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Old 03-13-2007, 06:50 PM   #26
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
They don't blend with ukes center, they don't need to, they totally disrupt it from the instant you make contact with them. Its as if as soon as you touch them they suck in all you energy and then shoot it back at you two fold while at the same time being totally loose and relaxed. At times it can be quite startling.
Of course it's hard for me to be sure of the distinction you're making without experiencing it, but I thought this description fit what I consider to be the Aikido method. At my dojo I've heard mention of yin and yang qualities. From what I've been able to experience, grabbing a good nage can sometimes feel like you're being crushed through the palm of your hand all the way through your center...it's a whole-body sensation of being smothered, and then all of a sudden the pressure releases and you feel light as air and completely disoriented.
Anyway, I'm babbling like usual, but I've always been under the impression that "de ai" is central to Aikido and that "de ai" essentially means you're disrupting uke at or before the moment of contact, like with your description. So I wonder if the distinction really just boils down to a matter of one's dedication toward training.
So after reflecting on this post i can't help but feel like you'd reply that you weren't saying Aikido doesn't include these things, or that I'm missing a key point. What do you think? Does my experience sound similar to what you're thinking of?
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 03-13-2007 at 06:55 PM.

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Old 03-13-2007, 06:51 PM   #27
MM
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Absolutely. I have trained with him in the past and look forward to the next time.
Me, too, Lynn. Me, too.

Mark
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:51 PM   #28
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I will also try to do it without insulting anyone or their instructors.
This statement is key. Really.

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Old 03-13-2007, 07:02 PM   #29
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
As true victory is victory over the self then it follows that the individual is ultimately responsible for their own training and development. It is up to you to constantly evaluate the quality of your training and your performance in an objective manner and to act on the results of your evaluation -- that being the ultimate critique.
I really liked this! To me, this is the essence of any ability and talent. Certainly it helps to work with the highly proficient, but I think it takes a good student far more than it takes a good teacher, to become good at anything.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 03-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #30
Walker
 
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I really liked this! To me, this is the essence of any ability and talent. Certainly it helps to work with the highly proficient, but I think it takes a good student far more than it takes a good teacher, to become good at anything.
Take care,
Matt
Glad it meant something for you. I see the hardest part is objectivity and for that a teacher is very important. For the most part you can't see you and must rely on another to tell you what is happening. Accepting that builds the habit within the self and you find your perceptions moving closer to reality in my experience.

-Doug Walker
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:09 PM   #31
Upyu
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote: View Post
And while I am the first to admit that tai chi principles do help my aikido, its more the principle of rather than being a brick wall...
and

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
But why would one want to? This is a martial art, not 'do a bunch of static drills/tricks'. Stay in the same stance? Don't use any techniques, or hands, or do any offense. This is about as divorced from a martial art as one can get. We might as well be talking about duplicating the feats of the Magnetic Girl in order to talk on this thread; it just doesn't make sense.
Sure it would be stupid if those skills were relegated to simply static tricks/drills. That's why you train them in movement.
Stillness in Motion, Motion in Stillness.

I dug up some interesting stuff on MAP the other day from some Aikido dan ranker who learned from Saito and Chiba sensei:

Quote:
koyo wrote:
KAMAE
In the early years of training late 50s earlt 60s we had a number of solo exersises to develop proper kamae. A few of us were chosen to be fukushidoin (translates as pioneers)so we got quite a lot of personal training. A bokken would be slipped down the rear of the collar of our kit and thrust into the belt.Then another belt tied criss cross across the chest to secure the bokken in place. Then we had to perforn happo undo moving from the same spot in eight directions maintaining an erect spine and moving the body as a unit. Any loss of posture or balance and the bokken dug into your spine.happo undo has you sliding one foot forward and drawing up the rear foot while raising the handblades forward and out retaining the natural curve of the arm .
It was stressed never to move one foot at a time (as in plodding) but to move from the hips and maintain about shoulder width between the feet and always move in triangular posture. The arms were "thrust out and up" but never "away from the body as in overextending.It was torture.Breathing exercises were introduce including poweful kiai and short sharp strikes and thrust again done alone from happo undo.

I shall put myself on the spot here. Below is a photo from a demo (so not posed) I cosider this to be proper kamae. Even though I have just entered and executed quite a powerful technique i have maintained my natural kama. This could be considered "rooted" (not stagnant) centered (I hate that word) but capable of movement in "eight directions" (all directions)
and from a later post after watching some clips of Ark in london:

Quote:
koyo wrote:
Managed to download those clips and they had me grinning like a monkey. I remember similar exercises with Saito shihan (the father) and he would have you doing them on him quite successfully then suddenly with no change in posture he became like a rock and moving him was impossible.
When you went to train with others afterwards they felt like butterflies by comparison.The training with someone piggy backing as well and moving across the mat with a belt looped round your waist with a couple of guys restricting your movement forward. ALL GOOD.
The rowing exercise with the shoulders above the koshi I understand as well again I feel it is to do with the arch of the knees and although the whole body must be moved as one we must not allow incorrect use of the knees (locking out) to inhibit out movement.Allowing the shoulders to align above the feet would break my kame. I do not do that .Except when my body is passing over the foot as in stepping.
In regards to aikido and the rather flamboyant movement seen. I was told that we must have maximum mobility but use minimum movement. Something else I see missing in much of modern aikido.

regards koyo

Edit
still smiling like a monkey
Seems like training of the middle within a store/release paradigm wasn't taught (though who knows I've never met the guy), but just reading some of his training regimine there's parallels in what he does with what we do, and I've never officially trained Aikido. He understands connection and obviously was doing connection training exercises. We had no problems communicating certain things because we both have an understanding of some basic principles.

Of course he's just one guy... but I found it interesting that they got the ub3r training, and not many others get subjected to it anymore.

Last edited by Upyu : 03-13-2007 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:36 AM   #32
DH
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

[quote=Tim Mailloux;171837]
Quote:
Jo Adell wrote: View Post
Mark

What I object to is people do not Practice aikido telling how to do aikido.

QUOTE]

I can see how that could bother someone. But remember that these are people that used to do aikido, and one of them also has quite a bit of experience with Daito Ryu, the root of all aikido.

3 year ago while i was still a gung ho aikidodoka, I would probably be making the same arguments as everyone eles here that has it out for Dan and Mike. But having left the fold, switched over to judo and now having the pleasure of training with Dan I am a true beliver. These skills do not exist in aikido today, or atleast the wide range of aikido I have been exposed to. When I was doing aikido I trained with a teacher that was just recently promoted to Shihan by Doshu and the aikikai. My teachers teacher, who I trained with frequently was an Uchideshi of O'Sensei and very well known for his powerfull waza. So i would say that I was training with people that knew what they were doing. While I respect these teacher very much and consider them to be some of the best aikidoka in North America. I have never felt in them what I have felt from Dan and his students.

At their best, I would describe my teachers as great technicians with the ability to blend with ukes center and work around ukes strength. Maybe this is what aikidoka think of as Ki. But with Dan and his guys it is much different. They don't blend with ukes center, they don't need to, they totally disrupt it from the instant you make contact with them. Its as if as soon as you touch them they suck in all you energy and then shoot it back at you two fold while at the same time being totally loose and relaxed. At times it can be quite startling.
Hi Tim
I think I'm finally getting a handle on why just about every single post from you guys about what you've experienced gets ignored. They can't respond, to you, their peers, their fellow members with any integrity. Now that so many members of their community have felt these skills and totally disagree with the Aikiweb naysaers and have adamantly stated so, they are left with few options. Collectively call you liars, stupid, or lacking in an ability to judge, or to accept the overwhelming evidence. It is easier to do what they have chosen to do-ignore your words.
1.They question martial veracity VS static pushing --you answer it is martially viable, that you felt it
2. They question fluidity and movement --you answer it is highly mobile
3. They mention weapons-you answer with clear examples
4. They question its relevance to Aikido you state in no uncertain terms it is extremely relevant to aikido
5. They question your ability to state same-you answer years of experience feeling the top shihans in the art.

It is clear- startlingly clear- that they have no basis to counter their own members, from diverse backgrounds, most of whom do not know each other and didn't know us, all returning with the same or similar peer reviews.
They are now left with, as a group either accepting what you say-which is unacceptable, or ignoring you all together. There is simply nothing left for them to say to you. So instead they turn back to Mike and I and never having felt what we do --they attack or endlessly debate from afar.
I am convinced the majorty never were interested in an honest exchange. Just as the two high level teachers warned me-It is agenda and protectionism. As one said pointedly
Ikeda's words -you like to cite-were ignored, what makes you think anyone is interested in what you can do or say. They are going to go back to what they know, and nothing will change

So if the peer reviews are ignored, and Ikedas words are ignored, and George miquotes us and thinks only Aikidoka can change it.
We should just leave them alone.

Dan
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:36 AM   #33
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

IMHO, as well discussed and illustrated, both strength and change comes from within.

Enter, blend, and incorporate. Steal the techniques and principles.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #34
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I've been doing a lot of what you and Mike have been talking about for years
That's excellent! Could you describe some of the exercises you do to train and isolate these skills, either solo or with a partner (or do you do it through your practice of waza), as others have shared? I'll admit that I don't know much about this stuff and am trying to learn all I can.

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
If aikido is so great and so in need of having these principles put back into it (which I think it is, so I agree with you)
Can you share some of your experiences that led you to the conclusion that aikido needs these principles put back into it? Or am I misunderstanding and you're saying that aikido is just fine the way it is?

Hope I'm not coming across as being too 'wolfish', but I'm genuinely interested in your responses . . .
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:45 AM   #35
Marc Abrams
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

George raises a powerful point (as usual!). This thread is not about Dan and Mike. This thread is about helping Aikido remain as a viable and powerful martial art (some would say- and I would agree to a limited point- that it needs to return to this state).

People need to put their petty egos aside and be honest with themselves as to the state of THEIR Aikido. The relevancy of THEIR Aikido does not rest in the art itself, but in the unique application of Aikido by that person. Dan, Mike and other people raise good arguments. It is not their obligation to open an Aikido school and teach what they say that they know. It is the obligation of the Aikidoka to work on realizing the potential of Aikido within one's self.

Next year will be my 20th year directly studying with a direct student of O'Sensei (Imaizumi Sensei). It has been, and is an honor to continue to directly study under him. I have watched him continue to evolve his Aikido. At 69 years of age, I still observe the rare person who chooses to attack him (as uke) in an unexpected, and/or severe manner. The person typically runs into a wall, shaped as a fist, and is then sent to the ground in a ground-shaking manner. I have no question about the efficiency and efficacy of Aikido, as taught by my teacher. HOWEVER, his teaching methodology is limited. He has, and still encourages me to work on MY Aikido in what ever manner possible (that includes training with other people). It has been through my training experiences with Koroda Sensei, Systema, Ushiro Sensei, Williams Sensei, and yes, Ledyard Sensei, that have enabled me to better understand and learn the principles that Imaizumi Sensei is teaching in class. I am in the process of re-evaluating how I personally train, and how I am teaching at my own school.

My limited understandings have led me to re-focus my training and my teaching to become principle based. I truly believe that when the students (including myself) can develop stronger "basics" that are the underpinnings of Aikido, the techniques that evolve are efficient, highly effective, and practical.

I truly appreciate the input from Dan, Mike, and others who ask us to question what we do and how we do it. If we can separate our egos from the art, maybe we, as an art, can more honestly represent the art of Aikido.

George, as always- thank you for helping the art through your teaching and writing. I look forward to learning more from you at the summer camp.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:55 AM   #36
DH
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Hey Mike
"Why don't you just leave and go do this..."
Ahh isn't that exaclty what we have been doing?
If you really wanted to change things why not teach it
Last night I spent another 5 hours teaching three AIkidoka
I lost track of how many have come....I give my time for free. I understand your thinking little of my efforts though. Thanks for the positive advice.
Your opinion that I am not teaching Aikido is your own. It is apprently not shared by those who have felt me.
You are now free to try to convince them.
I'll be happy to meet you and do Aikido with you. I did it off and on for years and I am quite converscent Mike.Your syllabus just isn't that hard and once you have these skills they really aren't need much anymore. But if you show up I'll teach you many more ways to do just about any lock you know and teach you quite a few more throws. All with aiki all with aikido principles.
These guys who've come? They know it's Aikido. You will too.
The only way you'll have left to deny it...is flat out denial.
You will laugh and have fun and find yourself agreeing with them.
Or you'll be left just standing there scratching your head.

Tim
If you notice, once again "they" don't address you or the dozen other folks who wrote lengthy personal reviews directly. They come after us. It must be something they teach in Aikido.
The question overshadowing all others should be is this relevant to Aikido. Those in Aikido -who have experienced them- many of whom are teachers themselves- have determined that they are, and they too now write back they are at the core.
They are ignored.
The good news is that those that feel it, get it, are training it and going back to aikido. They will be the news masters of Aikido. It is the very heart of all that is Aiki-do.

See ya on the mats Tim.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-14-2007 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:17 AM   #37
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Your opinion that I am not teaching Aikido is your own. It is apprently not shared by those who have felt me.
aikido + MMA = aikido

Got it.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:23 AM   #38
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
That's excellent! Could you describe some of the exercises you do to train and isolate these skills, either solo or with a partner (or do you do it through your practice of waza), as others have shared? I'll admit that I don't know much about this stuff and am trying to learn all I can.

SNIP

Hope I'm not coming across as being too 'wolfish', but I'm genuinely interested in your responses . . .
Many of the standard training exercise used by Koichi Tohei are aimed at developing the same things as CMA internal practices such as Tai Chi. Much of what Mark Murray listed in his rather trollish post is done in ki society circles although with different emphasis.

As an example I recall Ellis Amdur writing something around here about Tomiki having a bunch of young judoka trying to move his arm and not being able to. He made note that it was not the Tohei style 'unbendable arm' exercise and described unbendable arm (but inaccurately). It was in fact exactly what you should be doing if you do unbendable arm. only beginners let their elbow remain unmoved while their arm wobbles all over the place. If you are using weight underside these things do not happen. If you compare it to such CMA terms such us 6 directional pushing (I forget the exact terminology) then it is the same exercise entirely. at the higher levels of the test for unbendable arm the arm is moved at different angles and the only way to pass these tests is to create some of those internal pathways much discussed by Mike et al.

Koichi Tohei often said "No unbendable arm, no aikido". There's a reason he is ranked 10th Dan, some of that is politics and some of it is ability. There are many many other exercises like this. Part of the problems I have with all this is that I figured out long ago that telling people they needed to do things like this to do aikido properly was just trolling. I'd rather politely listen to them and learn from them even if they don't wish to do things the way I do. After all who am I to be teaching the world, I'm no great master.

As an example of the way we practice, my senior student spent last year studying in Germany, there she practiced aikido nearly every day of the week. They often called her stubborn, awkward and other such things, the instructor told her that she was awkward but she was worth it because she practiced so hard. For awkward read: uncooperative. Meaning 'No, I'll not move until you take my center, I'm not giving it up freely to massage your ego'. When I visited her there (she's my girlfriend too) I was cooperative and polite and tried hard to fit in to the way they did things. I didn't go to their dojo and behave like a pain in the ass, I was there to learn after all not to teach, I perhaps should have made it more obvious to my girlfriend that they would find her awkward. But I didn't. My bad...

As you asked, here's something for you to practice and think about.

Fight or flight responses. All predatory animals respond to fight stimulai by clenching the rectum and digging their claws in. If you're brave enough try an experiment at home with the cat. Sit it on your lap and lift its tail up. Get your friend to open the door and let a dog in, watch the cat's backside as it digs it's claws into your lap. Next time your practicing some of the internal stuff discussed here (if you do so) ask yourself if you're clenching your backside, if you are you aren't relaxed properly and you'll have difficulties acheiving some of what has been discussed. It's kinda crude to describe it like that but it's a really simple thing you can ask yourself during training in order to assess whether you are tense or not (sometimes it's hard to tell). The other really hard thing to learn is to use weight underside, but I've got work to do now and have wasted my time on the internet for too long this lunch break already. Maybe some other time I'll talk about it.

Mike Haft

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:28 AM   #39
Tim Mailloux
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post

Last night I spent another 5 hours teaching three AIkidoka
I lost track of how many have come....Dan
Dan,

Did Stan, Eric and Tom train with you last night? Shoot me an email, I would like to hear how it went.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:46 AM   #40
DH
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Thank for walking into that open door.
So you can discuss me and mine and why what I do IS aiki...just how?

Dan
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:05 AM   #41
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Thank for walking into that open door.
So you can discuss me and mine and why what I do IS aiki...just how?

Dan
You're welcome, thank you for holding it open. But I think that you typed that one a bit too quickly or something, please be more specific?

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:25 AM   #42
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Tim Mailloux wrote: View Post
Dan,

Did Stan, Eric and Tom train with you last night? Shoot me an email, I would like to hear how it went.
Tim,

Are we talking about the Tom we all know and love? I'd love to hear his take on it also. Maybe I'll call him.

Mark
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:30 AM   #43
Tim Mailloux
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Mark Chiappetta wrote: View Post
Tim,

Are we talking about the Tom we all know and love? I'd love to hear his take on it also. Maybe I'll call him.

Mark
That would be the one

I doubt he will chime in, but you never know. I am just really PO's that I wasn't there to watch. Tom has been wuppin my but for years and I would have loved to watch him get stuffed by Dan.

I just talked to Stan B. and heard it was pretty intresting!

Tim
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:43 AM   #44
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Tim Mailloux wrote: View Post
That would be the one

I doubt he will chime in, but you never know. I am just really PO's that I wasn't there to watch. Tom has been wuppin my but for years and I would have loved to watch him get stuffed by Dan.

I just talked to Stan B. and heard it was pretty intresting!

Tim
Dang, I missed it too.

Mark
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:50 AM   #45
MM
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Of course it is my own I speak for nobody but me

You have not seen my syllabus it does not look anything like what you would expect it to based on your average aikido syllabus. Please be careful about such assumptions if you are going to use them to discuss things with me.

Again, for someone who has yet to see a copy of my syllabus and who has no knowledge of the technical content of our teaching curriculum these are looking like quite arrogant and presumptious statements. And Dan, I do agree with much of what you say about these things, and I also think that if we ever trained together there would be much more in common than you might think and I would hope it will be fun.

But no, based on what you have written on these forums and elsewhere it's not aikido and I dislike that you have come here to say these things. Take it or leave it, I have no problem with you talking about the martial arts you do and even teaching people things that will help them improve their aikido (hell I positively encourage it). But these are aikido forums and you're being rude and presumptious IMO, that is all I've been trying to say, probably less than politely myself unfortunately. But then that's another lesson I need to learn amongst many.

Mike
Heh. Dan's reply was actually pretty nice. Me? I'd ask if you ever looked into the mirror recently. You've pretty much assumed Dan's syllabus, what he does, how he does it, and discounted it before Dan ever got to what you're doing. That ain't even the pot calling the kettle black syndrome, rather it's intellectual dishonesty. Especially in light that you're being presumptuous about what Dan is doing, but you were there first in that category.

Oh, but wait. I forgot, I'm a troll. Well, yeah, i have been on a bit of a snark recently.

Mark
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:57 AM   #46
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Heh. Dan's reply was actually pretty nice. Me? I'd ask if you ever looked into the mirror recently. You've pretty much assumed Dan's syllabus, what he does, how he does it, and discounted it before Dan ever got to what you're doing. That ain't even the pot calling the kettle black syndrome, rather it's intellectual dishonesty. Especially in light that you're being presumptuous about what Dan is doing, but you were there first in that category.

Oh, but wait. I forgot, I'm a troll. Well, yeah, i have been on a bit of a snark recently.

Mark
I looked in the mirror this morning while brushing my teeth. If you weren't quite so busy vocally telling me I'm wrong you'd see that I haven't discounted what Dan does, I know only what he posts here concerning his syllabus. No pot calling the kettle black. I think that from what he's posted here he probably does many of the things I do.

I just think he's being a bit egotistical in coming to an aikido forum to correct our aikido.

Mike

PS - You're starting to sound like you're sleeping with him or something, you might want to look into that before you flame me again in his defense, he's a big boy and he can take care of himself I'm sure.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:58 AM   #47
M. McPherson
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Oh, but wait. I forgot, I'm a troll. Well, yeah, i have been on a bit of a snark recently.

Mark
Maybe, but it's been a really productive and engaging one. Sorry we didn't get to make that trip up together - hopefully next time. Troll away, as far as I'm concerned.

Kind regards,
Murray McPherson
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:02 AM   #48
akiy
 
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Hi folks,

Can you watch your tone, please? Things are getting personal here.

-- Jun

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Old 03-14-2007, 10:04 AM   #49
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

Sorry Jun

My fault

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:08 AM   #50
MM
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Re: Dan, Mike, and Aikido

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Murray McPherson wrote: View Post
Maybe, but it's been a really productive and engaging one. Sorry we didn't get to make that trip up together - hopefully next time. Troll away, as far as I'm concerned.

Kind regards,
Murray McPherson
Hi Murray!

Great name. Yeah, I was looking forward to meeting, but hopefully it won't be too long before I make it up to your area again. Sounded like you guys had a lot of fun and some great training.

Mark
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