Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises
I will make one more attempt to see if I can help you understand the general perspective of those that have some experience here Justin. Again, i am not sure why I want to bother since you do not seem to have any interest at all that I can ascertain in actually seeking to understand physically, mentally, and spritually aikido or martial arts in general...maybe mentally...but even that seems to be a far stretch since most of your discussions seem to not so much "seek to discover knowledge" but "seek to find the holes".
I will be the first to tell you I don't necessarily see eye to eye with Mike Sigman or Dan Harden on many issues. I too have "sought to find the holes" from time to time. There is nothing wrong with that every now and then. However, once that becomes your primary goal, people grow tired of that and tell you "enough".
If you actually go to a dojo, especially an aikido dojo, a little of this is expected from students. Especially those that are seeking hard to discover the "truth". I am not saying accept what I say because I have studied it for years, but at some point, you have to "seek for sincere knowledge" vice "finding the holes". If not, then why are you there. Are you really that unhappy with yourself and your life that you would hang out with a bunch of guys that you are skeptical of and don't believe in? Negative energy gets you no where! Why propagate it? Move on!
It is not about the number of years you study that gives you respect or a voice in the community, but a sincerity and honesty with "seeking to discover". It is about learning. Again, if you don't believe in what you are surround with, then why bother wasting your time?
Yes I agree that it is possible to intellectualize and rationalize and grasp mentally many concepts and theories. Sure we can talk about quark theories, quantum physics, ki, and the interconnectedness of energy and the universe all day long. I do extensive reading in these areas and find it very intellectually stimulating to discuss and figure out. Frankly I believe that aikido, jin, ki, chi, and all that are very, very much apart of all this.
But, when you get into the so called, internal martial arts if you must find a label, such as aikido, tai chi chuan, bua gua, yoga, and many comtemplative practices etc....you now enter a very distinct area of science and art combined. It is an area that is very difficult to quantify, rationalize, and agree upon definitions, limits and abilities.
It unfortunately requires you to get off your ass, and physically experience things. If not, you have no dog in the fight, nor any right to have an opinion. It is not about years of experience, but about as Yoda said "do not try" or "do not talk" as is said many times in aikido. You simply cannot intellectually rationalize or use logic. It is about self discovery, personal knowledge, and personal experience.
You know my philosophy in combative arts and budo is really this. Statistics and Logic don't matter if you are in the fight and you are losing. The only ones that matter are the odds that you are now facing. Might seem unrelated, but I think it is core to the argument concerning rationalization and the application of theory and logic. Experience and the situation you are presented in count for quite a bit.
The currency of evidence that I have is the years of goodwill, reputation, and actual training with many of the people I correspond with here on aikiweb. I am not concerned with being an "internet warrior" because I have people that really know me, know my experiences, and skill level (or lack thereof), and that speaks for itself.
While I may not agree with Mike Sigman, and I have never personally met him, I do know people that have vouched for his honesty, competence, and sincerity in what he preaches. That is Mike's currency of evidence, and that is all I need.
What is your currency of evidence Justin? As best I can tell, you decided to take an interest in the Martial arts, expressed a few months ago that you were going to start, I and several others invited you to check out a few dojos in the Alexandria, and Arlington area. As best I can tell, you have not started studying, maybe you have, but my gut tells me "no". Maybe you have good reasons for not being able to at this point in your life. No disrepect there. I can understand that. However, if you were sincere in your desire to learn arts like aikido, and tai chi, I do believe that there would be a more geniune "seeking to discover or learn" slant to your post than the general trend has been.
So, as you can see, your currency of evidence is grown very thin with many people on aikiweb.
It is not about the years of experience, but the genuine interest in what you are pursuing that give you the voice and the respect of many here that will take our time to discuss and converse with you.
I hope you do not take this post as negative. Although, it is very direct. I spent about 20 minute of my life typing it so I do feel that it is worthwile to respond to you and give yo a voice.
I hope this kinda explains the general idea of where I and probably a few others are coming from. I feel I owe you that much.