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Old 05-19-2004, 06:52 PM   #20
senshincenter's Avatar
Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,473
Re: The Nage/Uke Dynamic - Guidelines

Thank you Mr. Little for replying.

Please, know that there is no need for qualifying your reply. I found it to be very insightful. I have not taken you to be commenting upon how I train, etc., but upon what thought patterns and tendencies I was using to come up with the guidelines I did. Your replies have been perfectly understandable in that sense.

I can agree with your explanation of what might be and might not be related to cultic activity. But as you can imagine from my first set of questions, I believe one has a long way to go between what a sensei might be doing and saying as part of a traditional martial arts teaching model and what a cultic leader might be doing in developing a movement around his/her personality. In that great distance between the two, the need for such great caution seems premature to me and I would hope it would also seem premature to anyone else that would ever choose of their own freewill to enter a traditional dojo. Also in that great distance between the two, I think it is perfectly fine to openly state that the traditional dojo is indeed an institution totally housed within the subjectivity of the sensei. This is the way in which I was using the word "dojo" -- in reference to your concerns. In no way am I suggesting that dojo that are more egalitarian in nature are wrong and/or are not dojo. But I'm suggesting that the de-prioritizing of egalitarian positions has a traditional foundation in Budo and it is not one based in the cultic. Again, I would hope that anyone that chooses to enter into a traditional dojo of their own freewill will stay long enough to figure out why and how this is so. If they do, they will figure out how questioning is paramount to the growth of the sensei, the growth of the dojo, and the growth of their own selves. Change, modification, alteration, personalization, etc., are not something that can be inhibited into absence from the outside -- though to be sure attempts have been made throughout history. These things, in my opinion, do not disappear because the subjectivity of one person's viewpoint (in this case the sensei) is expressed as such for all to see. If anything, history has proven that the result you speak of comes more from subjective positions remaining silent, hidden, and closed off from the view of others -- where they truly cannot question it. No cult was ever formed by putting subjectivity out there in the open, for in the very instance that it would its claim to objectivity would be denounced and with it its supposed leader.

On your second point, I would like to say that I consider those things to be of the same nature -- though I am truly intellectually fascinated with the difference you are drawing through your rewording: no room for subjectivity, and leaving a vast room for the de-legitimatization of subjectivity.

If you will allow me to use your wording, having vast room for the de-legitimatization of subjectivity is the bread and butter of correction. Isn't it? So I would never suggest that such a thing is not present, particularly in a traditional dojo, but at the same time I would never say that by correction alone mindless automatons you would produce. Again the caution seems premature -- though admitting, I have never fallen victim to a cult or to cultish ways, etc. In other words, I'm not looking out for the dangers of cultish leadership, and so I may certainly be guilty of not addressing the concerns of those who may be.

Your final comments are inspiring. Thank you. I can only repeat my earlier comments: that said guidelines are not meant for beginners; that they are reference points for experience and for insights gained from experience -- they are not offered as counters or substitutes for experience; that saying something does not prevent an experience; that remaining silent does not guarantee an experience; etc. So what you say, again I agree with, but I cannot see how or why you felt that one thing means the absence of something else (i.e. contemplating subjective experiences within a set of abstractions that themselves were derived from other subjective experience means that a teacher cannot or will not practice with his/her students and say, "Yes, like that, remember that feeling?") On this point I think we will have to disagree.

Again, much appreciation for your reply. I sincerely enjoyed reading it.
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