But once we start drilling down and being specific about what exactly we're talking about, be it one-on-one fighting efficiency, martial effectiveness of sword use, grappling, atemi, etc. there are objective criterion by which to judge the value of those things. I.e., it works or it doesn't to use a very simplified description. Of course things get hazy when we get more nuanced, but on *those* issues there can be objective statements made that are fairly straightforward in evaluation. So a guy doing no-touch ki throws that don't work on anyone other than his or her students is probably not demonstrating something that will work on anyone *other* than those students. That said it might be fun, enlightening, enriching practice for those involved working on increasing their sensitivity and awareness (or whatever --- I'm reaching here since it's not really my bag either).
At what point does it cross the line into delusion or unreasonableness? At what point does it become a bastardization of reality so much so that it produces more sickness than health?
I think alot of it is "caveat emptor" to be honest and as long as it floats your boat, then do your own thing.
I am not on a crusade to save the masses personally, could careless really. But, I also love what I have done and do, like most of us here, and simply want to share if people are open to sharing.
I think all of us come with a set of filters that have been established through culture, experiences, genetics, and criteria and an analysis framework that shape who we are.
I think what budo in general can do for us. I think what it is really designed to do is to help us expand our understanding (wisdom) of the events and world around us....to help us create a "more accurate" understanding (whatever "more accurate" means), of the world around us, affecting our responses or actions.
we can't change our culture, heritage, genetics....but we can change how we measure and analysis, and our experiences can affect that as well.
So, I think it is most important to NOT suspend belief, to give yourself over to a system, process, guru etc. But to think hard about what it is that we are doing and how you measure it and how that experience will be folded into you.
We must try and become as objective and open as possible and be in the moment of learning and make it as pure as possible.
We cannot suspend belief or talk about 20 years from now and look at someone else without holding him accountable to the present situation. We must control the criteria which we measure success and not allow them to set the conditions of success in our presence.
When we do this, we give up any opportunity, IMO, to be happy. We give up any opportunity to become enlightened. We externalize our experience (most ironically while we are trying to learn a INTERNAL process!).
However, if we think criticially and seek to understand the true nature of what we are dong. That is martially...how does a fight really work. What happens when someone is angry? Really how is aggression and violence enacted for real. How do I respond spontaneously. How does my culture, genetics, and heritage affect my perspective of this violence? How are my filters deceiving me? What methods/measures/criteria can I adapt to receive new input and not become bamboozled by my own filters, hopes, desires, "happiness"?
I think if we concentrate on those things...that budo can be a wonderful practice and we can begin to have authentic and productive dialogue between the people that think this way!