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Old 10-30-2013, 03:02 PM   #55
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I suppose my concern is that there seems to be a psychology in Aikido that somehow we can gain these tremendous insights into conflict resolution and gain a great deal of skillfullness in "verbal aikido" or something along those lines. That may be true in many cases I suppose.
I'm going to disagree with your terminology. Aikido does not, cannot, have a "psychology". It does not have a nervous system, it does not have a brain, it does not have thoughts and beliefs.

Now let's talk about brains and nervous systems and how they can lead us to perceive things in certain ways. I think that we humans tend to notice and exaggerate whatever goes against our view of how things are (or ought to be). When you're driving, you don't notice the hundred drivers all doing what they're supposed to; you notice the one jerk who isn't, even if his jerk-ness doesn't impact you. So it is with beliefs that we find silly or annoying or unsubstantiated. If you've read my posts, you know that I'm waaaaaay over at the skeptical end of the spectrum regarding the belief that aikido training teaches us conflict resolution and "verbal aikido" and all that stuff. At the same time, I don't find that these beliefs are really all that prevalent: in forums, in real life, whatever. Looking at it as objectively as I can, I don't believe that they are either widely held nor proselytized in the overbearing, ubiquitous manner that would justify the irritation expressed towards them. But if you think it's all a lot of nonsense (or what's that British expression, codswallop? Have I got that right? great word...), then the one-in-a-hundred instances of this will cause you to scream "AAAAAAH THIS CRAP IS EVERYWHERE!!!"

So maybe it's time to take a deep breath. Seems to me we've had a few too many "those people/you people" threads around here lately, filled with sparkling logical gems like "all those people, and they always, and they never, and and and" that convey great passion, but (sadly) aren't so well grounded in reality. Rather than rail against all Those People Out There, maybe we can try to drop our story lines and engage with what's actually in front of us.
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