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Old 05-24-2008, 11:40 AM   #1
mickeygelum
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A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Hi All,

As I would wish the very best of everything in life to all of you...it just simply will not happen. The typical day, or the proverbial " same old s**t, different day " has quite a different definition depending at what grid co-ordinate your feet are located.

With all due respect, some do not enjoy the ability to walk without alarm or fear in their immediate environment. Some do not enjoy the security of exiting their "home" and take in mother nature and all that she gives, freely. And, many others, do not for fear of their well-being and that of their families.

On-the-other-hand, what about the many who, on a daily basis, tread through the muck and mire of society. Those folks are instinctively aware of an imposing threat. They are life experienced at body language and physical attitude. Often, they are a veteran of many select encounters that have enabled physical skills that are simplistic and highly effective. These individuals have adapted and survived. The trials of life are a great teacher.

I am of the opinion that two hours a day, three or four times a week, clad in dogi and moving as if a marionette are going to enable those skills...you should re-evaluate the training goals.

If you are of the thought that kicks, punches and strikes are exclusive to " the other " arts, you need to re-evaluate your training goals. If you hold that there is no competition or resistance in your
training, I emphatically suggest you change your training methods.

Again, I wish all the very best life possible, but I believe that each takes from his/her training, that which they are most comfortable.
" Comfort " and " Environment " are synonymous to ability levels.

My food for thought, " Does your ability truly provide you comfort in any environment? ".

Just my thoughts, hopefully it will help someone.

Train well,

Mickey
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
L. Camejo
 
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
As I would wish the very best of everything in life to all of you...it just simply will not happen. The typical day, or the proverbial " same old s**t, different day " has quite a different definition depending at what grid co-ordinate your feet are located.

With all due respect, some do not enjoy the ability to walk without alarm or fear in their immediate environment. Some do not enjoy the security of exiting their "home" and take in mother nature and all that she gives, freely. And, many others, do not for fear of their well-being and that of their families.

On-the-other-hand, what about the many who, on a daily basis, tread through the muck and mire of society. Those folks are instinctively aware of an imposing threat. They are life experienced at body language and physical attitude. Often, they are a veteran of many select encounters that have enabled physical skills that are simplistic and highly effective. These individuals have adapted and survived. The trials of life are a great teacher.

I am of the opinion that two hours a day, three or four times a week, clad in dogi and moving as if a marionette are going to enable those skills...you should re-evaluate the training goals.

If you are of the thought that kicks, punches and strikes are exclusive to " the other " arts, you need to re-evaluate your training goals. If you hold that there is no competition or resistance in your
training, I emphatically suggest you change your training methods.

Again, I wish all the very best life possible, but I believe that each takes from his/her training, that which they are most comfortable.
" Comfort " and " Environment " are synonymous to ability levels.

My food for thought, " Does your ability truly provide you comfort in any environment? ".
Good topic Michael.

You've voiced something that I have been thinking about for some time after traveling a bit and reading online threads for sometime now.

It's very interesting how a person defines things like survival or self-protection based on his or her reality and experience. I am often shocked by what passes for knowledge of "effective" self-protection strategies and tactics by folks in other, safer regions when in my reality, these concepts simply will not work. I guess this is why it is also difficult to get common ground in a lot of discussions on these things. In some areas it may be possible to never have to seriously think about dealing with severe, primal, lethal personal violence - in other places it may be a norm, requiring a level of awareness, skill and vigilance that is uncommon or even unthinkable to some.

To answer your question: " Does your ability truly provide you comfort in any environment? " - I am constantly seeking ways to make this more and more the reality. This approach provides great opportunity to challenge what I think I know and what I believe I am capable of. It is a great method to progressively remove my own delusions imho and make real progress in developing self to meet the challenges of varied environments. So in a nutshell, when I start to feel "comfortable" I try to ensure that it is based on actual ability and knowledge and not delusion. The next step is to expand my reality so that I soon feel uncomfortable again.

Gambatte.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
If you hold that there is no competition or resistance in your
training, I emphatically suggest you change your training methods.

Again, I wish all the very best life possible, but I believe that each takes from his/her training, that which they are most comfortable.

My food for thought, " Does your ability truly provide you comfort in any environment? ".

Just my thoughts, hopefully it will help someone.

Train well,

Mickey
I hold that there is no (or nearly none) competition in my own training; I can't speak for my training partners. That isn't to say I won't exploit an opening and perform kaeshi as uke though.
As for the question: no, but "any" environment leaves too much room for me to feel comfortable saying yes. However, I do feel more comfortable in more environments...but comfort holds a different meaning to me in this context because comfort breeds complacency. I would argue the best Budo involves some degree of self-imposed, purposeful, and continuous discomfort...that makes my guttony for punishment in life an example of wisdom then, right?

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:51 PM   #4
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

One thing though - doesn't their have to be some level of "being uncomfortable" in oneself, some aspect not being touched by one's training, made visible in the urge to pass judgement, discredit, compare, disavow - even when, or especially when, we use devices like, "for your own good," "for the good of your students," "for the art's sake," etc., or when we try to "help" and ask folks to "wake up" to (our) reality? Isn't being comfortable in some way akin to being satisfied "as is." For me, definitely so.

I'm all up for offering one's opinion - especially when it's being asked for, and/or for sharing and contrasting one's experience, but I just have no urge in me pass out universal condemnations according to my (by default) miniscule existence and/or experience. If we want to talk about what we like to do, or even why, that is one thing, but it just seems pointless to train ourselves to get folks to train like us.

The way I see it, folks can do their own thing - they are not my students, I have no commitment to them, nor them to me. I don't need one flag, with me holding it, and everyone else under it.

I'm comfortable with many flags, and even with folks that have no flags. I thank my training for that. I don't need folks to wake up to my reality - for me, that's part of me waking up myself.

I hope folks are always self-reflective in their training, as that is a huge part of progress, but I don't need folks that don't train under me to be, nor do I have a desire for them to be. My hope for self-reflection for others comes only from being a fellow journeyman myself. For me, it's a sincere hope - an act of sharing.

For me, it's no different from finding a fellow hiker on a trail. I'll share my water if they ask for some, I'll give it to them if they say they need it, but I have no urge to tell them how to hike or where to go or even where they cannot go. We meet, we spend a moment, and then our moment together ends. I don't walk the trails, telling folks what is possible and not possible. If I feel they are truly in danger, then I do more than simply tell them they are in danger.

Real help is always proactive and constructive and takes great effort and sacrifice by the one providing it. It cannot happen in this setting, for better or for worse, and we should stop trying then to "help" folks.

Just felt this needed to be said, otherwise I can't see this discussion going anywhere but straight to the ego and all its delusions. Just thought a conversation on the "real" should notice this, and try to get away from such trappings, such delusion.

I'm sure that there are plenty of folks out there that gain skill in acquiring comfortability through their training though their training seeks no skill at surviving an urban attack. Additionally, I'm not sure one is ever "comfortable" within an attack - it's more, at least for me, an ability to do what needs to be done. For me, that's not "comfortability," it's control. Control does not guarantee victory and so I do not enter or face an urban attack with some sense of confidence that I will, or even can, survive. I just do what I do, from a state of control that I am able to maintain.

"Comfortable" is me laying in on that hammock in the Corona Beer commercial, my wife standing in front of the ocean wearing her bikini, and my three kids playing around me.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:49 PM   #5
Chris Parkerson
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

as for me,
I see myself as an R&D person.
I love to challenge my own assumptions and strive only for personal best.
over the years, people have said that they like my answers.
yet, I abhore the unexamined self. Thus I ask people to "question my answers" so that they can "absorb what is useful to them, and discard the rest". To keep things in perspective, I do not want a penny for any of it, only the fellowship of two "seekers" who walk a common path for a time.... As equals without heirsrchy, for indeed I will be learning from them through the telling of their personal story as well.
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:22 PM   #6
mathewjgano
 
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
I believe that each takes from his/her training, that which they are most comfortable.
I agree with this idea. One of the main principles of learning I've been learning about has to do with individual receptivity, which is largely based upon prior individual experience.

Quote:
" Comfort " and " Environment " are synonymous to ability levels.
This part I'm not sure I understand...would you mind rephrasing it for me? Or expounding on it a bit further?
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:49 AM   #7
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Considering that the natural environment is always in a constant change of state (upheaval, not balance is the norm), feeling comfortable in one's environment can get you killed (by man or mother nature).

David

Last edited by dps : 05-25-2008 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:29 AM   #8
Chris Parkerson
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

[quote=Matthew Gano;207232]I agree with this idea. One of the main principles of learning I've been learning about has to do with individual receptivity, which is largely based upon prior individual experience.Research the "hermeneutical circle".
You may find that we all have a set of prismed glasses by which to view the world. Our " past experience".... The questions we ask of the world comes from our past dealings with it. Da h expierence creates new questions. We refer to our past to answer these questions. If your past was "Forrest" and never experienced "desert", it is hard to imagine an answer that includes intense sun and sand dunes. Yet dialectic and openness slowly expands and shapes our prismed glasses.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:48 AM   #9
mickeygelum
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=13664&page=4

Quote:
Here is how I have come to understand things. There are two wheels to the cart that is Budo training. 1) There is the type of training that helps you to gain the form that distinguishes your set of tactical applications. This has to do with artistic parameters, stylistic preferences, given technical architectures, etc. This type of training is by default best marked by theory, cooperative training, etc., and takes advantage of idealized training environments, slow training, diagrams, repetition, etc. 2) There is the type of training that works to bring the former training off of the chalkboard and out of the laboratory and into environments where it can remain viable as a living art or state of being -- places where it is expected to interact and respond with the natural/living world and at the speed of life.

In my experience, most martial arts training as it is practiced today focuses on only the first type of training. Why? Here are a few possible reasons: It is marketable -- i.e. one can sell it; it requires little personal investment (relative to the second type of training); and it can adopt a pedagogical approach that remains akin to the dominant pedagogy we see everywhere in the modern world today. That is to say, it is and remains familiar.

As for the second type of training -- why so rare? Here are a few reasons: It remains non-marketable because as it aims to move the practitioner beyond the packaging of this art or that art, it itself cannot be packaged, labeled, etc. If anything, it is antithetical to packaging of any kind. Additionally, as the first type of training has more of itself leaning on things physical (i.e. body movements, stances, etc.), the second type of training mostly pertains to the way the mind/spirit relates to the body's capacity to move and/or be. This means the practitioner is going to have to have more of him/herself participate, revealed, observed, and transformed. In a world plagued by delusion, denial, self-anxiety, self-alienation, and intimacy issues, this is a huge burden to bear. Often it is too huge a burden for the average person wanting to train in the martial arts today -- my opinion. Finally, the second type of training remains rare in today's world because the instruction in it is as much an art form as that which it seeks to cultivate. This is because instruction here pertains more to a mind-to-mind transmission than it does to anything else. That is to say, training and instruction at this level is highly particular -- in terms of being, space, and time.

That said, and this is why I posted the videos, while the two type of training are related, even inter-related, it's quite out of place to judge the second type of training by the standards of the first. Why? Because, in many ways, the second type of training has to undo what was done in the first type of training.

Now, if you are having to do this on your own, which most of us will have to do if we look to chase (FOR REAL) this illusive aiki-spontaneity, and you will be default have to look to undoing what was done in the first type of training, well… You are going to look like a mess, but only when folks are judging you, WRONGLY, from the first type of training.

So, I would like to propose this another way… Here's the problem before you (the practitioner):

You are learning an art form (e.g. Aikido). You practice the forms over and over, develop the particulars, generate the right power sources, etc. And, then, you realize, all that information, all those accomplishments, don't directly translate into the living world, and definitely not at the speed of life. Now, what are you going to do? Do you just give up and stay in the green house -- the realm of controlled environments? Do you go looking for another art that is supposed to "work"? Do you deny that the problem is really you?

If you answer all these questions the right way, what then? What does a training that bridges the gap between form and spontaneity look like if not this? And, if you got it on film, please show it so we can talk better about it.

thanks,
dmv
Mr Valadez.... I attempted to provoke constructive self-evaluation, not judge. By your own words, it appears that you can not take a position one way or another. As I stated, just my thoughts, hopefully it will help someone, maybe even you.

Mr.Gano...Please forgive my typo, Comfort and environment are not synonymous with ability levels. They are, at the least, associatively porportionate.

Train well,

Mickey
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post

Research the "hermeneutical circle".
You may find that we all have a set of prismed glasses by which to view the world. Our " past experience".... The questions we ask of the world comes from our past dealings with it. [New](?) expierence creates new questions. We refer to our past to answer these questions. If your past was "Forrest" and never experienced "desert", it is hard to imagine an answer that includes intense sun and sand dunes. Yet dialectic and openness slowly expands and shapes our prismed glasses.
I like the concept very much; I'm fairly familiar with it from my Elemetary Education courses. It's one of the reasons I've enjoyed the constructivist approach as much as i have. Understanding the perspectives/positions of others is (to some degree) crucial to purposeful reconciliation of conflict...whether we're talking about physical posture or mental posture. I think both relate directly.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Thanks Mickey, I appreciate the clarification...and the thread itself. I think it's a pretty important thing for people to consider.
Take care,
matt

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Old 05-25-2008, 12:40 PM   #12
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I like the concept very much; I'm fairly familiar with it from my Elemetary Education courses. It's one of the reasons I've enjoyed the constructivist approach as much as i have. Understanding the perspectives/positions of others is (to some degree) crucial to purposeful reconciliation of conflict...whether we're talking about physical posture or mental posture. I think both relate directly.
In terms especially of "shen", I suspect it is really hard to judge another's truth with one's own.

Saint Andrew had a monk that stole a book from him. The monk tried to sell it for a certain amount. The buyer took the book to Saint Andrew inquiring of its worth. Saint Andrew told him its worth and said nothing else. The monk, hearing of this found the strength to transcend all attachments to money and things.

One monk in the deserts of Egypt (5th century) was witness to a robbery. His testimony placed the robbers in prison. The next day, the monk broke them out of prison. Why?? We may never know.

Saint Francis of Assisi confronted leapords with love and was not molested by them. Perhaps all these men knew how to use technique in fighting. Each had their own path "in the moment" as their truth spoke to them.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:33 PM   #13
mathewjgano
 
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
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In terms especially of "shen", I suspect it is really hard to judge another's truth with one's own.
Can't disagree with that. Personal truths are pretty subjective.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:29 AM   #14
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Hmm. What David Valadez said, especially:

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
I'm all up for offering one's opinion - especially when it's being asked for, and/or for sharing and contrasting one's experience, but I just have no urge in me pass out universal condemnations according to my (by default) miniscule existence and/or experience. If we want to talk about what we like to do, or even why, that is one thing, but it just seems pointless to train ourselves to get folks to train like us...

For me, it's no different from finding a fellow hiker on a trail. I'll share my water if they ask for some, I'll give it to them if they say they need it, but I have no urge to tell them how to hike or where to go or even where they cannot go. We meet, we spend a moment, and then our moment together ends. I don't walk the trails, telling folks what is possible and not possible. If I feel they are truly in danger, then I do more than simply tell them they are in danger.

Real help is always proactive and constructive and takes great effort and sacrifice by the one providing it. It cannot happen in this setting, for better or for worse, and we should stop trying then to "help" folks.
This reminds me of this kid I knew in sixth grade. We'd all be there working on something, and he'd peer at what other kids were doing and say, "You're not supposed to do it that way." Even in the context of a sixth grade class, where the boundaries are rigid and objectives quite narrowly defined, it was a silly and arrogant thing to say -- while our teacher did teach methods, she tended to define our tasks more in terms of "what" than "how". I gave up on this kid after the third time demonstrating to him that I had used a different method to get the correct "what", and being met with a stubborn, "You're not supposed to do it that way."

Outside a sixth grade classroom, commands to "do it like I do it" seem even more pointless. Taking David's analogy of the hiker, why would you feel you can give directions to someone when you don't know where they want to go?
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:21 AM   #15
mickeygelum
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Ms. Malmros....I have already addressed your question. Kindly, review the previous posts and you will find your answer.

Mickey
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:54 AM   #16
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Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Quote:
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Ms. Malmros....I have already addressed your question. Kindly, review the previous posts and you will find your answer.

Mickey
I must be exceptionally dense, but I'm not finding it. Perhaps you can point me at it.
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