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Old 01-31-2011, 11:21 AM   #288
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris!
Hi Daniel,
There's always a range on the forums... For instance, Tony W and I often see things differently. I think we each wanted something different from our Aikido, I think we each think different teachers represent the kind of Aikido we have pursued our whole lives.

So whatever disagreements we might have, no matter how strongly held, are still, in the end, just opinions. Our discussions are a matter of personal preference and personal opinion. I see no need to "jump on him" to defend my own point of view. We might have a spirited back and forth on some areas but he is absolutely entitled to his "opinion".

However, there is a point at which one can simply be wrong. It might be your opinion or point of view but it can still be wrong. Especially when one is stubbornly holding on to that opinion or point of view in the face of overwhelming personal, hands on experience to the contrary, well that starts to get folks a bit testy.

If you added up the collective experience of the folks who have been posting about internal stuff here, it would be a truly staggering amount of experience. I'd be pretty sure that collectively, just counting the folks who have weighed in on the Internal skills being different than athletic skills, we might add up to 800 or 1000 years of martial arts experience. These folks are from different arts, they are not from any particular organization, in some cases they don't even like each other and fight all the time... yet on this topic, they are clear. From the newest newbie in internal training to the most experienced these folks are in agreement, which is really saying something as you almost never see this many people all on the same page.

So, there comes a point at which any single individual, when faced with so much information to the contrary, especially when that individual has zero direct experience with any of the folks we are talking about here, when anyone with the least open mind would say, maybe there's something going on I need to find out about. Perhaps with so much information coming from such collection of folks with such varied and lengthy experience, one should decide that maybe they could be mistaken in their opinion. At least until he or she can get more information to back that opinion up.

Not all opinions are equal. Some opinions are simply opinions on subjects that are truly subjective. And other opinions cross the line into being unfounded. When an opinion consists of a set of statements, not backed up by direct experience, which are made in direct opposition to statements which are backed up by personal experience, historical reference, etc. then you pretty much have crossed the line into unfounded.

It's like trying to have a conversation with my old born again college friend about evolution, which he firmly disbelieved in. You could ask him how all those dinosaur bones got in the earth and he'd say, "God put them there". You'd ask why, he'd reply "It's a mystery". You ask him about Carbon dating of remains, he'd simply say the "scientists are wrong". No amount of factual information could cause him to reconsider his viewpoint for a second.

That's why folks get testy and some simply bow out and others push even harder, making it seem like they are "jumping on" a particular person. When you happen to also agree with the person being jumped on, it may seem unfair. But it is also unfair to expect the vast majority of folks who have experience with the subject at hand to suspend what they know to be true to make folks with no direct experience of what is being discussed feel validated in their opinions. It is possible to simply be mistaken.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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