Would anyone passing through here on their way to wherever figure that out?
How come, if that guy really said something like that, we never talk about it?
Threads I found:
"Street Aikido experiences"
"Aikido does not work at all in a fight"
"Would you kill an attacker? (second in posts only to the great battle of the sexes)"
"Injuring an enemy"
"are we really ready to die?"
until today, when an intrepid pioneer looked yonder and took the initiative, the word love had never appeared in a thread header. Nor has it even been emphasized within a thread.
I sure as hell hope we all do a lot more loving than fighting. It's sure as hell more important.
granted but I think people are more concerned with discussing situations in which someone else isn't being overly nice to them. After all, when was the last time you got hit with a drive by kissing? or mugged by someone that stepped out of a dark alley and said 'gee you have great taste in clothes, can I buy you a drink?'
Not a lot of need to prepare for those encounters I dont think (except in the case of my aunt bertha but we wont go into that).
i think several people have tried to get that message across on many of those threads you mentioned, usually 'shouted' down by the sheer number and/or tone of replies that announce that EVERYONE does Aikido for self defense and/or to maim, usually accompanied by detailed descriptions of same. there comes a time when you know to continue to state what others are not willing to hear is a waste of everyone's time.
its alot harder to love someone to death as well. though i would imagine it might startle a would be attacker if u just repeatedly chanted i love u over and over. dunno maybe its worth a try. its so easy to hate. the real challenge comes when its time to show the person who just cut u off for the umphhteen time real love. now thatst a true test
I would agree that folks on the web are generally more interested "real life (fighting) aikido experiences" and tend to forsake all else for these tidbits. Maybe because it's a lot easier to imagine giving an attacker an unconditional !&#* - kicking rather than unconditional compassion. There is a natural tendency for people to immediately revert to fear response especially when fantasizing about a "street situation". What I find amazing is that we continually entertain these fantasies to make ourselves feel better about what we're doing. I guarantee that it is the very few of us who've had any real experience in this area and those few tend, I find, not to talk about it so much. There is no need.
When I use aikido in life, ie. work, personal relationships etc. (I've never been in a fight since starting aikido.) I always make sure to look from the perspective of the person I'm communicating with. Aikido has given me the ability to do this and it's no small feat. In doing so I am plucked from my own narrow world view (my perspective) and have any building frustration or anger deflated.
I fantasize, you fantasize, "they" fantasize about real world situations, that's pretty common. Aikido comes into play when we ask why we engage in these particular fantasies. What is the root cause of our fear. What are we afraid of when we're lying in bed at night imagining walking down the street and being attacked.....?
"Street Aikido experiences" > "Street Love experiences - Random acts of affection/love" ...Yeah Baby!!!
"Aikido does not work at all in a fight" > "Aikido DOES work in lovemaking" ...Mmmmmm
"Realistic Aikido" > "Realistic Love".....24/7
"Would you kill an attacker?" > "Would you make love to an attacker?"...Maybe
"Injuring an enemy" > "Making love to an enemy"....Depends, sounds like a movie title
"are we really ready to die?" > "are we really ready to love?"...I think so
"Street Aikido" > "Street Love"...Is this legal? (maybe in Nevada)
It's starting to sound more and more like an excerpt from the Stuart Smalley show, a therapy session, or a 12 step program. Warm and fuzzy. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I almost wish I felt warm and fuzzy after summer camp instead of tired, stiff and sore. Just trying to interject some humor with some perspective, folks. Does anyone else find it somewhat contradictive/ambivalent that aikido, while being called the "art of love", is still a very powerful martial art? Kind of like a moving, living Zen koan...eh?
Yes! Mr. Cronin! Aikido is completely paradoxal!!! What a challenge to reconcile that fact, or, to simply accept that it's okay. Practice with an open mind gives one the ability to defend oneself efficiently (and if needed devastatingly).....and..... have compassion for your attacker.
"Budo is love" is not separate from the fact that aikido is a powerful martial art.
On a less esoteric level; I remember an interview with Steven Seagal, way back when he was a misunderstood martial artist/movie star (chuckle), where he said (I paraphrase): "When you choose to show compassion (in a combative situation) then you must have the physical ability to back that up, otherwise it's not a choice." True.
So, aikido practise is a way to see ourselves without pretense and in so doing realize we have a choice in every action we take. That choice is measured by our physical ability, to a certain extent, to back it up.
I'm quite likely wrong but I will endeavour to continue questioning the paradox that aikido presents to me everyday....,and maybe that's the point?
Postings re Love
Everybody read the 35 or so pages of O-Sensei's writings that exist in English, saw the videos of the Founder doing public demos and classes and decided that they understood what Aikido was supposed to be.
The result has been a watering down of technique and a glamorization of the spiritual principles into something that fits current American political correctness. Clint George sensei and I have found that we refer to this using the same term, "Wishful thinking Aikido".
So now we find that there is a dichotomy within Aikido in which people are choosing up sides and championing their cause. On the one hand you have the Aikido is Peace and Love crowd who want this to be some sort of conflict resolution system. For these people applied technique is distasteful and jsut too "earthy". On the other hand, you have the Aikido is really an effective martial art crowd. They spend most of their time trying to figure out what Daito Ryu practitioners would do in a given situation. They know that what passes for Aikido generally isn't effective but they have trouble getting a handle on what it should really be.
The issue here is the dichotomy itself. For O-sensei there wasn't a split between the martial side and the spiritual side. There wasn't a distinction between Aikido done with a weapon or empty hand. The principles were identical whether you were doing ikkyo or chanting the kotodama.Aikido is one big KOAN for us to meditate upon. I think that we should all recognize that what passes generally for Aikido isn't very good spirituality nor is it very solid martial arts.
If Aikido is to transform the world as O-Sensei envisioned, it must go far beyond feel good spirituality designed to bolster dojo member's self esteem. At the same time if the practitioners of the art do not force themselves to delve into their techniques on a very deep level they will merely be moderately skillful twisters of other people's wrists.
I champion the martial awareness side of the discussions on the forum because I believe that it is through doing good martial arts tha we get the direct and immediate feedback about whether our understanding of the principles is correct. If spirituality is primarily about dealing with our own issues of ego, which I think it is, then sincere attention to the details of martial technique is one of the most humbling things one can do. People mistake feeling good with spirituality and smashing and bashing with good martial arts. Both miss the point.
I think that many people like myself resist talking about Aikido and Peace and Love because they feel it is a bit too presumptuous. I am not some great sage to be dispensing knowledge to the masses tha way. So i talk about what i do understand, at least a bit, and that is technique and its application. Does tha mean that I am out there street fighting and going to bars to test myself? No. I am more apt to to be sitting at Starbucks rereading Casteneda and puzzling about the connection between Don Juan's expnantion of the nature of reality and O-Sensei's. I just figure if I am going to shoot my mouth off it ought to be about something I understand a bit better.
Have some hara
If your ideas have merit put them forth and believe in them. Develop the expertise to express them articulately and them stand behind them. Backing off because people were not supportive is kind of like the weak Aikido some of us are objecting to.
Everything is about balance. If the ideas of other people upset you then you need to look at what is inside you that is creating the upset. Often the upset comes from not wanting to hear something one is uncomfortable with beacuse recognizing it would demand change. Ther are probably things being said by the "martial folks" that you should be attending to not dismissing by backing away.
On the other hand, if you back away because the views of the other folks are distasteful, then they never get to hear the other side. And for sure there is another side that they need to hear. They need to get upset by ideas that challenge their own. If you don't challenge their preconceptions in the areas in which you disagree that is like doing Aikido with just tenkans. All you are doing is giving way. Try taking the center. In the end people who are sincere about their training will be helped, everybody else is just spinning wheels anyway.
[Edited by George S. Ledyard on October 30, 2000 at 09:11am]
There may also be some misunderstanding about what "love" means.
I believe it is loving to stop someone from doing bad things to themselves or others.
I believe it is loving to force myself to grow spiritually by going beyond what I'm comfortable with.
I believe it is loving to let someone else experience their own power.
I don't necessarily believe it's loving to be passive when someone else is being aggressive, to the detriment of themselves or another.
I don't necessarily believe that it's loving to embrace only passive love and be unable to protect someone else from creating their own negative karma.
I do believe that it is loving to keep a sense of humor, be myself, and make others think. (Sometimes I even make me think).
Love, like Aikido, has a lot of sides. Everyone comes from/to the side with which they feel affinity.
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