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Old 12-06-2010, 11:58 AM   #177
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: should you smoke marijuana on your aikido journey

Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Marc,
Thought I would give a response here as I like what you've said and plus you might find it amusing coming from me.(first impressions and all that)

Three points. Firstly from the view of letting someone train who has been taking drugs. If the person thinks it will make their training go better then let me explain what will generally happen so that others may look out for the symptoms. If the person not only has to train phsically hard but has to concentrate and correct themselves and stay centered and calm and yet alert and aware you will find they start feeling a bit nauseous. They will say they have a bit of a stomach problem(as an excuse) and if they are made to carry on in a disciplined fashion will start going red and white blotchy in the face. If they are made to carry on they will proceed to be sick and vomit.

Of couse the person will put on a good act and say it was the takeaway they had the previous night or some such excuse.

Secondly, a story. An old friend of mine got in touch with me over four years ago now and asked me to give him something to 'clean his system out' as he had been a heavy marijuana smoker for years and had an interview coming up in three weeks for a job on london transport where your blood is tested for such things.

I told him it would take heavy exercise, saunas if possible and a special nutritional programme to be followed to the letter.

Bless him he did it and completed it and got the job and and even progressed to inspecter. The point of this story though is what he told me afterwards.

He told me that he had always thought he was relaxed and only now did he realize that he wasn't relaxed he was LETHARGIC. He laughed at himself comparing how he was to how he felt now.

Thirdly for all those interested in mechanics. Marujiana destroys all the vitamin B1 in the brain, it is this which leads to the 'high'.

Vitamin B1 is the MAJOR food for the brain.

Alcohol has a similar effect by destroying the same vitamin in fact it was discovered way back in the 60's that if you injected bib doses of vitamin B1 into the blood of a drunk alcoholic they would sober up within a couple of minutes.

Hope this helps someone their musings on the subject.

Cheers. G.

A very good friend of mine is one of the top reggae percussionists in the world (was Jimmy Cliff's percussionist....). MOST reggae performers and even Rastafarians do not smoke pot. It is a big selling point because of Bob Marley's public embracing of marijuana. Having spend time in Jamaica, in places in and around Kingston that most people perceive as ridiculously dangerous, my family and I have had remarkably healthy and enlightening experiences with some very spiritual, kind, healthy people. I am looking forward to taking my family back to Jamaica again for this holiday season.

Back to the issue you raised.... In my younger hellion days, I was certainly no angel with drug and alcohol use. Even then, I would remain sober when competing at high level athletics. Depending upon the drugs that you are on, your performance can be artificially enhanced (the number of baseball players who have ADHD and take medication for that- speed, is statistically far beyond stat.s from the general population). The downsides with some medications can appear when they have underlying physiological conditions (weakened artery...) and the damage is subtle until it typically becomes suddenly severe and life-threatening. Other drugs, like marijuana (NOT tested for in the NBA, because they would likely not be able to field teams!) do like you say and people think that it makes them focus better, The reality has been tested too many times that people should simply give up on that argument.

detection: Pupil response is a GREAT means by which we can get a quick and relatively accurate read of whether someone is on pot, speed, opiates,....

I allow adults to act like adults. If you want to play game, be willing to live by it's rules. One of my rules is based upon personal experience, best science and sports practices, which means that sobriety in my dojo is a strictly enforced rule. I have no problem asking people to step off of my mats and talk with me if they seem under the influence of anything. Sometimes a student has had a couple of beers and is on the mats six hours later and I smell alcohol on that person's breath. I then speak to that person privately and then make my decision. I have no problems helping people with abuse and dependence problems (no me personally, because it would be an ethical violation as a psychologist- dual roles).

I am genuinely glad to see endorse sobriety. I am not surprised by that, but then again not many of us White folks attend indigenous, religious ceremonies in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Jamaica either (amazing experiences). First impressions are what they are. It is the ability to look beyond what we see that truly allows us to deepen our life experiences.


Marc Abrams
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