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Old 04-10-2005, 01:45 PM   #26
"babaker"
IP Hash: e89b54c2
Anonymous User
Re: is anger ever appropriate?

Which kind of anger?

Gee, that question so loaded (is anger ever appropriate) even a straight answer is gonna cause as much trouble as it solves?

It is kinda like asking ... is a tidal wave appropriate? Is a volcano eruption appropriate? Is anything in nature ... appropriate?

Well ... yeah .. it is appropriate, but ... being the THINKING creatures we are, human beings with them big old thinking brains, are we learning to read and use that anger instead of letting it use us?

I am gonna tell you a sad story, and you can do what you want with it.

This week, a 58 year old man, who was part of our aikido group, killed himself because his mind and depression overcame his sanity. Now, I know about depression, and I know about anger, but I also know ... life is too damn short to kill yourself when the fact is that everyone will die when it their time to leave this earth. Sometimes, you gotta get angry at the things in life that need to have anger directed at them so you won't manifest another emotion to replace that anger.

Could anger have constructively changed the life of this person? I think it could have, but that example might be too shallow for most of you as the details would take up many pages, so let's move on.

Anger ... is natural motivation of the human mind coming to grips with thoughts and those thoughts causing a chemical reaction in the body that manifests feedback in our bodies that can be measured both physically, and with the mental abberations caused in what would otherwise be natural behavior. Some of us ... try to learn to control our thoughts, our actions by the interaction of practicing martial arts with other human beings so we can learn to control and focus those thoughts and actions that cause our minds and bodys to take control of us with the extremes that anger can rise to. It is a natural emotion. It is a natural thought process. It is a natural behavior, so how come ... Anger can NOT be appropriate?

Well ... we all have, or will have some moment when we, or someone we know, or some knowledge is encountered, where extreme anger manifests itself into actions our minds do not want to accept. Depending on how we focus, or use the degree of that anger, it will either be a positive behavior, or a negative behavior based upon what our actions do to affect those around us. According the opening to the discussion, and further posts this discussion is about a very tough, angry man who is so stubborn, he is letting those emotions bleed over and affect those around him, which might be appropriate for him to cope and fight with his maladys, but it sure sucks for everybody else, doesn't it?

I don't know what to tell you, except that eventually .. he will die, or give up. That is nature. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean it to be taken so literally that only the bad is seen in those simple statements, but the you do need to look at the OPPORTUNITY that is there for not only your own anger management, but the opportunity to eventually impact some poor schmucks life by being just like him when you get angry. The other choice, which seems pretty obvious, is to NOT be like him, but then you have the ability to get over it and walk away without becoming like him or adopting any of his behavioral/ physical problems problems if you so choose? That is an opportunity!

While he is still alive, and still adjusting to everyone, and you to him, DON'T waste this fabulous opportunity to to train with an old S.O.B. who is probably not gonna be around much longer anyway?

My point is ... what kind of people did you think the world was filled up with? Nice people? Honest people? Aikido people? Not everybody is the way you want them to be, and sometimes, ya just have to suck it up and train ... or .. move on.

Knowing what to do with anger ... is part of what training is about. Aikido is part of the martial arts, but martial arts are not just the narrow band of practice we have come to call aikido training?

I am not so sure that both parties are just as offensive ... for the purposes of this discussion anyway. Think about it. Crotchety old guy who is beat up and half blind bitching and moaning? Young guy who is getting angry because he can't grasp the anger or the behavior of his training partner asking if "Anger is ever appropriate?"

WELL ... yeah!

But .. how are you going to use or control that anger so it is affecting the training to create better human beings who will contribute to a better community?

The little code words of " is some a danger to themselves or others" are the key to this question in the context of this discussion.

I am not gonna say anything more. Use this opportunity, and this unique experience to learn something very important ... or ... don't.
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Old 04-10-2005, 04:34 PM   #27
"anonymous"
IP Hash: ebe989d5
Anonymous User
Re: is anger ever appropriate?

Quote:
It is a natural behavior, so how come ... Anger can NOT be appropriate?
Some things are appropriate in one place but totally inappropriate in another. An ivy vine is fine in England, but in the US it is horribly invasive and smothers everything it grows on. So, to extend the metaphor, what (if anything) is anger's natural context? How can we tell where it will be harmful and where it will be helpful?

Quote:
...you do need to look at the OPPORTUNITY that is there for not only your own anger management, but the opportunity to eventually impact some poor schmucks life by being just like him when you get angry.
Sorry. I thought I made it clear in the first post that this kind of reaction isn't usual for me. I have *never* injured anyone on this mat, nor even come close to it except in this one incident several years ago. This person has (granted, twice it was because he fell on them). His issue isn't so much anger as pride and/or resentment.

Quote:
While he is still alive, and still adjusting to everyone, and you to him, DON'T waste this fabulous opportunity to to train with an old S.O.B. who is probably not gonna be around much longer anyway?
I continued to train with him after the incident and have continued to train with him since. We get along fairly well now.

Quote:
My point is ... what kind of people did you think the world was filled up with? Nice people? Honest people? Aikido people? Not everybody is the way you want them to be, and sometimes, ya just have to suck it up and train ... or .. move on.
Those aren't the only two options. I'm not going to allow anyone to blithely damage me or my dojomates regardless of what kind of person they are; that dosen't mean that I'm going to lose my temper, but it might not mean training or ignoring the problem.

Quote:
Knowing what to do with anger ... is part of what training is about.
Here I agree with you absolutely. One of the *many* reasons that I have stuck with aikido over the years is that it teaches me so much about myself (sometimes things I'd rather not have seen, for instance when I nearly exploded at a crotchety old guy for pushing me farther than I'd like to be pushed) and how I respond to stress. I hope that I'm a better person now than I was than when I started aikido years ago.

-Anon.
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Old 04-11-2005, 06:19 PM   #28
"babaker"
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That was a good reply ..

Hey, that was a good reply.

Don't let anyone harm you, but don't be afraid to train either. Speak up when it gets out of hand, but don't get all out of sorts, frustrated and angry.

Good for you.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:13 AM   #29
James Davis
 
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Re: is anger ever appropriate?

You can let a person know when enough's enough and still be a nice guy. There's no shame in it. Maybe you should sit down and talk with the guy after class.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:12 PM   #30
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: is anger ever appropriate?

A student in O Sensei's dojo wore a nice, expensive jacket to class. During keiko, the jacket was stolen.

The instructor (not O Sensei) became very upset and strongly admonished the perpetrator to return the jacket. In passing by, O Sensei stopped and severly criticized the instructor.

When later asked why he took the Sensei to task, O Sensei noted that the instructor had lost his center, when he became angry.

Anger is an emotion. IMO, there is nothing wrong with feeling any emotion, no matter how "negative." The issue lay in how you express these emotions. If the instructor had taken another approach to expressing his anger, O Sensei would not have criticized him.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:48 PM   #31
makuchg
 
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Re: is anger ever appropriate?

Great analogy, Neil. I've never seen a situation where anger makes it better.

Gregory Makuch
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:09 PM   #32
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: is anger ever appropriate?

I have. There were a group of other black guys in my high school who delighted in tormenting me. They'd do things like knock my books out from under my arm in crowded staircases (try picking up a bunch of papers in a crowded staircase while someone's doing their best to push you down the stairs ). Some white guy (about 250 pounds in high school) decided that since these other yahoos could get away with it, he'd try it.

I lost it...went right for his throat...he appologised profusely, picked up every piece of paper and book himself, straigtened it all out, and handed it back to me. No one ever knocked my books out from under my arm again. 'Course, taking the leader of the black guys into the wrestling room and 'schooling' him might have helped with that, too...

RT

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:38 PM   #33
makuchg
 
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Re: is anger ever appropriate?

Sorry Ron I disagree. While the two often go together, violence and anger are two very different things. Anger is an emotion while violece is an act. What you describe is a violent encounter. Don't get me wrong, I truly believe there are times when a proportional violent response is appropriate, but anger is not. An example would be police. An arrest is often a violent event. The police do not usually have any emotional attachment to the perpetrator and the arrest may result in violence but anger is not an issue. When anger becomes an issue, often actions escalate and brutality results.

I worked with troubled teens for a period of time. The facility I worked at did not allow mechanical or chemical restraints. We could however physically restrain a child who was endangering themself or others. This was often very violent, several staff members were injured in these altercations. However they had to be unemotional (no anger) because the child was not acting rationally nor cognizant of their actions. As a result, if anger became an issue it could result in injury or law suits.

Gregory Makuch
Wandering Ronin
Spring Hill, FL
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:43 PM   #34
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: is anger ever appropriate?

I never got a chance to be violent...he appologized too quick. It was the anger that got him...good thing too...I weighed about 128 pounds soaking wet to his 250!

Anger can be *very* usefull. It can also get you in lots of trouble, like in the situations you mention. My point being 'it depends'...

RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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