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Old 02-03-2007, 07:46 AM   #20
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Re: Dobson and Arikawa Sensei

Dan - You are right in your outrage at abuse. Hence the several "layers" at my post.
At the same time, I remain puzzled and curious about this man, because there was something different going on than with the typical bullying aiki-thug cheap-shot artist - regarding the latter type, both then young teachers at the Aikikai, I replied to such an attempt with one individual by nearly breaking his wrist (we were in Doshu's class together, working out - he, a teacher, was always ingratiatingly friendly to me afterwards) and another, I took down and nearly choked out - he also never tried to hurt me again. Of course, it didn't change their overall behavior in the slightest. I left aikido very early in my time in Japan - I was there 13 years, and only two of them in aikido - and part of the reason for my disinterested was that such bullying, particularly by unimpressive individuals who could get away with things because of the context, was permitted in the aikido world. I do not know what my response Arikawa would have been had he done something gratuitous to me, particularly as I matured. I trust the last sentence of my post makes clear why I kept my distance. But similar to my contact with what I called the "undamaged self" to individuals of far greater capacity for violence that I've dealt with on my job, I saw something in Arikawa that caught my attention.
And going back to context, my original post was in response to what i considered an unjustifiable deification of the Founder and of aikido as "peaceful." Arikawa's behavior, and that of the many others, is as much intrinsic to aikido, particularly in Japan in my day, as the integrity and kindness of such individuals as Kuwamori Yasunori, whom I also have spoken. That the former is worthy of contempt is something you and I both agree.

Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 02-03-2007 at 07:57 AM.

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