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Old 11-13-2011, 06:05 PM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Re: why do people outside Aikido for IS?


I have stayed out of the other threads, mainly because I would be repeating what others have already stated. I am responding here because I have a different view of the so-called ‘crisis' you talk about. If you will bear with me, I have made a few comments, below, marked PAG.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
There seems to be a crisis on some people's path that they they are trying to fix. It seems like some people having been training for a long time and have not grown strong. That must be disconcerting and discouraging. Maybe it is what causes the level of nastiness that seems to rise up on these threads. Are you angry because your Aikido is lacking something? Are you feeling cheated?
PAG. Like you, I have been a member of AikiWeb for a long time. I have no one on my ignore list. I read everything that is written here. In your post, you go straight from the ‘crisis' to the ‘nastiness' on the threads and suggest that one might be causing the other, but I do not think there is such a close connection. I have occasionally been surprised to meet in person people who contribute to AikiWeb and discover that their abrasive writing style is not at all matched by an abrasive personality. As for a ‘crisis', I think that aikido is much more of a private activity than is conveyed by discussions on forums like AikiWeb. Thus I do not believe that you can talk of a ‘crisis' purely on the basis of the threads concerning Mr Harden.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
When the spiritual part of Aikido is missed, could it be that the internal part is missed also. Maybe there is more connection than you have been led to believe.
PAG. I think there is an ambiguity in your use of the term ‘internal'. It could mean something quite specific and demonstrable; or it could be a much vaguer term—the counterpart of something that is ‘external', that can be connected with the ‘physical'. I have used quotation marks because I am not sure that I understand what you mean by ‘spiritual' or ‘internal'. Part of the problem is that both are highly metaphorical, or metonymic, in English and so the meaning can sometimes made clear only with examples.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Every one of these threads turns into a discussion about Dan (no disrespect intended just an observation). I hear that Dan understands internal strength and can convey it. I am sure he can.

Does that make it okay for you (not you, Dan, others that speak for you) to disparage others' ways? With great strength comes great responsibility. Internal practice could cause internal inspection and responsibility for one's own thoughts and process.
PAG. As I see it, there is an unfortunate tendency on AikiWeb to regard all opinions expressed as having the same value in terms of content, simply because they are opinions expressed. To disagree with this tendency can lead to accusations of disparagement of the views expressed, or of the person who holds the views, simply because the views are different. However, in this case, serious and honest criticism of someone's view becomes very difficult and silence is sometimes the only option.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Maybe as individuals you all think that you are expressing yourselves. But to me it comes across on here as lemmings repeating doctrine.
PAG. I do not see it this way. There are people on these threads, whom I have met and whose views I respect very much, who speak very highly of Mr Harden and how he trains. I have never met Mr Harden, but the argument from induction as I am using it here carries some weight.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
One of the reasons I am not interested in what Dan has to offer is because of how some people that train with him talk to others on here. Why would anyone want that? Real internal strength helps us think for ourselves. It helps us develop compassion and appreciation of diversity.
PAG. Here I draw the opposite conclusion. The fact that people talk about Mr Harden so much, not just here, but in other, private conversations, leads me to think that what he does is of major importance. If I may mention just one name, I have never met Mr William Gleason, but the fact that he trained with my own teacher, Seigo Yamaguchi, and also regularly trains with Mr Harden, is very significant for me. As is the fact that, on the basis of what I read here on AikiWeb, he is trying to incorporate what he is learning with Mr Harden into his own aikido training.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Ron and I trained with a man who was very strong. He taught us well. Now we are on our own path.
PAG. So did I, and so did they, and so am I. My dojo is formally attached to the Aikikai, but we are well off the beaten track and we can get on with what we want to do.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Our Path involves Ki development, Aikido waza and internal responsibility. We talk about it all the time on here. Yet when we have a seminar not one person from the Aikido world other than our own students come. And then on here we are told we don't know what we are talking about. Only Mike and Dan have the "goods". How could anyone possibly know because none has come to our dojo to find out.
PAG. Well, I am not really expecting a major rush of AikiWeb members to turn up at my dojo in Hiroshima on the basis of my posts in this forum. Equally, I am not likely to turn up at your dojo or at Mr Harden's door (in Massachusetts, I believe) any time soon. We are on opposite sides of the world. I state this to emphasize that AikiWeb is run by a Japanese, from Kobe, who is living in the US and is supported by people like myself, a Brit who is living in Japan. The international dimension of AikiWeb tends to be forgotten sometimes.
On the other hand, because I am unable to meet them myself, I will be very much looking forward on my next trip to Europe to see what my aikido friends there have learned at the hands of Mr Harden and Mr Akuzawa and to teach me what they have learned.

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I not writing for sympathy or empathy. I really want to know. Please try not to write back if you have nasty things to say. Let's discuss these ideas without being mean.
PAG. Well, the way you have put this makes it rather easy for you to accuse me of being nasty or mean if I disagree with you.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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