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Old 11-29-2005, 06:11 PM   #49
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Re: Article: On the Interdependent Nature of Tactics and Strategies by "The Grindstone"

Yes, I agree that a whole lot of stuff creeps in by us not taking the training as seriously as we can and/or need to. However, there is also a whole lot of stuff that we do not get, but that we need, precisely because we take the training seriously -- precisely because we use the now customary training paradigm and little or nothing else. The latter part interests me most because it is this part that has to do with overall spiritual development of the Self. For it is in the cultural blindness of our training that much of our ego goes unreconciled.

Lately, in the thread, there has been some talk of context. When we speak of context, what we first and foremost need to realize is that we are not talking about a single universal. When we speak of context, we are attempting to speak of specificity. That is to say, when we say, "X is the context for Y," we are also saying that "X is not the context for Z" and/or that "A (for example) is not the context for Y." Yet, among many aikidoka, even those of us that like to mention context, we come to the training as if it were a single universal. For example, we may attempt to see Irimi Nage as viable under any and all conditions -- that all we need to do is find the necessary matrix to make it work, etc. We may, as I mentioned earlier, attempt to find ways to apply Ikkyo here, there, everywhere, when in fact such actions are most often forced, show great attachment to Ikkyo, and bypass many other tactics (e.g. striking) that are more in harmony with what is happening. Additionally, we may come to the training itself, its customary form, and see it as fulfilling all conditions either martial or spiritual.

All of these things are highly problematic in my opinion, in my experience. What is most troubling of all is that we are often blind to our attachment to the training culture, and so we do not see how "train harder" is often more part of the problem than part of the solution. Thus, for me personally, I cannot say that every shortcoming in our training can be solved simply by training harder and/or by taking our training more seriously. Rather, I would suggest that a wisdom has to penetrate the whole of our training -- a wisdom that has each of us being more critical (i.e. examining) of ourselves than any outside party could ever be. When we are capable of bringing this level of self-examination to our own training, we will see the context of each customary training aspect -- customary training will cease to present itself as a single universal meant to address all things spiritual and/or martial. In the end, as we become dissatisfied with the view of seeing customary training as a single universal, we begin to wonder how we ever thought such a thing. (As George mentioned: "It is not because the people intent on developing these methods are not aware of or are not interested in the higher levels of sophistication which Aikido contains. They are simply aware that there is NO WAY to access these levels by bypassing the hard training that initial stage of foundational training should contain.")


David M. Valadez
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