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Old 07-11-2008, 10:08 PM   #128
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Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Re: Is Aikido effective for police?

Like I said before Kevin, I'm sure you are right on the money, and I would never outright disagree with you, never dismiss it this way or that. It's really my thing, if you will allow me that. I'm allowed many "luxuries" - things that come with offering no one anything but a chance to train, no certifications, no rank, no nothing but to share in a journey that is completely individual.

Along those lines, I can see how it makes sense to "train as you fight," etc., but from another point of view, the one my position allows me to adopt, I can reject it fully. For example, I've seen folks that can face the "sh-t" in the midst of chaos, remaining trained and disciplined, etc., but then see these same folks fall apart when asked to sit on a cushion and not move, not sleep, not make a noise. Inversely, I've seen folks that can sit for hours, but freak out when they get less than six hour of sleep and their kids are wanting them to build all their lego star wars toys NOW.

What I'm trying to say is that I've taken the position that there is always going to be a gap between training and application - that one implies the absence of the other. This is compounded more for me when I realize that it is impossible, numerically impossible, to cover every situation I may ever have to face in life in training. In fact, my experience has determined that what marks application, what marks the non-training environment, what marks reality, more than anything else, is infinity, the unending possibility of it all. In the face of Infinity, for me, it is silly to look for whatever is thought to be the most common, the more likely, etc., let alone mission specific. Reality is what it is, and what it is can never be captured. This is the exact opposite, as I hinted at earlier, of training. Training is concrete, has to be, marked both in terms of time and space, with beginnings, middles, and ends, boundaries, rights and lefts, inside and outside, etc. - so artificial, so not reality.

Rather, I use the artificial of training to work on specific things, concepts, philosophies, etc., and ultimately to provide me with the paradox of finding the Infinite in the finite, which for me is the highest martial skill, the true key to fighting as you train and training as you fight - the only key to that.

So, at our dojo, sometimes we make the naturally aggressive sit on a cushion and demonstrate and cultivate their discipline that way. Sometimes, we make the one's that can find peace and center in the quiet and stillness of meditation build lego sets for their kids after they've worked all night and have to do so again this night.

Again, it's not for everyone, this training, not by a long shot. But, in my experience, it works. And, more importantly, for me, it's much more consistent in thought, which I have found to be the first step to being consistent in practice - which shows a depth of training and achievement, a good use of time.

Again, I know this is very individual, very personal, and I only mention it here in case others my be thinking along these lines and wondering on it all. More food for thought - that kind of thing.

David M. Valadez
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