Originally posted by ca
I agree 100% with Ubaldo: if we rely on what others say about a person to form an opinion, or even start to form an opinion, then not only is that not very Aiki in my book,...
What is "Aiki" to one person is not "Aiki" to another. Obviously we differ in opinion. I think Nate is intelligent enough to filter out the facts from opinions from people who know Segal Sensei. I think Nate is also intelligent enough not to rely on people's opinions who don't even know Segal sensei. Nate, Jim23, myself and others are not 8 year olds that you have to play the "telephone game" with to teach us about the problems of starting rumors.
It is not Segal Sensei's place to be accessible, any more than any other famous sensei, or famous person, or person period. If it is important to him to gain her endorsement, then I am sure he will make himself available. In his case, he is not only a famous sensei, he is also a movie star, and there is just not enough of him to be always accessible to everyone who wants to meet him....
Re-read my first sentence, that was my point. Segal Sensei is not accessible to the general public, and I did not say he had to be. Sensei like Kanai or Yamada are accessible in that we can at least go to seminars with them and can at least visit their dojos and take classes with them. Is Segal Sensei that accessible? I don't think so.
The next best option is to actually talk to his people. And the best option after that is do as suggested and get his video. Unless he is writing a story about him in a newspaper or other similar media then he is free to make his decision on the best possible information available, even if it is second hand. It is up to the individual listener to determine whether or not it is credible information. He is not trying to take Segal Sensei to court so crying "hearsay" is just an easy out to answering a simple question.
I am fortunate enough to have had favors granted to me from three of O Sensei's direct students, two of whom arranged the favor via others (uchideshi, wife) which was totally fine with me---they were obviously busy, and that WITHOUT the movie star obligations. Unless we are in a position to study under them, or within their organizations, I don't see that there is a lot of need for us to judge any of the 'names' in Aikido.
However the difference from these sensei and Segal Sensei is that Segal Sensei puts himself out as public figure as an actor. And he also puts himself out as an actor who does aikido. That is just due to the nature of his profession -- acting and doing aikido moves in his films. Segal Sensei will by the nature of his profession be under much more scrutiny than any other Sensei simply because more people know who he is, and know he practices aikido. I am sure he is aware of this as well, and is aware that people who don't know him would like to know about his aikido ability. And people who have heard the rumors would like to hear them dispelled as well, which is what Nate wants to do.
What I think Nate is doing is actually very responsible
. He is coming to a well known aikido forum and asking for information about a very public aikido figure. Because it is well known he is bound to hear from people who know Segal Sensei. He is choosing to NOT jump to conclusions by asking questions as to how to go about making an informed decision.
Anyhow, I don't think Nate even wants to run Segal Sensei's or any sensei's name through the mud. (And when other folks talked about their individual personal experience with another anonymous sensei -- it was anonymous
. No one knew the names and so there could have been no name dragging.) He specifically stated, "I don't want to create a forum for character assination". It sounds like Nate clearly doesn't want to start rumors, hear rumors, but wants good decent information so he can make an informed
I have no problems with Segal Sensei. I just can't stand it when only people say "you have to meet him" to make a decision. I am sure there are people like yourself who are out there who can answer a simple enough question. I am responding to a standard "blow off" diversion type response that hopes people will stop asking questions about controversial issues. They won't and they might as well allow people to make informed
decisions otherwise the worst will come true and the rumors will spread.
These people's opinions though mean that your view and the video you suggest are worthless. Because in their view the only informed view is hands on experience. So that means Nate would have to train with Segal sensei at one of his dojos with his students. That is the best choice. But the problem is that that best choice can not be exercised so Nate will never have an informed decision. So they rather not have Nate ask the question in the first place.
I disagree because I feel there are good alternatives. I believe that there are folks out there who can offer a rather reasonable and educated view and Nate is intelligent enough to decide whether it is credible enough information to base an informed decision on.
Well, I can go one.