View Single Post
Old 05-27-2012, 09:30 PM   #42
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: Spiritual and i/p

Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
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.
Sure, to judge is human. To err is human. To kill is human. To make war is human. To step into dogshit is human. To make irrational decisions is human. To completely destroy wildlife is human. To pollute the air is human. To be cruel to animals is human. To deny food and water to children in third world countries is human.

So shall we just sit back and enjoy the ride? Or is it humanly possible to reflect on these things and wonder if we like this, if this is the world that we really want? And if not, to reflect if we have the strength and the courage and the wisdom to do something about this?

There are alternatives that many of the people in this world already use on a daily basis. To explain in it in Buddhist terms; you should be able to discriminate between edible plants and poisonous plants, you should be able to see the difference between a bucket as a whole and a bucket with a hole in it. you should be able to see the difference between an elephant and a fish. You should be able to discriminate Mozart from Bach. But there is no need to say; Mozart got it right and Bach got it wrong or worse then that Mozart was perfect and Bach was completely useless. There is no point in saying; a rose is a real flower, but a daisy is not. That is what is meant by judging. If you would pursue an academic study you would come across the same principle. If a person has been brought to a hospital with a wound as a result of a fight, the surgeon is not going to ask whether this man is the criminal or the victim. He operates without judgement.

I used to teach Aikido to professional dancers. The choreographers that I knew were not as such interested in the skill of the dancers, as they were all trained and skilled dancers. They did not judge their dancers, but if they saw a difference they would try to fit that in the choreography.
This is the reason why in traditional Aikido dojo you often will see a crooked beam on the kamiza wall. It represents a saying by Buddha about not judging.

To be a better artist in whatever discipline you like, you do not need to judge. Quite the opposite, by judging you show a limitation of perspective.

You cannot test ideas or skills via the internet. At best, if there is film available (youtube, dvd) you can get an impression of what someone is doing and you can try to compare it to what you are doing. I see on Aiki web a lot of conclusions that are based on bias, hidden agenda's, fixed opinions and a lack of reading with care what someone is trying to express. And worse then that; people draw conclusions about the other person's skills and experience without ever having met that person. So I can not agree with you that Aiki web is working pretty well.

I am not a christian. But I do not think that what you say here about Jezus represents the christian faith sincerely.

As for your description of your training; for me spirituality in Budo means something completely different. It does not involve hurting or damaging other people, be it physical or any other way.