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Old 03-28-2007, 11:35 AM   #101
kironin
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Fred, keep being cantankerous !

Maggie Newman was my tai chi teacher's teacher. When I met her when she came to do seminars, it was quite interesting to hear about those early days before 1964. It's easy to forget how much the web facitlitates the spread of misinformation as well as information.

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
A survey of the interviews with Yamada Sensei at www.aikidoonline.com makes it quite clear that he came to New York in order to demonstrate at the 1964 World's Fair and had no further charge at that time, although he did manage to parlay his trip into a position as Chief Instructor at NY Aikikai, which had been established on 19th Street in 1961 by Ralph Glanstein, Eddie Hagihara, Virginia Mayhew, Barry Bernstein, Fred Krase, and Maggie Newman.

For my part, such a glaring inaccuracy in a matter of simple fact is troubling. But then, I'm cantankerous that way, even if I set aside the possibility that it was a deliberate attempt at revisionist history of a type I have seen all too many times.

Best regards,
FL

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Old 03-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #102
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Jory Liebman wrote: View Post
This will probably be my last post on Aikiweb. I have encountered what I consider to be a good deal of hostility in posting on this thread because I espouse an unpopular view or belong to an unpopular organization.
I haven't seen anything I'd call "hostility." Perhaps you've struck an emotion-laden nerve that needed to be struck? This kind of conversation can be quite cathartic.

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Frankly I expected better.
By that, do you mean that you hoped no one would disagree with you?

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Old 03-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #103
Ron Tisdale
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

I've got to wonder to an extent about people stomping off in a huff. What's up with that? Are we really so fragile?

Best,
Ron

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Old 03-28-2007, 01:11 PM   #104
mriehle
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I've got to wonder to an extent about people stomping off in a huff. What's up with that? Are we really so fragile?
I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I've been tempted to leave a few times recently because of a tendency for some of the more interesting discussions to be hijacked into a frankly infantile exchange of no-you're-wrongs slung with accompanying personal insults.

I won't name any names...

...because that really isn't the point. This is an important aspect of this. If you start getting into blaming individuals for this happening you are guilty of the same offense.

In any case, I've taken the view that a better approach is to simply unsubcribe from threads that take such a turn.

I think, in fact, that one of the things this thread has pointed out is how such personal flame wars are unique to the online Aikido community. Frankly, Jun does a magnificient job of keeping things from getting completely stupid, IMO.

But there have been a couple of comments about national organizations that point out - at least to me - that the seeds of this kind of hostility are found in organizations outside the web. People who simply dismiss other people's approach to training as lacking any value create hostility which is actually easier to express in an online forum.

It's not about, IMO, agreeing or disagreeing. It's about being willing to exchange ideas at all and it's a two-way street. When I am faced with someone who disagrees with me where we can explore the nature or our disagreement I can often learn something from the exchange. When the disagreements sounds like a Saturday Night Live gag ("Jane, you ignorant twit!") I'm done.

Part of what I've seen in these organizational disagreements is exactly that sort of dismissal of other ideas and the number of people I've encountered who are guilty of it is kind of alarming.

"Your Aikido is wrong because it's too soft."

"Your Aikido is wrong because it's too hard."

"Your Aikido is wrong because there is no ground work."

"Your Aikido is wrong because it has ground work."

"My Aikido is better than yours because <insert reason here>!"

But the worst:

"Your Aikido is wrong because you don't belong to <insert organization here>!"

Once the discussion gets to this level - online or off, it's hard to find anything of value. Not impossible, just difficult.

While I believe there will always be a need for multiple organizations, I really believe these organizations should get along with each other. We should be working for all of us to pursue our goals in Aikido effectively even when we may not agree on the goals.

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Old 03-28-2007, 01:36 PM   #105
Dennis Hooker
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

George that was a well thought out and presented post. I believe you are right. I hope for all concerned that some degree of unity or at least civility will dominate the new horizon of Aikido in the west. I believe Aikido in America can demonstrate to the world what corporation and harmony can be. Sounds like a lot of work and I leave it up to you folks to get it done. I will continue to garden at the Shindai Dojo and on occasion till the soil in someone else’s garden when asked to do so, but that is about all I wish on myself nowadays. We must remember there is always a place for disagreement but there should never be a place for or tolerance of, rudeness or discourtesy to others. For those of you that have been kind enough to e-mail me and ask me to come back I thank you for your friendship. I will be here as long as it is a place of courteously and good manners and the discussion is centered on Aikido. I am of the old school and I believe these are tenets of Aikido as well as qualities demonstrated by ladies and gentleman.

Dennis

Last edited by Dennis Hooker : 03-28-2007 at 01:46 PM.

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Old 03-28-2007, 01:50 PM   #106
Marc Abrams
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Jory Liebman wrote: View Post
All,

This will probably be my last post on Aikiweb. I have encountered what I consider to be a good deal of hostility in posting on this thread because I espouse an unpopular view or belong to an unpopular organization. Frankly I expected better. I did not expect aikidoists to sink to the level of discourse that exists in our political sphere, with underserved ad hominem attacks on persons who, whether or not you agree with their philosophy, style or practice, were direct students of the founder.

Marc Abrams wrote, in thread #94:

Though he doesnt specify Person X, he does identify him as "politically petty." I wonder on what personal acquaintance with Person X does Mr Abrams base his judgement. It doesnt seem to occur to Mr Abrams that Person X is operating within standard behaviour for a Japanese person who is involved in an organization, and can basically act in no way other than those prescribed by his culture. I have made no ad hominem attack on Imaizumi Sensei, under whom I trained for 2 or 3 years and of whom I have none but the fondest memories, but Mr Abrams feels as though he is not under the constraints of good behaviour.

He also stated in the same thread:

That is great, but the art we practice, the focus of this website, and the interest of most of the people who come here is AIKIDO, not "whatever art we chose." Aikido is a defined set of arts that are practiced by people, with some room for variation between instructors, and of course students, and nikkyo is nikkyo whether it is USAF, ASU, Shin Budo Kai or Yoshinkan! Aikido is the sole focus of the USAF, not whatever art we choose, and I, for one, am for that.

Well, that's it for me. I bid aikiweb a fond adieu.
Jory:

I am sorry if you have taken this so personally that you feel that you have to take your last proverbial shot and run...

When I talked about my instructor as considering his students his shrine to Aikido, I was simply talking about how he defined his lasting legacy to Aikido. He was not putting down the efforts of the other person. He has a lack of concern about organizational strength. He was an instructor for Aikikai at the Hombu Dojo in Japan. He had a major role in Ki Society. He had the invitation to return to Aikikai after he left Ki Society. His lack of desire to deal with organizational politics was what led him to the path that he chose. The focus that I CALL politically petty is one where the attention is to maintaining the organization above the art. It is up to every instructor to determine what their legacy will or will not be. I personally, do not consider it wrong that a person would like to build a shrine dedicated to O'Sensei and Aikido. It was in no way an attack on the character of that person. If you took it in that manner, then I am sorry that you did so.

Your organization is not unpopular, simply look at the size of your organization. If it was unpopular, it would not be so large. Your organization has a lot of wonderful people and instructors as part of the organization itself. That your organization has perceived faults is not an entire condemnation of the USAF. EVERY organization has it's strengths and weaknesses. We need to honest to ourselves and address our faults in order to improve ourselves (be it ourselves or an institution or organization). As you talked about, Aikido exists apart from the various organizations. It lives in the practice of each of us. If we can simply transcend the political divides that we create, we stand to make our art stronger.

Ron:

You are absolutely correct! Words do not hurt us. Our fragile ego allows us to become hurt from the words of others. I frankly enjoy a brisk discussion. I wish more people would hang in there and use words, rather resorting to physical acts of violence, be it an assault or a war.

marc abrams

Last edited by Marc Abrams : 03-28-2007 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:54 PM   #107
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Michael Riehle wrote: View Post
I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I've been tempted to leave a few times recently because of a tendency for some of the more interesting discussions to be hijacked into a frankly infantile exchange of no-you're-wrongs slung with accompanying personal insults.

I won't name any names...

...because that really isn't the point. This is an important aspect of this. If you start getting into blaming individuals for this happening you are guilty of the same offense.

In any case, I've taken the view that a better approach is to simply unsubcribe from threads that take such a turn.

I think, in fact, that one of the things this thread has pointed out is how such personal flame wars are unique to the online Aikido community. Frankly, Jun does a magnificient job of keeping things from getting completely stupid, IMO.

But there have been a couple of comments about national organizations that point out - at least to me - that the seeds of this kind of hostility are found in organizations outside the web. People who simply dismiss other people's approach to training as lacking any value create hostility which is actually easier to express in an online forum.

It's not about, IMO, agreeing or disagreeing. It's about being willing to exchange ideas at all and it's a two-way street. When I am faced with someone who disagrees with me where we can explore the nature or our disagreement I can often learn something from the exchange. When the disagreements sounds like a Saturday Night Live gag ("Jane, you ignorant twit!") I'm done.

Part of what I've seen in these organizational disagreements is exactly that sort of dismissal of other ideas and the number of people I've encountered who are guilty of it is kind of alarming.

"Your Aikido is wrong because it's too soft."

"Your Aikido is wrong because it's too hard."

"Your Aikido is wrong because there is no ground work."

"Your Aikido is wrong because it has ground work."

"My Aikido is better than yours because <insert reason here>!"

But the worst:

"Your Aikido is wrong because you don't belong to <insert organization here>!"

Once the discussion gets to this level - online or off, it's hard to find anything of value. Not impossible, just difficult.

While I believe there will always be a need for multiple organizations, I really believe these organizations should get along with each other. We should be working for all of us to pursue our goals in Aikido effectively even when we may not agree on the goals.
Just remember, no matter how bad some folks get on the forums, no matter how infantile the exchange becomes, there is karma operating. These forums are read by the entire English speaking Aikido world. A guy who is arrogant, is known to be arrogant by folks all over the world. A person who is an idiot will be recognized as such, not by just the few people in his direct acquaintance but by thousands of folks, a truly international idiot. This often is what keeps me from getting too upset, these folks are shooting themselves in the foot.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:00 PM   #108
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Dear Jory:

Do those high standards include a minimal level of historical accuracy on member websites?

Your own dojo's website states:

A survey of the interviews with Yamada Sensei at www.aikidoonline.com makes it quite clear that he came to New York in order to demonstrate at the 1964 World's Fair and had no further charge at that time, although he did manage to parlay his trip into a position as Chief Instructor at NY Aikikai, which had been established on 19th Street in 1961 by Ralph Glanstein, Eddie Hagihara, Virginia Mayhew, Barry Bernstein, Fred Krase, and Maggie Newman.

For my part, such a glaring inaccuracy in a matter of simple fact is troubling. But then, I'm cantankerous that way, even if I set aside the possibility that it was a deliberate attempt at revisionist history of a type I have seen all too many times.

Best regards,

FL
Me too. Having been blessed with Virgina Mayhew's friendship the last decade of her life her stories as a pioneer will more than likely pass in the fog of history as a testament to her humility. Her take on the New York days and Yamada Sensei might be a bit different than the standard party line.

Let's just say that since the 50's and 60's Aikido has progressed light years beyond what O'Sensei hoped it would be. Back then misogeny and racism were common place and the (Western) women pioneers of Aikido suffered greatly in order to practice.

Now it's all over the world and influanced by every culture it is in, while retaining it's basic spirit as O'Sensei envisioned.

The best way I feel it could be organized is along the lines of the 12 traditions of AA.

The Traditions as a model would give Aikido more room to grow and help keep the power hungry and the Ego Maniacs in check.

William Hazen

Don't get me started about dis-information on the internet. LOL
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:05 PM   #109
Ron Tisdale
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Dennis, Welcome Back! and darn glad to have you.

Marc, that was a darn nice way to hopefully draw Jory back in. Kudos...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:26 PM   #110
Rod Yabut
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
This often is what keeps me from getting too upset, these folks are shooting themselves in the foot.
I better write carefully!

Quote:
Dennis, Welcome Back! and darn glad to have you.
Ditto!
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:31 PM   #111
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Rod Yabut wrote: View Post
I better write carefully!
Hell, I gave up any notion of having a good reputation YEARS ago. :-)

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:38 PM   #112
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This often is what keeps me from getting too upset, these folks are shooting themselves in the foot.
Yes. Good point. Worth keeping firmly in mind.

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Old 03-28-2007, 05:35 PM   #113
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Jory:
Xenophobic thinking has never helped any societies survive over long periods of time, so why would it be different from organizations within Aikido.
Marc Abrams
Uh, no. Xenophobia is the only thing that preserves cultural and racial integrity. European society is completely unrecognizable due to the influence of the religions which originated in the middle east. Japan was made completely unrecognizable due to repeated invasions by the west. This is why Osensei was so interested in the ancient texts and wanted his art to be as close as possible to what was practiced by his kami(ancestors), the original inhabitants of his island, a clear departure from more modern indian and chinese influenced koryu. When you write "a long period of time" it must be put in proper context. The current American society has not been around for "a long period of time" in comparison, only time will tell if the melting pot experiment has really been a success.
Now as far as people storming off in a huff as a result of some perceived insult, that I can understand. What I don't understand is people being banned from forums! That is like getting banned from your dojo for hitting nage because he didn't defend himself properly. Is trying to make contact with a strike in the dojo "stupid"? Does being a good, creative, aggressive, violent, tenacious, ruthless attacker in the dojo make you "an idiot"? What happened to "applying aikido off of the tatami in your daily life" and the "verbal aikido" stuff ? I have noticed that the delusional, overly sensitive, ex-hippie, granola, self proclaimed "intellectual" types are the ones who praise this stuff the most yet they are the most touchy and unable to actually apply it when pressured, just like the physical techniques. In order to practice aikido an "attack" is necessary! Why would this be discouraged in an aikido forum? Although I think the aiki expo is a good concept in theory, it is not without politics of it's own. Although I am very impressed with Aikido Journal being the only site I am aware of allowing anyone to list information regarding their dojo/events regardless of rank, affiliation or style, the level of censorship when dealing with one of the "friends of the journal" in the forums section is disturbing.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:51 PM   #114
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mike Balko wrote: View Post
Although I am very impressed with Aikido Journal being the only site I am aware of allowing anyone to list information regarding their dojo/events regardless of rank, affiliation or style
The same is true (I hope!) of the AikiWeb Aikido Dojo Search Engine and the AikiWeb Seminars Database here on this site (with the original data for the Dojo Search Engine being freely available for years since at least the early 90's and the seminars information being freely available since the mid/late 90's).

-- Jun

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Old 03-28-2007, 05:59 PM   #115
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
I will continue to garden at the Shindai Dojo and on occasion till the soil in someone else's garden when asked to do so, but that is about all I wish on myself nowadays.
I look forward to my next visit to your garden. IMHO, the future of Aikido is in just this type of hospitality.

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 03-28-2007, 06:04 PM   #116
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This often is what keeps me from getting too upset, these folks are shooting themselves in the foot.
IMHO, it is hard to get too upset with people who obviously make themselves such easy targets (and it isn't the foot) without even knowing it.

Its all good practice. Get off the line by not taking it too seriously and certainly not personally. Don't let others take your center or balance.

The future of Aikido doesn't belong to those who complain or run away, but to those that keep showing up and training.

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 03-28-2007, 06:27 PM   #117
James Davis
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, it is hard to get too upset with people who obviously make themselves such easy targets (and it isn't the foot) without even knowing it.

Its all good practice. Get off the line by not taking it too seriously and certainly not personally. Don't let others take your center or balance.

The future of Aikido doesn't belong to those who complain or run away, but to those that keep showing up and training.
Dr. Seiser, you have a way of summing up in three sentences what it would take me pages to say.

I see a person being rude online as an advanced warning of what they might be like when I meet them. Still, I try not to let preconceived notions decide how I'm going to react to someone.

Based on aikiweb postings, I expected Dr. Seiser, Jun,and Senseis Clark, Hooker, and Amdur to be class acts when I met them in Orlando.

I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I'm glad to see you posting again, Sensei Hooker.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:36 PM   #118
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

It's not hard to see how isolationism can help a group become stronger as an organization. Whether it can help them become stronger as martial artists is another question entirely. The trend in aikido and many other martial arts has been to emphasize the needs of the organization over the needs of the individual, and while the two goals are not wholly mutually exclusive, naturally conflicts will arise between what is best for the practitioner's development and what is best for the organization. In typically Japanese fashion, the needs of the organization will usually come first at the expense of those of the individual. The question for the individual then becomes whether what they are getting out of membership in an organization is worth what they are giving up.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:01 AM   #119
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Talking Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Welcome back, Dennis.

you old coot.

http://web.umr.edu/~adekock/Cootness-Test.html

http://web.umr.edu/~adekock/old-coot.html

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Old 03-29-2007, 02:06 AM   #120
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mike Balko wrote: View Post
What I don't understand is people being banned from forums! That is like getting banned from your dojo for hitting nage because he didn't defend himself properly. Is trying to make contact with a strike in the dojo "stupid"?
Actually, it is necessary to ban certain folks from time to time in order to preserve the forums quality. All it takes is a couple people who simply cause trouble or dominate every discussion with tedious and irrelevant tirades and soon you fine that the folks who you'd most like to be reading have migrated elsewhere. This happened at the Aikido Journal site. Stan was reluctant to police things and waited far too long to step in and a vibrant forum went right down the tubes... It has not recovered to date. Once folks leave, it takes a very long time to lure them back.

Your theory that we should be treating aggressive folks as part of our training is fine but I simply don't need the aggravation. I come here to post and read posts and I certainly don't need an Aikido on-line version of the screaming heads that populate the news shows these days. Civilized discourse has a lot more to do with my idea of Budo than useless conflict. If people want to be obnoxious just for the sake of being obnoxious, I just hit the ignore button. I'm too busy to play games with folks that get their jollies by stirring things up.

I heard someone the other day trying to justify his behavior by saying,"I was just keeping it real". No, he was just being rude. I have stated this before... if people want to act like folks doing Budo they should converse with each other as if they were sitting across the table from someone with three feet of razor sharp steel. If one wants respect the best way is to give respect. A lot of folks don't get that...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:44 AM   #121
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
Based on aikiweb postings, I expected Dr. Seiser, Jun,and Senseis Clark, Hooker, and Amdur to be class acts when I met them in Orlando. I certainly wasn't disappointed.
It is just such gatherings that allow me to believe that Aikido has a bright and positive future.

It was a good time. I look forward to the next.

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 03-29-2007, 09:33 AM   #122
Marc Abrams
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mike Balko wrote: View Post
Uh, no. Xenophobia is the only thing that preserves cultural and racial integrity. European society is completely unrecognizable due to the influence of the religions which originated in the middle east. Japan was made completely unrecognizable due to repeated invasions by the west. This is why Osensei was so interested in the ancient texts and wanted his art to be as close as possible to what was practiced by his kami(ancestors), the original inhabitants of his island, a clear departure from more modern indian and chinese influenced koryu. When you write "a long period of time" it must be put in proper context. The current American society has not been around for "a long period of time" in comparison, only time will tell if the melting pot experiment has really been a success.
Now as far as people storming off in a huff as a result of some perceived insult, that I can understand. What I don't understand is people being banned from forums! That is like getting banned from your dojo for hitting nage because he didn't defend himself properly. Is trying to make contact with a strike in the dojo "stupid"? Does being a good, creative, aggressive, violent, tenacious, ruthless attacker in the dojo make you "an idiot"? What happened to "applying aikido off of the tatami in your daily life" and the "verbal aikido" stuff ? I have noticed that the delusional, overly sensitive, ex-hippie, granola, self proclaimed "intellectual" types are the ones who praise this stuff the most yet they are the most touchy and unable to actually apply it when pressured, just like the physical techniques. In order to practice aikido an "attack" is necessary! Why would this be discouraged in an aikido forum? Although I think the aiki expo is a good concept in theory, it is not without politics of it's own. Although I am very impressed with Aikido Journal being the only site I am aware of allowing anyone to list information regarding their dojo/events regardless of rank, affiliation or style, the level of censorship when dealing with one of the "friends of the journal" in the forums section is disturbing.
MIke:

I am a little bit stunned by your reply. I am hoping that you did not really understand fully what you actually wrote about.

Xenophobia: A common definition is a pathological fear or hatred of foreigners, or sometimes the unknown. It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "foreigner," "stranger," and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear." The term is typically used to describe fear or dislike of foreigners or in general of people different from one's self.

Maintaining cultural continuity does not have to involve fear. Cultures typically evolve from integrating new and outside experiences.

You talked about "racial integrity." That phrase typically come from racists. I can only hope that you are not so filled with hatred and fear of "racial differences." From an evolutionary perspective, a closed gene pool is a very bad thing.

O'Sensei was much more open than many Japanese in allowing foreigners to train in Aikido, so I am not sure how you can equate O'Sensei and a closed-culture mentality. The word "Kami" does not refer to ancestors, but refers to a personified deity.

I am a psychologist, close to an ex-hippie, considered by some an "intellectual" , yet I seem to have no problems remaining "in there" when I am being pushed. I like being pushed by honest uke's who don't "give away" technique but make me earn it. You talked about the "good, creative, aggressive, violent, tenacious, ruthless attacker" in the dojo. My experience has been that people that try and push outside of the envelope of safe training are typically the one's that end up getting hurt. Others get thrown out of schools as a means of protecting those very students from getting hurt by a senior student who "returns the favor" in a manner that the attacker is simply unable to protect him/herself from.

marc abrams
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:08 AM   #123
G DiPierro
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Actually, it is necessary to ban certain folks from time to time in order to preserve the forums quality. All it takes is a couple people who simply cause trouble or dominate every discussion with tedious and irrelevant tirades and soon you fine that the folks who you'd most like to be reading have migrated elsewhere. This happened at the Aikido Journal site. Stan was reluctant to police things and waited far too long to step in and a vibrant forum went right down the tubes... It has not recovered to date. Once folks leave, it takes a very long time to lure them back.
I think a big part of the problem on AJ is the ability to post anonymously. Here and on e-budo the real name rule holds people accountable for what they say. Unlike at e-budo, I don't think anyone has been banned from this forum, and partly because of that the most interesting discussions recently have ended up being here. As long as people are willing to stand behind what they say and do, I don't think they should banned (from aikido forums or dojos).

Quote:
If one wants respect the best way is to give respect. A lot of folks don't get that...
My experience is that this is true of many senior Americans in aikido. They act as if their rank or position entitles them to get respect without giving it. Can't say that I've ever seen this from a senior Japanese teacher, though.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:29 AM   #124
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
My experience is that this is true of many senior Americans in aikido. They act as if their rank or position entitles them to get respect without giving it. Can't say that I've ever seen this from a senior Japanese teacher, though.
I think you are right about the senior Americans. But I think that the reason behind it is insecurity. We are in a sense competing with each other for recognition and the willingness of the training public to invest authority in us is clearly limited.

This is not true for the Japanese teachers... on a basic level they "know" they are entitled. So they don't act out.

I found this to be true years ago when I worked for the Eddie Bauer store in Washington, DC. I waited on all sorts of folks... movie stars, the Sect of State, the family of the President, Senators, Congressmen, etc. I found that the guys who had real power were very pleasant and easy to deal with. The folks who were jerks were the staffers and up and coming wanna be's because everything to them was about competing for place in the pecking order.

I had a funny interaction with Ikeda Sensei. Even though he is a "Japanese " instructor, he has been here so long that often folks tend to forget that fact. Anyway, at the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp, Ikeda Sensei gets up early every morning and runs the Espresso stand. For some reason he finds being a "barristo" to be relaxing. Anyway, the year they hosted Tissier Sensei, they didn't have the Espresso stand. Being from Seattle, this was a particular hardship for me. So I asked Ikeda Sensei why they didn't have it open. He said that he was too busy and didn't have anyone to man it. I said, "Sensei, that's why you trained so hard to become a Shihan... you should be able to look at one of your deshi and say Man the Espresso bar..." He looked wistful and said, "Only works in Japan, not in America..."

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:47 AM   #125
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

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Jory Liebman wrote: View Post
Marc,

I'm sorry, but you have turned my meaning around 180 degrees. I am not criticizing the upper ranks of the USAF for not participating in non-organization events, but commending them. I do not believe that they are on the path to irrelevancy at all. They have produced a strong organization with a large number of extremely talented aikidoists who will form the next generation of teachers. They promote extremely high standards, and there is a strong feeling of comradeship amongst members of the organization, from low-ranks to higher.

If their exclusivity has led to this admirable state of affairs it is to be commended.

I wonder if the strength of your organization will continue after the passing of your shihan?

Jory
I can't express opinions about either of the organizations mentioned above. I do hear a snafu in the line of thinking relative to who will be the teachers of the next generation.
Ultimately, students choose teachers. People can have every imaginable certificate, endorsement or decleration from some world level organization, but is ultimately the students who decide if someone is a teacher. A teacher has a relationship to the future that chooses them as well as to the past that has designated them.
I believe that is important to remeber that heirarchy is a Japanese institution and is not a function of Aikido, the art, itself.
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