the right focus, and hard with the wrong focus. I have trained very hard and serious in aikido. However, I don't propose that aikido is the art that would make you necessarily combat effective. Then again, I don't believe that anyone I have ever studied with has ever said that it would.

If you want to be combat effective (whatever that means, i really don't know!) then go train in something else other than aikido. As I have said in my other post in this thread, if you strip out that what makes aikido, aikido, you have something else entirely different other than aikido. Really what is the point???

I think Red Beatle looks like he has a pretty good school set up for what he wants to do. I have no reason to doubt that he is good or effective based on his writings. However, don't come to an aikido website and propose you know aikido and what would make it better if you don't know aikido and it's goals. Take away what you want from the art, and go away and do it on your own, but don't call it aikido cause it ain't.

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 04:35 PM
[QUOTE=Keith Kolb]This is fallacious reasoning: appeal to authority.

Sorry, I did not appeal to authority, but you did.


Just because other dojos neglect to teach their students about the legal consequences of using technique does not mean that it is proper or desirable to do so.

Your point was that law cannot be disregarded. I said it clearly can, and now you agree that it can. You need to retract your prior statement.

The actions of other people have no bearing on how a student learns technique.

Not sure how this affects the syllogism we were discussing, but if the partner you are using is not allowing you to learn, study, or practice the technique (so you can better perfect it), then it seems that your partner's actions have some bearing and may even be detrimental towards your learning. You might use this as an example as to why Aikido dojos need strict discipline, but not mysticism.

It is true that the legal consequences of using technique have no effect on the actual execution of a technique, but it has every effect on whether or not the technique even takes place.

Law cannot effect technique, but it can affect it. I think that is what you mean.
Law may be a dominate motivating factor when it comes to a technique being executed, but not always. Not everyone agrees it is wrong to hurt people.


Without legal, or at least moral, context, a technique can never be applied outside of the dojo.

Yes, but again, one person may think that it is morally right to hurt another (although he may be wrong). I agree that everyone thinks that it is the right and best thing to be done at the moment one executes the tactic. If you did not think it right, or the best action, then you would not act. The strongest motive dictates the will.


If the dojo does not provide a legal or moral context as to when a technique can be used, the student will be forced to either compose his or her own context, or never use the technique.

This is a true statement. Also, they of course walk into the dojo with a complete value system before they ever take the first class. For example, I think it is good to take Aikido.


Without context, the technique is useless.

Maybe it would be better to say that the technique cannot even exist.
Understand that I do not consider mysticism to be ethics.


Even in sport competitions, the student must know the rules. If a grappler enters a competition without knowing the rules, he or she my use a technique that is illegal and get disqualified, or he or she my fail to use an effective legal technique and be defeated.

Another true statement.


Knowledge of the rules of competition does not aid in the actual execution of technique, but without this knowledge there is no way to achieve the primary goal: victory.

This is a false statement. You can enter a competition and not know all the rules, or possibly any of them, and still win. Many kyu level Judoka enter their first tournaments without a complete understanding (some without hardly any) and do well.


Without knowledge of when and what is acceptable on the street, the martial artist will again fail to achieve the primary goal: survival.

Are you implying that there are a set of rules for street fighting?
Please list them.

Focus does not aid in proper execution of technique?

Sometimes. I have seen some who were goofing off, but executing perfectly. I have seen others in deep concentration, and mess up completely.
I am claiming that mysticism does not add to the construction of good technique, nor the perfecting of it.

What about confidence (which can also be improved through mysticism)?

What I just wrote applies to this as well.

Then you admit that mysticism can have some value?

Mysticism can be useful. It cannot be true. It cannot aid in the production and perfection of technique, or Aikido. Stories about the tooth-fairy can be useful, but they are not true, and they do not help our iriminage.


Let us take, for example, a hip throw. I can describe why it is necessary to have your hips lower than the person you are trying to throw with physics and with ki.

If by ki you mean mysticism, then I deny this.


Physics: Your hips form and axis of rotation about which you will rotate your opponent's body. His center of gravity is about the level of his hips, so if you place your axis of rotation below his center of gravity you need only start the initial rotation and then the tangential component of the gravitational force vector will aid the torque and facilitate the rotation with greater ease.

A good start. You will need to define your terms for your students.


Ki: By getting your Dan Jun (Korean word, I forgot the Japanese word for this) closer to the earth than his, you will draw greater ki from the earth and you will have the power to throw him with ease.

You will have to define your terms here too. Such as 'ki'. If the definition is 'mystical' it will be rejected. For example, I have done the hip toss many times, but have never drawn, absorbed, or attracted any thing from the 'earth' (whatever this means, maybe floor). What i did do was change levels, and roll the guy over my hip. My legs supported him, while pushing into the floor, but I drew nothing from the floor. Such 'drawing' would have to be demonstrated, not assumed.

Both explanations will allow the student to execute a successful hip throw.

I doubt it. I would like to see the student with trouble say, "Sensei, I am having trouble drawing ki from the earth." How would he know this in the first place? Maybe he is drawing the ki fine but his opponent is drawing it from him. Or maybe he is drawing it fine, but it is flowing out his butt in green vapor form.


However, ki explanation may be easier for some students to understand.

I really doubt this.

In fact, I could construct a whole system of rules for ki, which may mimic the laws of physics but be simpler to understand, that would allow students to understand the principles behind technique and successfully execute and formulate said technique.

Wouldn't it be easier just to define the terminology in physics?
But if not, here is a suggestion for the name of your book:
Learning Aikido from the little ki fairies.

This would be a great learning aid:

And funny too.


students would be able to understand technique without having to study the extensive and complicated field of physics.

They will be just as ignorant of physics when they finish your book as when they begun it. And they will owe it all to you.


Many successful martial artists say that their techniques are founded in physics, but very few of them have actually studied physics in depth enough to really have a good understanding of the physics behind much of what they do.

Some people reject the scientific method and empiricism. And they do an even better job teaching than others.

Explaining technique in terms of ki accomplishes this same goal and is just as valid as some of the physical explanations I've heard.

We will just have to wait for your book to come out before we can judge it. Here is an idea for the forward to your book:

Once I was doing Randori, and I could not project my Uke, but then the good ki fairy appeared and waved her mystical ki wand, and the next thing that happened was that fountains of ki burst from the earth up into my legs, through my belly, and behold Uke was thrown clear out the dojo back door and landed into the alley. My head glowed radiantly from all the ki my body absorbed. Then we all went to Denny's and got the breakfast bar.

Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Pankration90
06-12-2005, 04:36 PM
Good post, Kevin. I still disagree with some of it, but we've already been there.

Just a question though, does the military encourage team sports? IMO that would help achieve a lot of qualities that you talked about (leadership, teamwork, etc.).

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 04:56 PM
[QUOTE=Kevin Leavitt]Red Beetle,

Why do you think the Army and the Marine Corps are putting a big emphasis on Martial Arts training right now????

After "don't ask--don't tell" the armed services will try just about anything.


For the Army at least, those things are Leadership, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service,Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage.

This can all be taught without mysticism, and without Aikido. Our armed services have done so long before the 20th century.

If you read a few books on Aikido you will also find that many view the seven pleats in the hakama represent the seven values of aiki spirit.

Aikido numerology....it is just cute, but do we really need it to teach it?

You will find that the claps we do at the beginning of class serve as a reminder.

You can remind students without using the clapper.

In the military we have customs and courtesies...we salute, we call each other sir and sergeant. We do many things that make the system work.

But where is the Army mysticism?

You don't study them for the technique you learn, but for the friendships you gain, the values the art emulates, the spirit it evokes so on ans so on.

This mysticism you talk about is tied up in that.

And we can untie it and get rid of it.

Trust me, I have very little room for wasting my time. I find the way we practice aikido relevant to my profession. Not sure what you do for work, but I can vouch it works for me personally.

But how does mysticism improve Aikido. I claim that it doesn't. It can be disregarded.


There are much more to Martial Arts and Budo than technical skills to be gained.

I challenge this.

I find it ironic that there is a picture of you in a swariwaza pose "thinking bout judo and jujitsu".

It would be ironic if I was performing some mystical trance, but I was not.

Also one of you in seiza doing what looks like a "heaven and earth" and posture related to kokyu...the very essence of KI.

This was done on purpose. In order to show the contrast of what most think of when they consider a martial system, and what a martial system really is. The statements at the bottom of the picture are the main point.

What do these two pictures have to do with the technical skills of judo?

The pictures, it could be argued are wrestling postures, but I think the point is the statements that are made at the bottom. Read them again please.

You also have several pictures of you striking a pose with "attitude".

The "attitude" pose is an inside joke. But I suppose it could serve to encourage mental toughness.

The one where we challenge striking systems is no joke.
We accept challenge matches at our school.

Are they technical skills, no they are mental skills....those mental skills can be learned through training.

I would say that all skills are mental, or intellectual.

They make you feel good and strong.

Maybe, sometimes they make you feel otherwise. Feelings are subjective, but technique is objective.

That my friend is "mysticism" at it's best.

Sorry, but your wrong.


what we have is ourselves and what makes us up as a whole person...and it is more than techniques.

I would say that we are the sum of propositions that describe us.

Red Beetle

www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:00 PM
I'm reminded of The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai "Sweep the leg!"

Check out Marc Laimon's Cobra Kai Jiu-jitsu.
www.marclaimon.com
I have a purple belt under Marc Laimon at my school.
He is very very good.

Morality is not mysticism.

I agree with you.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:05 PM
After looking at your web site, I noticed there wasn't any aikido classes listed. Have you studied aikido and with who?

Yes I have studied, and for some time.
But we have already been through the "credential-background- search-in-order-to-determine-if-I-am-qualified-to-make-statements- about-Aikido" part of the thread. Regardless if Ueshiba himself was my teacher, and I studied for 150 years straight, please try to deal with the arguments being given on this thread. Thanks.

Red Beetle

www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:07 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]

By the same token, if they are right, they are right.

Appealing to a person's credentials is not dealing with an argument.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:12 PM
Red beetle,
apparently you are just a beginner in aikido since you wont let anyone in this forum know your credentials. Typical of people who go about rambling nonsense of things they have no clue about. why dont u leave? Why do u have to come on here and start fights with everyone? As you can see you are out numbered by far so just go away. No one cares enough about you to want to talk to or about you.

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it"

Apparently you lack all three of these traits.

Mysticism is irrational and can be disregarded for the improvement of Aikido.
Why don't you clue us in with all your wisdom and explain how something irrational can make sense.

Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:17 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher][QUOTE=Monty Collier
Fine. Then how do you tell which techniques to apply? If sensory input doesn't tell you what to do, then what does?
Please read the following for a full explanation of how people learn.

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=48

Well, then what are you talking about?
I am saying that you can disregard mysticism and spend more time improving and developing Aikido technique.

Red Beetle

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:21 PM
Hmm, yes. Well, to each their own but apparently he thinks anyone can learn a physical skill simply by watching and listening. I've never had much luck with that approach but like I said, to each their own.

Rebecca, I am the only one here who believes you cannot learn from your senses. You have to understand the propositional explanation of each technique before they can be applied.

I am advocating serious study over and against mystical trances and "spiritual energy".

Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 05:25 PM
If I reached a high level in aikido and started teaching, I Wouldn't teach my students that I was teaching them "love". I wouldn't force them to wear hakama. It would probably be a really informal class...


Most bjj'ers also do no-gi and quite of a bit of them do vale tudo training as well. The gi in bjj or judo and the kurtka in sambo seem more like a piece of equipment for those sports.


If people could agree on what exactly 'ki' is, then disproving it (or proving it depending on the defition... as I said some people think it is just good technique) would be a lot easier.


You might actually get better results teaching people without using the term 'ki' because they might understand it faster.


What does the term 'master' mean to you? I've seen plenty of demonstrations where so-called 'masters' performed party tricks or demonstrated on compliant students. I've yet to see any of them in a fight.


You're confusing your reason for training with the reason these martial arts were developed. You seem to be caught up in the mindset where martial arts aren't about hurting people, but self improvement. That mindset was an attempt to get rid of the bad image jujitsu etc. had during the early 19th century. People thought jujitsu was only for thugs, so Kano developed judo and claimed it was for self improvement. You see this trend again after WW2 with aikido.


Well the Army isn't trying to teach people that the techniques they are learning to maim or kill their enemies are "love". From what I've heard and read, martial arts training in the military is more about developing aggression and confidence.

How does submission grappling, boxing, etc. (which the Marines do) develop leadership, duty, selfless service, etc?


Maybe that's why you train but many, many people don't.


If you know what the essence of ki is, you must also know what ki itself is. Care to explain your flawless defintion that everyone can agree on?


The mental attributes necessary for fighting (confidence etc.) are more easily achieved through hard training than through what you might find in a lot of aikido dojos. It's hard to be sure of yourself if you've never tested yourself...

Good post Phillip

Red Beetle

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 07:17 PM
[QUOTE][QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]
Please read the following for a full explanation of how people learn.

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=48


I wasn't talking about how you learn; I was talking about how what you keep track of what your training partner is doing during sparring or randori. If you can not use your five senses to keep track of what he's up to and plan a counter, then what do you use? Especially since I've had the need to develop touch sensitivity for every range inside punching range for several years now. But even kickboxing, how do you respond to what he does if you don't go by what you see?


I am saying that you can disregard mysticism and spend more time improving and developing Aikido technique.

Red Beetle

No, you can't.

In Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, O Sensie's son and grandson write that "the concept of ki is central to Aikido, and the Founder [O Sensei] always emphaszied the importance of ki." (p. 16) Let's consider that statement and see where it takes us: If ki is, as you claim mystical, then mysticism is central to Aikido by design -- that's the way O Sensei wants it. Which means if you take the mysticism out, then yes, you can still teach the throws and joint locks, but you've torn out something central, so maybe you can not call it Aikido.

Which means Aikido without mysticism wouldn't be a step forward: Aikido without mysticism wouldn't be Aikido.

Of course you can -- and probably will -- argue that they are wrong. But that assumes that you and your friend at the trinity foundation haven't stretched the deifnition of "mysticism" to the point where it can cover damn near anything. But if you have, then maybe you're wrong.

Ketsan
06-12-2005, 07:29 PM
How you attain budo purely from learning bujitsu I don't know. Budo is love I can understand, how you attain that from repeatedly smashing an uke into a mat I don't understand.

Martial arts are for dealing with martial situations. Put simply, for decking someone who is trying to deck you. That's it.
Martial arts don't make you into a better person, you make you into a better person and the things you learn from martial arts can help.
Things like confidence, self knowledge, self discipline. Indeed these lessons learned in martial arts can lead you to make yourself full on evil. Confidence can easily become ego and arrogance can mask itself as self knowledge.

If you're in MA to become a better person, then you're spending a lot of time and money to achieve something that can be achieved simply by being mindful of what you do, what you say, what you think and by continually challenging yourself to improve.
When you can do that, in my opinion, you really are practicing Budo and that can be achieved without even knowing how to take a proper fighting stance or entering a dojo.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 07:36 PM
[QUOTE][QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]

The point of the this thread is that you can eliminate mysticism and advance Aikido. I am glad to see that you now agree .....

No, I don't; I explained why in my other post. (Yes, I did some reading this morning.)


..... you can change the name and still have the content ....

And they haven't changed the name -- it is still a Japanese name, and they still use a Japanese form of dress. If martial arts are supposed to be, as you seem to claim, just technique devoid of cultural references, they should not do that. Why don't you contact them and tell them that?


Maybe, but an appeal to numbers is a fallacy (ad populum). It is always better to be right because you are right, not because your 60 years old (or have been doing something 35 years, and so on).


One could just as easily disregard whatever time you've put in praciting grappling as an "appeal to number." Or how long the Gracies have done what they've done as an "appeal to numbers." But I don't think you'd go for that, would you?

Sesnei's background means and history means that he knows what he's talking about. What backs you up? Other than your friend's web site? Since you refuse to say how much, if any Aikido training you have had, I don't know where you're coming from. You could be a third degree black belt who's had a lot of time to think about it; you could have just had a beer with an Aikido sensei one night. I have no idea. But I am supposed to accept you are right and almost everyone involved in Aikido from O Sensei on is wrong because of a definition of mysticism that you and your friend have concocted? What if that's wrong? Then the house of cards comes crashing down.

Ketsan
06-12-2005, 07:39 PM
I wasn't talking about how you learn; I was talking about how what you keep track of what your training partner is doing during sparring or randori. If you can not use your five senses to keep track of what he's up to and plan a counter, then what do you use? Especially since I've had the need to develop touch sensitivity for every range inside punching range for several years now. But even kickboxing, how do you respond to what he does if you don't go by what you see?

No, you can't.


Haragei.

Ketsan
06-12-2005, 07:51 PM
Sesnei's background means and history means that he knows what he's talking about.

Some Sensei have never been in a fight and have been taught by Sensei who themselves have never been in a fight and neither had their Sensei. This doesn't stop them telling you how someone will respond to your throw. I've been lectured about the errors of kicking by Aikidoka that have no clue how to throw a kick themselves and to prove their point they demonstrate with an uke that doesn't know how to throw a kick, much less how they should be used properly in a fight. Now then against such people I would argue that my knowlege of kicking is superior to theirs but they are the Sensei so I nod and smile. That doesn't make them right.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 07:52 PM
If I reached a high level in aikido and started teaching, I Wouldn't teach my students that I was teaching them "love". I wouldn't force them to wear hakama. It would probably be a really informal class...


That's your prerogative. Although I haven't been involved in a martial arts class that didn't involve a uniform, even if it was a t-shirt with the school insignia and black sweat pants.


Most bjj'ers also do no-gi and quite of a bit of them do vale tudo training as well. The gi in bjj or judo and the kurtka in sambo seem more like a piece of equipment for those sports.


Following your reasoning, they should do ALL no-gi and never, ever, wear a gi at all. This "equipment" is still "outdated Japanese clothing" as you put it, and if martial arts are supposed to be technique devoid of cultural references, then you should tell them not to do that ever again.


If people could agree on what exactly 'ki' is, then disproving it (or proving it depending on the defition... as I said some people think it is just good technique) would be a lot easier.


Well, I just posted a quote that ki is "central to Aikido, and [O Sensei] always emphaszied the importance of ki." (Usehiba, Kisshomaru and Moriteru Usehsiba, Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, p.16). So if you take the ki out of Aikido, yeah, you could teach the joint locks and throws, but it's doubtful you could call it Aikido anymore.


You might actually get better results teaching people without using the term 'ki' because they might understand it faster.


Well, the Seidokan people talked about ki coming out of their fingertips, and they seemed to be doing all right.


What does the term 'master' mean to you? I've seen plenty of demonstrations where so-called 'masters' performed party tricks or demonstrated on compliant students. I've yet to see any of them in a fight.


Feel free to look up Sifu Dan Inosnato, Maha Guru Victor de Thouard, and/or Sifu Francis Fong, and challenge them. Let us know how it goes. Don't forget the bucket for your ride home.


You're confusing your reason for training with the reason these martial arts were developed. You seem to be caught up in the mindset where martial arts aren't about hurting people, but self improvement. That mindset was an attempt to get rid of the bad image jujitsu etc. had during the early 19th century. People thought jujitsu was only for thugs, so Kano developed judo and claimed it was for self improvement. You see this trend again after WW2 with aikido.


It started sooner than that, in Japan, with the idea of "the sword that gives life." Budo systems just shifted the focus there, but it had been there all along.

Oh, and in Kali, yes, we get into things that can hurt and/or kill people. No question. But Guro Andy has emphasized "we are here to improve ourselves," not become assassins.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 08:02 PM
Some Sensei have never been in a fight and have been taught by Sensei who themselves have never been in a fight and neither had their Sensei. This doesn't stop them telling you how someone will respond to your throw .....

Hey, I was beaten up (my "fight" experience) a few times growing up, one time attacked outside the school by someone I'd considered my friend; another time when I was 13, I was cutting through a gym on my way to class and this kid I'd never seen before kept attacking me as I tried to get across it. To this day I don't know who it was or why he did it. But I still listen to all my instructors, including my Aikido instructors. (And I never cut through that gym again.)


I've been lectured about the errors of kicking by Aikidoka that have no clue how to throw a kick themselves and to prove their point they demonstrate with an uke that doesn't know how to throw a kick, much less how they should be used properly in a fight ....

Depends on what the "errors" are.

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 08:03 PM
Haragei.

:confused: What? :confused:

maikerus
06-12-2005, 08:37 PM
I am advocating serious study over and against mystical trances and "spiritual energy".


Just to jump back into the fray for a moment...

When I first replied to your initial post...and then when I replied again...I asked where you had studied like this since it was different from my experience.

Since you don't want to talk about where you studied perhaps a few different question are in order...

1. Do you think that all Aikido dojos only study mysticism?
2. Do you think that there are any Aikido dojos that train without mysticism at the current time?
3. Do you think there are any circumstances where a discussion outside of pure technique would benefit someone studying Aikido? And what discussion(s) might those be (if any)?
4. What exactly is "serious study" and why doesn't it include the history of what you are studying?

Alright...back to watching and laughing...

cheers,

--Michael

-

Pankration90
06-12-2005, 08:43 PM
Following your reasoning, they should do ALL no-gi and never, ever, wear a gi at all. This "equipment" is still "outdated Japanese clothing" as you put it, and if martial arts are supposed to be technique devoid of cultural references, then you should tell them not to do that ever again.
If you look at the gi or kurtka as equipment used in a sport, then it's fine to have them. Is the hakama used for any purpose in aikido or aikido competitions? I've never seen an aikido technique that involved using a grip on the hakama. Of course the gi and kurtka are still a traditional element, and one that I feel isn't needed outside of training as a hobby or to compete in a sport. If someone claimed they were teaching judo or bjj for self defense then they should probably do so without the gi.

I never said that all aikidoka should get rid of the hakama, I just said it's not necessary and if I taught we wouldn't use it.

Well, I just posted a quote that ki is "central to Aikido, and [O Sensei] always emphaszied the importance of ki." (Usehiba, Kisshomaru and Moriteru Usehsiba, Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, p.16). So if you take the ki out of Aikido, yeah, you could teach the joint locks and throws, but it's doubtful you could call it Aikido anymore.
Explain it as correct posture, timing, and technique (as it's explained in Total Aikido) and the problem is solved. 'Ki' is still there, minus the mysticism that usually surrounds it.

Feel free to look up Sifu Dan Inosnato, Maha Guru Victor de Thouard, and/or Sifu Francis Fong, and challenge them. Let us know how it goes. Don't forget the bucket for your ride home.
Where did I say anything about fighting anyone? I was talking about aikido, not FMA by the way. I don't see how FMA/JKD guys have anything to do with aikido 'masters'. How many aikido 'masters' have you seen fight someone who wasn't an aikido student?

Oh, and in Kali, yes, we get into things that can hurt and/or kill people. No question. But Guro Andy has emphasized "we are here to improve ourselves," not become assassins.
Yes, learning the best ways to kill someone with a knife is a GREAT way to improve yourself... Do you honestly think that filipino martial arts were developed for self improvement?

CNYMike
06-12-2005, 10:58 PM
If you look at the gi or kurtka as equipment used in a sport, then it's fine to have them. Is the hakama used for any purpose in aikido or aikido competitions?.....

Legend has it it's worn to conceal the footwork. Kendo people also wear them; feel free to grill them.


Explain it as correct posture, timing, and technique (as it's explained in Total Aikido) and the problem is solved. 'Ki' is still there, minus the mysticism that usually surrounds it.


Ahem

I happen to have a copy of TOTAL AIKIDO right here, and you're right, on page 17, he does explain it the way you describe.

Then in the fourth paragraph it gets more "mystical."

So even the Yoshinkan people aren't totally free of that side of things. And it means there's more to ki than timing, etc.

Problem not solved.


Where did I say anything about fighting anyone? I was talking about aikido, not FMA by the way ....

Well, Guro Dan and Maha Guru Victor were the "masters" I was talking about, not Aikido masters. Their teachings as relayed through Guro/Pembantu Andrew Astle are what are influencing my views, not something from some hypothetical uber mystical Aikido sensei. That's how I'm approaching Aikido, and that's how I'm approaching this issue -- not from something from the Japanese, but something from FMA.


Yes, learning the best ways to kill someone with a knife is a GREAT way to improve yourself... Do you honestly think that filipino martial arts were developed for self improvement?

Nope. But do you think FMA training doesn't lead to self improvement?

Oh, and do you think FMA doesn't have a spiritual side? Do you think FMA people don't take respect very seriously? Or that FAM instructors aren't passionate in preserving part of their culture?

Guess what, the answer is "yes" on all counts.

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 11:03 PM
1. Do you think that all Aikido dojos only study mysticism?

No. Perhaps they study other things with their mysticism, or maybe they do not even study mysticism.

2. Do you think that there are any Aikido dojos that train without mysticism at the current time?

Possibly.


3. Do you think there are any circumstances where a discussion outside of pure technique would benefit someone studying Aikido? And what discussion(s) might those be (if any)?

Yes. A discussion that disparages irrational ism.


4. What exactly is "serious study" and why doesn't it include the history of what you are studying?

Serious study is the reduction of a multiplicity to a unity.
It is the search for unifying principals that produce a qualitative affect.

It can include the history of Aikido. Mysticism is a part of that history. Reform of Aikido necessitates that we correct past mistakes. I propose the elimination of one of the biggest mistakes....mysticism.


Red Beelte

Red Beetle
06-12-2005, 11:20 PM
A good example of mysticism in Aikido can be seen by going to the Spiritual category of the Forum and entering into the thread titled "Gaining Enlightenment."

Read some of the posts, and you will know what type of irrational mysticism has attached itself to modern Aikido. Mysticism is like a cancer that should be cut out of Aikido.

Red Beetle

RebeccaM
06-13-2005, 12:02 AM
Rebecca, I am the only one here who believes you cannot learn from your senses. You have to understand the propositional explanation of each technique before they can be applied.

I am advocating serious study over and against mystical trances and "spiritual energy".

Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com
I'm not sure where you watched an aikido class or tried an aikido class, but I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. I've been doing aikido for something like 13 years now. I've trained in three different dojos, one of which was a poor fit and the reason why I was more or less lmited to training during semester breaks while I was in college. I have never once been in a trance or trance-like state that didn't involve dehydration or low blood sugar, nor have I heard of anyone doing that. Every dojo I've trained in trained by repeating techniques over and over, with varying degrees of explanation. Some instructors walked us through step by step (you move your arm over here, you put your foot there, they will either fall down or dislocate something...); others would speak twice in the technique demo: once to call up their uke and once to name the technique (if you're lucky). No explanation of anything. This is fine, but my sensei here in CO makes very very small movements so sometimes it's aalmost impossible to tell what's going on by watching and since he's not explaining himself we just experiment. Others take a happy medium. There's lots of ways to teach, and the effectiveness of the method depends as much on the student as it does on the teacher.

The only formal discussions of ki I've witnessed were at seminars. For some reason senseis like to talk more at seminars. Otherwise, we just train, and discuss the more ethereal stuff after class. Sometimes, in some dojos, there's a moment of meditation at the end of class, but that's about two minutes after an hour and fifteen of falling and is mostly just to get your heart slowed down, your breathing back to normal, and any left-over adrenaline and frustration sorted out before you rejoin the rest of the world.

Martial arts have a philosophical component for a reason. With ability comes responsibility. The technical component teaches the ability; the philosophical part is to help you use your ability in a responsible fashion (ie, not beat the crap out of someone because you can or they insulted you).

I did not want to get sucked into this mess. I'm re-lurking now.

PS: reductionism has caveats, and those caveats have been known to give biochemists grey hairs.

PeterR
06-13-2005, 12:22 AM
It's a truism (Aikido and elsewhere) the most vocal about reform are those outside of the structure.

I wouldn't call my training in Aikido mystical at all. I have yet to meet this uber-mystical sensei.

Red Beetle
06-13-2005, 01:29 AM
[QUOTE=Rebecca Montange]I'm not sure where you watched an aikido class or tried an aikido class, but I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

I am talking about mysticism / irrationalism that is taught in more than a few Aikido dojos.


I have never once been in a trance or trance-like state that didn't involve dehydration or low blood sugar, nor have I heard of anyone doing that.

I have heard lectures about Aikido experts entering trances and being able to do all sorts of strange things. One of my teachers had a student to meditate for about ten minutes on a word that he spoke to him silently. At the end of that time he extinguished several red hot cigars on the man's hand and tongue. The man was not burned. He appealed to mysticism as the source of such power in the presence of a large audience. Later he explained to me that this was a popular trick to entice unsuspecting people to join up. When I asked him if this was dishonest, he replied, "Beetle, combat is about deception. If the people think you have supernatural powers, then they will fear what they do not understand. You will have a psychological edge on them if combat with them should ever become a possibility. Use the enemies superstition to their disadvantage." I will not name the master who told me this, nor his affiliation. He was also a master of Judo, and Kendo. He was not American and he commanded great respect from his colleagues. He used Mysticism to sell his product and to scare the locals, and many of his students. He only revealed these secrets (he called them tricks) to those he felt would one day work for him. I could list other examples he used in front of crowds to magically impress them. I hope this one example helps you to understand why I think such mysticism can be eliminated without hurting Aikido itself, but rather, improving the technique.



No explanation of anything

This is sad.


my sensei here in CO makes very very small movements so sometimes it's almost impossible to tell what's going on by watching and since he's not explaining himself we just experiment

Why not demand thorough explanation? Especially if you are paying him, then he is contracted to do so.


There's lots of ways to teach

The right way to teach is with simple clear systemic instruction.


, and the effectiveness of the method depends as much on the student as it does on the teacher.

Call me old school, but I would blame the teacher if the students did not understand what was going on.

The only formal discussions of ki I've witnessed were at seminars. For some reason senseis like to talk more at seminars.

Maybe they are hiding the goodies from the lay persons.

Sometimes, in some dojos, there's a moment of meditation at the end of class,

How would you, or does your sensei define 'meditation.'
If you go to my web-site, then you will see a newsletter which explains how I define meditation. I think it is the Jan., Feb., or March newsletter. I can't remember. Tell me if you agree with that definition.

Martial arts have a philosophical component for a reason
I think that our own philosophy governs our Martial technique. Martial arts is way smaller than philosophy as a whole. Martial arts, in my opinion is a form of coercion.

With ability comes responsibility.

I think that the amount of knowledge one has of right or wrong determines his/her level of responsibility. Knowledge makes you responsible. But, responsibility itself assumes that there is one greater that we must give a response to. One who will call us to give a response for what we have done. I don't think that the concept of responsibility is easily found to be consistent in Asian philosophy or religion. Forgive my digression.

The technical component teaches

see the knowledge?

(ie, not beat the crap out of someone because you can or they insulted you).

Why not beat them up?
Does Aikido teach an effective moral reason as to why we should not beat people up?

I did not want to get sucked into this mess.

Oh, its not that big of mess. Your smart and you have much to say. And I want to hear from you.
And guys, my remarks are nothing personal, I am reacting to what you guys are saying, not who you are. Everyone here seems to be full of character.


Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Red Beetle
06-13-2005, 01:34 AM
Peter wrote:
It's a truism (Aikido and elsewhere) the most vocal about reform are those outside of the structure.


Martin Luther would seem to be a counter-example.
He was well within the Roman Catholic Church State when he posted the 95 thesis on Wittenburg Castle-church doors on
October 31st 1517, Wittenburg, Germany. He was the most vocal in his time when it came to Reform. What followed was the Protestant Reformation, and the beginning of modern civilization.


Red Beetle

maikerus
06-13-2005, 02:19 AM
I am talking about mysticism / irrationalism that is taught in more than a few Aikido dojos.

<sigh>

This is the type of blanket statement that I am sorry to find. As I stated in a couple of my posts, I also don't think that "Mysticism" has a place in the dojo in the Aikido that I have grown to understand.

However...I really want to know how prevelant "mysticisim / irrationalism" is within Aikido.

If you say "...taught in more than a few Aikido dojos" does that mean 3 or 4 out of the thousands of Aikido dojos out there or does that mean a huge percentage.

I have never trained in a dojo where there is mysticism being spouted by the instructor. Of course, I have only visited a dozen or so dojos, been to a few seminars...and trained in 5 different ones for a long period of time.

Does this mean I've just been lucky with my choices? or does it mean that you have been misinformed or perhaps unlucky in your choices?

One wonders...

--Michael...desperately trying to get back to lurk mode...but blanket statements will probably almost always maybe get me out of hiding ;)

Red Beetle
06-13-2005, 02:31 AM
<sigh>

This is the type of blanket statement that I am sorry to find. As I stated in a couple of my posts, I also don't think that "Mysticism" has a place in the dojo in the Aikido that I have grown to understand.

However...I really want to know how prevelant "mysticisim / irrationalism" is within Aikido.

If you say "...taught in more than a few Aikido dojos" does that mean 3 or 4 out of the thousands of Aikido dojos out there or does that mean a huge percentage.

I have never trained in a dojo where there is mysticism being spouted by the instructor. Of course, I have only visited a dozen or so dojos, been to a few seminars...and trained in 5 different ones for a long period of time.

Does this mean I've just been lucky with my choices? or does it mean that you have been misinformed or perhaps unlucky in your choices?

One wonders...

--Michael...desperately trying to get back to lurk mode...but blanket statements will probably almost always maybe get me out of hiding ;)


I don't believe in luck, so maybe you have been blessed.

Red Beetle

Keith_k
06-13-2005, 02:58 AM
Mr. Collier,

When you started this thread, you commented specifically on the usefulness of breathing techniques, meditation, the relation of Aikido being “love,” morality, and pacifism. All of these are various aspects of the philosophy of Aikido as a whole.

In post number 95, you say that the topic is “Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward”

In post number 214 you say “I am claiming that mysticism does not add to the construction of good technique, nor the perfecting of it.”

I must admit your use of logic baffles me. How the topic changed from the philosophy of Aikido, to only the mysticism of Aikido, to only how mysticism affects the construction and perfection of technique eludes me. I find is suspicious that these narrowings of the topic occur conveniently at times where you can accuse another’s argument of being off topic, but what do I know. I simply cannot keep up with your masterful use of reason, and I must bow out.

Keith

mj
06-13-2005, 03:49 AM
Is there any point arguing?

Nothing will change from this topic except maybe he will just get angrier, through no-one's fault. He has no serious learning in aiki or aikido, he can't communicate properly on the subject.

We could have the brightest Aikido lights on the net come here and post but surely the real response has to be...

just train

Mr Beetle - just train. If Aikido annoys you then don't do it. Perhaps you should ask yourself honestly why you are posting here.
Please don't tell me that it is to further the cause of Aikido by turning it into something you would like.

You are claiming to know what goes on in Aikido but you post such things as Why not beat them up?
Does Aikido teach an effective moral reason as to why we should not beat people up?
Perhaps you should just enjoy your own training. :circle:

peace (hope that doesn't enrage you)

Robert Rumpf
06-13-2005, 06:45 AM
Red Beetle (http://www.costumecraze.com/RNGR03.html), it seems as though you want a Japanese martial art without the Japaneseness.

Good luck!

Kevin Leavitt
06-13-2005, 09:59 AM
Red Beetle: have heard lectures about Aikido experts entering trances and being able to do all sorts of strange things. One of my teachers had a student to meditate for about ten minutes on a word that he spoke to him silently. At the end of that time he extinguished several red hot cigars on the man's hand and tongue. The man was not burned. He appealed to mysticism as the source of such power in the presence of a large audience. Later he explained to me that this was a popular trick to entice unsuspecting people to join up. When I asked him if this was dishonest, he replied, "Beetle, combat is about deception. If the people think you have supernatural powers, then they will fear what they do not understand. You will have a psychological edge on them if combat with them should ever become a possibility. Use the enemies superstition to their disadvantage." I will not name the master who told me this, nor his affiliation. He was also a master of Judo, and Kendo. He was not American and he commanded great respect from his colleagues. He used Mysticism to sell his product and to scare the locals, and many of his students. He only revealed these secrets (he called them tricks) to those he felt would one day work for him. I could list other examples he used in front of crowds to magically impress them. I hope this one example helps you to understand why I think such mysticism can be eliminated without hurting Aikido itself, but rather, improving the technique.

I'd like a vote to find out how many on this site have experienced something even remotely like this in aikido. If this is your vision of aikido, then you are correct about what you are defining as "mysticism". What is this????

I'd say you have no experience in any hombo affiliated aikido if this is where you are drawing your experience from. As such, you have not to date demonstrated that you have any knowledge of aikido, nor are qualified to discuss the merits.

Several of us have stated our position that if you remove the "DO" aspects from aikido, you no longer have aikido, it is something else. As Mark Johnson pointed out as well several post up.

I'd highly recommend that you go train what you like to train and leave aikido to aikidoka.

I train in other things, and incorporate the lessons in them to develop me as a martial artist, but do not expect aikido to be anything other than it is. Yes it has things that do not fit my goals, and things that are lacking in it to meet my goals.

Can you not accept the fact that aikido is a DO art and not a SU art, therefore if you strip out the DO, you no longer have the "WAY" to peace and harmony. It is not about combat period.

You have your opinion and are entitled to it .

happysod
06-13-2005, 10:09 AM
find out how many on this site have experienced something even remotely like this in aikido

caveat - this was told to me by one of my previous instructors, but I have always found him a truthful man.

A very experienced sensei in the UK was selling special mountain water from Japan at one of his seminars. Unfortunately he'd ran out of Japanese water so continued to sell bottles of sort of special water in that he'd filled it from the tap himself. I'd call that using mysticism to sell something.

Does being kept sitting in seiza while special martial-arts calendars are sold count? I almost bought one just to be able to stand up...

Michael Neal
06-13-2005, 10:44 AM
I enjoy some of the aesthetic parts of Japanese cultue, I have a tendency to bring alot of Japanese elements into my home and garden decor. It is the simplicity of it that is appealing to me. A lack of clutter, simple aesthetic natural design, etc.

This translates over to why I like Judo, there is no spirituality preached or discussed in most Judo clubs but I find the whole experience spiritual. It is the quiet simplicity of it all. If someone would begin to discuss Ki or any other mystical elements I would immediatley loose those tranquil feelings.

That is where I am coming from I guess, it is the lack of discussion of spirituality and mysticism that makes it more spiritual to me. If you watch the Judo video I posted in the "Judo from another angle" thread, you can see what I am talking about. If all of the sudden the words 'Aikido is Love" was flashed on the screen the whole experience would be ruined for me.

Michael Neal
06-13-2005, 11:09 AM
While Kevin can argue that the mystical teachings involved in Aikido are not "dogma," I think I disagree. The word "Love" can be very dogmatic for example, depending upon what exactly is meant by the person saying it. The same can go for many other Aikido spiritual concepts that appear at first to be free of anything religious or political yet are used for exactly those purposes. Another example is the word "Peace," another common Aikido term that is in my view is abused by many Aikidoka.

While on the face it seems the concepts are innocent and free of dogma, yet there is often dogma attached to them. This is why it is better to remove these concepts all together from the practice of Aikido and leave it up to the individual to have their own spiritual experience free from this influence.

Kevin Leavitt
06-13-2005, 11:57 AM
are not love and peace universal concepts (values)? both Aikido and Judo share the same essential values.

from judoinfo.com about Kano:

When Kano called Judo "a way of human development understandable by people all over the world," he was attempting to formulate an idea he had of organizing an international Judo federation to spread interest in Judo. By 1912, the Shihan had made no less than nine trips abroad to create interest in the new Japanese sport.

and this:

In the last few years of his life Jigoro Kano concentrated on the educational and spiritual aspects of Judo until the systems reached a level of intellectual and moral education as well as an athletic activity and method of combat. Actually, he referred to Judo as a sport with the three aims of physical education, contest proficiency and mental training. Its ultimate object was "to perfect oneself and thus be of some use to the world around oneself."

How does this differ from the goals of O'Sensei.

Both arts are "DO"s. The way to perfecting the human, which is made up of mind, body, and spirit. Aparently Judo does a much better job of hiding it's "Dogma" than Aikido, which is something to be much more concerned with because you don't know it is "contaminating" you.

Good luck on keeping your spirituality separate from the rest of your life in a nice little box. I don't see how you guys do it!