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Old 06-23-2008, 11:03 AM   #40
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Are they though?...maybe the difference is what makes Aikido (the way I practice it..I am not trying to define it for others)different?
But you're trying to have a conversation with others, at which point it makes some sense to try and work from consensus definitions. Morals and skills are separate, as evidenced by the many people who are very skilled at something but have the morals of a gutter rat (or, conversely, the many people who are quite moral but not particularly skilled at anything). It's a matter of objective fact that morals and skills are not necessarily correlated in human beings. may feel that it's incumbent on you to develop a level of morality that's commensurate with your skill, but that's a choice: if you fail to do so, your head's not going to explode.

Ramble mode on: the aikido community has something that I've not observed in any other martial art, and it still makes me scratch my head: this seeming need or desire to create final and authoritative definitions for things that are nebulous by nature and not easily defined -- or at least, not easy to arrive at a consensus definition for. In karate, you don't get these endless debates about what is karate, what is karate for, am I/are you doing Funakoshi's karate, etc. You don't get people looking at someone else's gedan barai and saying, "THAT IS NOT FUNAKOSHI'S KARATE!" although they might critique your technical execution. So, where consensus definitions are hard to derive, karateka seem more inclined to not get too terribly knotted about it, while in the aikido community, there are those who seem to use that fact to their advantage, to assert a kind of authority -- to lay claim to a term, and assert that those that don't fit their definition of it are a bunch of fakers. I've tried to understand the aikido community in more charitable terms, and I still fail to see the good in it. John Ralston Saul, in The Doubter's Companion, talked about how there's a certain mindset that seeks to gain the authority to define terms, because by defining the terms, they can control the dialogue (and ultimately, the truth). I see people accusing others of "not doing aikido", and it strikes me that it's often used like an Orwellian accusation of thoughtcrime: it doesn't need to have any substance, it's just a bully club.
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