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Old 12-04-2011, 09:31 AM   #72
George S. Ledyard
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,629
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I found it very interesting that I was singled out and gone after here when:
1. I didn't start the thread
2. I was the one who started to talk about context and how it was an accepted practice to exaggerate.
I think it serves to highlight pent up anger by many here and the apparent acceptance of their behavior.

Oh well.
Interestingly enough then- since we want to play that way- why is no one outraged that Saotome's impossible time frames, then lead to dozens of other shihans being flat out lairs about Ueshiba's where abouts.
Isn't anyone "offended" on these other famous teachers behalf? No takers? Anyone?
It is virtually impossible for both stories to be true.
Don't even bother going there... It's not worth it. The reason is fairly obvious I think. This isn't an historical exercise for most of us... this is the larger community of Aikido practitioners we are talking about. It's one thing to be talking about teachers who have passed on and quite another to get into discussions about teachers with whom we are actively associated or with whom we train regularly. I make it a rule not to get into pissing matches about specific teachers. This forum is world wide and is supposed to provide a chance to exchange ideas about the different ways we all understand and do our Aikido. This is not E-Budo where there were whole threads devoted to people bad mouthing the various teachers they disliked. You don't have any stake in this in terms of on-going relationships that need to be maintained. All your friends know you are a crusty curmudgeon and we also know what a generous teacher and funny guy you are. So we put up with you.. just like friends always put up with each others quirks. But discussions of senior teachers on-line is another thing. These people are not our "friends", they are our teachers, they are our friend's teachers, they ar the people we have to share our Aikido community with.

This is precisely why there was a ton of information about Aikido history that Arikawa had, which he would discuss only with very close associates such as Stan Pranin or Peter Goldsbury, which he never published. It's why Stan has tons of stuff he has never released. When the players have all passed from the scene, then we may see this stuff. But not while everyone is still actively interacting. You get on-line and start actively dissing a particular teacher, you make it VERY difficult for that teacher's students to interact with you. No good comes from these discussions.

I am all for discussions of the history. We can put out all the factual information we want. We do not need at all to get into how any particular teacher's version of those events squares or doesn't square with the documented narrative. Folks can educate themselves and decide what they think for themselves. It is absolutely not a good thing to start getting into calling teachers "liars" or impugning their motivations on-line. In private is one thing but publicly no good at all can come from such discussions. As the English would say it's just not "good form". I would ask you to be cognizant of the fact that such discussions could make it difficult for many of us to do what we are currently doing. You are smart enough to understand that. It may not matter to you but it matters to some of the rest of us.

These things are predictable on the forums. Folks join in whose communication style irritates the existing group for a while, some folks more than others. Folks either figure out how to get along or they end up going away at Jun's request. When the new person shows up and can't figure it out... it does no good whatever to allow yourself to get drawn into it. Just don't go there. I understand that a number of folks, some of my best friends even, are "warrior" types who never back down from a fight. But it simply isn't productive. This is an Aikido site after all... we are supposed to be working towards world peace, at least right up until the moment someone insists that the only form of conflict resolution left open to us is the total "removal" of one of the antagonists.

I really like Ellis's solution which is, as soon as someone is deemed to be a waste of time, he gets "ignored". It's all very Zen, really. If a problem exists but no one can see it, is it still a problem? I recommend this to all... I use it whenever I find that being on Aikiweb starts raising my blood pressure rather than being enjoyable.

Don't let yourself get drawn into this... no good comes from such discussions.

- George

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 12-04-2011 at 09:36 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside