Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-05-2001, 06:56 PM   #26
[Censored]
 
[Censored]'s Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 119
Offline
I have practiced in the past Judo and Thai Boxing for many years and never witnessed or heard of a deadly or near dealy incident, untill I started up Aikido. In my understanding, Aikido is the only MA where someone gives himself willingly without resistance for another person to apply very dangerous throwing and arm/wrist locking techniques.

Perhaps there is some value in learning to protect your own body first, as they do in the other 99% of the world's martial arts? Perhaps Aikido practice is flawed in this respect, and the result is an unusually frequent occurrence of serious, needless injury?

Nah, that's impossible. Aikido is just too deadly. Aikido ROOLZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2001, 07:38 PM   #27
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
Thailand
Offline
Dr. Goldsbury,

I have read with great interest all of your posts. I just wanted to know Osensei's and late Doshu's position regarding violence.

Thanks for the information.

Best regards,
Edward
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2001, 05:21 AM   #28
unsound000
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 72
Offline
Where the hell do you train, Eric? I live in the Bay Area..Your description sounds more like boot camp than aikido. I would feel safer boxing (and i do) than training somewhere with all that going on.

Sometimes, I wonder how people survive to old age. [/b][/quote]
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2001, 10:20 AM   #29
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
Offline
Fatal Injuries

Thank you Peter for expounding a bit more on the culture of hazing in Japan. It represents one of the more negative aspects of Japanese culture at large, even within the context of the same culture.

Over the years it has led to students committing suicide be cause they were "not strong enough" to put up with it. It has led to injuries in the martial arts which are needless.

Attempting to provide such hazing with a cultural rationale does not work. The rationale is some version of the "samurai code" as enunciated in Nitobe's book and other 19th century samurai writings. The fact the many of these writings were intended to justify the establishment of the Meiji Emperor, is often left out. There were very political reasons for the enforcement of such a code across the nation.

However, I was not aware that martial artists, especially high ranking ones were exempt from general codes of civilized conduct. Training is dangerous enough, as evidence by some of the examples cited above, without persons posturing on about "death on the mat" as an rationale for poor behavior.

Sorry, the culture issue does not wash in this day and age. A martial artist who refuses to take responsibility for their partner's safety is dangerous and probably should not attempt to train with anyone but themself, that way they can limit who they might hurt.

Lest we get caught up in solely the martial arts, ask yourself this question:
"Does the thought that driving on the highways brings on the possibility of death at any moment excuse the driver to drive unsafely for the road and traffic?"

I submit that this is no different than training in the dojo. Why then woudl such behavior be excuseable in one instance and not another?

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2001, 10:34 AM   #30
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000
Where the hell do you train, Eric? I live in the Bay Area..Your description sounds more like boot camp than aikido. I would feel safer boxing (and i do) than training somewhere with all that going on.
Actually, it's not that bad. Really! The first two injuries I had no part in. They are just things that I know have happened and a number of years ago at that. One got a lot of play as there were seminars that donated proceeds to the cause. The other was handled very quietly as far as I know.

The knife was asinine and I've talked about it before, besides, I see there's a live blade thread going where someone is probably going to say, "I practice with live-blades and it's perfectly safe".

The neck landing, is a bit tougher. It was at a seminar, and to be honest, I still haven't reconciled that one. Part of it is clearly my fault and other parts of it are not. I may have to live with ambiguity there.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2001, 03:55 PM   #31
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Fatal Injuries

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
Thank you Peter for expounding a bit more on the culture of hazing in Japan. It represents one of the more negative aspects of Japanese culture at large, even within the context of the same culture.

Over the years it has led to students committing suicide be cause they were "not strong enough" to put up with it. It has led to injuries in the martial arts which are needless.

Attempting to provide such hazing with a cultural rationale does not work. The rationale is some version of the "samurai code" as enunciated in Nitobe's book and other 19th century samurai writings. The fact the many of these writings were intended to justify the establishment of the Meiji Emperor, is often left out. There were very political reasons for the enforcement of such a code across the nation.

However, I was not aware that martial artists, especially high ranking ones were exempt from general codes of civilized conduct. Training is dangerous enough, as evidence by some of the examples cited above, without persons posturing on about "death on the mat" as an rationale for poor behavior.

Sorry, the culture issue does not wash in this day and age. A martial artist who refuses to take responsibility for their partner's safety is dangerous and probably should not attempt to train with anyone but themself, that way they can limit who they might hurt.

Lest we get caught up in solely the martial arts, ask yourself this question:
"Does the thought that driving on the highways brings on the possibility of death at any moment excuse the driver to drive unsafely for the road and traffic?"

I submit that this is no different than training in the dojo. Why then woudl such behavior be excuseable in one instance and not another?
Richard,

I have struggled with this issue for many years, ever since I actualy confronted a very eminent Aikikai instructor and demanded to know why his violence on the tatami was reflected in the fear with which he carried on his social relationships. There he was, an eminent shihan who had trained with the Founder himself, but just what had aikido taught him? Unfortunately, the confrontation resulted only in slight modification of his behaviour.

My short answer to you is that you are playing God and judging the moral conventions of one culture in the light of another which you believe is superior. I am not saying this is wrong: most westerners do this anyway. But it has taken me a long time to realise that the Japanese simply do not have a system of abstract moral principles which are universally valid and which they apply in all situations regardless. I am not the first person to have realised this, of course. The writer Karel van Wolferen also states this in his blistering critique of Japanese culture called The Enigma of Japanese Power. Have you read this book?

Attempting to give a cultural rationale for such behaviour actually works very well, here in Japan where I live. And bad driving is not a counterargument. No one would deny the general principle that it is wrong to cause death by dangerous driving. But when an accident actually happens, the situation sometimes changes, as I discovered.

Actually, with Arikawa Sensei, people do in fact vote with their feet. One class is usually enough and, 'This is fine, but not for me", is usually the result. For those who vote to stay, however, there are also immense benefits.

Now you might say, Times have changed. Sokaku Takeda, Morihei Ueshiba, Kisshomaru Ueshina, Sadateru Arikawa were men of their times, but the kind of behaviour which they practised and condoned is no longer acceptable. But these people were/are the products of a certain martial culture. I am not saying that this culture is properly described in Nitobe's book. What I am saying is that I am not on the moral high ground and do not have the right to condemn it because it leads to excesses such as hazing.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2001, 07:02 PM   #32
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Fatal Injuries

[quote]Originally posted by Richard Harnack
[b]

However, I was not aware that martial artists, especially high ranking ones were exempt from general codes of civilized conduct. Training is dangerous enough, as evidence by some of the examples cited above, without persons posturing on about "death on the mat" as an rationale for poor behavior.

Sorry, the culture issue does not wash in this day and age. A martial artist who refuses to take responsibility for their partner's safety is dangerous and probably should not attempt to train with anyone but themself, that way they can limit who they might hurt.

Richard,

I had to cut off my last post before finishing it, since I had to go and teach a class. But I should raise a final point.

Would you include the Founder himself and his son Kisshomaru among the high-ranking martial artists, for aiding and abetting the breaking of the rules of civilised conduct? As I think you would need to, since they were Arikawa Sensei's teachers and actually ran the dojo where such posturing about death on the mat actually took place. This issue is implicitly raised by Terry Dobson and Ellis Amdur in the issues of AJ I referred to in previous post.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2001, 08:09 PM   #33
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
Offline
Re: Fatal Injuries & Cultural Relativism

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
Would you include the Founder himself and his son Kisshomaru among the high-ranking martial artists, for aiding and abetting the breaking of the rules of civilised conduct? As I think you would need to, since they were Arikawa Sensei's teachers and actually ran the dojo where such posturing about death on the mat actually took place. This issue is implicitly raised by Terry Dobson and Ellis Amdur in the issues of AJ I referred to in previous post.

Best regards, [/b]
Without going too far down this particularly slippery slope of how far back do we go, I do believe that instructors are responsible up to a point for their student's behavior. However, once the student is sufficiently along in their training, especially those who are standing in front of a class and teaching, then that student is now responsible completely for their behavior.

However, my point is that even within the context of Japanese culture, this practice does not meet with universal acceptance and approval. But beyond that, within the various codes of conduct enunciated by different schools of budo, there usually is an injunction to take care of those with less experience or who are "weak".

The type of hazing described in the article specifically mentioned dealt with events leading to injury and death. I doubt that even in the context of Japanese culture this is acceptable any more.

There is a common practice here (US) for gang initiations to involve beating up the prospective "new member" so that they understand that they will not necessarily be able to leave the gang alive or unscathed. Just because this reinforces group conformity does not make it right or acceptable

No, Peter, it is not a matter of "western" vs "eastern" culture. It is a matter of respect and honor between student and teacher. Teachers who violate this by brutal behavior dishonor themselves. I think this might have meaning in Japan.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2001, 02:38 AM   #34
unsound000
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 72
Offline
Re: Re: Fatal Injuries & Cultural Relativism

Wow, you guys are great. I learned a lot reading what you said. I have to agree with Richard though, even though Japanese culture may have a tendency towards bullying behaviour for socio/historical reasons. These reasons do not excuse or make judgement wrong.
We need to point out right and wrong. Much the same, in America we may have a religous sense of right and wrong that leads to prejudice against other religions, races, gays etc. It just means we got a long way to go. I do not have so much hero worship of Master Ueshiba that I will not say that he was still human and maybe could have done more on the hazing thing. Good discussion!

-Jon
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2001, 07:03 AM   #35
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Re: Fatal Injuries & Cultural Relativism

Hullo Richard,

A few more points.

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


Without going too far down this particularly slippery slope of how far back do we go, I do believe that instructors are responsible up to a point for their student's behavior.

PAG. Up to a point? I can understand your reluctance to point the finger at the Founder and the late Doshu. After all, they were largely responsible for aikido as we know it and some would even say its their art... But their behaviourin the Hombu is precisely the point made by Terry Dobson, for example. There was the kind of practice going on which made Terry fear for his life, but not only did O Sensei do nothing about it; he went up and said, "Good, good. Carry on".

However, once the student is sufficiently along in their training, especially those who are standing in front of a class and teaching, then that student is now responsible completely for their behavior.

PAG. I do not agree entirely here. The deaths and injuries which were the subject of Fumiaki Shishida's article summarised in Aiki News/Aikido Journal occurred in school and university clubs, where it is common practice for the students themselves (usually 1st dan with no more than two or three years of practice) to teach. Thus, I think that in Japan, especially, the chief instructor, or dojo-cho, has a great measure of repsponsibility. This is not, of course, to deny that the students are in great measure responsible; their instructors are in great measure responsible, also.

However, my point is that even within the context of Japanese culture, this practice does not meet with universal acceptance and approval.

PAG. Absoulutely. The problem is what to do do about it when it occurs.

But beyond that, within the various codes of conduct enunciated by different schools of budo, there usually is an injunction to take care of those with less experience or who are "weak".

PAG. Again, yes, but this is the whole problem. There are various ways of "taking care of the weak", and the film "A Few Good Men" has much to say about how this could happen in the US military. I am currently using this film in one of my university English classes. Have you seen it? It is all about 'Code Reds' etc.

The type of hazing described in the article specifically mentioned dealt with events leading to injury and death. I doubt that even in the context of Japanese culture this is acceptable any more.

PAG. Agreed. I have stated in my earlier posts that no one denies that such behaviour is unacceptable. The problem is that there are cultural differences with respect to where the line should be drawn between 'hazing' and 'hard practice', and also how to deal with hazing which is 'structural' or 'institutional' in nature.

There is a common practice here (US) for gang initiations to involve beating up the prospective "new member" so that they understand that they will not necessarily be able to leave the gang alive or unscathed. Just because this reinforces group conformity does not make it right or acceptable.

PAG. No comment.

No, Peter, it is not a matter of "western" vs "eastern" culture.

PAG. My only reason for referring to 'westerners' is that it is the latter who tend to believe in abstact moral principles which are applicable in any situation, and in any culture. Oh, and it is westerners (Americans, in fact) who have told me and still tell me on bulletin boards such as this that my experience and insights gained by living in Japan are somehow 'false'. As I said earlier, I do not believe that cross-cultural comparisons can be entirely objective. And as the elected head of an international aikido federation, I must be scrupulously neutral with respect to how aikido 'manifests' itself, so to speak, in a particular country or culture.

It is a matter of respect and honor between student and teacher. Teachers who violate this by brutal behavior dishonor themselves. I think this might have meaning in Japan.

PAG. Absolutely. I agree entirely.

Finally, it might interest you and other members of this forum to know that I am presently involved with a case where an instructor is alleged to have caused serious injury in an aikido dojo. I cannot comment on this particular case, but generally in such cases my advice would be: prosecute. Get a good lawyer, build a case and take it before a judge. The abstract moral principles which westerners tend to support should also include the principle of the rule of law: a summons, a trial, a verdict, and appropriate punishment.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 12-07-2001 at 07:10 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2001, 10:55 AM   #36
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Offline
Re: Re: Re: Fatal Injuries & Cultural Relativism

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
but generally in such cases my advice would be: prosecute. Get a good lawyer, build a case and take it before a judge. The abstract moral principles which westerners tend to support should also include the principle of the rule of law: a summons, a trial, a verdict, and appropriate punishment.
There once was a sensei (you would know the name) who injured a student. The student retained an attorney and pursued justice, so to speak. When it was discovered that the sensei lacked liability insurance the case was dropped. No money, no justice.

The conclusion that was reached was that it was a bad idea to carry liability insurance because it might get you sued.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2001, 12:52 AM   #37
unsound000
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 72
Offline
Re: Re: Re: Re: Fatal Injuries & Cultural Relativism

I can see that happening but I think that if I was hurt, then I would want to put him out of business and not collect a wad of cash.




Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


There once was a sensei (you would know the name) who injured a student. The student retained an attorney and pursued justice, so to speak. When it was discovered that the sensei lacked liability insurance the case was dropped. No money, no justice.

The conclusion that was reached was that it was a bad idea to carry liability insurance because it might get you sued.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2001, 09:49 PM   #38
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by unsound000 I can see that happening but I think that if I was hurt, then I would want to put him out of business and not collect a wad of cash.
How would you do that? The dojo is a martial environment. Unless he does this regularly, and even then, you would be hard pressed to find people who will stand up in a court of law and testify against them. Most deshi will back the sensei even in cases much worse than a student's injury. Then you would have to make the case that you did not understand what you were in for or that you were hurt intentionally. Good luck!

Last edited by Erik : 12-10-2001 at 10:42 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2001, 02:49 AM   #39
unsound000
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 72
Offline
I'll admit that it would be impossible in Japan. In America though, I don't see why ex students would not testify. God Bless our horrendous legal system

Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


How would you do that? The dojo is a martial environment. Unless he does this regularly, and even then, you would be hard pressed to find people who will stand up in a court of law and testify against them. Most deshi will back the sensei even in cases much worse than a student's injury. Then you would have to make the case that you did not understand what you were in for or that you were hurt intentionally. Good luck!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2001, 04:52 AM   #40
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
Offline
I think Erik was pointing out that in our legal system, the lawyers are $ motivated: no big insurance to carve out a nice fat fee, no lawyer willing to take on the case. No one testifies unless the case goes to court, and the number of lawyers willing to work for wages that you could pay in order to see justice done might be very, very few.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2001, 10:50 AM   #41
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
United_States
Offline
I'm disappointed.
I thought this thread was about some new Seagal film.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2001, 11:09 AM   #42
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by ca
I think Erik was pointing out that in our legal system, the lawyers are $ motivated: no big insurance to carve out a nice fat fee, no lawyer willing to take on the case. No one testifies unless the case goes to court, and the number of lawyers willing to work for wages that you could pay in order to see justice done might be very, very few.
I think in this case you would need to get the DA to prosecute. If there was a history at the dojo, maybe. Even then getting someone shut down will be no small task. How do you draw the line between intentional injury and consentual hard practice that results in injury? It's got to be a hard line to draw and the dojo will be filled with people who saw it as good hard practice. Maybe someone out there is a lawyer who could set us clear on this.

The individual I mentioned has hurt other people but so have a lot of sensei's. Whether they were hurt due to intent or just simple percentages from throwing a lot of students I can't say. It's easy to assume the worst.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2001, 11:13 AM   #43
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by shihonage
I'm disappointed.
I thought this thread was about some new Seagal film.
It would fit, wouldn't it.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aikido injuries Doc2b Anonymous 44 02-06-2006 12:43 PM
Aikido Injuries parrothead2581 General 6 09-20-2004 09:06 AM
Injuries inevitable? daniel chong General 15 06-02-2004 07:37 AM
Injuries in Aikido ? Dan Takaoka General 41 06-04-2003 02:54 PM
looking for info on fatal and serious injuries Bud General 3 11-07-2002 03:18 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate