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Old 03-14-2007, 07:50 AM   #95
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center?

Respectfully, I think people are (again) trying to mask what people like Mike and Dan have said with their own fears and prejudices. It is unfortunate, because this constant reframing of the discussions keeps folks away from the meat of the topic, in my opinion.

The competitive mind is not an example of this energy. Striving to make oneself invincible is a fundamental misunderstanding of what he was doing. Worrying about being invincible. unlockable, unthrowable, etc is essentially still the "fighting mind", the mind of dualism. O-Sensei's Aikido was not about that, it went way beyond.
I'll just speak for myself, since speaking for others is usually fraught with danger. When I approached Dan in his barn, I was up front about not being interested in fighting. I'm simply not interested in being invincible, in being able to best other people. My life simply does not call for that (thankfully). I wanted to pursue the skills he showed because from what I felt, and from my limited understanding, Aikido is an empty shell without them. It's not that I haven't felt gradients of this power from others...just that Dan displayed openly more of it than just about anyone I can think of.

And I want to do Aikido, not an empty shell. Daito ryu is an empty shell without them. And when I visit a Daito ryu dojo, I want to do Daito ryu, not an empty shell. But more importantly, and Dan stressed this to me personally, I want to be the best person I can be, and I believe that pursuing these skills is part of that path. Dan said to me "I want you to be the best Ron you can be". He spoke of the open heart. He welcomed us into his training space, and while he had to power to destroy if he wanted, instead he set about trying to transform us. To simply be better.

I find that to be very unselfish, not at all about besting us or anyone else. And frankly, I must admit I do resent some of the insinuations, mis-characterizations, and barbs thrown his way.

But if you must foist your own fears and prejudices upon us, well...we can't stop you. Have at it. Enjoy. Look no further, don't go and see for yourself, close the door now.


Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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