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Old 06-27-2008, 08:54 AM   #7
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Where I am at is that I am thinking about the question "as power increases how to we get commensurate compassion?"
Wouldn't that part of the problem be circumvented if the people that know something just do their best not to show the blowhards (i.e., people whose "compassion" is really about themselves, despite how pious they act) much of anything? My theory is that if you only show stuff to the right people you don't have to worry about all the rest. If you show some pious guy who talks a lot about "compassion", you'll probably be disappointed.

I've told this story below before, in order to illustrate exactly the same point about "compassion":

Once there was a "spiritual" Tai Chi guy (Cheng Man Ching style)who started coming to our push-hands practice. He'd heard from his teacher what bad people we were (particularly me) so he was apprehensive. We, frankly, didn't care if he came or not, as long as he played by the rules and didn't try to convert us to some time-wasting spiritual, limp stuff. He kept voicing his concerns about not wanting anyone to be too rough with him, yada, yada, yada.

Anyway, we treated the guy just like anyone else and even spent time working him from limp push-hands to fairly soft and effective push-hands using jin skills. He gradually got better. One day he realized that he was indeed getting better and when he visited his normal Cheng Man Ching group, no one could handle him. He turned into a bully. Exactly the same kind of bully that he'd been worried he'd run into in our group, but never found.

I realize that that's just one anecdote, but it illustrates something I've found to be true many times in my life... the self-absorbed are usually the first people you'll find when you get them to take off their cloak of spirituality and compassion and "hail fellow well met".

So my suggestion is that teaching simply follow the dictates of common sense: don't waste time showing people who will never put in the effort; don't waste time with someone who is overly focused on spirituality and compassion. Real martial artists tend to be practical, curious, and they work hard. Period.

My 2 centavos.

Mike Sigman
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