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Old 08-14-2007, 02:16 PM   #1
G DiPierro
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
You don't. When someone physically attacks you, they take that chance. When I defend myself or another, I take that chance as well.
How do you define a physical attack? If I shove you does that give you the right to kill me? What about if I punch you in the face? How about if I threaten to kill you but don't touch you? That's not a physical attack, then, is it? What if I am holding a gun? What if I tell you I have a gun in my pocket but you can't see it? What if it's clear that I have no weapon but am just making idle threats?

Violence is never anything more than a choice made out of a individual assessment of the circumstance, the options available, and personal priorities. Claiming that it is "necessary" to "do the least harm" is no different from claiming that it is necessary because "she deserved it," or because "it's for your own good," or because we need it to protect ourselves from some real or imagined threat. Violence is a choice, and for me a major part of aikido is examining the choices we make about the use of violence (in many different forms) in our lives. Obviously, this means that one must actually confront violence within the context of aikido practice.
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:49 PM   #2
Ron Tisdale
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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If I shove you does that give you the right to kill me?
If someone pushes me, they take the chance that I might over-react.

If when they go to push me, and I move with exquisite timing, they might lose their balence, fall and crack their skull.

Quote:
What about if I punch you in the face?
Do you punch me, knock me down, and then walk away? My desire would be to go after you and physically assault you. In my opinion, giving into that desire would be wrong.

Do you punch me once, then continue trying to assault me further? Then you and I have to deal with the consequenses, don't we?

Quote:
How about if I threaten to kill you but don't touch you? That's not a physical attack, then, is it?
But a verbal assault that is judged to be reasonably threatening may be acted upon physically, according to the laws in most places in this country. Of course, then I run the risk of a jury not agreeing with me. And my assailent runs two risks...1) that I might kill him for his trouble and 2) that a jury might agree with me.

Quote:
What if I am holding a gun?
That is clearly assault, and you should expect me to run away from you in a very crooked line...or perhaps if within 21 feet, maybe charge you, take away the gun, and even pistol whip you with it. Well, maybe no pistol whipping...that would be over the top.

Quote:
What if I tell you I have a gun in my pocket but you can't see it?
A) Anyone who does that is an idiot. Whether or not there is a gun in their pocket.

B) Not going to waste time on hypothetical idiots.

Quote:
What if it's clear that I have no weapon but am just making idle threats?
Then if I over-react, both God and the Jury will hopefully judge me appropriately.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:07 PM   #3
MM
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
How do you define a physical attack? If I shove you does that give you the right to kill me? What about if I punch you in the face? How about if I threaten to kill you but don't touch you? That's not a physical attack, then, is it? What if I am holding a gun? What if I tell you I have a gun in my pocket but you can't see it? What if it's clear that I have no weapon but am just making idle threats?

Violence is never anything more than a choice made out of a individual assessment of the circumstance, the options available, and personal priorities. Claiming that it is "necessary" to "do the least harm" is no different from claiming that it is necessary because "she deserved it," or because "it's for your own good," or because we need it to protect ourselves from some real or imagined threat. Violence is a choice, and for me a major part of aikido is examining the choices we make about the use of violence (in many different forms) in our lives. Obviously, this means that one must actually confront violence within the context of aikido practice.
This is off topic. Can you start a new thread?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Violence is never anything more than a choice made out of a individual assessment of the circumstance, the options available, and personal priorities.
Yep.

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Claiming that it is "necessary" to "do the least harm" is no different from claiming that it is necessary because "she deserved it," or because "it's for your own good," or because we need it to protect ourselves from some real or imagined threat.
If you honestly don't see the difference, I cannot show it to you.

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Violence is a choice, and for me a major part of aikido is examining the choices we make about the use of violence (in many different forms) in our lives. Obviously, this means that one must actually confront violence within the context of aikido practice.
This, I completely agree with.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote:
Claiming that it is "necessary" to "do the least harm" is no different from claiming that it is necessary because "she deserved it," or because "it's for your own good," or because we need it to protect ourselves from some real or imagined threat.
If you honestly don't see the difference, I cannot show it to you.
There is no difference because in each case it is someone making a judgment that violence will have a positive outcome and then convincing themselves that this violence is therefore "necessary." It never is. It is only an individual in a position of power (to do harm) choosing to exert that power in a way that injures another. Although outside observers might see some forms of violence as more justified than others, it is always a matter of opinion, and you can never know for sure that your opinion is right, no matter how many people agree with you.

There is no absolute claim to the necessity of violence, only kinds that are more or less acceptable by individuals and societies at large. When the forms of violence acceptable to an individual go beyond those acceptable to society, we call these individuals criminals. When they are identical, we call them heros.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:40 AM   #6
tarik
 
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
There is no difference because in each case it is someone making a judgment that violence will have a positive outcome and then convincing themselves that this violence is therefore "necessary." It never is. It is only an individual in a position of power (to do harm) choosing to exert that power in a way that injures another.
That's your judgment, which doesn't make it illegitimate, but it makes it just as questionable as any other judgment. Personally, I don't think it reflects reality. Violence is simply unavoidable in some cases. Anything else is at best an ideal and at worst a fantasy that will get one killed or seriously injured.

Even though I live in a relatively quiet community now where a single murder last year caused a large uproar, I know of no society where no violence exists. Do you?

To keep things on an individual basis, I claim that when someone chooses to attack me, I am engaged in violence, no matter how I choose to end the situation; with or without causing any harm myself. I recognize that not everyone would consider this true if I were to manage to extricate myself without harming my attacker, but I consider it to be true and that may be relevant to what I've said earlier.

I've already stated that it would be my goal to render the least harm possible, but that seems to have been ignored or overcome by my stated willingness to allow that to be anything other than no harm.

If you really believe that we all have the ability to always choose to not be involved in violence at all times than I believe that you must be very naive, but I don't think that you really believe that. I think you just believe in the ideal, and certainly I believe in it myself, however, it is not unfaithful to an ideal to state that there are times when we will have no other choice and will not be able to achieve it.

That perhaps armed with more knowledge or skill, harm could have been avoided is besides the point, because it is impossible to always be armed with that information. Real power would be to have that knowledge and that choice, and even then, can you not imagine a circumstance in which you might choose to wield that power? However unlikely, and mostly fantastic, I can.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Although outside observers might see some forms of violence as more justified than others, it is always a matter of opinion, and you can never know for sure that your opinion is right, no matter how many people agree with you.
I agree that it's always a matter of opinion (and occasionally consensus). However, I don't allow not knowing to cripple my ability to make a decision when I have to. As I stated before, I prefer to live with the consequences than to not live at all, unless choosing not to live will serve a greater purpose I am willing to serve.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
There is no absolute claim to the necessity of violence, only kinds that are more or less acceptable by individuals and societies at large. When the forms of violence acceptable to an individual go beyond those acceptable to society, we call these individuals criminals. When they are identical, we call them heros.
So it's all relative? There are no absolutes? I'm not sure what you're saying here. There is no absolute claim to the ideal of non-violence either. I don't claim that violence as we're speaking of it here is absolutely necessary (it is a necessary artifact of nature and existence, however), but as a realist, I claim that it is inevitable, sometimes unavoidable, and it will never be eliminated, no matter how hard we try. But I don't think that means we shouldn't stop trying, nor do I believe that means we should castigate ourselves when we fail, assuming, of course, that we did everything we knew to prevent it in the first place.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Violence is an unavoidable part of the natural world. It is not just impossible for any human to escape being involved in violence but it is also impossible for any human to avoid committing violence on a daily and ongoing basis. We kill others and make them our food so that we may live. Many of us now do not do the actual killing anymore, which is another matter, but either way other living things die so that we can live.

Doing the least harm possible is a fine principle, and perhaps even an admirable one, but how can we know for sure that this is what we are doing? For example, many people believe that a vegetarian diet does less harm than a carnivorous one because they consider killing plants to be "causing less harm" than killing animals. But can we know that is this really true? What if one person eats plants bought in a supermarket that were grown halfway across the world with chemical fertilizers and pesticides in huge industrial mono-culture farms that destroy the soil and local animal habitat and pollute the global environment in their transport, while another goes out and hunts and kills a few deer locally to eat without otherwise disturbing the environment. Which one is really causing the least harm? It is not as clear as it initially seemed.

If it is this difficult to adhere to a principle such as doing the least harm in choosing what to eat, which is a decision that we all face every day, then how much harder will it be to follow it in self-defense, which is something that we train for extensively but rarely use, at least in the physical sense? Principles are nice, but in the real world we constantly make choices about how to use violence to advance our own ends, even if that end is simply continuing to live. Although not all forms of violence are the same from a moral perspective, there is no absolute claim to justice in any choice that we can make about violence because we can never have the kind of omniscient understanding necessary to make absolute judgments about right and wrong. All we can do is make the best choices we can, knowing that they are constrained by the limitations of our knowledge, ability, and wisdom.

Necessity, such as it is used in the context of violence, is, at best, simply a matter of believing that violence will have a positive outcome (at least for the person perpetrating the violence and perhaps for others with whom that person identifies) and that there is no other alternative that will accomplish the same goal. Can anyone ever really know that either of these things are true in an absolute sense? I don't think so.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Violence is an unavoidable part of the natural world. It is not just impossible for any human to escape being involved in violence but it is also impossible for any human to avoid committing violence on a daily and ongoing basis.
I agree, but I was trying to keep the discussion to violence between humans instead of our violence to our environment. It is not possible to exist without doing harm to our environment to some degree, but that is, of course, balanced by the rest of the natural cycle of growth and decay.. some say balance, but in reality nature is never really in complete balance, only in a state of constant transition.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Doing the least harm possible is a fine principle, and perhaps even an admirable one, but how can we know for sure that this is what we are doing?
We cannot.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
It is not as clear as it initially seemed.
Yep.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
If it is this difficult to adhere to a principle such as doing the least harm in choosing what to eat, which is a decision that we all face every day, then how much harder will it be to follow it in self-defense, which is something that we train for extensively but rarely use, at least in the physical sense? Principles are nice, but in the real world we constantly make choices about how to use violence to advance our own ends, even if that end is simply continuing to live. Although not all forms of violence are the same from a moral perspective, there is no absolute claim to justice in any choice that we can make about violence because we can never have the kind of omniscient understanding necessary to make absolute judgments about right and wrong. All we can do is make the best choices we can, knowing that they are constrained by the limitations of our knowledge, ability, and wisdom.
Now it sounds like I'm writing your posts, although you write much better than I do. I agree completely.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Necessity, such as it is used in the context of violence, is, at best, simply a matter of believing that violence will have a positive outcome (at least for the person perpetrating the violence and perhaps for others with whom that person identifies) and that there is no other alternative that will accomplish the same goal.
Is it fair to describe someone who waits for others to perpetrate violence as not being perpetrators themselves, but instead one who resolves existing violence? Perhaps, perhaps not.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Can anyone ever really know that either of these things are true in an absolute sense? I don't think so.
As I've said more than once before now, we cannot know in any absolute sense. We can but do our best based on our current understanding of things as they are.

Good post, but it seems like a change of direction. If not, then I guess we were saying pretty much the same thing and neither of us articulating it well enough for the other to recognize it.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:00 PM   #9
dps
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
How do you define a physical attack?
If I shove you does that give you the right to kill me?
What about if I punch you in the face?
Definetly a physical attack?
Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
How about if I threaten to kill you but don't touch you?
What if I am holding a gun?
What if I tell you I have a gun in my pocket but you can't see it?
What if it's clear that I have no weapon but am just making idle threats?
These are precursors to a physical attack.

If it is a physical attack or I think that the events are escalating toward a physical attack,
my response is to protect myself from you at the level that will keep you from harming me at that moment or in the near future. I will do whatever I have to, to protect myself, then call the police.

I will worry about the right or wrong of it later if I survive.

David

Last edited by dps : 08-15-2007 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:41 PM   #10
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

I recommend that any folks you haven't -- review some of the information on violence and "real world" encounters written by Marc MacYoung at http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com.

He gives a lot of good info that deals with a lot of the things about violence (especially how it effects you - dishing it out as well as taking it) that people don't necessarily consider.

Last edited by Budd : 08-15-2007 at 12:42 PM. Reason: horrible grammar

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Old 08-15-2007, 03:47 PM   #11
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Good post, but it seems like a change of direction. If not, then I guess we were saying pretty much the same thing and neither of us articulating it well enough for the other to recognize it.
No change in direction. It seems to me that we agree on many things but that there are some differences, and on a forum like this I think it's much more interesting to discuss the things we don't agree on than the ones we do. In the post to which I originally responded, the only part I disagreed with was the notion that violence was ever necessary or necessitated by a situation (and rereading it just now the last half sounds exactly like something I would have written).

My position is and has been that violence is not a necessity but always a choice that people make based on several factors, including their goals, priorities, and desired outcome, the options they perceive to be available to them other than violence, the chances that each of these options will create the outcome they desire, the possible costs of each option, and their willingness and ability to execute them. More often than not this calculus will be a mostly habitual or unconscious one, but I think some kind of evaluation like this is involved with any decision to use (or not use) violence for any purpose.

Returning to the subject of the original thread, of which we are now no longer a part, my understanding of aikido is that the choice to use violence (specifically in self-defense situations but also more generally) is not strictly within the realm of aikido. However, I also don't consider aikido to be the be-all and end-all of budo or martial arts nor do I assume that it must be the only or best approach to every situation. I also don't consider most of what is called aikido be a very good example of the art as I understand it.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 08-15-2007 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Giancarlo DiPierro,
We live in the real world and make real choices. People like to pretend they can abstain from violence or that they are above violence. But if there is nothing in this world worth fighting for ten you might as well cease to exists. Even the most peaceful hindu recognizes from Arjuna's battle that there are times when avoiding conflict is morally unacceptable.
And my philosophy is more geared to the moder political and legal threshold which is not least harm, but rather sufficient force to stop the attack.

As for all of your examples, common sense should dictate your actions.

If someone were to assault your mother and you could defend her, would you let her die since by stoping the attack you yourself would be committing iolence?

--ADDED:
No, violence isn't always a choice. Upon being attacked most people would defend themselves no matter how primitively it may be done. This is done way in advancce of any rationalization process. It is a theme of nature.

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Old 08-15-2007, 09:25 PM   #13
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
My position is and has been that violence is not a necessity but always a choice that people make based on several factors, including their goals, priorities, and desired outcome, the options they perceive to be available to them other than violence, the chances that each of these options will create the outcome they desire, the possible costs of each option, and their willingness and ability to execute them. More often than not this calculus will be a mostly habitual or unconscious one, but I think some kind of evaluation like this is involved with any decision to use (or not use) violence for any purpose.
Choices. Calculus. One basis for engaging in violence is, traditionally, calculation. Another common one is rage. I have written else where in a recent thread that of the most readily identifiable alternative bases for survival in combat the most effective is in fact -- love. That is what O Sensei had revealed to him as the advent of aikido. After much reflection and practice I find that I agree with him.

So the question is not whether we will participate in violence or not. That choice is made for us by someone else out of rage or calculation. We shall participate, if only as intended and involuntary victim. Our choice as aikidoka must be is to willingly enter violence from a position of love -- or we are not practicing aikido as it was revealed to O Sensei.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
... the choice to use violence (specifically in self-defense situations but also more generally) is not strictly within the realm of aikido.
Love can match and surpass in ferocity that of rage. Love can undo the most clever schemes. Hate is the shadow cast by the love for those one would protect. Violence may not be a matter of choice, but it is place to grasp a fundamental truth -- or to lose sight of it entirely.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:26 AM   #14
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

One point that I think everyone in this thread is overlooking is that, in fact, some people do have the choice to not practice violence. These are the people who, by virtue of their privilege, are protected from violence, or have options that allow them to avoid violence. The average affluent suburbanite in the United States, particularly an affluent white male suburbanite, is not going to be faced with violent situations unless they seek it out and/or make some spectacularly unwise choices. This is why I always find it a bit tooth-grating when affluent white suburban men get into debates about "realistic self-defense": when your reality doesn't include violence unless you seek it out, it's somewhere between absurd and disrespectful (to the real safety threats that others face and may not opt out of) to pretend that you have a need to develop physical self-defense skills. But that's the subject of another thread. What's relevant to this thread, in summary, is that it's untrue to state (as many are stating) that into each life some violence must come. In reality, as a result of privilege, to avoid or engage in violence is indeed a choice for some.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:49 AM   #15
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
One point that I think everyone in this thread is overlooking is that, in fact, some people do have the choice to not practice violence.
[snip because it is utter dribble]
In reality, as a result of privilege, to avoid or engage in violence is indeed a choice for some.
Everyone HAS the choice - not just priviledged white folk - nice class envy.

Dan
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:09 AM   #16
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

I am african american. I live in the suburbs. I am male.

I rarely have violence of any physical type thrust upon me.

I also had a great aunt who lived in the "bad lands" of North Phila. My choice was to go see her, to take her out when possible. So it was a choice, and violence did find me there as a result of that choice.

Money, priviledge, things like that are great insulations against violence...but they work pretty much regardless of race or sex.

But there are always exceptions. There are those times when violence does seek you out...a home invasion (they do happen in suburbs), a random nut, road rage, whatever.

Framing it solely in terms of race and sex is taking a risk, I think.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:18 AM   #17
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
One point that I think everyone in this thread is overlooking is that, in fact, some people do have the choice to not practice violence. These are the people who, by virtue of their privilege, are protected from violence, or have options that allow them to avoid violence.
This is the logic of your statement:

Choice to NOT practice violence exists IF AND ONLY IF one has favorable circumstances.

If you accept this statement as true then you must also accept its converse as equally true:

Choice to NOT practice violence DOES NOT exist if one has unfavorable circumstances.

I will offer but one individual who suffices to rebut this moral logic: Sophie Scholl. Go look her up.

Quote:
What's relevant to this thread, in summary, is that it's untrue to state (as many are stating) that into each life some violence must come. In reality, as a result of privilege, to avoid or engage in violence is indeed a choice for some.
Somehow I doubt you mean what you are saying - or if you do mean it -- I am saddened at the moral universe you believe you inhabit.

In other words, your logic justifies violence as inevitable and morally irresistible according to adverse circumstance. It is the unholy myth that has been widely and routinely used to sanctify violence as a moral imperative to the now predictable slaughter of many, many people. "Injustice" of circumstance, whether immediate or general, is misfortune, but does not justify a choice of violence, whether the motivation be envious rage or envious calculation or a combination of the two.

Conversely, O Sensei used sacred myth, telling how we need not act not from fear, anger or envy -- but love -- and thereby merely enter and turn violence offered. O Sensei's myths tell of a radiance of divine love shining beyond reach of human failings, and yet deeply related to us, which we quite take for granted. Yet it can reveal and touch all human acts and misfortunes that seek it out. As Sophie Scholl said it, while walking out for her cruel and unjust beheading -- "The sun still shines."

This logic that "we have no choice" but to use violence to make "just" our circumstances (vice stopping or deterring actual aggression) justified the politics of mass envy, class and race retribution. That petty moral calculus killed, by last count, upwards of between five and ten million in forced (i.e. -- violent) collectivization in Russia in the thirties (easily 15-fold the worst famine under the "privileged" tsars), tens of millions more dead in WWII opposing the fascists' wars and the long epilogue in containing the geo-political plague of Communism that also killed en masse as policy with near impunity as in Cambodia ( 1- 3 million) never mind the other less grotesque examples of the same thing across the globe.

The collective choice made by the undeniably "privileged circumstance" citizens of this country and of the West, and of people like Sophie Scholl, to engage in those conflicts under mortal threat was most certainly a choice made, a right choice, and a conflict that illustrates the topsy-turvy moral world which the kind of thinking you portray inevitably and demonstrably leads to. O Sensei understood and intended to exemplify the universal consequences of individual choices in his Aikido.

Whatever destruction is outside of our capability to prevent may be the misfortune of the moment -- but it is not a misfortune predicated by our motivation if we join that violence in the proper spirit in the circumstance of the violence offered. Survival is not the point, indeed, avoiding all destruction is not the point, either. Both happen to be made more likely, for more people by entry into and turning violence in love, than from any other motivation.

Love. That is the moral imperative. It is the ONLY moral imperative. It is the only real choice, the only true choice, and yet it still is our choice to make. It matters not which stories one uses to tell it and to sanctify it. In the case of the real myth, the end result of Spohie's act was her very own message of hope and eventual deliverance -- literally delivered to the people like white flowers falling from the heaven where she last saw the sun shining.

We immediately know this imperative every time a tale is told exemplifying it or showing its reality in action. "The sun still shines." And if we ourselves should fail, yet heaven itself may answer. And that is an encouraging thought.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:30 AM   #18
tarik
 
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
One point that I think everyone in this thread is overlooking is that, in fact, some people do have the choice to not practice violence. These are the people who, by virtue of their privilege, are protected from violence, or have options that allow them to avoid violence.
They delegate their violence and remain ethically responsible for that. On the small, mundane level, this means that many meat eaters would refuse to kill their own meat. On the social level, they allow and hire others to do their violence for them. It does not negate their ethical responsibility for that violence and it is also not really what we're talking about here.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The average affluent suburbanite in the United States, particularly an affluent white male suburbanite, is not going to be faced with violent situations unless they seek it out and/or make some spectacularly unwise choices. This is why I always find it a bit tooth-grating when affluent white suburban men get into debates about "realistic self-defense": when your reality doesn't include violence unless you seek it out, it's somewhere between absurd and disrespectful (to the real safety threats that others face and may not opt out of) to pretend that you have a need to develop physical self-defense skills. But that's the subject of another thread.
Are you extrapolating to the people contributing to this thread or just offering an example of 'tooth-grating' behavior to you?

I do concur with you that it is a disturbing discussion to listen to, when people who, by the fortune of their privilege have such discretion, are serious when they suggest that violence is always a solution OR always a choice for everyone else in the world.

I think many here certainly don't have a need to develop self-defense skills beyond, 'walk the other way'. However, I think it foolhardy for people to engage in any martial arts training without considering what it is that they are teaching themselves to be skilled at and whether those skills, which for better or worse, shall become a part of their reactions to violence, are relevant.

Quote:
What's relevant to this thread, in summary, is that it's untrue to state (as many are stating) that into each life some violence must come. In reality, as a result of privilege, to avoid or engage in violence is indeed a choice for some.
Personally, I don't think it's very relevant. Despite all the violence in the world, we live in a world that offers choices. Many, probably even most, people in the world do have a choice, even when they don't recognize it, about how to avoid or engage in violence. My father, as a callow youth, was penniless and homeless, and certainly not privileged. Instead of choosing to join the PLO and fighting for the right to return to our ancestral home, he emigrated to the US and sought education and to build a family and to protect us from violence and people who choose to propagate violence.

I, too, was exposed to and had that choice at one time in my own youth. So these choices are certainly available, regardless of 'privilege'. However, I also had many encounters as a young man that were not reasonably avoidable, even in hindsight.

I speak not of ideals, which are great to seek out, but of practical realities.

To my mind, this is a part and parcel of what training is about, among many other things, and to avoid discussing it, or to pretend that violence is either always avoidable, or always unnecessary, is naive, IMO and IME.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:39 AM   #19
arderljohn
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

I second the motion.

Calm down my friend, everything is under control.
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:17 PM   #20
Michael Hackett
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Most of us will never experience "real" violence against us. By that, I mean most of us will never be mugged, robbed on the street, carjacked, assaulted, raped, or subject to a home invasion robbery. I suppose one could find a statisical probability that would give comfort in that thought. Unfortunately, regardless of social status or privilege, it could happen to any one of us. I don't think living in fear is the answer, but not acknowledging the possibility is much of an answer either. While the ostrich has his head buried in the sand, we know what part of his anatomy is exposed.

If and when we are directly exposed to such an encounter, we do have a choice whether we will utilize violence to meet the encounter. On one hand we can choose to simply accept everything that happens, or on the other hand, choose to defend ourselves with some level of violence. Assuming that we choose to defend ourselves, the level of violence is yet another choice. Do we do the least harm? Do we use only the force necessary? Do we use as much force as we have at our disposal? Those are choices as well; perhaps directed by our own ethical beliefs, perhaps governed by existing law and community standards. Nevertheless, they are choices that we can make.

I no longer make my living from going to places of violence and confronting violent people. The places I go and the people I associate with are largely pacific today. That doesn't mean that something won't happen - I seriously doubt that it will, but it could.
If it does, I anticipate that I will use the force or violence necessary under the circumstances to protect myself and those around me. I have already made my choice and I choose to live with the consequences of knowing that I am an imperfect being in the eyes of some. I can live with that.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:23 AM   #21
lbb
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
This is the logic of your statement:

Choice to NOT practice violence exists IF AND ONLY IF one has favorable circumstances.
That's completely and totally incorrect. My point was a simple one: that there are, in fact, very different circumstances that give different people different choices WRT violence.

Quote:
If you accept this statement as true then you must also accept its converse as equally true:

Choice to NOT practice violence DOES NOT exist if one has unfavorable circumstances.
Yet more wrong, even if your premise is accepted. All ducks float; therefore, everything that floats is a duck? Try again.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:18 AM   #22
dalen7
 
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

It kind of boils down to a couple of principles.

- If someone pushes you, etc. That persons own karma probably will come back to them, and in that case instantly...and it may be worse than the 'push'.

Why is this? The negativity emanating within them to start out with.
Starts out with inner violence, goes to arguing, then physical violence then death.

So in a way, if someone is 'starting' something - it should not be expected that something 'worse' might not happen back to them.

- Secondly, the person that is the receiver, it brings to question why did this event open up in their lives? It could be that though they were not physically violent they were inwardly violent which went outward to argumentation. Point is they were not at peace in the center. (Im not saying this is 100% of the time, but for the most part, society as a whole is at 'dis-ease' within themselves and thus without.

Again, its interesting.
You cant say that a joint lock/twist, with the intent to 'dislocate' doesnt deserve a kick in the face.

The blood from the face looks more dramatic, but some joint wounds take months, years to heal if at all properly.
So its shallow to say push = this, etc.

Point is, if you attack, you best be ware...your violence may come on you 10 fold. Why should there be a rule how you are attacked back?...where was the rule whenever you decided to violate someone else's space?

Ah, with the last sentence it becomes clear...the violation of space which was initiated by the 'attacker'. So dont attack, and dont worry. Otherwise its silly for them to make up 'rules' in their head of what should or should not happen as they attack their victim.

But again, the more we are centered within ourselves, the more we will attract or react to circumstances where the violence will be solved within. Sound mystical? Listen to Eckhart Tolle - actually figure out how to make such 'advice' from the likes of Eckhart practical in your life - and then see how mystical, or rather, real it is.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 08-18-2007 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:29 AM   #23
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

If someone pushes me aggressively: if I am good he should have already fallen on his face; if I am better I might have decided to catch him before he falls on his face, or, slam him down even harder. There is no right or wrong about it, just what happens, or, if I am better, what I decide to do. That, would be Aikido, in my opinion.

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Old 08-20-2007, 06:06 AM   #24
statisticool
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Re: Violence and Physical Attacks

It is like taking a shower. You don't turn the temperature up all the way, you have control over it.

Similarly, we have control over the force dial, and we can turn it up or down as needed.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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