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Old 06-27-2008, 12:10 AM   #1
bkedelen
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
We really don't need MORE people with more power than compassion.
This puts a fine point on something worthy of consideration by all.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:19 AM   #2
rob_liberti
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Ron Ragusa asked: Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?

Mark Murray's answer (I chopped it a bit): This is Budo. The time, training, etc are dependent on both teacher and student. It isn't a one package fits all. This isn't spiderman and great power=great responsibility. That's a comic, this is real life. /

My opinion on that is that I'm not sure that the lesson from the comic books doesn't apply to real life. I would imagine that the humanity touched in the story is part of what sells the comic books.

I basically responded to this already with:
More depth faster challenges me to grow emotionally faster. // With the more depth faster approach I cannot BS myself as well due to being confronted with much more direct challenges. Less depth over a longer period of time doesn't seem a logical approach towards helping with such things if you ask me.// .. // more depth faster just seems to go to the natural conclusion - if you are nervous about people with less compassion than power attaining even more power - you might want to jump on the band wagon and make sure you have enough power to protect yourself.//

However, I have always thought that it seems like there should be some sort of "helpfulness karma". Let's face it, being a jerk to your juniors tends to go unnoticed as long as the seniors asses are properly kissed. (This happens indirect approach to aiki, so I assume as the direct approach is brought to the masses it will continue to happen.)

Gentile compassion (I don't mean "stupid compassion" ) as well as harsh/fierce compassion (Jesus storming at the temple) are both SORELY needed. That requires judgement. It occurs to me that the only way to encourage that effectively is to have another feedback system like "social ukemi". Juniors in general should be the people with less power and therefore their combined feedback should be a more accurate gauge. (If someone is not being too compassionate with me and I have a ton more power than they have I really might not notice all that much.) Aiki power is the ultimate leverage. People who are going to be jerks, will have to train themselves to stop outwardly displaying their jerkiness if they want to attain more "power".

I would suspect that if we were to implement such a system we would find that some folks will get wonderful reviews from all of the men, and terrible reviews or just "no reviews" from any of the women in class. The problem of course is that once you try to set up such a system it is automatically going to be co-opted and corrupted. But I wonder if there is a way to tie in such a feedback system into a new ranking system specially for teaching authority. Like this guy is allowed to teach - but only men because he obviously still hates his mom and is still trying to work that out.

Rob
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:22 AM   #3
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I don't want to hijack the thread for sure. I know it doesn't fit into any of Dan's questions - but it fits the title a bit - "where are we at". Where I am at is that I am thinking about the question "as power increases how to we get commensurate compassion?" - especially when the class sizes start increasing ("bringing it to the masses" ). So I decided to try to address this further where Ron already brought this question up.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...5&postcount=40

Rob
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:52 AM   #4
Fred Little
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
It occurs to me that the only way to encourage that effectively is to have another feedback system like "social ukemi". Juniors in general should be the people with less power and therefore their combined feedback should be a more accurate gauge. (If someone is not being too compassionate with me and I have a ton more power than they have I really might not notice all that much.) Aiki power is the ultimate leverage. People who are going to be jerks, will have to train themselves to stop outwardly displaying their jerkiness if they want to attain more "power".
Hi Rob,

The grad students I supervise have given me an interesting perspective on this. We have a small subset of faculty members who are, in a phrase, hard-asses.

Every semester, I get a number of verbal complaints (or if not complaints, just students stopping by to ask why so-and-so is an egomaniacal, demanding pain-in-the-arse). At the end of the semester, students fill out faculty evaluations.

Then, at the end of the year, the students all go away and intern in professional practice. Inevitably, when September rolls around again, the same students who were complaining in the previous school year are telling me that they've come to a new appreciation of so-and-so, whose forceful insistence that they absolutely needed to know x,y, and z cold or they needed to find a new path in life proved to be dead on, and prepared them for their professsional internship training to an extent far greater than any of the warmer, fuzzier, kinder, and more apparently compassionate faculty members they had liked better at the time.

What I take from this is that in order for such an evaluation system to mean something, it also needs to incorporate a good chunk of time spent in a demanding external experience that will serve as the basis for comparison, and a second look. Without that component, it is entirely too easy for the evaluation system to turn into an exercise in student narcissism that will persistently and consistently drive down expectations and achievement levels.

Best,

Fred
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Ron Ragusa asked: Do you feel that it's important for your students to have the time grow into their power in a responsible manner?

Quote:
- if you are nervous about people with less compassion ... make sure you have enough power to protect yourself.
However, I have always thought that it seems like there should be some sort of "helpfulness karma". Let's face it, being a jerk to your juniors tends to go unnoticed as long as the seniors asses are properly kissed. (This happens indirect approach to aiki, so I assume as the direct approach is brought to the masses it will continue to happen.)
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Gentile compassion (I don't mean "stupid compassion" )
.. also now available -- kosher compassion -- for our Jewish brethren

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
... the only way to encourage that effectively is to have another feedback system like "social ukemi". ... The problem of course is that once you try to set up such a system it is automatically going to be co-opted and corrupted.
As you know, I am trying to find good western foundations for the things that O Sensei taught to be understood more natively within our traditions, physical, moral, etc.

The man to read on these points and most strikingly in harmony with O Sensei about this particular problem of power, responsibility and the unforeseen advantage that comes from just doing the right thing is Tolkien. I commend his major works, of course. But his letters are very worthy and irreplaceable reading on these issues. His essential approach, very much in lkeeping with similar statement of Morihei Ueshbiba is that the temptation to enter into power and domination leads one into conflict with the Divine order, and that the Divine order has ways of reasserting itself outside the rubric of explicit power and mere counter-domination.

"Responsibility" is often read or spoken by many people with an unstated preposition -- usually "responsibility (to)." In other words, most people formulate their responsibility within a dominant power scheme in which they are not the dominant power. Power is presumed. The person as to whom responsibility is urged, is directing their responsibility TO a person with power over them, power to bring consequences for failing in their "responsibility."

In this sense, people who want power implicitly want to be free FROM responsibility. Such is the way of the modern world all about us, in my opinion. If you read closely, you can generally pick out people who are operating from this position of comprehension about power and responsibility. They generally resent or are reactive against any perception or assertion that someone is exercising any kind of power over them. Those that are not operating from this standpoint, typically do not care too much about the relative power relationships and are far more comfortable operating at any scale in the social or technical order of things.

But the responsibility that is more important is the responsibility OF power, which is "responsibility (for)." There is a yawning gulf of understanding between the two senses of "responsibility." No matter how much power you have, or others have over you, "responsibility (for)" comes from one and only one thing -- love. In "responsibility (to)" love is directed by dominant power (or at the least the failure to suitably display such love may be punished). In "responsibility (for)," whatever power you have (dominant or not) is directed by love.

Aikido, it seems to me, is an object lesson in seeking this form of restoring order where the forces of destruction have arisen thorough an exercise of power, without unnecessarily invoking a countering power of destruction . If done correctly, as I see it and try to do it, aikido works, at worst, to make the destruction mainly self-limiting to the would-be destroyer, and at best to give him the opportunity to be saved from his own stupid error in the first place.

Aikido as the "true budo of love" is not merely stupefied grins of mystic ecstasy aimlesly wandering into oncoming traffic.

O Sensei spoke of Aikido as ubuya -- a house of childbirth -- THAT is the image of love and budo. It IS pain, agonizing work, terror, potentially physically damaging, and in many senses a humiliating surrender to forces over which we can only cooperate and cannot in the least command to our liking.

While the true fact of the thing is exactly that without any diminishment -- none of that is the actual point of it. JOY is the proper mode in which to receive all of that negativity, the ultimate result of which is not the end of responsibility to power, by gaining greater power, but a larger beginning of responsibility for those who are within our power, even (when we can) those who attack us. The product of it is NOT power to destroy but a willing participation in an act of the divine -- on the one hand, the creation of new life, and in the case of aikido -- and all true budo taken in and as love -- to save life from destruction.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-27-2008 at 09:07 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Fred,

Okay but SOME of the questions can be something like:

Has this person ever injured you? Please describe:
Has this person ever thrown you into someone else injuring that person? How many times?

I can see where your point needs to be considered for something along the lines of:

Are you allowed to grow at your own pace? (We are not training aikido folks to go out into combat by a certain date.) Or something like: is this person negatively impacting your growth by being over-the-top judgmental/hyper critical on your performance?

Seems like if we put our heads together we could come up with a list of things that pissed us off at seniors we hated, and then turn that into a list of telling questions to try to avoid such people getting authority.

Erick,

I have to think more about this but my initial response regarding Responsibility and Joy is that if someone is a jerk to you on or off the mat you should get to do something like whip-cream pie in the face.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-27-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #7
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Where I am at is that I am thinking about the question "as power increases how to we get commensurate compassion?"
Wouldn't that part of the problem be circumvented if the people that know something just do their best not to show the blowhards (i.e., people whose "compassion" is really about themselves, despite how pious they act) much of anything? My theory is that if you only show stuff to the right people you don't have to worry about all the rest. If you show some pious guy who talks a lot about "compassion", you'll probably be disappointed.

I've told this story below before, in order to illustrate exactly the same point about "compassion":

Once there was a "spiritual" Tai Chi guy (Cheng Man Ching style)who started coming to our push-hands practice. He'd heard from his teacher what bad people we were (particularly me) so he was apprehensive. We, frankly, didn't care if he came or not, as long as he played by the rules and didn't try to convert us to some time-wasting spiritual, limp stuff. He kept voicing his concerns about not wanting anyone to be too rough with him, yada, yada, yada.

Anyway, we treated the guy just like anyone else and even spent time working him from limp push-hands to fairly soft and effective push-hands using jin skills. He gradually got better. One day he realized that he was indeed getting better and when he visited his normal Cheng Man Ching group, no one could handle him. He turned into a bully. Exactly the same kind of bully that he'd been worried he'd run into in our group, but never found.

I realize that that's just one anecdote, but it illustrates something I've found to be true many times in my life... the self-absorbed are usually the first people you'll find when you get them to take off their cloak of spirituality and compassion and "hail fellow well met".

So my suggestion is that teaching simply follow the dictates of common sense: don't waste time showing people who will never put in the effort; don't waste time with someone who is overly focused on spirituality and compassion. Real martial artists tend to be practical, curious, and they work hard. Period.

My 2 centavos.

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:30 AM   #8
DH
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Re: Power and Compassion

Jun
Thank you.

Gents
Mike makes some good points, but I think Rob's point was not to teach known abusers from the arts. A rather simple point.
There are those I would NEVER teach that made it to internal arts seminars. Vetting students is as problematic as vetting teachers. It's why I spent 18yrs with a closed door policy. If you weren't vetted you didn't get in. I've made few exceptions, even with this new openness thing I'm doing. You've much better chances knowing someone who knows me to get in the door.
As for vetting, I'm having a somewhat similar conversation on E-budo. I don't like overly stressing a one-sided view. Over there it seems every time you mention Koryu, its like flicking on a switch, "....students are ill resolved, spiritually inept, they can't submit to a teacher, they have no discipline, they don't underst.../ switch off.

I'd hate to see the same thing here seemingly sounding like you have to be this way or that way to be competent or even incompetent. There are incompetent A-hole teachers, defending their turf, and position who also simply suck and not worth knowing. There are highly competent teachers who are nice people. There are also extremely good fighters who also teach who are nice, and some very dangerous and abusive fighters as well.
There is no jack-ass test to be a teacher or student.
Pigeonholing personality types doesn’t work.

I've met any manner of highly competent teachers who were wonderful, magnanimous people; including two Japanese Koryu teachers who could light up a room with their personality, this was echoed in Lou Cheng De who was simply one of the warmest souls you could meet. Both of whom could deliver power and skill. And another Koryu teacher who is open, giving and hilariously funny as well as exceptionally good at teaching. Yes there are teachers, who are cantankerous A-holes, but I don't give a rat’s ass and I've told them so to their face.

Do we have to apologize for having a warm personality? And can't it go hand in hand with sound judgment, and discernment in who you teach? I think so. FWIW, showing something once to someone, is not teaching them-that happens over time. I’ve shown people things, while being super nice, to let them know their place...in a pecking order they may not have been aware even existed, and that maybe they had better think twice about opening their mouths. And then never said a word to anyone about it.

So, while I accept that there are defensive, protectionist, abusing jackasses in the arts-I've met more than a few, and would never show them anything- perhaps the over-riding point here should be to realize …
You don’t have to be one of them!
Rant-off

Last edited by DH : 06-27-2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:45 AM   #9
Fred Little
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Fred,

Okay but SOME of the questions can be something like:

Has this person ever injured you? Please describe:
Has this person ever thrown you into someone else injuring that person? How many times?

I can see where your point needs to be considered for something along the lines of:

Are you allowed to grow at your own pace? (We are not training aikido folks to go out into combat by a certain date.) Or something like: is this person negatively impacting your growth by being over-the-top judgmental/hyper critical on your performance?

Seems like if we put our heads together we could come up with a list of things that pissed us off at seniors we hated, and then turn that into a list of telling questions to try to avoid such people getting authority.
Rob, quite seriously, these are important questions and need to be thought about and talked about. Even so, I know just enough about qualitative research methodology to know that there's almost no way to develop a sound evaluative instrument that provides a robust sample and also protects respondent anonymity in a typical dojo setting.

I think that best practices can be identified and shared usefully, but I have real doubts about their universality or the extent to which they can be codified.

Best,

Fred
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:59 AM   #10
rob_liberti
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Jun, would you be so kind as to move these posts from 40 on to the power and compassion thread?
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:02 PM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Seems like if we put our heads together we could come up with a list of things that pissed us off at seniors we hated, and then turn that into a list of telling questions to try to avoid such people getting authority.
Oh, I don't know. Most of the seniors I disliked turned out to be the ones that helped me the most. Maybe we just need to learn how not to pamper ourselves...

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-27-2008, 12:12 PM   #12
Michael Douglas
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
... ... What I take from this is that in order for such an evaluation system to mean something, it also needs to incorporate a good chunk of time spent in a demanding external experience that will serve as the basis for comparison, and a second look. Without that component, it is entirely too easy for the evaluation system to turn into an exercise in student narcissism that will persistently and consistently drive down expectations and achievement levels.
Fred, does this not correspond to a possibiliy of evaluating the value of your aikido (or other) training by also ...fighting? or at least engaging in ruled competitive unarmed combat in order to provide feedback on the value of that training?

Edit : Oh dear this has gone into 'power and compassion' and whould maybe have been better in 'long v short road'.

Last edited by Michael Douglas : 06-27-2008 at 12:14 PM. Reason: thread split
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:35 PM   #13
rob_liberti
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Rob, quite seriously, these are important questions and need to be thought about and talked about. Even so, I know just enough about qualitative research methodology to know that there's almost no way to develop a sound evaluative instrument that provides a robust sample and also protects respondent anonymity in a typical dojo setting.

I think that best practices can be identified and shared usefully, but I have real doubts about their universality or the extent to which they can be codified.
You express my thoughts so much better than I can!!

Well, Dan speaks of a vetting system. What is said about someone that gets them no access? "He's a jerk", "He's all talk and isn't serious about training", "He just wants to be your fanboy", "This person is abusive with power.", etc.

Seems like we have some questions we use today - they just aren't codified and generalized. Even if it can't be done perfectly, I'd still say we are better off trying to come as close as we can.

Ron,

I understand that some jerks are helpful. But could they have been helpful and not have been jerks?

(darn - I have more to say about this but I'm getting interrupted...)

Rob
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:37 PM   #14
Fred Little
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Re: Long road vs short road to ki power (aiki, internal strength...)

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
Fred, does this not correspond to a possibiliy of evaluating the value of your aikido (or other) training by also ...fighting? or at least engaging in ruled competitive unarmed combat in order to provide feedback on the value of that training?
It's certainly why I did a few years of judo, not that I did it very well.

Best,

Fred Little
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:55 PM   #15
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Power and Compassion

Hi Rob, I never said they were jerks, just that I didn't necessarily like them.

Not everyone we dislike is a jerk. Sometimes all it takes is just that they are different. Sometimes they just don't coddle us. Sometimes they just don't give us the respect we *think* we are due.

Jerks are people who set out intentionally to hurt me or injure me. On or off the mat.

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #16
Mike Sigman
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Re: Power and Compassion

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Not everyone we dislike is a jerk. Sometimes all it takes is just that they are different. Sometimes they just don't coddle us. Sometimes they just don't give us the respect we *think* we are due.

Jerks are people who set out intentionally to hurt me or injure me. On or off the mat.
Hi Ron:

Let me make a rhetorical argument about another way to look at injury, harm, and compassion.

I missed out on the ki/kokyu skills in judo because all my instructors were westerners and there is a lack of knowledge of these skills, even among many of the Japanese, because the knowledge was kept hidden. So fair enough.

I missed out on these skills in Uechi Ryu karate because I wasn't smart enough to grasp the fact that some of the things I was shown (a couple of them privately) represented some form of movement I didn't know... I couldn't even conceive of such a thing, so the fault was my own. But I like to think that if I'd had the time and been able to train with a really well-qualified teacher (like I had), I would have been able to put the clues together.

There are a lot more clues about these skills available in Aikido than I ever had in karate. Heck, there's even videos of people like Ueshiba, Shioda, Tohei (I use those examples only because they're the ones I personally have viewed the most often), and others. Yet the thing that "injured" me the most in Aikido was that I spent 7-8 years without finding a teacher that could competently teach these skills.

In fact, I think that's the biggest "injury" that is inflicted on most Aikido students.... they spent many years and didn't get something this basic. Sure there are a lot of other happenings in a dojo setting, some good some bad some abusive some good, but the single biggest harm or injury, in terms of ultimate cost and in my opinion, is to get through many years of a ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills martial art and realize that a teacher or teachers didn't get the full (and basic) stuff to you.

Now would we say that most of the Aikido instructors are good and compassionate people? I think most of us would. But how about if I mentioned that a number of similar conversations about the ki/kokyu skills went on in the Aikido community 10-15 years ago and a lot of the then (and now) high-ranking yudansha simply blew the possibility of these skills off because they couldn't conceive of something (despite the vids and books) that they didn't know?

I'd argue that there are a lot of "compassionate" people can do great harm and injury, using that example. Nowadays there are a number of Aikidoists reading this forum, as an example, who don't know these skills. I'd ask why they don't know them.

A lot of times in a workshop, as the logic begins to develop and people get a grip on basic principles, I watch some of the senior people. And trust me I don't watch from any great godly height, because I've been there myself not too long ago. I watch those senior people to see what there reaction is to finding out something that they should have known long ago. Most sort of take it into stride, but it's a big pill to swallow. I've had some people tell me they'd just realized they wasted 20 years. A number of people simply quit the martial arts, some to work out on their own and some just quit everything and were a bit dejected.

My point is that "compassion" is a tricky thing. The nicest, most 'compassionate' guy in the world can injure you through neglect and/or self-absorption or not being smart enough to figure things out. Remember that it's common in traditional Asian arts to ask someone to be smart enough to "steal" a technique. The guys who can't steal the techniques fully are often the guys who go on to teach. Harm, injury, and compassion can be a difficult jumble to separate, IMO. So this topic of "would you show power to someone who is not compassionate" is tricky indeed.

Personally, I tend to think most people have selective compassion; I look for constant ethics and the intelligence/perseverance it takes more than I worry about compassion. You want a nice, compassionate guy to teach you Aikido? There are lots of nice guys out there and yet look at this ki/kokyu debacle.

My 2 cents.

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:13 PM   #17
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Power and Compassion

Hey Mike, no disagreement from me! One reason I was a little frustrated that this offshoot came from a good technical discussion. Seems a lot of times a good technical discussion gets sidetracked into "peace and harmony" blather.

Which is not to say that peace and harmony are bad...I love 'em as much as the next guy. Just not so sure we need to interrupt good discussions all the time to give the standard disclaimers.

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #18
rob_liberti
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Re: Power and Compassion

Hey Ron,

I specifically tried to move the discussion to different thread where we had been discussing such things. Then it went to a thread of its own and that's probably better.

We can get all caught up in the lack of compassion someone has who is actively decieving their students OR the potential lack of compassion someone has who is stubbornly refusing to investigate the direct aiki skills which you can make a case about do their students a disservice, or whatever other flavor, but that wasn't my point becuase there is ALREADY a system in place to address that - we call them "open invitation seminars". If in the not too far future you show up to a seminar and everyone at the other school has internal skills beyond your current shihan the message will be clear. And if not, then well ignorance is bliss.

Ron and I seem to be splitting hairs about you having the perception of someone being a "jerk" when they are really only demonstrating harsh/fierce compassion (Jesus storming at the temple). First, anyone demonstrating that brand of compassion knows that they are at risk of being thought of as a "jerk" and they already accept that. Anyone reading the results of a bunch of juniors -who all missed that distinction- rating a senior is supposed to be able to see through that.

There is the other side of this in that many people were abused to at least SOME degree and that they just cannot emotionally handle that so they find some way to make it okay with themselves - like "it was for my own good."

I wrote previously that if some guy had women issues that maybe he should only teach men - I would like to take that back. If he has such obvious issues, he shouldn't be teaching at all.

Remember I'm only looking for a system to help avoid us getting any more TEACHERS with more power than compassion (or lack of TRUE JERKINESS).

Rob
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:47 PM   #19
Mike Sigman
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Re: Power and Compassion

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
We can get all caught up in the lack of compassion someone has who is actively decieving their students OR the potential lack of compassion someone has who is stubbornly refusing to investigate the direct aiki skills which you can make a case about do their students a disservice, or whatever other flavor, but that wasn't my point becuase there is ALREADY a system in place to address that - we call them "open invitation seminars". If in the not too far future you show up to a seminar and everyone at the other school has internal skills beyond your current shihan the message will be clear.
Why in the future? Why not now? Why the dearth of "internal skills"?

You can probably just look at most of the "ki tests" that are in some of the Tohei books and maybe (let's assume you can) do all of them easily now. How long has "This is Aikido" been out? 1968.

So why in the future? What happened to the now? How much good did all the compassion do most people in Aikido in the last 40 years??? It's an interesting topic.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:09 PM   #20
rob_liberti
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Re: Power and Compassion

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Why in the future? Why not now? Why the dearth of "internal skills"?

You can probably just look at most of the "ki tests" that are in some of the Tohei books and maybe (let's assume you can) do all of them easily now. How long has "This is Aikido" been out? 1968.

So why in the future? What happened to the now? How much good did all the compassion do most people in Aikido in the last 40 years??? It's an interesting topic.
I understand your point about a frustration with "the aiki-dark ages" but it IS being corrected now. We are going through an "aiki renaissance" and it will be a while before what I suggested can happen.

And my point about that is that it is a foregone conclusion that it WILL BE addressed. I'm just looking to address the problems that will NOT just automatically take care of themselves.

Rob
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:13 PM   #21
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Power and Compassion

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
How much good did all the compassion do most people in Aikido in the last 40 years???
Compassion in aikido, like in anything else, is not about doing any good to the person exercising compassion. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:43 PM   #22
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Power and Compassion

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Compassion in aikido, like in anything else, is not about doing any good to the person exercising compassion. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Mike my friend surly you can't mean that. Compassion has done me a great deal of good. My interaction with Aikido and the people in it has helped changed an angry, confused, bitter young man and ex GI into a decent and loving father and husband and I hope a good friend and teacher. Compassion from others took me from a wheel chair and a respirator to a functioning person. These people did not have to help me but their compassion for a fellow Aikidoka and person compelled them to. Now you guys can say what you want about Aikido and it's lack of power of core skills or baseline skills or whatever and I will not get into the fray because I know what I know. However, please be aware that Aikido and a lot of its people are here for reasons beyond these things. I will not talk of my skills (although they be great) nor about my ego (though it be humble) but I will say Myasthenia Gravis can lay one low and to learn kokyu skills necessary to live when in its grasp is far greater than it martial application. I had a young lady in a wheel chair who could move no appendage and after tow days of Kokyu training she could move a finger up and down by herself. This made her and her mother so very happy. So yes my friend compassion is here and it helps.

Take care
Dennis

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:23 PM   #23
rob_liberti
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Re: Power and Compassion

I'm not saying aikido is DEVOID of ANY compassion.

How about this, a while back I was at a seminar. At the end of the seminar I witnessed a 6th dan have a temper tantrum at some 4th kyu guy who got confused and put away one of the mats in the wrong truck.

I'm talking about that sort of BS.

Another story, some senior gets up from his chair to go to the bathroom at an aikido party. Some junior walks in the room, sees an empty chair and sits down. The senior comes out of the bathroom and proceeds to yell at the guy for taking his chair.

I don't care what this person knows. I don't care if he can cut through 3 inch trees with a tooth pick, someone like that should NOT be teaching because they cannot control themselves.

Now aiki is more accessible. We can produce more people with expert power who may be asked to be teachers or assistant teachers. The system probably needs some help in making better choices.

Rob
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #24
Mike Sigman
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Re: Power and Compassion

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I understand your point about a frustration with "the aiki-dark ages" but it IS being corrected now. We are going through an "aiki renaissance" and it will be a while before what I suggested can happen.

And my point about that is that it is a foregone conclusion that it WILL BE addressed. I'm just looking to address the problems that will NOT just automatically take care of themselves.
Oh, I don't have any particular frustration with what you're terming "the aiki dark-ages". I'm talking about now.

Remember that the Dark Ages had this sort of information (maybe or maybe not clear, but it was there). That was my point in mentioning Tohei. There was information. Tohei made it a point to give special classes to native Japanese instructors. There were many Aikidoists who had "compassion" and who were "good guys" with "all the best intentions". Did I mention there was also a growing coterie of westerners with Aiki-Speak and affected pseudo-Hagakure manners? Yet despite that, it didn't happen. The questions is why.

Ellis Amdur posits the general scenario of "Hidden in Plain Sight" (HIPS). Most people I've talked to think, as you do, that there was some problem(s) somewhere in the past, by people or peoples unknown that caused the HIPS syndrome.

You are also positing some future benevolent occurrence. What I'm trying to say is that there's nothing much different in the attitudes of Now and 10-15 years ago as there was back in the Dark Ages. The same attitudes in the general Aikido population are still here. Few people really look and few people in high places want to jeopardize their current positions. It's the same stuff that caused you to waste a large number of your Aikido years before discovering something pretty basic.

So my observation is more of a clinical comment that what happened in the past is the same stuff that is happening right now and it's going to also have an affect on the future. The HIPS days, the Now, and the Future are all part of the same thing... and the same things that happened before are actually happening right now. Look at the conflicts, the attempts to divert discussions to personality attacks (I had some nasty personal emails yesterday from one loon), and so on. You're not *past* the old days.... you're still in 'em.

I appreciate your efforts and intentions and wish you well in your endeavours, but I thought it worth noting that you shouldn't count your renaissances before they hatch.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:30 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Power and Compassion

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Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
Mike my friend surly you can't mean that. Compassion has done me a great deal of good. My interaction with Aikido and the people in it has helped changed an angry, confused, bitter young man and ex GI into a decent and loving father and husband and I hope a good friend and teacher. Compassion from others took me from a wheel chair and a respirator to a functioning person. These people did not have to help me but their compassion for a fellow Aikidoka and person compelled them to. Now you guys can say what you want about Aikido and it's lack of power of core skills or baseline skills or whatever and I will not get into the fray because I know what I know. However, please be aware that Aikido and a lot of its people are here for reasons beyond these things. I will not talk of my skills (although they be great) nor about my ego (though it be humble) but I will say Myasthenia Gravis can lay one low and to learn kokyu skills necessary to live when in its grasp is far greater than it martial application. I had a young lady in a wheel chair who could move no appendage and after tow days of Kokyu training she could move a finger up and down by herself. This made her and her mother so very happy. So yes my friend compassion is here and it helps.
Dennis you quoted Erick Mead and then commented to me, so I'm confused. Besides, my point was that for all the compassion in Aikido, what good did it do in developing the ki that is basic in Aikido? I never implied in the slightest any other meaning or trivialization of compassion itself.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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