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Old 04-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 23

Hi Peter,
I don't think I have ever directly communicated to you and probably due to our different ways of looking at things maybe that was for the best.

I must say however that although I don't use 'academic logic arguments' as a way of 'reason' and indeed reasoning I found this article to be very good, in depth and 'neutral' in the best sense of neutral.

I like it's honesty.

When you mentioned Aikido as presented as a new budo and related it to a path towards enlightenment and thus the conflict you encountered when observing the teachers who didn't seem to be walking that path it grabbed my interest. Plus it brought into play the ethical aspect which seemed like a contradiction to do with bowing and respect and then 'beating the hell out of each other.' This same scene I came across only not for the first time so thought I would put it here in relation to your writing and contemplation.

A young guy (well, young to me anyway) called me into the local pub today as I was passing by to ask for some help. He is entering a boxing tournament, a charity event, three three minute rounds where basically it's more like white collar workers putting on a series of fights for charity. Now he's a stocky strong lad and wanted some advice. Anyway, whilst explaining to me the scene and what he was looking for all his mates joined in with their rhetoric and opinions. Basically they were all talking about fighting and their histories and feelings and how if he lost it would affect him and revenge and, and, and. He looked a bit confused and said he don't think so to most of what they were saying and concluding. I saw the little he had done so far in his boxing training had already had a marked impact on him but he struggled to verbalize what it was.

I couldn't help but suddenly interfere with all the rhetoric and tell them they were talking nonsense and that they don't understand boxing or martial or even what it takes to step into a ring and basically that their views lacked any reality. Silence reigned. The youngster smiled and I felt him reaching for why? I explained that first and foremost you have to know that boxing is a noble art, it's not fighting as they know. It includes respect. Noble is the word and noble is the concept to understand.

I then took him aside and explained why? You see to me a noble art is where the two are going to abide by the same rules, usually with referee, mano et mano. With that in a noble art it is imperitive to learn the craft but the mental view is to respect the opponents attributes and skills while at the same time to develop your own and be confident in them. So it's discipline and respect and in comes honour. Thus the loser respects the winner and both are friends afterwards. It's an agreed upon contract if you like.

Thus I believe this is a middle ground between fighting and martial art and thus call it what it is a noble art albeit a sport.

From this viewpoint I believe one can start to realize what sayings like 'respect your partner's ki' (tohei) or respect your opponent means and isn't in fact contradictory to the art.

Of course in Aikido I take this further to the point of 'helping' the opponent which even on a lesser level would rule out acting as some of the teachers you encountered which seemed to little respect for the results of their actions.

Anyway just some of my thoughts but mainly thanks for the interesting article.

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