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Old 05-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #33
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
Re: Spiritual and i/p

Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
But you need a willingness to share and a willingness to learn. Perhaps this works fine with wikipedia. And I sure wish it would work in Aikido, as I think that the founder pointed to a world of reconciliation and peace where we could exchange knowledge and grow with one another. But when I read the threads on Aiki Web I do not get the impression that many people are interested in that. I have seen it on other fora on other subjects as well. It stagnates as people only want to voice their own opinion and are too often not genuinely interested in what others do or have to tell without judging it.
I'm wondering what you think this ideal world would look like, especially when you're dealing with a body skill like Aikido. I say I do X and it's effective; you say no, do Y, it's more effective. It takes a few posts back and forth to clarify what we mean, but then we're at an impasse.

What does it even mean to not judge in this situation? To be human is to judge. That's what made us human. It's also what got us kicked out of the Garden, of course... but if we want to be better martial artists (or better scientists, or better writers, or better hamburger-flippers, if it comes to that) we have to judge.

So we judge by meeting and testing our ideas. We don't judge the people, we test the ideas empirically. For me, anyway, that's what this forum is all about--find out who are the people and what are the ideas that I'll want to engage with.

And it seems to me that AikiWeb is working pretty well for that. Seems to me that there was a whole bunch of noise a while back about the IS stuff, and a bunch of people called it horse pucky, and over time a bunch of them met with Dan... and changed their minds. (In fact, given how generally cantankerous people are, it's amazing to me how few people have met Dan (or Mike, or Howard, or the others promoting these skills) and haven't changed their minds.) That is the way a discussion is supposed to work when it's working well.

If a few folks have gotten their feelings hurt along the way, that's too bad--but this is budo, people. The consequences of an invalid training paradigm involve much more serious injuries than to feelings. To hold back on truth on the mat is to lie, and it's a dangerous lie. If you let me think I'm doing something that works when it doesn't you haven't just lied to me, you've put me at risk.

And that's my spirituality in budo. Love, yeah, but it's a love like Jesus' love. You know how much time he spent calling people scorpions, vipers, dogs, and hypocrites? In training, we meet the truth like we meet the mat (<smack!>). How we learn to deal with that is a measure of who we are as people.