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Old 01-28-2012, 03:13 PM   #261
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
For the sake of discussion we could give people the benefit of the doubt. Aikido can be a peaceful art. AikiWeb could be a place where everyone can post respectfully. People can choose what they want to read and who they want to ignore. We don't have to make ourselves look better by degrading others.

Graham practices Aikido on this board all the time. He says what he wants no matter how many times some people try to make him look ridiculous. You could learn a lot from how he posts.

Would any empirical scientist give another scientist the benefit of the doubt? Would any scientist with any integrity whatsoever expect another scientist to give him/her the benefit of the doubt? Your comment stands out as odd when viewed from an empirical perspective. It has nothing to do with personalities. It has nothing to due with how someone views our art either. People are more than welcome to post respectfully whenever and wherever they want to.

It stands out as bizarre to me that you can somehow construe an objective, empirical perspective to be viewed as non-peaceful, disrespectful, or degrading for that matter. Did O'Sensei not put his skills to the test when meeting Takeda Sensei? I think that putting one's skills, ideas and beliefs to objective, empirical tests in the hallmark of integrity and respect.

Your claim that Graham is somehow practicing some kind of "Aikido" is likewise bizarre. Aikido is not about avoiding and escaping reality. Aikido is not practiced through words in absence of actions. In that respect, Graham is his own worst enemy. People have given him ample opportunity to respectfully demonstrate what he believes that he can do and say. People have respectfully given him ample opportunity to experience what others say that they can do and say in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect. It has only been Graham who has avoided those opportunities. I can find no historical evidence of O'Sensei actively seeking to avoid having his ideas and abilities demonstrated in an empirical and objective manner in an atmosphere of respect.

I frankly find it bizarre that you can somehow describe the request that we, like O'Sensei, and others before him and after him, hold ourselves up to lofty standards. For example, I initially thought that Dan Harden was big on ideas and short on reality of actions. He provided us with an opportunity for a group of us to get together and explore what each of us thought and believed. I was never belittled, nor was upset and hurt to find out that I was the one who was short on ideas and reality of actions (beside short in stature ). I had no problem apologizing to Dan personally. Dan never rubbed that in my face, or anybody else's face for that matter. We all met and trained in an atmosphere of mutual respect and camaraderie with the over-riding goal of all of us being able to empirically and objectively define, develop and display skill sets that are at the foundation of our art.

I frankly think that you can learn a lot from stepping away from your keyboard and seeing what people really have and don't have in terms of skill sets and the ideas behind them. In the world of martial arts, words in absence of actions are vapid and ridiculous. People who are not willing to put their words into action in an empirical, objective manner in an atmosphere of respect and camaraderie are the ones who demean themselves and the art that they allegedly represent. Aikido is a martial art and can be defined in one's actions and in one's words. Aikido in not a martial art that can simply be defined through one's words as simply an armchair warrior.

The issue that I raised goes far beyond you, me, Dan, or Graham. It has everything to do with holding ourselves and others up to the standards that have been the hallmark of martial arts throughout the world. The level of respect, integrity and camaraderie that comes from these standards is visible to all. When people do not live up to those standards, it is visible to all as well.

Marc Abrams
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