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Old 10-03-2002, 09:26 AM   #31
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
Simon Watkins (SimonW11) wrote:
I cant believe you are really that naive. this is just a debating point surely? Dan gave him what he asked for instead of what he wanted.
Simon, I'm not going to reply to the content of your last post. Since you already seem so convinced of your expertise that no amount of rational discussion will change your mind, I will not waste my time trying. And since you feel that I am so naive, I will just defer to your vast experience and let your comments stand, for the most part, as they are.

I am going to make one exception, though, and respond to your claim that Dan gave the TKD man what he asked for instead of what he wanted. You have brought up an interesting point here that is essential for correctly understanding and interpreting this story.

How do you know what the man wanted? Do you have direct access to his mind? No, all you have is Dan's description of the events, and that description is necessarily biased. Dan says that the man "only wanted to show his students how Japanese Aikido was inferior to Korean martial arts," but actually that's only Dan's perception of what the man wanted.

In fact, it is far more likely that the man was truly interested in Aikido but had difficulty expressing this interest in a less aggressive way. Dan mentions that at the time the Koreans tended to look down upon the Japanese and their arts, so it stands to reason that the man would have found it difficult to approach Dan sincerely without losing face. Hence, he reverted to an aggressive posture. Instead of realizing the true nature of the man's intent, though, Dan created a confrontational situation in his own mind by assuming the worst. In this way, he was the source of his own problems. Usually, that's the way things are.

Dan's blindness to the true nature of the situation is also what allows him to look like a hero when he turns the situation around and makes friends with the man. But, in reality, he is just a hero in his own mind, and, of course, also in the minds of those naive enough to uncritically accept his version of the story. Ultimately, all Dan did in this situation was to change his own mind. And, ultimately, that's really all Aikido is about.
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