Thread: Why no tsuba?
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:38 PM   #246
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: Why no tsuba?

Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Last post to you, Graham:

Your 1-3 are irrelevant to the issue I have with you.

4: My summary of the conversation was correct, thank you. You haven't, so far as I know, "disgraced" me. You have insulted me.

5: I guess I can choose between a deliberate misrepresentation of the videos and the idea that you can't tell one shihan from another. These weren't old videos like the one Dan posted, Graham--Yamada looks like Yamada in them.

<Snappy conclusions all deleted as being Jun-bait>

Okay, that's all.

Opinions have been put out there regarding the using and not using the tsuba. Not all opinions are the same and not all opinions merit the same weight of considerations. I would like you to consider these two posts

1) Fred Little
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Dear Mary,

As the old saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. When someone repeatedly posts counterfactual statements and attempts to hide behind a (mis)characterization of those counterfactual statements as perfectly valid personal opinions, it is not surprising that such a person should attract vigorous counterarguments.

There are some people who object to such vigorous responses, it is true. My primary objection to them is that they simply take a good deal of time to put together and have a limited effect when directed at those who are simply ineducable. As I grow older and more careful regarding how I choose to spend my limited time, increasingly, my choice with such individuals is to ignore them and to avoid situations where it is necessary to interact with them. For better or for worse, with an occasional exception (whether well- or ill-chosen) this means generally avoiding any interaction on Aikiweb but the most basic transfer of inarguably objective fact.

I'm hardly alone in this. Indeed, I know a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post here at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs.

But I don't see this as a problem with Aikiweb alone. I see this as a fundamental problem with what, for lack of a better phrase, is termed "the aikido community." Having been trained to not only politely tolerate, but in some cases actually celebrate their own teachers' failings, there are a great many students of the art who have actively damaged not only their own critical thinking ability, but their capacity for moral reasoning. It may not be dead, but for many practitioners, it has certainly gone to sleep.

In that circumstance, the wake-up call often sounds harsh indeed; but like an alarm clock, hitting the snooze button only buys a few more minutes of restive dormancy. And that is, I think, about all I have to say about that.

Best regards,

2) Mine- in this same thread.:

Marc Abrams wrote: View Post

Stepping back and watching what you are doing is akin to a man caught in quicksand who is digging down underneath himself to find solid ground. People far more skilled, knowledgeable and able than you are pointing out major areas in which they disagree with what you say and what you do. You become defensive and try and wiggle your way out of it with words and then feign puzzlement regarding the use of the internet. You might want to consider stepping back and really listening to what people are saying to you. You might want to step back and consider the necessity of testing these things out with some of these people with an open mind and willingness to acknowledge mistakes, gaps of understanding and lack of ability (For example, Dan's generous and kind invitation to you).

You seem to end up in these situations time and again without any awareness of how YOU are creating this reality. Threads leave the topic and digress to trying to get you to recognize what you are doing to create these impasses. People continue to engage you because they see the positive potential in you. The more you continue with this pattern, the fewer roads will be left open to you. Those roads really do lead to better things. Stop trying to defend what you think that you know and begin to embrace that which you really don't know. This pattern is causing more thread digression than any other thing lately. Kindly step back, take notice and make the appropriate changes for your own betterment.

Marc Abrams
Those two posts, when taken together, point out a tendency that is placing a disproportionate amount of attention upon opinions and claims that are considered by many to be suspect, inaccurate, etc.. If someone will not answer questions directly and we are always veering off course, then maybe we should try and point that out and move back on topic with those who are actually willing to engage in an honest discussion about the topic.

Oh, the topic was on the tsuba. We in Aikido can at best, use the sword to highlight certain principles in action (kata practice or otherwise). We should acknowledge that unless we are certified teachers in traditional schools of swordsmanship, that we really do not have a great depth of knowledge regarding the sword. We really can offer little in the way of some deep understandings that would help us answer why certain schools use or do not use a tsuba for certain kata (or other types of practice). I am wise enough to know the areas that I am ignorant in and I usually try and ask some intelligent questions to those in the know, who can educate me and help deepen my knowledge base.


Marc Abrams