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Old 01-19-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Yurusu, An Aiki Perspective

Mr. Takahashi
I greatly enjoyed this article, thank you. I think it is timely, at this juncture here on aikiweb.
Many of your points ring deep in my own heart, and serve to remind me that not only do we need to forgive each other, but we also should remember to try harder not to cause someone to feel they need to!

It would be a great New years resolution here on Aikiweb were we to all pause a bit and consider each other. As I have traveled these last few years and met so many teachers in budo, I have come to both appreciate and understand the depth of Ellis Amdur's initial defense of and admonitions to me to re-think the quality of people in Budo. He recognized and also knew some of the snake pit experiences I had previously had with people in the arts, and encouraged me to reconsider and reach out to them. It was he and he alone, that told me I must teach. Were it not for him, I would not be meeting hundreds of teachers around the world, and I would have missed meeting some of the nicest people I know-not the least of which would be Ellis himself. Few know the story but I blew him off for six months because I didn't want to meet him!! Idiot!! Here is the critical point; many of those teachers were my harshest critics. In line with your excellent article here, we had chosen to put aside petty squabbles and try to achieve an understanding. It worked, and I can count some great relationships started, because of Ellis, and because of Aikiweb!

One common trait that I have seen in Budo teachers is that we are all confident, but it is through a life of failure and frustration in attempting things beyond our means and ability. Budo tends to keep our failures right in front of us everyday we practice...seemingly without end...cough. This alone should produce a bond and awareness and also a recognized tenacity between us all.
I think and hope that many of us have experienced the power of forgiveness in our personal lives. Letting go instead of holding on, releases a floodgate of interrelated events, many times unseen, and it reaches places we could not otherwise have approached.

I also agree with you that this stems from honest evaluations of ourselves within our community and helps us keep a keen eye on the fact that we are better and stronger as a we instead of as a me. I am often reminded of Mohammed Ali giving one of the shortest and most compelling commentaries of his treatment by the Government for refusing induction into the armed forces and being stripped of title and being left bankrupt. Facing the press and a group at a college campus he simply appealed to a greater awareness beyond each of our own selfish concerns in being mindful of what we allow to happen to one- can happen to us all:
"Me? We."
I thought it brilliant.

Why not consider that here as well. We should all assume the better of each other when we disagree over various issues. These things that we hotly debate, are not issues that define us as people. Each of us are far more than these things. A case in point is the continued disagreement on issues of aiki; Where and how should that correlate to judging each other and going on the attack? As George Ledyard once said Can't we find a way to disagree without the need to lay waste to the other person? To which we all need to give a resounding...Yes we can!

I am going to keep your column in mind throughout the new year-it will give me pause. Let me know how I do.
Thanks again.

Last edited by DH : 01-19-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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