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Old 07-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #15
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Something my father used to tell me is that if you start a conversation with "I don't know anything about this topic..." you should probably stop talking at that point rather than prove the truth of your statement.
I am sure your father was very wise, and it is good advise. Allow me to clarify as my statement was not in enough detail. I guess that is what happens when I take short cuts. Sorry, Keith for any confusion on what I said, having no special insight.

In more detail, what I was saying is I am like so many Aikidoka and like the originator of the post, that we experience politics, it touches out lives, it effects our Aikido, our dojos, our training. We are not the policy makers, we are not the polticians, and not everyone can be a Stanley Pranin who got really close. The Japanese use the word gaijin to indicate the exclusive attitude Japanese have. They had their country's door closed for centuries. They didn't modernize until the Mejin period. I have read from many here how difficult it is as a gaijin to be accept. And I have read the threads concerning the difficulty for gaijin to be shihan in some organization. There is only one Stanely Pranin, and it sure ain't me. And unlike some other people here, I am not fortunate to get close to more liberal top Japanese sensei that are less conservative in this matter. Individuals who are able to have them be comfortable enough to provide political insights. That is what I mean by that.

I don't think the original post has those connections either, and offering a view point from the same position I hope offers him some general background information to the situation he is facing. That I provided in my post is what helped me when I was faced with such a situation. I want to share information I learned in the Japanese culture classes I took. That really helped me understand the Japanese. After all, Aikido is Japanese. It would make sense to have a primer on Japanese history and culture.

Keith, as you can see what I said was "no special insight." That is true. But, I have had similar political uncomfortable situations as a result of organizational politics and leadership, as many of us rank and file have. I don't have a high or influential position or rank in any Aikido organizations, obviously, that is what I mean by I "no special insight" into the operational political workings of any major Aikido organization.

Keith, it is my hope that I was able to provide some general insight to his problem based on my observations, having a similar experience, and what I have read and learned in relation to Aikido organizational politics. The bottom line thing I learned was there is always going to be politics in Aikido and martial arts. Although, it isn't the politics we may be familiar with, or accustom to knowing that helps in our expectations and understanding of Aikido politics. Most of us will never have that special in sight into the political workings. But I feel, once we have a better general understanding of those politics are, and where they come from and how they are different and similar from our own politics. Such an overview, may give us better navigational points, and ease the frustration we may feel as a result from political implications.

Last edited by Buck : 07-23-2010 at 10:55 AM.
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