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Old 02-14-2012, 10:58 AM   #35
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Integrity in our Aikido Community

I agree that at some level we all have a duty to call BS. Of course there will be disagreements and unhappy people. Leaving things that are wrong unchallenged simply shouldn't be an option on a forum devoted to a particular topic. In my world of the sword craft I have posted enough to have written a book by now (which isn't a bad idea). Part of that is me working out my own understanding but also trying to bring some balance to what is often really naive junk posted as truth and common sense. Often the biggest problem is the "you don't know what you don't know" aspect. And we see it here. People training with like-minded individuals who find their magical hand-wavy stuff working on all their happy students. The whole "great wise guru sensei" vibe starts and pretty soon we have yet another aiki "master" floating about. Their world is one of reinforcement and agreement. All while the rest of the world continues to investigate, translate, and try to understand what was going on. And when things get too far out in left field we really have to stand up and say "Wait a minute -- that's simply not the case."

I've read more tortured logical fallacies here on this forum than in most others. In other contexts, like my beloved traditional sword crafts, what I tend to see is simply an incomplete knowledge-base. There's not many experts, just a lot of enthusiastic folk maybe going too far and assuming too much from what little they know. Here we have the same starting point, but somehow with the whole "I'm a sensei" stuff it gets blown so much further. And then add in to this decades of folk doing exactly that. So we have what in some cases is silliness with a lineage.

This isn't going to be an easy change as more information comes out and as more evaluation happens as to what *really* happened (as if that's entirely possible anyway).

Enough time has passed where we should be looking back with a more critical eye. And that will also mean remaining steadfast in finding an objective viewpoint with those who aren't willing to either look back critically or look at themselves critically.

Yes, I think there are groups who went their own direction with their own "takes" on what it was all about. I think if they're happy with what they're doing, fine, more power to them. I have zero problems with different styles and differing philosophies, even the more idiosyncratic self-styled types. However, if those folk are going to assert equivalence or martial effectiveness or greater efficacy (and so on), they should be prepared to accept that others will strongly disagree. I'm perfectly happy being told I'm wrong. I'm perfectly happy telling someone else they are wrong. I'll present what I can as evidence and I expect the other to do the same and not rely on mysterious sensei, etc. And if someone offers up logically faulty answers, misrepresentations, misunderstandings of translation, well, don't be surprised if people will point them out as piss-poor responses to what are serious questions for many of us.

Enough of my rant for the day.

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