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Old 07-15-2008, 11:03 PM   #90
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Do air cookies provide a minimum daily requirement of nourishment?

Once upon a time, before some of you young'uns were even born, I trained at the Aikido Headquarters, and I was a very popular uke for the shihan - I was (still am) tall, at 2 meters, and I was very --------- sensitive. Made people look good. I could respond to Watanabe when he made one of his, ah, ... - gestures -, made Doshu look like a titan by giving a straight arm out for him to crunch his wakigatame, gave up a relaxed arm and dived over it so Arikawa, Masuda, and Chiba wouldn't break it during their attempts to do so on shihonage, managed to run fast enough to keep ahold of Tada sensei, when he was doing one of his huge swirling treks across half the dojo, like a meteor run amuck, and managed to maintain finger-print contact with Osawa sensei as he etched living zen through the air. I could hang (on) with the Iwama guys while they did "weight lifting" with the uke. I even managed not to irritate Yamaguchi too much, even though I never mastered the wet towel flip-flop. For a period of about a year (my active time at the Aikikai), pretty much every shihan used me to demonstrate technique.
In that interim, I joined Araki-ryu. First day, my teacher puts a nasty joint lock on my wrist and I hit the deck. He looked at me, puzzled, and said, "What are you doing down there?"
"Taking ukemi," I replied.
"But I haven't done anything to you yet," he riposted
"But you were going to," I replied.
"So don't let me," he concluded.

On a related matter, I don't know if I'm the only one who sees it this way.
Rolling Stones - "I can't get no satisfaction" - the most barbaric yawp of adolescent need ever howled. It's kind of disappointing to hear it on an ad for "feminine hygiene spray" or a lawn mower.
Beethoven's 9th - testament to the artistic spirit that is unkillable - how about an endless loop of a passage while waiting to talk to someone in the IRS
Rollo May - a profoundly dignified pioneer of existential psychology - books on responsibility, fundamental anxiety in the face of death. I'd have hated to see him as a Dr. Phil.

Everybody's got their reasons, and everybody's got their life. And I fully believe that Abe sensei is all that he's said to be, by Shaun and by another friend who has felt what he can do.
But I don't like art demeaned.
But I do not get participating in a television show that is, in it's nature, japing, loud, disrespectful, and stupid - and doing there techniques that lend themselves to further japing. I did a little acting in Japan, and I told my agent that I would 1. Never rape or molest a Japanese female for the camera 2. Never make fun of budo 3. Never lend myself to a role that made white people out to be too crude and ignorant to understand the marvels of Japanese culture. . . . .I said that I did a little acting. None after that - they didn't have roles for me, then.

So maybe it's just me, but having seen that video show before, my objection is not about the air cookie throws, though I come down on Dan's perspective in this - that's just personal interest. It's simply aesthetic. It was an unpleasant thing to watch idiots make howling noises in the face of an old man of some attainment, and he agreed to let it happen. And in so doing, I do not think a message showing the real potential of the training he does was conveyed.
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