View Single Post
Old 05-14-2004, 09:37 AM   #10
senshincenter's Avatar
Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,426
Re: Article: True Self Defense by George S. Ledyard


Can I ask:

Was uke injured in the case you are referring to? Was that "drive" to the mat totally unexpected by uke, and/or outside of the assumed given uke/nage dynamic?

I ask because I'm not so sure that we should, that we would want to, apply a subjective "more than" as a way of identifying whether the false self is dominant in our actions and/or not. I think if you answered "yes" to both questions, especially the second question, you may totally be onto to something here. Still, personally, I'd rather do without the "more than". I mean such an event can always be described as a lack of honor, a lack of integrity, and/or one's reason (e.g. fear, pride, ignorance) for not having such things present in one's training, etc.

The "forcing" of technique, I think, comes close as a descriptive in capturing some of the things I am guessing you might categorize under the phrase "more than". And undoubtedly the "forcing" of technique (which is the misapplication of technique, which is the attachment to technique, which ultimately is connected to an attachment to the false self) is something relative to the question I posed, and the topics covered in the article, but I'm not so sure that the full or near-full employment of one's athleticism in a martial way, when practicing a martial art, is necessarily a manifestation of the false self. In fact, it is often such a type of practice that leads budoka to the discomfort one needs to experience in order to drop false self-images (paraphrasing the article here).

In my experience, and this is something I do not attribute to your person, it is the subjective "more than" that is often used by aikidoka (used in a moralistic manner and supported by a righteousness that is totally egocentric in nature) to reinforce the false self, to enter into a silent agreement with others in which false self manifestations can be admired, to develop an illusion of strength, and in the end stop all processes of fundamental change.

Undoubtedly there are ways to train hard (i.e. driving uke into the mat) and to train softly (i.e. not driving uke into the mat) in Aikido. Each has its place. (Please ee my Nage/Uke Dynamic post in the General Forum.) But this is precisely because neither one can be innately attributable to the false self or the true self.

In my opinion,
  Reply With Quote