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Pankration90
06-13-2005, 01:11 PM
Legend has it it's worn to conceal the footwork. Kendo people also wear them; feel free to grill them.

How likely are you to be wearing it when you get attacked? At least some of the stuff that requires a grip on a gi or kurtka can be applied on street clothes.

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.

Yes it does. However the first three paragraphs give you a definition that can easily be explained without mysticism.


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.
Now you're not making sense. This is "aikiweb.com". This thread is about aikido. We are discussing aikido. Yet you want to talk about FMA?

Nope. But do you think FMA training doesn't lead to self improvement?
It possibly can, but so can gardening or playing chess. Martial arts were not developed for 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?
Preserving culture and respecting people aren't things that I consider spirtiual. I respect plenty of people, does that mean I'm being spiritual? No. It means that they've simply earned my respect.

Michael Neal
06-13-2005, 01:13 PM
are not love and peace universal concepts

I am not sure they are, they mean completely different things to different people

I think it is quite a stretch to compare Judo's simple motto "Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort, Mutual Welfare and Benefit" to the religious and spiritual concepts talked about by Ueshiba, including but not limited to Kami gods, Ki, peace and love, etc.

Kano's concept was a general connection to well being while Ueshiba's was overtly religious, even if he did not expect people to follow his religion he preached it non the less.

jonreading
06-13-2005, 01:32 PM
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

If I see a guy in a room full of mats executing iriminage, what I would first do is what his technique. If he knows good aikido, his physical and spiritual competence will be apparent. I do not think his beliefs are of concern to me.

I believe there is a difference between personal belief and competence. What you are hearing from several other posters, including myself, is that usually good aikido is practiced by aikido people that at least understand Ueshiba's spiritual teachings, even if they maybe don't share his beliefs.

I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored, just as I think that physical comprehension of the techniques is important and should not be ignored.

Pankration90
06-13-2005, 01:36 PM
If anyone wants to see a good example of mysticism that all martial arts could do without, look no further than this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8210

Michael Neal
06-13-2005, 01:38 PM
What you are hearing from several other posters, including myself, is that usually good aikido is practiced by aikido people that at least understand Ueshiba's spiritual teachings, even if they maybe don't share his beliefs.

I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored

But this is exactly my problem, you should not be concerned at all with others people's spiritual beliefs when practicing Aikido.

Pankration90
06-13-2005, 01:41 PM
I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored
There is nothing spiritual about principles. You're confusing an understanding of principles with spiritualism.

Kevin Leavitt
06-13-2005, 01:58 PM
If anyone wants to see a good example of mysticism that all martial arts could do without, look no further than this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8210

and THIS represents aikido? maybe for some. You guys are taking an extreme and saying this represent all of aikido. Sure their are some that focus on this stuff. I certainly don't.

I don't really think that we are a polar as you might believe.

Michael, Ueshiba had certain religous and spiritual beliefs. As do you and I, and so did Kano. What the "DO" arts become, cannot help but be influenced by the founders background. It does not mean that there is no room for other beliefs, or that they become the central aspect of the art.

Last I checked, no one was required to sign a profession of loyality to the kami gods. I would admit that AIkido can be more overt in it's alignment to the spiritual aspects of the art than Judo. but the underlying philosophies are the same. Different paths to the same WAY.

The ONLY point I have been making is that there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect to Judo as well, it is simply MORE than a collection of techniques.

Why have the rules and such in judo. Why strip out many of the submissions etc? It is so you can have competition, and have harder training. Kano thought the WAY to personal improvement was through competitive and hard training. I know you have professed this.

Many of you have made it clear that aikido is not your cup of tea. That is fine. It is sort of the pot calling the kettle black to profess the strictly combat and technical orientation of judo though, because that art too has many of the same underpinnings.

Pankration90
06-13-2005, 02:05 PM
and THIS represents aikido? maybe for some. You guys are taking an extreme and saying this represent all of aikido. Sure their are some that focus on this stuff. I certainly don't.
I didn't say that thread represents all aikido. I said it was a good example of mysticism that all martial arts could do without.

Kevin Leavitt
06-13-2005, 02:12 PM
Sorry Phillip, you are correct, and I agree with you, at least for me. I have no problem with those that want to focus or explore this area, I however do not have any interest in this extreme.

Lorien Lowe
06-13-2005, 04:01 PM
I would have described the problem that was displayed in the referenced thread was 'Faith' or 'Belief' in something without empirical knowledge of it, rather than the presence of the word 'ki.' The problem is a lack of skepticism or critical thinking - but that's hardly specific to aikido and (as noted above) not even general to aikido. I would roll my eyes as much over a team prayer before a football game (not being xian).

Personally, however, I find the *concept* of 'ki' beneficial in improving my technique. Whether it has any actual reality, other than a metaphor for the cumulative vectors of force involved or for the body language/intent percieved in an opponent, I don't know.

I've heard similar metaphorical language from horseback riding instructors and crew coaches, though they didn't call it 'ki.'

-Lk
(apologies for jumping in towards the end, especially w/o having read the entirety of the preceeding argument. Reverting to 'lurk' for this thread).

Bronson
06-13-2005, 07:46 PM
Your remarks presuppose that people learn through their senses. I do not believe that people learn through their senses. I am not an empiricist.

Please explain. I'm having a hard time understanding how we can learn without using our senses.

Are you speaking of the sudden acquisition of knowledge like the old stories of technique being passed along by mountain goblins ;)

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.

I'm sorry but this sounds like you could plug "ki" in there and it would fit just fine with the rest of your list.

Bronson

jonreading
06-13-2005, 10:08 PM
What you are hearing from several other posters, including myself, is that usually good aikido is practiced by aikido people that at least understand Ueshiba's spiritual teachings, even if they maybe don't share his beliefs.

I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored...

But this is exactly my problem, you should not be concerned at all with others people's spiritual beliefs when practicing Aikido.

Michael: you quoted part of a sentence of mine out of context. The first paragraph of my post reads:

If I see a guy in a room full of mats executing iriminage, what I would first do is what his technique. If he knows good aikido, his physical and spiritual competence will be apparent. I do not think his beliefs are of concern to me.

Second, the last part of the partial sentence you quoted clearly was directed at comprehension. It is important to distinguish the difference between personal beliefs and academic education. I excluded "personal beliefs" in my concluding comments for a reason.

Philip: I do not understand your post. Every major religion in the world has spiritual principles. What do you think the Ten Commandments are? What do you think those pleats on your hakama represent?

I am not making any comments about spiritualism; I am making an academic argument that argues for a complete education of aikido.

I am a libral arts graduate, but in order to graduate from college I was required to learn sciences. Why? I haven't titrated an GD thing in almost 8 years. Couldn't tell you what the atomic weight of Potassium is either. But in order for me to obtain a complete education that satisfied the academic criteria set forth by my school, I took chemistry, earth sciencs, and physics. That's why it's a complete education.

Understanding the spiritual aspects of aikido, the analogies, the psuedo-experiences are important to training. Just as important as understanding the physical techniques, body movement and strength training.

RebeccaM
06-13-2005, 10:22 PM
My hakama pleats represent something?

Pankration90
06-13-2005, 10:24 PM
Philip: I do not understand your post. Every major religion in the world has spiritual principles. What do you think the Ten Commandments are? What do you think those pleats on your hakama represent?
What do religious principles have to do with principles that you would learn in a martial art? I'm talking about things like the centerline, enmeshing, etc. not "Thou Shalt Not..."

Principle, by definition, doesn't have to be related to religion or spirituality.

I am a libral arts graduate, but in order to graduate from college I was required to learn sciences. Why? I haven't titrated an GD thing in almost 8 years. Couldn't tell you what the atomic weight of Potassium is either. But in order for me to obtain a complete education that satisfied the academic criteria set forth by my school, I took chemistry, earth sciencs, and physics. That's why it's a complete education.

Understanding the spiritual aspects of aikido, the analogies, the psuedo-experiences are important to training. Just as important as understanding the physical techniques, body movement and strength training.
To get your degree, did you have to wear a special uniform, talk in a Japanese terms when English terms could easily be used, and talk about mysticism? Your analogy doesn't have anything to do with the topic.

Fred Little
06-13-2005, 10:40 PM
My hakama pleats represent something?

The pleats are just pleats. But Sino-Japanese cultures love lists. In this cases, the (five or seven, depending on how you're counting) pleats are also used as a mnemonic device for the (five or seven) virtues according to Kung Fu Tzu aka Confucius.

http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9406&L=iaido-l&P=21839

In a semi-literate society with a scarcity of paper, all kinds of everyday objects would be folded, knotted, gridded, etc, in patterns that were related to small catalogs of this kind.

Red Beetle
06-13-2005, 10:44 PM
The ONLY point I have been making is that there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect to Judo as well, it is simply MORE than a collection of techniques.\


Judo is not a religion. It is not a spiritual journey. It is not a philosophy of life.

Judo is jacketed wrestling.

If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)

Judo is not that important. Judo will never be that important. If a person came to my dojo, and had this view of Judo, then I would tell them that they were foolish.

I tell you the truth, I have known people to give up happiness for Judo and they have been miserable ever since.

But, what can we expect. When nuts like Ueshiba and Kano get so drunk on their own ego, and on that which they think they conjured up (which we all know neither one invented either system, but eclectically combined what they thought was important.)
we can expect a whole slew of fools to follow them mindlessly. Do I have a picture of Kano in my dojo so that students can bow to it. To hell with that. Kano was just a man. A man who liked to wrestle. I would easily give up Judo if some idiot told me I had to bow to a picture of a wrestler. I do not bow when I get on the mat, and I do not bow to my opponent. Bowing is a leftover from mystical days of paying homage, respect, and worship to the many deities that are supposed to be present on the mat and in each of us. I do not bow because I do not hold to such Asian religious views.

If you want to be a better person, then don't study Judo or Aikido.
If you want to be a better person, then study the Bible.

Bowing before you wrestle is like making the sign of the cross before you eat. I am not Catholic, so you are not going to see me do that either. Take your religious superstitions to the idiots who agree with them

If I want to know if it is wrong to beat someone up, then I don't ask some sensei who knows Aikido or Judo. I read the Bible and find out what it says concerning this subject.
Thats right, you don't have to practice shihonage a thousand times to discover it is wrong to hurt another person. You can read the Gospels and never have to break a sweat.

Note that many people practiced fighting systems in the Bible, but they did not learn their theology from their wrestling (Jacob wrestled in Genesis for a submission). They practiced sword fighting and spear fighting quite often, but they got their theology not from such practices, but from revelation. Warfare is just one tool. It has its small place in the larger world view of man. It is not that important.

Red Beetle

eyrie
06-13-2005, 11:28 PM
If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)

This has got to be the most idiotically childish, ethnocentrically arrogant and intellectually bankrupt comment I've heard so far from Mr Beetle. This is the very reason the Asians refuse to teach the "round-eye".... to whom he owes a debt of respect and gratitude for the rich cultural heritage.

Jun, can we have this troll banned....Please?

Pankration90
06-13-2005, 11:32 PM
Red Beetle, why do you hate Asia so much?

Ulises Garcia
06-14-2005, 12:33 AM
Even if one removes the mysticism, there is quite a lot of wisdom in the eastern cultures. I would never try to become asian, but I would certainly try to absorb the vast amounts of wisdom that pour from their teachings. And I think that, yes, it would make me a better person.

U.

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 12:51 AM
Red Beetle wrote:

If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)


I am at a loss. This individual is clearly intolerant of others, and I tend to agree Ignatius. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but this individual clearly represents everythng that I and my brethern in the military are fighitng against. Hate and intolerance have no place in the world, and certainly no place on Aikiweb.

Good discussion I thought until we had to go here. I vote for a ban as well if this is what we are going to be subjected to.

happysod
06-14-2005, 03:57 AM
Bowing before you wrestle is like making the sign of the cross before you eat. I am not Catholic, so you are not going to see me do that either. Take your religious superstitions to the idiots who agree with them Actually, I found this sentence the most ludicrous in Monty's post, rather than then rant on Kanos use of spirituality. As some may know, I am truly not a fan of most of the ritual used in many dojos, but a common theme I've seen in all nearly forms of fighting (even pub-do) with even a smidgen honour (for want of a better word) is a pre-fight ritual acknowledging the start of the fight. Whether it's the time honoured "are you looking at my pint" or the rather cute touching of gloves in mma, it seems to be ingrained in our make up and I'm sure Monty has some form of it in his dojo.

Where I'm beginning to become lost in this thread is that on the one hand there's a total discarding of anything remotely "mystical" in order to improve the martial art, while the examples used to show the misuse of mysticism are practitioners whose own capabilities are hard to overestimate.

Am I a fan of mysticism and ritual? No, but I also don't disregard it as I am a firm believer in correct attitude of mind. If someone can find that attitude through following what, to others, is esoteric dross, I don't care. Monty, I think you're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Keith_k
06-14-2005, 04:36 AM
Monty, I think you're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
In danger my foot. Monty has thrown out the "baby" long ago.

DGLinden
06-14-2005, 06:10 AM
You know, I wrote an entire book trying to explain Aikido principles without relying on Eastern dogma and still found it necessary to deal with 'ki' as a seperate chapter. However when I tried to explain it to a fellow whose handle was AIKI-JEDI@AOL.COM or something similar to that, I gave up trying. If you want to play samurai and pretend you're a Jedi Knight, God bless you.

I actually have dreams of a dozen of so Japanese walking out of a locker room. They are wearing chaps, ten-gallon hats, and vests along with their spurs and wooden six-guns. Their sensei tells them to line up and then shouts "Draw, Pardner!" They all jerk out their little wooden guns...

I shudder.

jss
06-14-2005, 07:06 AM
... in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced.

And how would one measure this greatness so as to compare them?
Or based on what criteria did you come to this opinion?

eyrie
06-14-2005, 07:16 AM
Hmmm.... I would think that *any* credibility he had had would have been thrown out with the baby by now....

mj
06-14-2005, 07:50 AM
Maybe we could fit Monty into a bathtub and throw him out too.

akiy
06-14-2005, 08:16 AM
This thread has seemingly degenerated into personal attacks. Unless this changes soon into a discussion of the topic rather than of its participants, I will be closing the thread. Thank you.

-- Jun

Matt Molloy
06-14-2005, 08:30 AM
Maybe we could fit Monty into a bathtub and throw him out too.

Secret technique of Shodokan?

Bathtubnage?

Is this with or without the Wet towel Atemi?

And the "Oops I just trod on the soap!" Ukemi.

Alright I'll stop..I just couldn't resist. :D

Cheers,

Matt.

mj
06-14-2005, 09:49 AM
Wet kune do.

Soapkido.

Aiki-o-wash-i

Shower-ate.

Ron Tisdale
06-14-2005, 10:17 AM
Personally, I'm not so sure Monty is the one being intolerant. I think we are. I've had similar discussions to this one on other boards...the earth didn't stop spinning as a result. I don't agree with Monty's opinion. I think stripping (what I consider to be) the heart out of budo to be somewhat short sighted and maybe even foolish...but each person has that choice. At least Monty isn't saying to strip away ethics period...he just wants to find his ethics else where.

I disagree for myself...and I wouldn't teach his method to my students (if I had any), but do I have a problem with him doing as he pleases?

Absolutely not. And my own beliefs are strong enough to stand the challenge of him posting here.

Leave the thread open Jun, and please...do not ban Monty.

Best,
Ron

CNYMike
06-14-2005, 11:02 AM
How likely are you to be wearing it when you get attacked? At least some of the stuff that requires a grip on a gi or kurtka can be applied on street clothes.


My street clothes are (a) still not the same as what I wear to practice, and (b) slightly tighter. So not quite the same thing.


Yes it does. However the first three paragraphs give you a definition that can easily be explained without mysticism.


However, if that is not the WHOLE definition, then you are still falling short.


Now you're not making sense. This is "aikiweb.com". This thread is about aikido. We are discussing aikido. Yet you want to talk about FMA?


No. The point I am trying to make is that my persepctive on Aikido has been shaped by my experiences OUTSIDE it. When I talk about preserving part of a culture, I got that from Kali and Serak, and my Kali instructor never said their were exceptions.

In fact, my experiences in Kali have shaped my posts since I joined Aikiweb. Bit late now to complain about it. :p


It possibly can, but so can gardening or playing chess. Martial arts were not developed for self improvement.


Neither were chess or gardening if it comes to it.

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 11:04 AM
The thing I am intolerant of is intolerance. Other than that, I am personally open for discussion regardless of how controversial it may be.

The only rules I have are:

1. No lies
2. Be able to back up your claims or arguments with facts.
3. Be respectful and tolerant of others.

I agree Ron, once things degenerate into personal attacks, or even ethno-centric, or religious ideological attacks, then things have crossed the line. Doesn't matter who it wrong.

That said, I would refuse to train with a partner in the dojo who was viscious and might be harmful, I also refuse to "train" with them here.

It is wrong to personally attack, or disparage another, but when their values clearly demonstrate that they no long are aligned with the group, would you not ask them to leave the "dojo"?

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 11:10 AM
A lot of history tends to demonstrate that martial arts were developed for personal improvement.

Shoalin temple traditions say it was developed to help monks be able to medidate longer and more effectively, the martial applications were an off shoot. Don't know how true or valid this might be. (Mike Sigman, seems to be the scholar in this area).

Kano, developed Judo explicitly for self improvement as a goal
Funakoshi developed Karatedo for self improvement as a goal
Uesheba developed Aikido....

The U.S. Army, we do more importantly for character and courage development, fighitng skills are argueably secondary.

Same with Marine Corps....

If you are into MA strictly for the fighting skills, I think there are much better ways to spend your time training. Especially stay away from the "DO" arts.

CNYMike
06-14-2005, 11:20 AM
.... Bowing is a leftover from mystical days of paying homage, respect, and worship to the many deities that are supposed to be present on the mat and in each of us. I do not bow because I do not hold to such Asian religious views.


Actually, the Japanese use bowing the way we use shaking hands. Not much spirutality attached to it, just the same idea, different gesture. So if you want to do it "the American way," just shake hands with your partner after you're done (if you don't do it already).

jonreading
06-14-2005, 11:33 AM
I am starting to lose focus... :confused:

You want to train in aikido but take out the spiritual component, the self-improvement component and the cultural component. Why are you practicing aikido?

happysod
06-14-2005, 11:48 AM
John, sorry, had to play devils advocate again...

You want to train in aikido but take out the spiritual component other threads/polls have touched on this, this is really too personal a thing to quantify and many, if not most, would feel uneasy actually teaching it explicitly.
the self-improvement component again, the self-improvement is down to the practitioner, not because of their practice so I don't rank this as a good reason for aikido
and the cultural component. the only area I used to agree with the cultural component was to have a "universal language" so practice amongst dojos was easy - sort of got blown away for me by the lack of consistent terminology used across styles (plus the difference between Geordie and Yorkshire accents). These days my dojonese is part habit mainly ease of use.
Why are you practicing aikido can I get back to you on this one in a few more years, I still haven't answered it to my own satisfaction. Sad thing is if I do I may stop...

mj
06-14-2005, 11:57 AM
Personally, I'm not so sure Monty is the one being intolerant. I think we are. ...

Intolerance:- Unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs.

Ron be fair now, is that what you are accusing 'us' of?

Ron Tisdale
06-14-2005, 01:35 PM
To some extent all of us are guilty...

Even in my own post I admitted that I might find Monty's approach...short sighted and foolish...I think were the words. :) So yeah, I'm saying we all are somewhat guilty, and including myself in that bunch. Mike Lee really got on my nerves with this topic about a year ago on aikido journal...made me do some good thinking though. And David Valadez had some interesting thoughts here that influenced the way I feel as well. Something about how does what someone else does or says affect MY aikido?

Fact: it doesn't.

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 02:00 PM
There is nothing wrong with being confronting or being direct. Sometimes I feel like we have this "aiki guilt" if we ever experience any kinda conflict.

I think what is important is to not be assumptive, antagonistic, and pre-emptive. Ask questions, try and understand, and draw out the true understanding, then irimi. I believe this is what has happened, figuritively. Once the uke commits his attack, well it is his attack, no need to feel bad about countering it.

Pankration90
06-14-2005, 02:16 PM
My street clothes are (a) still not the same as what I wear to practice, and (b) slightly tighter. So not quite the same thing.
If you're going to quote me, make sure you read the quote. I said, "At least some of the stuff that requires a grip on a gi or kurtka can be applied on street clothes." I didn't say everything used in bjj, judo, or sambo that requires a grip on clothing could be used on street clothes, which is my main argument against training in those uniforms for self defense. I said some of it could. The gi and kurtka are pieces of equipment used in a sport, and also have a small benefit for self defense (learning how to use your opponent's clothes to your advantage). Wearing a hakama has nothing to do with sport of self defense.

No. The point I am trying to make is that my persepctive on Aikido has been shaped by my experiences OUTSIDE it. When I talk about preserving part of a culture, I got that from Kali and Serak, and my Kali instructor never said their were exceptions.

In fact, my experiences in Kali have shaped my posts since I joined Aikiweb. Bit late now to complain about it.
Everyone's perspective has been shaped by their own experiences, but that has nothing to do with what I said. I made a comment about aikido masters, and you're response was about a bunch of JKD and FMA guys. Please try to stay on topic.

Neither were chess or gardening if it comes to it.
That was the point I was making. Those things weren't invented to make people a better person, but someone could still use those things for that end. It's the same with martial arts.

If you guys want to think that learning how to break arms, strangle people until they pass out, knock people out with strikes, throw people (most people don't know how to fall properly), stab them with knives, hit them with sticks, etc. is the only way to become a better person then there's nothing I can do for you. If Kano, Ueshiba, and all these other people were so concerned with self-improvement they would have come up with a religion or philosophy, not a way to injure people.

Shoalin temple traditions say it was developed to help monks be able to medidate longer and more effectively, the martial applications were an off shoot. Don't know how true or valid this might be. (Mike Sigman, seems to be the scholar in this area).
Even if that story is true (which I doubt), then it doesn't contradict what I'm saying. Shaolin martial arts supposedly came from a group of exercises so the monks could meditate longer. The exercises were for one thing, but the 'martial applications' are for fighting. Look at the name.

Kano, developed Judo explicitly for self improvement as a goal
Funakoshi developed Karatedo for self improvement as a goal
Uesheba developed Aikido....
Kano didn't develop anything. He repackaged jiu-jitsu into a more "friendly" version that didn't have a thuggish image attached to it.

Funakoshi didn't develop karate. He took Okinawan martial arts to the rest of Japan.

Ueshiba didn't develop anything either. He took aikijujitsu and other stuff he studied, combined it with his religious/spiritual beliefs, and started teaching.

One thing you're forgetting that judo and karate were a result of the Meiji Restoration, and that post-war aikido was another attempt to get away from the "war-like" mentality that JMA used to have.

If you are into MA strictly for the fighting skills, I think there are much better ways to spend your time training. Especially stay away from the "DO" arts.
I train for fun and competition. Spirituality and religion aren't necessary for my goals, or for the goals of people who train for self defense.

You want to train in aikido but take out the spiritual component, the self-improvement component and the cultural component. Why are you practicing aikido?
People have different reasons for training. Not all of them want to become 'Little Ueshibas'. Some people are perfectly happy with their own culture, tradition, and spiritual/religious beliefs.

Again, aikido has very little to do with Japanese culture. There is more to a culture than clothes, words, and fighting techniques. If I told you I could preserve American culture by wearing jeans, speaking English, and fighting would you believe me?

Ron Tisdale
06-14-2005, 02:30 PM
People have different reasons for training. Not all of them want to become 'Little Ueshibas'. Some people are perfectly happy with their own culture, tradition, and spiritual/religious beliefs.

Yep. And some of those same people also prefer to study a japanese martial art presented in something akin to its actual context. Without becoming 'little Ueshibas'. Sometimes that gets someone's knickers in a twist. :) Oh well...

Best,
RT

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 02:32 PM
[/QUOTE]I train for fun and competition. Spirituality and religion aren't necessary for my goals, or for the goals of people who train for self defense.[QUOTE]

Fun and Competition: So you get something out of it that makes you feel good or fulfilled? I actually train for these reasons too. Nothing wrong with that!

Spirituality: The physical fitness and exercise I get out of it, plus the team work, comraderie, etc, leads to me being a more well rounded and fulfilled person. That is, happy. Happiness is spirituality for many, or at least the endstate of it. I see it somewhat related to fun and competition. You cannot be spiritually fulfilled with a sick body, and a unhealthy mind. The old masters seemed to understand this, therefore, we have "THE WAYS".

I just bought a guitar, and I am learning to play it. I contend that it too can be somewhat spiritual and meditative. I don't apply the concept of religion to spirituality.

Religion: Has nothing to do with aikido for most. especially me. Don't think you meant to, but you sort of took me out of context.

Self Defense: What are you concerned about that you might need to defend yourself against? IMHO, there are much better ways to mitigate risk than the miniscule skills that you get out of a empty hand martial art such as aikido. Self defense is a very emotional paradigm.

I appreciate why you study aikido, just want to offer a different view, and maybe some further dissection.

I contend that at the most basic level, most of us, actually probably get the same things out of the art, just label it differently!

Good discussion!

Pankration90
06-14-2005, 03:13 PM
Spirituality: The physical fitness and exercise I get out of it, plus the team work, comraderie, etc, leads to me being a more well rounded and fulfilled person. That is, happy. Happiness is spirituality for many, or at least the endstate of it. I see it somewhat related to fun and competition. You cannot be spiritually fulfilled with a sick body, and a unhealthy mind. The old masters seemed to understand this, therefore, we have "THE WAYS".
We're looking at spirituality differently then. I don't think just feeling happy is spiritual. I think of spirituality as something intangible, something to do with the spirit (ie, religion or relating to religion).

Self Defense: What are you concerned about that you might need to defend yourself against?
I'm not worried about self defense. As I said I train for fun. I just brought up self defense because that is why many others train.


I appreciate why you study aikido, just want to offer a different view, and maybe some further dissection.
I've tried to make this clear before, but I don't train in aikido. I'm hear to read and learn about it, and discuss stuff that I think I know enough about to post my opinion.

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 04:41 PM
cool, I have a better understanding of your beliefs/philosphy now. Thanks for the discussion. Just want to point out...I believe there is a difference between feeling happy and happiness. Happiness has more to do with fullfillment, more so than an emotion.

Religion should lead to happiness, as it should allow you to be at peace with yourself and your maker/universe etc, however you define it.

That said, religion is not the only way or path, there are many.

I think formalized religion is connected to sprituality, but spirituality does not necessarily have to be connected to religion.

But we are getting off topic I believe some what.

Probably beat this to death, but aikido, as defined by the founder and the majority who study it is a way or path. That path as defined by the founder is to peace and happiness. you cannot have peace without happiness. Peace I believe is peace with yourself. You must first have that before you can have peace with the rest of the world.

Aikido is an allegory. A training methodology that serves as a physical manifestation of peace. While it is a martial art, it is a way.

Ki seems to be an important concept. As a concept it allows us to connect with ourselves and others. To establish the critical bond of interdependence that peace requires. Too many people focus on the meaning of KI and trying to define it. Labeling it "mystical" , "supernatural". IMHO, it is not important to define it, as much as it is to experience it and understand it.

One of the cautions of dealing with KI is that if you become fixated on it, you really are missing the importance of it as simple concept of understanding the relationship to you and the rest of the world. This is what is important. The old adage I hear over and over..."just shut up and train". That is much more important than debating/defining KI.

My wife is a yoga practictioner. We discuss/debate the pros/cons of yoga versus aikido. Yoga is a way to harmony and peace, yet it is not as interactive as aikido in its physical practice. I prefer the interactive physical aspects of aikido over that of yoga.

Going back and reading many of the post of Monty, as misaligned as I personally feel his values are, I think there is some things to be salvaged from his arguments.

Focusing on the mystical things as he defines them is not what is important, by training repetitively in the methodolgy of aikido we can begin to physically experience cooperation, harmony, and strength. The techniques we perform will simply put us on the path, just like walking does.

So, Phillip, as you point out..I believe, the primary thing is to train, and try to become a better aikidoka, or martial artist through the refinement of your technique and have fun doing so.

I think we could both agree, we'd be on the same path, even if we are looking at things slightly different. I could look off one side of the trail, you could look off the other. Regardless, we'd be heading up the same mountain.

While technique is what we do, it is not the endstate in a DO system. Maybe this is where we would differ???

Monty proposes that you strip out the DO aspects, just concentrate on hard, effective training. I believe this is where the whole argument starts. Not sure you can really do that. Arts of karatedo, aikido, and judo, are already stripped out of the things that made them SU arts. The founders of the systems created them as a derivative, maybe as for the political reasons you stated, but I submit that alone was not enough to make them viable and survive. People had to recieve some benefit from them. Politics was not the benefit, personal gain, or growth was the benefit.

The words "combat effective" are interesting. If the arts were really concerned with this, then they would have become something entirely different as guns and other methods of domination and control developed. We all have visions in our minds of "self defense" and "combat effective", those are very emotionally guided things, versus logically guided things. One of the biggest disillusionments that the DO arts create is the notion of combat effectiveness and self defense. Are there benefits to be gained in these areas? Of course, but based on the structure and methodology of DO arts, this is definitely NOT a primary focus by any means.

Sorry for the long post, lots of thoughts popped into my head!

CNYMike
06-14-2005, 11:54 PM
.... Wearing a hakama has nothing to do with sport of self defense.


Kendo people would be very interested to hear that.


Everyone's perspective has been shaped by their own experiences, but that has nothing to do with what I said. I made a comment about aikido masters, and you're response was about a bunch of JKD and FMA guys. Please try to stay on topic.


Actually, I went back through the thread, and we talked past each other: I made reference to how Guro Andy and his insturctors, Guro Dan Insoanto and Maha Guru Victor de Thouras make a point of the culturalr preservations side (which is where I got it). Monty came back with how "appealing" the the old men of the MA was a fallacy, and I came back with "God forbid MA masters have a point" or something like that. That's when you made your comment about Aikido masters, but you left the word "Aikido" out; I was still thinking about Guro Dan and Pak Vic. And that's when I said what I said. So it wasn't "suddenly."

BTW, I have yet to be to a seminar in anything where the demonstraiton is with anything other than a "compliant student." The exception might be a demonstration of sparring or light grappling for position, but even then, it's with someone out ot be a horse's backsdie and confound/hurt the instructor. So why it's a big deal that you don't see AIkido masters fight their ukes is beyond me.



If you guys want to think that learning how to break arms, strangle people until they pass out, knock people out with strikes, throw people (most people don't know how to fall properly), stab them with knives, hit them with sticks, etc. is the only way to become a better person then there's nothing I can do for you. If Kano, Ueshiba, and all these other people were so concerned with self-improvement they would have come up with a religion or philosophy, not a way to injure people.


They would probably say they did. :D


People have different reasons for training. Not all of them want to become 'Little Ueshibas'. Some people are perfectly happy with their own culture, tradition, and spiritual/religious beliefs.


I don't want to be a "little Ueshiba" either. And I train because I like it; that's why I came back to Aikido. But I also take seriously the cultural preservation side of Aikido, not because I'm unhappy with my own culture, or because I'm seriously into Japanese culture, because IMHO, that's a big part of what the MA are about. If the spiritual part of Aikido is an important part of it, then that is what I will learn and pass down. Not because I want to be a "little Ueshiba," but because I want to be respectful to him and the art he founded. Even if there are things I'm not crazy about -- and there are --- I'm not originating anything in any of my classes; instead, I am having something precious passed to me. And I don't think I could live with myself if, when the time came, I deliberately went out of my way not to pass it on to other people.


Again, aikido has very little to do with Japanese culture. There is more to a culture than clothes, words, and fighting techniques. If I told you I could preserve American culture by wearing jeans, speaking English, and fighting would you believe me?

I'd believe you would be preserving a part of it. Culture is so ubiquitous that you can not get away from it. Language and dress are a part of a culture. Fighting systems are interesting because you don't find that as a speciality in hunter/gatherer societies; it's only in agricultural societies that MA became a separate area of study, and so the culture they originated in got bound up in it. Even if it extends only to the style of uniform, terminology, it's there. Like it or not.

Pankration90
06-15-2005, 01:08 PM
Ki seems to be an important concept. As a concept it allows us to connect with ourselves and others. To establish the critical bond of interdependence that peace requires. Too many people focus on the meaning of KI and trying to define it. Labeling it "mystical" , "supernatural". IMHO, it is not important to define it, as much as it is to experience it and understand it.
Can you understand something without knowing what it is?

While technique is what we do, it is not the endstate in a DO system. Maybe this is where we would differ???
I think we're looking at the word "DO" differently. You seem to be looking at it as a literal 'way'. The way I see it, nearly all the techniques found in 'DO' styles came from older styles. These techniques have the same purpose they did when they were made, to injure or restrain someone. I don't see how a technique can be taken from a fighting style and then somehow have it's purposed changed to create peace.


Kendo people would be very interested to hear that.
Right, because we all know kendo is realistic self defense training.

BTW, I have yet to be to a seminar in anything where the demonstraiton is with anything other than a "compliant student." The exception might be a demonstration of sparring or light grappling for position, but even then, it's with someone out ot be a horse's backsdie and confound/hurt the instructor. So why it's a big deal that you don't see AIkido masters fight their ukes is beyond me.
Have you ever heard of senshido?

I wasn't talking about just seminars either. There are a lot of instructors out there who will willingly show you that they know how to use what they teach. They do this through competition, or even just sparring or rolling with the students. Now I've heard plenty of stories about how invincibles Ueshiba and other aikido 'masters' are, but I've never seen them fight. I've never seen them spar. I've never seen them do anything with a resisting opponent (and no, charging at your instructor with your arm sticking out with no concern for your own balance does not count as resisting).

I'd believe you would be preserving a part of it. Culture is so ubiquitous that you can not get away from it. Language and dress are a part of a culture. Fighting systems are interesting because you don't find that as a speciality in hunter/gatherer societies; it's only in agricultural societies that MA became a separate area of study, and so the culture they originated in got bound up in it. Even if it extends only to the style of uniform, terminology, it's there. Like it or not.
A part of it yes, but the entire culture? No. Aikido doesn't even contain the ideals of the majority of people in that culture at that time. It's just about Ueshiba.

Martial arts didn't get wrapped in culture. Boxing has very little culture around in. Wrestling has very little culture around it. Sambo has very little culture around it. Only recently have many martial arts become the way they are because some people can't see why they were originally made.

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2005, 02:47 PM
Phillip Wrote:
Can you understand something without knowing what it is?
You can have knowledge in several different ways. You can have experiential knowledge without having the mental knowledge or understanding. You don't have to understand the physics of thermodynamics in order to know that boiling water is hot, for example. Your body can simply learn from the physical aspects of the art.

and also:

I think we're looking at the word "DO" differently. You seem to be looking at it as a literal 'way'. The way I see it, nearly all the techniques found in 'DO' styles came from older styles. These techniques have the same purpose they did when they were made, to injure or restrain someone. I don't see how a technique can be taken from a fighting style and then somehow have it's purposed changed to create peace.

Correct, they did take the techniques from older styles. Why did they change an effective/lethal technique to something other than that?

Politics? possibly, but I contend that politics alone is not enough to sustain long term interest. The people studying the system would have to realize some benefit from the art. What possible benefit can you get out of a "watered" down/"gentrified" system?

Look at the mission statement or philosophical intent the founders very clearly wrote. Gichin Funakoshi was very clear about why he created Karate, as well as Kano, and Uesheba. How can you really argue with what their intent of creating the system was?? May not be why you study it, but it is the intent behind the art.

Phillip wrote:
I've never seen them spar. I've never seen them do anything with a resisting opponent

I have. Heres a little vignette. I was four weeks out of Ranger School and four years of studying a very tough hard core karate. My karate instructor sent me to Saotome Sensei's dojo in DC when I moved there with the Army. After doing the usual "hardcore" beginner thing...you know tryng to really understand the art, but growing impatient with all the senior students that I was convinced could not defend their way out of a paper bag. I baited a 3rd Dan who was well respected in the dojo to play my "what if" boxing, trapped in the corner, can't irimi scenario. (I am a pretty decent boxer, and was in decent shape fresh out of Ranger Training, 6 foot 1, 210 lbs). I pulled the short punches and "checked" him if he tried to irimi. He couldn't do anything with me.

About that time Saotome Sensei walks down the steps from the house into the dojo, so the 3rd Dan says, "lets ask sensei". After a few minutes of Sensei trying to define my "what if" he got in the corner against the wall and say "go ahead". I figured, hey this is a shihan, he should be able to hold his own so I did not hold back and proceed to come in with good jabs and body blows. It took about a split second for him to slip past me somehow and flatten my face against the wall. he is...what....about 4 11, maybe 140lbs??? he held me there while he explained to the 3rd Dan about the problems with paradigms and something about the wall being your friend and not the enemy. I was pretty humbled, and had a sore nose for a few days.

I am now careful when I ask for proof from shihans like Saotome sensei, and Ikeda sensei cause you might get what you ask for.

As far as the culture thing.

Culture may be important to some, that is fine with me. However, I think the training methodolgy is what is important. You can gain the same pschyological, mental, and spiritual benefits out of wrestling, BJJ, Sambo, and even Modern Army Combatives that you can from aikido. It really is what the individual connects with.

One thing I do think you have to be careful with in aikido is the false sense of culture or spirituality that you percieve you gain from the japanese culture that many dojos emulate. It is fine to wear a hakama, it is fine to have a kamiza, and bow and all that, but that ritual is a reminder, it does not make you better, more refined, or more spiritual than any other art like BJJ that simply goes on the mat and trains hard.

Lorien Lowe
06-15-2005, 02:49 PM
Can you understand something without knowing what it is?

You can have some understanding of something that you can't actually see by observing its effects indirectly; for example, scientists had some understanding of how atoms aggregated into molecules long before we had systems of actally picturing atoms or molecules.

Also, you can certianly use something without knowing what it is. We do it all the time in technological societies.

-LK

Pankration90
06-15-2005, 11:27 PM
You can have knowledge in several different ways. You can have experiential knowledge without having the mental knowledge or understanding. You don't have to understand the physics of thermodynamics in order to know that boiling water is hot, for example. Your body can simply learn from the physical aspects of the art.
I don't think that's quite the same as the topic of ki. I don't think you can know what 'ki' is without understanding it.

Politics? possibly, but I contend that politics alone is not enough to sustain long term interest. The people studying the system would have to realize some benefit from the art. What possible benefit can you get out of a "watered" down/"gentrified" system?
Long term interest isn't the hard part, hence the success of mcdojos.

Look at the mission statement or philosophical intent the founders very clearly wrote. Gichin Funakoshi was very clear about why he created Karate, as well as Kano, and Uesheba. How can you really argue with what their intent of creating the system was?? May not be why you study it, but it is the intent behind the art.
The reason Funakoshi, Ueshiba, and Kano founded their own styles doesn't change the fact that they still taught fighting techniques. If Ueshiba wanted to make spread peace, why fighting techniques? Why have training methods where there is a winner and a loser? If he wanted to create peace, he should have taught dancing. Everyone would recieve the same benefit and be peaceful. There would be no competition within the dojo. Fighting itself is a competition, so teaching fighting techniques is promoting competition.

About that time Saotome Sensei walks down the steps from the house into the dojo, so the 3rd Dan says, "lets ask sensei". After a few minutes of Sensei trying to define my "what if" he got in the corner against the wall and say "go ahead". I figured, hey this is a shihan, he should be able to hold his own so I did not hold back and proceed to come in with good jabs and body blows. It took about a split second for him to slip past me somehow and flatten my face against the wall. he is...what....about 4 11, maybe 140lbs??? he held me there while he explained to the 3rd Dan about the problems with paradigms and something about the wall being your friend and not the enemy. I was pretty humbled, and had a sore nose for a few days.
Fair enough, you have a reason to respect Saotome's ability. Many don't have a reason, yet they still treat these 'masters' like they are gods.

You can have some understanding of something that you can't actually see by observing its effects indirectly; for example, scientists had some understanding of how atoms aggregated into molecules long before we had systems of actally picturing atoms or molecules.

Also, you can certianly use something without knowing what it is. We do it all the time in technological societies.
Maybe I should have explained my question better.

How can someone talk about all of the benefits that they have gained from ki, talk about 'extending ki', teach their students how to use ki, etc. and then turn around and say they don't have a clue what it is? Many people from a wide range of arts talk about ki/chi as proper mechanics and technique, and many others within those same arts talk about mystical energy that you can use to knock people out or heal them...

I think someone said this in that thread I linked to (about extending ki), but nearly everything that people claim they have seen/experienced but don't understand is attributed to ki. That ranges from good, effective techniques all the way to supposed no-touch KO's. 'Ki' seems to be a one-size-fits-all term to explain everything in Asian arts.

Re: Using 'Ki' as a metaphor...

In Tony Cecchine's catch wrestling dvd's, Mr Cecchine often tells the viewer to imagine lines going in different directions to explain how you should apply pressure during certain pins. Some might say that is 'extending ki', I just think it's a good way to make sure your technique is right.

Sonja2012
06-16-2005, 01:38 AM
Why have training methods where there is a winner and a loser? If he wanted to create peace, he should have taught dancing.

Using a "fighting technique" is exactly the way to teach people that there in fact is not a winner and a loser. It is not about winning or about defeating. That is the whole point of aikido - to understand that there is no fight and therefore no winner or loser. IMHO.

Oh, and Kevin, as usual, I enjoyed reading your post :)

CNYMike
06-16-2005, 01:46 AM
Right, because we all know kendo is realistic self defense training.


Your exact words were, "Wearing a hakama has nothing to do with sport of self defense." Admittedly, I thought the "of" was an "or." But you still said, "sport," and Kendo is a sport and they wear hakimas.


Have you ever heard of senshido?

No.

.....Now I've heard plenty of stories about how invincibles Ueshiba and other aikido 'masters' are, but I've never seen them fight. I've never seen them spar. I've never seen them do anything with a resisting opponent .....

Well, DUH, most branches of Aikido don't do freestyle sparring. That goes all the way to O Sensie. You might as well complain about the music Thai Boxers play.



A part of it yes, but the entire culture? .....

I never said it was the whole thing -- just part of it refracted through O Sensei's ideas. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.


Martial arts didn't get wrapped in culture. Boxing has very little culture around in. Wrestling has very little culture around it ....

Language, dress, rules, sportsmanship. You're right -- nothing of western culture inolved, just two guys wailing on each other. Yeah, right!

Pankration90
06-16-2005, 02:13 AM
Using a "fighting technique" is exactly the way to teach people that there in fact is not a winner and a loser. It is not about winning or about defeating. That is the whole point of aikido - to understand that there is no fight and therefore no winner or loser. IMHO.

It seems to me like the guy who doesn't flop on the ground or have his arm twisted gets the better end of the deal.

Your exact words were, "Wearing a hakama has nothing to do with sport of self defense." Admittedly, I thought the "of" was an "or." But you still said, "sport," and Kendo is a sport and they wear hakimas.
My mistake, that was supposed to be an "or". I guess you're right about that, but how does kendo justify the fact that aikidoka wear hakama?

Language, dress, rules, sportsmanship. You're right -- nothing of western culture inolved, just two guys wailing on each other. Yeah, right!
I don't think simply speaking my native language is an attempt to preserve American culture. Rules don't have much to do with culture either, and sportsmanship varies from person to person. If anything, those arts are surrounded by modern culture, not culture from 50 or more years ago. They aren't preserving a culture, they are simply existing during it.

PeterR
06-16-2005, 02:22 AM
how does kendo justify the fact that aikidoka wear hakama?
My guess is they don't - why should they. :D

Kevin Leavitt
06-16-2005, 06:26 AM
Phillip Wrote:

Long term interest isn't the hard part, hence the success of mcdojos.

Good point, you have to be careful about what your are studying and why. Certainly it is possible to fill someone with "warm and fuzzies" and send them home feelling good about themselves and positive about the world, and with very little actual tools or experience without the abiity to solve problems or sustain themselve. There are lots of rah, rah seminars of the "you CAN do it" type that people spend millions on. Sort of like diet and exercise trends. Not for me, but...okay.

I like to think that the founders of the martial systems of karatedo, aikido, and judo, have proven themselves long term and were not "trendy McDojos". I don't think they ever professed to be able to make you a black belt in 10 days. The term "Cavet Emptor" comes to mind. Everyone is responsible for themselves, there actions, and there training. If they recieve benefit out of a McDojo, did it accomplish there goal??? I think yes.

One thing I like about martial arts is it is concrete and quantifiable, either your good or your not. It takes me about 2 minutes of working with someone to tell if they earned their rank or have the experience they profess. (refer back to my vignette on Saotome sensei.).

The point is, that everyone is responsible for their own path. The founders of the arts had a concept in mind and adopted things that they felt lead people down a path that would make them better people.

As far as fighting and competition. We discuss that alot on aikiweb it seems. I think it has to do with Yin and Yang. You have to understand both sides of it in order to acheive the balance between the two. Most eastern philosophy stresses balance, moderation, and harmony/peace. In order to resolve violence, you have to understand it. Aikido is a wonderful allegory for that. You take a violent attack and you control it, redirect it, and resolve it with as little violence as possible. It demostrates in the most extreme physical and emotional states, you still have options available if you want to take time to understand. I think our world leaders could learn alot from this allegory, but that is politics and I don't like to discuss them!

Other arts such as judo seem to embrace competition. Sure their is a winner and a loser, but not really. I love doing BJJ tournaments. Wow, what a brotherhood. I never leave the mat without a hug, smile, or a pat on the back. There is a mutual respect and a bond between "competitors". So I too think that competition can serve a purpose towards peace framed the right way. Why do you think we have the Olympics? Promoting peace is a huge part of it.

About understanding KI. Okay, I respect you say "no you must explicity know what KI is in order to use it." I so "no you do not". No need to argue further on this point.

I kinda follow the philosophy of Yoda, "do, not think". I certainly enjoy discussing KI, while I agree no one can probably really empirically define it, or no two people will ever agree, it is wonderful to talk about and explore the possibilities. Sure, plenty of people can talk about it, a good example of "talk not do" seems to be the issue with Mr. Tennenhouse from what I have been reading. What diffference does it make if you cannot do "it".

One of my old Aikido Sensei's would agree with you on "I just think it is a good way to pin." I have no problem with that.

My old karate instructor used to talk about the concepts of GI and RI. I always get them confused, but one had to do with technical knowledge, being able to walk and talk through the mechanics, the other does with inate, or instinctual understanding. while instinctual understanding is vital to being a good martial artist. It helps to have the technical understanding (explicit) knowledge to get there some times. That is why I think KI discussions are good, regardless of the outcome of proving/disproving. I always learn something new!

Sonja, thanks for the nice comment!

CNYMike
06-16-2005, 11:06 AM
My mistake, that was supposed to be an "or". I guess you're right about that, but how does kendo justify the fact that aikidoka wear hakama?


You didn't specify "aikidoka" either, and I assumed the field was wide open. :D


I don't think simply speaking my native language is an attempt to preserve American culture .....

You're doing it anyway.


Rules don't have much to do with culture either, and sportsmanship varies from person to person. If anything, those arts are surrounded by modern culture, not culture from 50 or more years ago. They aren't preserving a culture, they are simply existing during it.


That's not too far off from what I said -- you don't notice the cultural side of Boxing or Wrestling because it's our culture; we're not removed from it in time (50/100 years ago) or space (another country). Could it be we finally agree on something? :D

That said, I am perfectly happy with agreeing to disagree and letting this thread -- or at least my particpation in it -- die. I've expressed my views and where I got them as thuroughly as I could more than once. You don't want to agree with me, fine. You want to think I'm a "nut" for not understanding that martial arts are all about fighting and this cultural stuff is for the birds, also fine. I don't care. We're not going to change each other's minds here, so why not let the thing drop?

jonreading
06-16-2005, 11:51 AM
Ian,

Glad you posted. I was hoping someone would answer the question truthfully. As I read the thread, my confusion increased because I was having trouble processing the reasoning behind posted comments. I have trouble understanding why anything should be excluded from general aikido training. Rather, I have the opinion that the people practicing should have the option to exclude the components of training that they choose, not the instructor. I personally believe there is benefit to spiritual understanding, but who am I to force it upon my students? Conversely, who am I to exclude any aspects of training from my general curriculum?

As I am bowing out of this conversation, I can honestly say that the only experiences I have ever had resulting from aikido falling too strongly on promoting "mysticism" or spirituality has been the fault of the instructor, because they were poor instructors. My intent was to demonstrate moderation and education as response to the initial threat question.

Thanks!

Pankration90
06-16-2005, 02:29 PM
I like to think that the founders of the martial systems of karatedo, aikido, and judo, have proven themselves long term and were not "trendy McDojos". I don't think they ever professed to be able to make you a black belt in 10 days. The term "Cavet Emptor" comes to mind. Everyone is responsible for themselves, there actions, and there training. If they recieve benefit out of a McDojo, did it accomplish there goal??? I think yes.
I wasn't suggesting that Kano, Ueshiba, or Funakoshi started mcdojos. I just meant that there will always be people who are interested in something.

Could it be we finally agree on something?
Yep, I just think that other martial arts could be taken out of their culture, put into ours, and we would still have the same results.

That said, I am perfectly happy with agreeing to disagree and letting this thread -- or at least my particpation in it -- die. I've expressed my views and where I got them as thuroughly as I could more than once. You don't want to agree with me, fine. You want to think I'm a "nut" for not understanding that martial arts are all about fighting and this cultural stuff is for the birds, also fine. I don't care. We're not going to change each other's minds here, so why not let the thing drop?
I don't think you're a "nut" at all, we just train for different reasons. Thanks for the discussion.

CNYMike
06-16-2005, 09:21 PM
Yep, I just think that other martial arts could be taken out of their culture, put into ours, and we would still have the same results.


But what is "our" culture? Beyond "predominanatly white and English speaking," it's all over the map. Unlike plenty of other places around the world, the US doesn't have it's roots in one ehtnic group but has been built by many. That's how an Italian-American Roman Catholic could send out for Chinese food and date a polish-American girl (as an example) and not think twice about it. Would any of that have been possible in Italy 200 years ago? So with our culture being a melting pot anyway, MA could be left in "their culture" and work quite well.


I don't think you're a "nut" at all, we just train for different reasons. Thanks for the discussion.

You're welcome.

Shannon Frye
09-21-2005, 10:28 PM
I gotta say, I love that part about the amish! It's enough to drive a perspective student away to keep hearing how this art will teach you to avoid fighting. Anger management classes and conflict resolution courses will do that, without all that falling down stuff.

mriehle
07-05-2006, 09:42 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.


I believe it's possible you've bought into the idea that "ki" is mystical without intending to.

IME, "ki" is a very real phenomenon that can look very mystical, but is grounded in some very non-mystical roots. It isn't as simple as energy transfer and alignment, but those are important parts of it. There is, IMO, also timing and a bit of (for lack of a better word, 'cause this one doesn't really cut it) "psychology".

Ki is like a lot of human experience. The word exists to describe a phenomenon that isn't that tough to understand, but as soon as you try to explain it you get bogged down in details.

I tell my students that if you understand the explanation you don't need it. The "mystical visualizations" are just tricks to get your mind and body to do the right thing. Often, your subconscious mind is happy to do the right thing, but your conscious mind gets in the way.

This being said, it's also been my experience that the wrong attitude when doing Aikido pretty much precludes letting your mind and body get it right. My current teacher had a student that said, "Aikido with the wrong attitude is nothing but bad jiujitsu."

I think he had a point.

dps
07-05-2006, 10:02 PM
The word exists to describe a phenomenon that isn't that tough to understand, but as soon as you try to explain it you get bogged down in details..
Or the word is a general term for many phenomenon.
Remember the "ether".


The "mystical visualizations" are just tricks to get your mind and body to do the right thing. Often, your subconscious mind is happy to do the right thing, but your conscious mind gets in the way.
Amen and Hallelujah. :)

DonMagee
07-05-2006, 11:10 PM
I read a good majority of this thread because I can't seem to get to sleep tonight. I wanted to pose some questions and make some statements.

Is culture not meant to evolve? Should the teachings, training methods, philosophy, etc remain static? Will This allow the art to stay relevant forever?

Is forcing someone to learn another language just to learn a martial art all about preserving heritage, or is it that the teachers know students expect to learn funky words? Seriously, how many of you would of been disappointed if you weren't told a few Japanese words when you started training? It adds mystery and excitement to the training.

I for one choose to not use the Japanese, Brazilian, or Korean words related to my training. I do this for two reasons, for one, in bjj there are at least a half a dozen names for every technique. Second, I hate explaining what I mean to people I talk to, third, I really have no desire to learn parts of a language usually used and pronounced incorrectly. I already speak a few languages, I don't care to learn anymore. Thus I will say armbar, hip toss, shoulder throw, rolling shoulder lock, etc. The only time I will use Japanese words is when I feel someone will only understand me if I use those terms. I believe that martial arts were meant to evolve. They were meant to change. Now that I think about it, this is the Brazilian philosophy behind bjj. They intend for you to build your own bjj. They want you to learn, and change the way you use bjj to be the most effective it can be. In fact, the whole reason bjj really evolved is because the standup judo/jujitsu (depending on who you ask) did not work for the Gracie's and they were willing to break from tradition and make their own. Its still changing, now we have a focus on no-gi competition, a focus on less playing from the back (because mma has evolved to a level where you can't hang out like Royce anymore). Its constantly changing and evolving. Some changes are major, some are minor. I don't think loosing Japanese words is a major change that will impact anything. In fact, I've never actually heard a good reason why to keep the words. I don't think knowing how to say words you may or may not understand really helps preserve a culture. There is a philosophy behind every martial art. I have never heard of that philosophy being teach Japanese to people. I think the most important parts to preserve are the philosophy and techniques. But I also feel that these will and should be allowed to change with time.

Upyu
07-06-2006, 02:58 AM
I believe it's possible you've bought into the idea that "ki" is mystical without intending to.

IME, "ki" is a very real phenomenon that can look very mystical, but is grounded in some very non-mystical roots. It isn't as simple as energy transfer and alignment, but those are important parts of it. There is, IMO, also timing and a bit of (for lack of a better word, 'cause this one doesn't really cut it) "psychology".

Ki is like a lot of human experience. The word exists to describe a phenomenon that isn't that tough to understand, but as soon as you try to explain it you get bogged down in details.

I tell my students that if you understand the explanation you don't need it. The "mystical visualizations" are just tricks to get your mind and body to do the right thing. Often, your subconscious mind is happy to do the right thing, but your conscious mind gets in the way.

This being said, it's also been my experience that the wrong attitude when doing Aikido pretty much precludes letting your mind and body get it right. My current teacher had a student that said, "Aikido with the wrong attitude is nothing but bad jiujitsu."

I think he had a point.

Mata ka yo?? www

Go look at the "Jo trick" thread. It's been done to death there.

early rub up
07-06-2006, 03:00 AM
Monty Collier you talk as if you are the leading authority on aikido and what you say is gospel according to monty and every one else is wrong but in truth old boy this is just your oppinion, just because you like many others havent been able to have your own personal experience of such matters dosnt for one single second mean that your right.
you are entitled to your oppinion but remember thats all it is

Guilty Spark
07-06-2006, 09:37 AM
My two Canadian cents- Some people enjoy the pure physical aspect of aikido. "ki" is nothing more than kinetic energy transfered from one moving body to another. On the other side of the fence you have people wrapped up in the mysticism of the art or even aikido/O'sensei as a religion. Some of these people may not even practice physical aikido.

Then there are the people in the middle who mix physical with spiritual (I'd use comment from another thread about the possibility of being spiritual without being religious). As much as I love the physical aspect of Aikido I feel I'm learning and using the spiritual side of it 10 times more. FAR less stressed. Don't get angry. Don't do things to piss off or criticize people.

I find it interesting how people can scoff at spiritual debates or arguments yet are perfectly fine with swallowing what religion teaches. I find the word mysticism has a lot of negative connections to it. I know when I hear the word I think of some weirdo preaching something far out and weird, like one of the political parties up here wanting to make a bubble of good feelings to protect against missiles and yoga flying....
It's easy to laugh at or dismiss something you're physical mind doesn't think is possible.

I think the whole mysticism/spirituality thing in aikido a matter of becoming more aware.

More aware about you're surroundings-
You get a feeling that an area is a shady part of town. Someone is watching you but you can't see them. Maybe it's going to storm or something heh

More aware about people-
how you can tell (feel) someone is trouble when you meet them, you can tell when their upset or something is bugging them. How often have you picked up the phone to call someone and they are calling you at that exact second? I bet a lot more than times you've picked up the phone to call someone and a different person is calling you.

More aware about yourself-how you react (and can control) your emotions when someone bad happens. When you're faced with stress. Catching yourself in a bad mood and making yourself cheer up. How your body reacts and moves when physically touched (IE through physical aikido).

Here's an example of a big personal experience for me (which puts me on a pedestal to be mocked or disbelieved ),a bit off topic but it helps to explain my point of view of gut feelings/being aware.

I was giving a friend a ride to drop money off at her parents. I was taking back roads and when I turned down one road it was like I felt her get upset without a word being said. Asked what was wrong and she said nothing, she seemed a little nervous but nothing bad.
As we drove by an old farmhouse I got a huge sinking feeling in my stomach and the house just seemed dark (for lack of a better word) to me. I turned to her and said wow thats ***ked up, I just got the weirdest feeling, there's something wrong with that house and she immediately broke into tears. Once we were a ways away from the house she broke down and started to tell me about how she used to live on that road and she was molested as a kid at that house when dropped off there to be babysat. She never even asked how I knew or seemed to care, she just seemed relieved to vent and get it off her chest.

I'm sure her body language played a huge role but I know I defiantly had some kind of feeling. First from her then the house, I can't explain the feeling I just know it was there. Like when you get a gut feeling from whatever, I know it happens to everyone. I think most people just ignore it.

I think we often get gut feelings on things but our logical mind works against it and tries to dismiss unexplained feelings.
I feel aikido (among other things of course) helps us become more aware of ourselves surroundings and other people though a path other than our physical or logical mind.
The spirituality or mysticism angle of aikido for me translates to opening ourselves up to feeling and not just thinking. Being more aware.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-06-2006, 09:52 AM
I'm sure her body language played a huge role but I know I defiantly had some kind of feeling. First from her then the house, I can't explain the feeling I just know it was there. Like when you get a gut feeling from whatever, I know it happens to everyone. I think most people just ignore it.


You smelled her fear.

Tim Olds
07-06-2006, 10:53 AM
Check out Gavin de Becker's book "The Gift of Fear"

Most of have feelings which would tell us things, if we would learn to listen to them.

mriehle
07-06-2006, 02:46 PM
Mata ka yo?? www

Go look at the "Jo trick" thread. It's been done to death there.

Ya. I know. Been there, done that. Won't do it again.

mriehle
07-06-2006, 03:27 PM
If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)

But, what can we expect. When nuts like Ueshiba and Kano get so drunk on their own ego, and on that which they think they conjured up (which we all know neither one invented either system, but eclectically combined what they thought was important.)

Right. Well. My father has found Judo to be very valuable on a personal level. He just turned 70. He goes to Japan on an annual basis to train at the Kodokan. He'd take exception, I think to calling Kano a nut.

You know, beetles come in many forms. Cockroaches, for instance.

Not that I'm saying anything here, I'm just saying...

Ron Tisdale
07-06-2006, 03:39 PM
:) That gave me a good chuckle. Please remember though...this is an OLD thread, and dear old Monty probably doesn't even read the posts here anymore.

Best,
Ron (cracks me up though...)

statisticool
07-06-2006, 07:10 PM
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.


You're welcome to start your own martial art, have your own training methods and philosophies and see if you can reach 1/1000th of the popularity and effectiveness as aikido.

If you want. :)

I don't think you're in any position to appeal to change entire existing arts though for everyone else.

CNYMike
07-06-2006, 10:35 PM
..... Is forcing someone to learn another language just to learn a martial art all about preserving heritage, or is it that the teachers know students expect to learn funky words? Seriously, how many of you would of been disappointed if you weren't told a few Japanese words when you started training? It adds mystery and excitement to the training.


If you were in a restaurant and you overheard saying something like, "I will not call it LaSagna! I'm not Italian; why should I speak Italian? I will call it meat and cheese covered with tomato sauce. What difference does it make?" would you approve of that or think "What a jerk?" Every day, who knows how many millions of people eat Japanese, Chinese, Italian food, and along the way use words from those languages and don't give it a second thought. Know what a "rendez-vous" is? Our culture is peppered with "forieng" influences. In fact, our dominat language didn't originate on these shores if it comes down to it. So why must martial arts be "cleansed" of any trace of their countries of origin?

Nor can I ever recall being "forced" to use Japanese terms in Aikido. I don't recall any big deal about it either way: Sensei uses the term and you pick it up. Big deal.

Martial arts have a cultural context. They are a snapshot of their founder's thinking, and to understand what's going on, you need some hint of the culture it's coming from, and that includes language. It's not about "pretending" or "making it exciting." It's part of the package. Where did that thought come from? Sifu Dan Inosanto. Yes, the same Dan Inosanto who was Bruce Lee's friend and one of the luminaries of eclectic martial arts, and he's talking about the cultural context.

You don't agree with that? Fine. Don't. That's your business. But there are valid reasons for the way the arts are the way they are that have nothing to do with an instructor just "making things exciting."

DonMagee
07-06-2006, 11:29 PM
I do recall being forced to learn and use japanese in my training. I was forced in judo and in aikido. Sure I could call it a hip toss, but I better know its called O goshi when I test or I'm not going to pass. That requirement is just stupid in my opinion. It adds nothing and helps no one. Its called a hip toss, I learned in in wrestling, I learned it in judo, I learned it in bjj. Its a hip toss. I dont care if you call it monkey throws the log, its still a hip toss. Its not the terms that bother me, its being forced to use that and being told I'm disrespectfull and ruining the system and not learning aikido or judo when I dont use a japaneese word that I have the problem with.

crickel
07-07-2006, 12:29 AM
It's funny, I actually had this same discussion with another student at my dojo earlier tonight - he wasn't too keen on learning Japanese himself.

So. Are you ruining the system by not using Japanese? I'd have to say... no. I have seen different kinds of terminology at different dojos, especially when referring to kokyunage. Many dojos are much more specific then ours about which kokyunage is being performed.

Are you being disrespectful? ... Yes. Your sensei has a particular way that he wants to teach the class. If you don't learn what he's trying to teach, be it Japanese words, the proper way to do nikkyo, meditation, or underwater basket weaving-waza, you are not showing respect for his teachings. You aren't allowing him to fully function as a teacher, and it's likely that you're interfering with other students trying to learn, too.

Does Japanese add anything to Aikido as a system? Yes. What it adds is the ability to communicate effectively with other Aikidoka, who are also using the Japanese terms, and thus practice techniques with a minimum of confusion, which is important if you want to avoid injuries. Why Japanese? Well, probably because the martial art originated in Japan. I'm sure that changing the words into another language wouldn't change the actual technique in the slightest - but you wouldn't be able to understand anyone still using the Japanese terms. And if you don't know what technique is being practiced on you, well, I hope you have good reflexes for the breakfalls. :) I'm not that skilled yet.

Seriously, though, if you're not comfortable with learning the Japanese terms, I'm sure that if you look hard enough, you can find a dojo that doesn't use them, or at least doesn't mind if you don't. Every Aikido dojo I've visited so far has been quite different in terms of formality, protocol, use of language, and culture. I find it very curious that such a traditional art has some very untraditional practices entering into it in the U.S. Are these breaks from tradition good or bad? I don't know. Who can tell? Probably the teacher. That's why I follow what sensei says. :)

As a mostly irrelevant side note: Only Americans could steal a language and then have the audacity to claim the original speakers have an accent.

Craig

RebeccaM
07-07-2006, 12:32 AM
At some point though the Japanese terminology is just more efficient. What's easier and faster to say? "Sankkyo" or "Dance with me or I'll break your wrist"? Especially since "Dance with me or I'll break your wrist" could be the name of several other techniques...

CNYMike
07-07-2006, 01:20 AM
I do recall being forced to learn and use japanese in my training. I was forced in judo and in aikido. Sure I could call it a hip toss, but I better know its called O goshi when I test or I'm not going to pass .....

Sorry, but that doesn't meet the threshold of "forced" to me.


That requirement is just stupid in my opinion. It adds nothing and helps no one. Its called a hip toss, I learned in in wrestling, I learned it in judo, I learned it in bjj. Its a hip toss. I dont care if you call it monkey throws the log, its still a hip toss. Its not the terms that bother me, its being forced to use that and being told I'm disrespectfull and ruining the system and not learning aikido or judo when I dont use a japaneese word that I have the problem with.

Hear you nothing that I say? One more time: A martial art is intertwined with the culture of its country of origin. They are not separate. So when you don't use the Japanese/Chinese/Thai/Korean/Whatever terms, you have lost something.

Good luck ordering meat and cheese covered by tomato sauce, BTW.

xuzen
07-07-2006, 02:04 AM
Good luck ordering meat and cheese covered by tomato sauce, BTW.
...and chop suey is called "stir fried cabbage, carrots and bean sprout in soy sauce". My my, we will need very big menus ...

Boon.

ksy
07-07-2006, 03:28 AM
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

hey man,

maybe you should talk to that judo friend of yours before he ends up kiling himself or somebody else. just my 3 cents.

not sure if you've said anything about this yet but i didn't go thru all the threads for this topic. too many, you americans sure like to talk, and talk, and talk....

btw, im religous (christian) but not a spiritual person, yet.
good to have you around sometimes, though you got a lot of "hot air", might get a bit quiet without you. you know how it is with us aikidoist. cheers!

Mark Freeman
07-07-2006, 05:04 AM
At some point though the Japanese terminology is just more efficient. What's easier and faster to say? "Sankkyo" or "Dance with me or I'll break your wrist"? Especially since "Dance with me or I'll break your wrist" could be the name of several other techniques...

Not so sure about that Rebecca, I practice a system where all the different attacks have been given numbered forms ie. Shomen uchi = 5th form, Yokomen uchi = 6th form, uke's right hand grabs tori's right wrist = 1st form etc, it seems to me that this is more efficient, no need for an english speaker to learn a new language, and from some of the japanese terms that I've seen they are quite complex.
I admit that if I were to practice in a dojo where japanese was used to describe the attack I may struggle with the words, but once I'd seen the attack I wouldn't struggle with the technique ;)

Having said that we still use the japanese descriptions of the techniques themselves, ikkyo, shihonage etc. after all ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo is just a numbering system too.

IMO there is no 'need' to keep an art in the language of origin for it to be practiced, in fact it can be an extra layer of complexity that can be and is in some places removed or converted, without loss of any purity of the art.

regards,

Mark

DonMagee
07-07-2006, 07:56 AM
...and chop suey is called "stir fried cabbage, carrots and bean sprout in soy sauce". My my, we will need very big menus ...

Boon.

Just last night I ordered the Streak medium rare, shrimp, and sausage with a loaded baked spud, veggies, and apples from my favor te place to eat. Talk about complicated menus.

I'm not saying its wrong to use Japanese or incorporate new words. When I order Chinese I order things like broccoli beef, general Tao's chicken, etc. When I order Japanese I order sushi. Why? Because its a term I heard enough that it is the only way I know how to say it.

I find English to be easier to explain. I don't have to stop and think, now which way is tenkan again? When i talk to a noobie I don't say, ok, get kuzushi, enter irimi and perform the O goshi. I will tell them, grab him, pull him to break his balance, turn into him until your but is halfway past his thigh (or sometimes the more crude, pretend his leg is a hot dog and your butt is a hot dog bun) then perform the hip throw. In fact irimi, tenkan, and the combination of the two are words I could really do without ever hearing again. Kuzushi is another word I could do without. They slow down the learning process because they are not consistent in their meaning. Its like telling someone, you need to use more ki. It doesn't tell them anything. Should they relax more? Extend more? Are they not leaving the hand and moving the body? Are they trying to use too much strength? What is the real problem?

I had a judo teacher reply to my questions on why I couldn't use a throw well in sparing with "Your not getting the proper kuzushi". Wow, that helps a lot. Now had he said, you need to turn his weight onto his front foot by turning him like a steering wheel I wouldn't of struggled with it and could of got to practicing this movement a lot faster.

I do agree that some techniques should be named. There are some aikido techniques I can not think of a good English name for. However, at the same time I see other aikido schools call these techniques by different names. Or they use different movements for the same name. Thats just as confusing if not more so when trying to describe to someone what you are about too do.

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2006, 07:58 AM
I don't think there should be any hard and fast rule...different strokes and all that. I will say that if I want to learn something, and someone is willing to teach me, I may not change my own views about things, but I will be quiet and learn. Whining about learning a few words from another language just seems like ... whining to me. If you don't like it so much...don't do it. If you want something badly enough...stop whining and do it. Simple.

I do know that when I trained in France it was nice to know what waza we were working on before hand. Even though the terminology is different between Iwama and Yoshinkan, I had no problems following right along. It's one of the reasons I thanked my own instructor for preparing me so well. I didn't have to speak French, or have someone translate for me.

Sensei: Katatetori shihonage.
Ron: Hai.
No problems.

Best,
Ron (I really should learn to speak French though...)

DonMagee
07-07-2006, 08:04 AM
I don't think there should be any hard and fast rule...different strokes and all that. I will say that if I want to learn something, and someone is willing to teach me, I may not change my own views about things, but I will be quiet and learn. Whining about learning a few words from another language just seems like ... whining to me. If you don't like it so much...don't do it. If you want something badly enough...stop whining and do it. Simple.

I do know that when I trained in France it was nice to know what waza we were working on before hand. Even though the terminology is different between Iwama and Yoshinkan, I had no problems following right along. It's one of the reasons I thanked my own instructor for preparing me so well. I didn't have to speak French, or have someone translate for me.

Sensei: Katatetori shihonage.
Ron: Hai.
No problems.

Best,
Ron (I really should learn to speak French though...)

The internet is for whining and discussing. Obviously I dont whine that i have to learn japanese in class. Instead I simply either a) dont do it, or b) do it.

What I do and how I feel about it are two different things. Yes, I could see how a learning japaneese would help allow multiple cultures to commincate while training. This is a good reason. I like it. I wish my judo teacher would of used it instead of "Because its part of the culture" when I asked. Of course luckly for me, I speak poor french :-)

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2006, 08:18 AM
:)

I have to admit it's a little different when your teacher is Japanese. But even he has made adjustments for teaching in America, as opposed to Japan.

I also agree that there is a certain amount of 'dress up and play samurai' out there, and no, I don't particularly like that, although I'm probably guilty of a certain amount of it myself. But as time has gone by, I've mostly just decided to ignore that, and get on with training. I'm not too worried about teaching myself.

Best,
Ron

mriehle
07-07-2006, 08:21 AM
:) That gave me a good chuckle. Please remember though...this is an OLD thread, and dear old Monty probably doesn't even read the posts here anymore.

Best,
Ron (cracks me up though...)

His latest post was 6-13-06.

Not that this means anything, really. But it's possible he's still around.

Regardless, the fundamental idea in the thread (mysticism) is a worthwhile topic of discussion.

Guilty Spark
07-07-2006, 08:24 AM
I hated having to learn Korean to do TKD. I thought it was the stupidest thing, I'm Canadian in Canada doing a martial arts, why learn Korean?

Now I find I love learning even just bits and pieces of other languages. It's like me saying I'm willing to go out of my way to accommodate you. I find people treat you very different even if you know how to say hello in their language.

As far as Japanese and Aikido I think I'm going to side with the majority here. Aikido is a Japanese martial art. No one is forcing you to take Aikido. Brown belt tests are done in Japanese only, no English. Bunch of reasons for it. Maybe they want to ensure it "stays Japanese" or maybe they want aikidoka to be on the same level so techniques will be called the same thing everywhere you go (which makes a lot of sense).

If you feel so against learning the language then stay at a level where techniques are still called in English, it's always your choice. An honestly, this isn't really learning Japanese per say. It's using Japanese names to identify techniques or a few activities, hardly learning a language.

My sensei is french trying to translate Japanese into English. I've looked at him like he has a toaster on his head more than a few times :) Japanese is a good compromise between my English and his french.

I had a judo teacher reply to my questions on why I couldn't use a throw well in sparing with "Your not getting the proper kuzushi". Wow, that helps a lot.

That all comes in time. The longer you train the more you're exposed to Japanese terminology. No one would (or should) expect a white or yellow belt to know this stuff. As your exposed to it constantly you pick up on it naturally. I think it just makes a standard.

Edit: I do remember your frustration Don and have an idea where you're comming from. I think the Sensei in these situations neesd to take a lot of care when explaining the language and terms to beginning students, some people will become a lot more frustrated when trying to understand a foreign language ontop of the stress of trying to learn techniques right?

dps
07-07-2006, 08:35 AM
An honestly, this isn't really learning Japanese per say. It's using Japanese names to identify techniques or a few activities, hardly learning a language.


Next time I'm in a Japanese restaurant I will try to order my meal with the Japanese I learned in Aikido practice. :)

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2006, 08:36 AM
Ah, no...7-31-05. From his profile, find his posts. But hey, no biggie...

Best,
Ron (Hey Monty! you out there!?!?)

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?searchid=163649

His latest post was 6-13-06.

Not that this means anything, really. But it's possible he's still around.

Regardless, the fundamental idea in the thread (mysticism) is a worthwhile topic of discussion.

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2006, 08:39 AM
Shihonage kuzushi with a dash of peper please....

WHAM!

Hmmm, maybe I'll just try the sushi...

Best,
Ron ;)

Keith R Lee
07-07-2006, 09:35 AM
I'm not sure about everywhere else but at my old dojo (Yoshinkan) we almost always used English. The Japanese would be mentioned as well, but the majority of the class was: "Front strike, 3rd control, #1. Side-strike, side step-in throw. etc." I don't think anyone there was worse for wear.

Learning Japanese does not make the techniques any more holy or special. There is also the potential to be trapped by the "romanticism" of it all (Japanese, dogis, kamiza, bowing, etc) and thinking by having all those things, one is an effective martial artist because of those things and not the proficency of one's technique. Or also the whole "playing samurai" aspect that Ron mentioned that I think manifests itself in many Aikido dojos.

Lastly, as fars as techniques go: "A rose by any other name ..."

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2006, 11:40 AM
I argued with Red Beetle on this well over a year ago! wow, time flies. He was very opinionated, egoistic, and, trollish....and as i predicted back then, he dropped off never to be heard of again.

Chuck.Gordon
07-07-2006, 11:47 AM
Heya Kevin!

The dead (threads) live on. I keep expecting to see George A. Romero to chime in.

I'm just back from a month in the US. Had some excellent training with folks in Vigrinia (waves at Jim), Colorado (Hey Frank, do YOU know Jun?) and Indiana (with a whole gaggle of Midwest budo bums - got to play some Shinto Hatakage Ryu, Kodokan Judo, Yoshinkan Aikido and we cut LOTS of tatami!).

Not a BIT of mysticism anywhere to be found. Just good budo.

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2006, 12:02 PM
Wow! Sounds like you had a great budo trip! I was actually at Graf today. Went by checked out the new Gym and had to do my GPC audit. Wow! What a nice Gym! I might be holding a tournament up there soon when the 2 SCR guys all get on the ground!

Sorry I could not make it by was a quick turn around trip...as usual!

mriehle
07-07-2006, 12:15 PM
Ah, no...7-31-05. From his profile, find his posts. But hey, no biggie...

Best,
Ron (Hey Monty! you out there!?!?)

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?searchid=163649

I musta got the year wrong. I know it was 6-13. See and that would make it a month ago. As opposed to a year ago.

My bad.

CNYMike
07-07-2006, 09:37 PM
Just last night I ordered the Streak medium rare, shrimp, and sausage with a loaded baked spud, veggies, and apples from my favor te place to eat. Talk about complicated menus.

I'm not saying its wrong to use Japanese or incorporate new words. When I order Chinese I order things like broccoli beef, general Tao's chicken, etc. When I order Japanese I order sushi. Why? Because its a term I heard enough that it is the only way I know how to say it.


And the problem with doing this in martial arts is ....? Yes, with a newbie, you don't hurl terminology at him. But one would expect the newbie to pick it up as he or she went along. Giving out a handout with the terminology also helps. Then they can memorize it at their own pace. So I guess this is not bad after all?

DonMagee
07-09-2006, 01:40 AM
And the problem with doing this in martial arts is ....? Yes, with a newbie, you don't hurl terminology at him. But one would expect the newbie to pick it up as he or she went along. Giving out a handout with the terminology also helps. Then they can memorize it at their own pace. So I guess this is not bad after all?

No problem with it, except for I dont know what 90% of the japanese I know actually means. Hell, I don't even know what sushi means and I order it at least once a month. So I'm just spouting off words for the sake of spouting them off.

CNYMike
07-09-2006, 02:13 PM
No problem with it, except for I dont know what 90% of the japanese I know actually means. Hell, I don't even know what sushi means and I order it at least once a month. So I'm just spouting off words for the sake of spouting them off.

Well, within the context of a martial arts class, hopefully someone can provide translations. Memorization isn't hard.

As to what "sushi" means .... well, I don't know what LaSagna means, but I know I love it!

Chuck.Gordon
07-09-2006, 02:51 PM
Wow! Sounds like you had a great budo trip!... What a nice Gym() at Graf! I might be holding a tournament up there soon when the 2 SCR guys all get on the ground!

Keep me posted.

Yeah, it was a great trip, but I'm glad to be home ...

Got to train with Jim Baker and his folks in Norfolk, Frank Gordon and his dojo in Colorado (and observed the Sugano seminar in Aspen -- we gotta talk about that one in private! Do you know Jun, by the way?), and got to hang out with and train with my oldest and longest-running students in Indy (Bob's 70-ish and Tim started training with me at the tender age of 15 ...), got to visit the dojo grandkids and spend a weekend playing with Peter Boylan, Susie and Sean in Fort Wayne, Scotty from the Yosh dojo in Indy, Kim and Mary from Bloomington and lots of old students and friends.

Pics here: http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b347/cgordon/June%2006/

See you soon?

ksy
07-09-2006, 10:06 PM
I argued with Red Beetle on this well over a year ago! wow, time flies. He was very opinionated, egoistic, and, trollish....and as i predicted back then, he dropped off never to be heard of again.

opinionated, egoistic, and, trollish, yes, but not life threatening. i kinda miss reading the threads. btw, even if he was a pain in the a**, red beetle offered us an opportunity to practise "vocal aikido". i hope some of us took it. :straightf

aikigirl10
07-09-2006, 11:47 PM
even if he was a pain in the a**, red beetle offered us an opportunity to practise "vocal aikido"

this is true
i think i generally fail miserably at vocal aikido.

James Davis
07-10-2006, 11:11 AM
this is true
i think i generally fail miserably at vocal aikido.
Sorry, Paige. I have to agree with you on that one. :p

In vocal biting, scratching, and kicking, though, you excell. :D



Please don't shoot. ;)

aikigirl10
07-10-2006, 04:26 PM
Sorry, Paige. I have to agree with you on that one. :p

In vocal biting, scratching, and kicking, though, you excell. :D



Please don't shoot. ;)

*Bang!*

next thread: Aikido vs Guns

:p

Guilty Spark
07-10-2006, 06:19 PM
Whats vocal aikido?

ksy
07-11-2006, 02:18 AM
Whats vocal aikido?

i guess it's when someone "attacks" you vocally, and you harmonise with it. :circle:

still trying to get it, man. i'm trying to vocal "aikido" my girlfriend especially when she's in "one of those moods" (heh heh), y'know? It's hard when your natural instinct is to strike/lash out in defence, rather than move off the line.

but i hope in time i can learn to circumvent my natural instinct (the need to attack in in a supposed fight/flee situation )and turn it into something else, something less aggresive, something more...."mystical". :rolleyes:

dps
07-11-2006, 05:52 AM
...especially when she's in "one of those moods" (heh heh), y'know? It's hard when your natural instinct is to strike/lash out in defence, rather than move off the line.

but i hope in time i can learn to circumvent my natural instinct (the need to attack in in a supposed fight/flee situation )and turn it into something else, something less aggresive, something more...."mystical". :rolleyes:When in situation as described above, say the mantra " yes dear" several times.

mriehle
07-11-2006, 05:01 PM
When in situation as described above, say the mantra " yes dear" several times.

Doesn't work.

My wife knows I don't mean it.

But we work it out. :)

Gwion
09-20-2006, 12:14 AM
Let me translate:

RED BEETLE:
Hey Aikido people! I'm involved in Judo and jujitsu etc., and I really get a kick out of the physical and technical aspect of martial arts. I'm curious about what else there is to it, and would like to learn more about Aikido, but I don't have the maturity to come onto a message board and ask friendly questions.

Instead, I'm going to define a very limited explanation of Aikido, its purpose, and function, and challenge all of you to 'throw me' from my position. As each of you tries to loosen my close-minded grip on the situation, I will clench even tighter, shouting, "no it's not!" "see, it's coercion! ha, I win!"

WAYNE:
That's nice RED BEETLE. You're right about EVERYTHING, now, tell us, why are you frustrated by concepts such as ki, bowing, and meditation? What is the event in your life that made you turn against these things? Or perhaps, tell us more about your philosophy, and why you feel a need to block and reject these.



tada! I just performed Aikido.

Infantryman1990
10-06-2006, 10:15 PM
"Maybe Morihei Uyeshiba should have joined an Amish community instead of the religious school of Omoto-kyo."

I'm late to this dance, but the fact is that in many ways, O Sensei did.

The Amish are farmers. . . O Sensei retired to farm.

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-06-2006, 11:53 PM
That might have been fortuitous for the Amish - preventing the awful tragedy of last week. Very practical body useage is a key survival skill after all, no matter how diluted this sensibility has become in many members of modern society. Humans can "harm at a distance", luckily for us, since we are so weak, but without body skills we would not be able to protect our closest distances very well.

Tom Fish
10-10-2006, 12:43 PM
Greetings,
This thread has really been enjoyable for many reasons. It has allowed me to reflect about the first days of training in Judo. It was required that we learn the Japanese terminology, bow, and listen to the sensei about how to behave on and off the mat. This training helped teach me how important it is to respect what we are doing and who we are doing it with. It allowed me to open my mind and realize that just because I didn't understand something, that there was value to what I didn't understand.It is easy to chalk up what we don't understand as being some "mystical" concept not worth our time or efforts. I have found that respecting others and respecting what we do has actually been beneficial in allowing me the frame of mind needed to acquire the most from my training. I would never think of disrespecting my Aikido teachers and fellow students by claiming that the things I don't grasp are mystical bull that are best left out of practice. I would also never be proud to have been thrown out of a dojo for being disrespectful. I look forward to many more years of practicing, knowing that there is a lifetime of things to learn. Grateful for the things I have learned and respectful of the people who have helped me get here, I try to teach my students the formalities, to help them get the most out of their journey. They should be able to go anywhere and not offend someone accidentally or embarrass themselves. Learning the names of the techniques will give them a universal background for understanding what is being taught all around the world. An open mind will allow us all to discover the things that we are trying to find.My early days in Judo and Aikido were filled with questions about the validity of the things I was being shown. The patience and respect that were shown helped me find answers to these questions and have kept me involved ever since. It is with this respect that I hope we can all gain a better understanding of each other and attain a better understanding of Aikido.
Best Regards
Tom Fish