Thread: Ki is Kindness.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:12 PM   #128
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Ki is Kindness.

So we have a personal statement from Graham, "ki is kindness." In post 76, Graham cites an interview with O'Sensei as the source for his claim:
In the interview, O'Sensei does not speak on the topic of ki, specifically, but provides a larger perspective on "aiki".

We have an interpretation of ki that is inconsistent with most Japanese uses of the term, and is presented without support from historical, cultural, or semantic basis.

In any other realm of academia, we would not even have a thesis presentable for discussion, let along the evaluation of the claim. Without even getting to the argument of the truth of the claim, we can not even verify the claim is valid. Writing is not aikido; you do not write in a "aiki" manner. You do not take out the trash in an "aiki" manner. You do not add "aiki" as a suffix or prefix to any verb to imply that action be conducted in a harmonious fashion. You either clearly write or you do not. You either use correct semantics, grammar, and vocabulary or you do not. It's like lifting the X-wing from the swamp, you either do or do not...

The claim, "ki is kindness," is a invalid claim. Ledyard Sensei already proved the claim is invalid by simply stating a thing that possesses ki may not possess kindness. Whether the claim was poorly written remains to be seen, I argue it is. Several posters have already pointed out that with some clarification the claim could at least become valid, even if it could be proven a false claim. I have made several attempts to solicit additional information that would validate the claim from my perspective; Graham has chosen not to provide that information. Several posters have assisted Graham to validate his claim for him by actually providing the evidential support he lacks. Heck, there is even a post about ki from another thread on this thread that is better prepared than this one.

To be blunt, Graham threw out this little gem without a second thought. He didn't take the time to prepare his statement, provide supportive links, create a logical line of presentation, etc. The topic had merit and I bit. Turns out, I couldn't replicate his conclusion if I wanted to because he doesn't explain his rationale very well. So guess what? Just like any experiment - if you cannot replicate it, it ain't valid.
I told you already I give views for people to contemplate and test for themselves and if they do this they can then acknowledge what I say, add to what I say, tell me what they discovered, tell me they see how it applies to life but enquire how it applies to Aikido, whatever. But only after they have tested it for themselves. No references, no translations, no he saids.
Next we move into this push to validate an invalid argument with this "all opinions should be respected" stuff. An argument that is not well-compiled, concisely presented, and well-supported is disrespectful of its intended readers. The obligation of the argument is to present an argument sufficient to persuade the reader (to support the argument); rhetoric is a discourse of persuasion, not some free-for-all. This purple pen, "you get credit for trying stuff" doesn't work in fact-based argument. If Graham won't take two minutes to link a citation to support his post, why the heck should it be incumbent upon me to verify his claim?
What Shihan supports this view? It's not for me to say, why should I do your work for you. This is my view and if you don't want to test it for yourself and need correlation and back up then find some shihans who agree and find some who disagree and have fun.
That's respect? Not in my world. Opinions are like...err. Well, everyone has an opinion. We have a responsibility to present our opinion as a well-thought, considerate statement. If you choose not to take the time to know about what you are opining, then don't expect others to take the time to give consideration to your opinion. Respect is a term of valuation; respect is not a right. To respect one's opinion is to value the worth of the opinion.

Proper writing is not about hurting feelings, or loving each other, or any of these passive-agressive commentaries retorting criticism. Proper writing is about clearly communicating an idea... 120+ posts and we still don't have a clear idea of what Graham is saying...

Last edited by jonreading : 12-15-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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