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Old 05-01-2002, 04:19 AM   #29
JW's Avatar
Location: Escondido CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 560

Edward, how do you know all that stuff about how often injuries happened, and about how nikkyo tendon damage is like a yearly event and expression of love? I'd love to read about this kind of stuff.
I am very curious about these cultural differences you mentioned, because I've always wondered how training back then could have been so shamelessly injurous while being called the "martial art of love." Well, this thread presents a great answer: the injuries themselves were an expression of love in O-sensei's culture, so there is no discrepancy at all!
However this presents a horrible dilemma:
If the cultural differences between O-sensei's Japan and our modern countries are so large, are we really sure that we can understand the genius of what O-sensei tried to explain?

Originally posted by Edward

Sometimes I do wonder if the decision to teach aikido to Westerners was not O sensei's biggest mistake. ..
These are very sad words. If there is no way to reconcile the differences of the cultures involved, can we still follow a path that we all so dearly want to believe is a path towards something great?
In other words, yes we happen to believe things in our culture, like that intentional hurting of a child by a parent or student by a teacher is abuse. Or that it is possible to become strong and able and wise by practice and learning that does not openly endorse injury to others. Maybe in O-sensei's culture that would make us wimpy. In our culture that makes us normal. So, does that mean our budo practice (and our budo) is wimpy? Or is it normal? If our cultural values are applied to this martial art , will we still have something valuable, or is it possible for changing cultural values to strip a budo of its value as an art and a way?
Am I just rambling, or do I have a point??
Oh yes and the original issue.. the thread has drifted from chronic to accute injuries. I (idealistically?) agree with Colleen and others that chronic injuries are not necessarily tied to Aikido practice, rather that their occurances are errors (not just one person's errors, but they are mistakes in the practice nonetheless). As for acute injuries.. it's like I said before. Culturally, there is no love or respect tied to the giving of an injury in my culture, and consequently their occurance is entirely a negative one, to be avoided by everyone. As for challenging the sensei in front of the class.. well, let's face it, he's better than you, and you get what you ask for (an energetic throw, not necessarily a broken limb).
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your posts.
Oh yeah, and Deb: hi, it's so weird to see someone I know here. You can do breakfalls?? I guess I should be training harder with you!! heh heh heh!!!
--Jonathan Wong
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