Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Re: Am i missing something??
Where were you when Paige first said that I do not write like a human being? Was that a kind response to some time and effort on my part to contribute to the discussion? Was that condescending? If not, why? If so, where were you then as the defender of bulletin board justice? If you read the thread you see that it was only Paige and Anne that made insult after insult ("science book" "robot" "keyboard shihan", etc.) - where were you then? Where were you when Paige gave her response to Dennis' obvious good intentions? Was that kind of her? Was it condescending to Dennis?
How about a little consistency, or at least explaining why we should understand your actions as consistent...?
My feeling is that you are not consistent and that your call for justice is not all that it feigns to be. My gut instinct is that you too may be stuck on the same part of what I said: How what I said did not favor folks that want to train at the hobby level but that want to be considered serious for doing it (i.e. they do not want the word "superficial" attached to what they do -- like Anne).
As Ron has said, my view of Aikido is quite accepting of hobby level training. Additionally, I can tell you that no one at our dojo trains like me, nor are they expected to. Because of that, I do not attach all the baggage that someone might that is not so accepting of hobby level training (even hobbyists). Thus, I have no problem using the word "superficial" to describe the relative yield of a hobby -- when the word "hobby" is being understood in its proper sense. If you look up the word "hobby" - for ease of use, go to dictionary.com - you'll see it meaning, "small," "an auxiliary activity," and being synonymous with "by-line," "sideline," "spare-time activity," and "avocation" (with this last word having a definition of "distraction" or "diversion"). The limiting of any practice, Aikido or anything else, to such a level of investment, will limit one's understanding and/or gain from said practice to things "near the surface" (i.e. superficial). This is not an opinion of mine, and therefore something I hold rigidly. This is a fact of all practices, and therefore I hold it as part of my own understanding of Aikido.
Nevertheless, I get what Anne is trying to say - that her level of investment should not be put down below anyone else's, and that it does yield real results and things of great significance for her, etc. I 100% agree with that and teach that in my own school. I understand her but she does not understand me. What she does not get is that I can personally concede the viability of hobby level training (to myself, to her, and my own students that train thusly) while nevertheless being able to note that there remains a depth that is going untouched (for whatever reason, but here by choice). So accepting of hobby level training am I that I can easily note its superficiality while not saying it is completely false, impossible of being real, and/or without any value.
The real problem for many folks that do not train at depth, for personal reasons (that have nothing to do with my writing style), is the replacing of the phrase "do not train at depth" with the English word "superficial." As a result, you get oxymorons like "serious hobby" being generated. You also get posts that speak about hobby level training openly and acceptingly being totally misread. That is fine-- at a personal level. However, personal or not, things should not have to go beyond, "I am a hobbyist, but it irks me when I hear the word ‘superficial' being applied to what I do and what I receive from my hobby." One does not have to go on to denounce what was written as immoral, unethical, or discourteous, the writer as an idiot, etc. HOWEVER, in a way, you almost have to -- because grammatically there is nothing wrong with replacing the phrase "do not train at depth" with the word "superficial."
For me, this tells me that this is really about a war of words for some folks -- such that "serious hobby" can make sense (even when it means: "do it when you want, don't do it when you don't; and you can still be serious about a practice even when you are not doing it and/or not wanting to do it." Me? I am fine with the word "hobby" as is, and I know that folks get some very real things from their hobbies -- Aikido being one of them. I am not stuck on the words, or the related war, nor am I blind to the very real reasons for such wars. In my opinion, before one can see what I have said in the spirit that others here have been able to accurately see, one will have to look at why they are so attached to this war on words (a caveat Ron has said as well). I say this not as a denunciation for those involved. I say this as a person that is himself not satisfied with hobby level training and struggling daily to move beyond -- to deepen my practice.
In answer to your question on what is a committed (mature) practice (which for me has nothing to do with Paige's initial post): A committed Aikido practice is one that has Aikido integrated into the whole of one's existence.
Thanks for your posts Amelia - honestly grateful.
Last edited by senshincenter : 04-17-2006 at 10:27 PM.