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Old 07-08-2008, 11:48 PM   #26
DH
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Chhi'mèd
Sorry it took so long to get back. I had a great weekend and we train on Tues.
I think Rob did a fine job of explaining my own views in answering your questions in his posts #12 and #13. In fact his responses, spelled out as views of an Aikidoka who is not only experiencing these things, but challenging them and me, and bringing others as well speaks with more authority here than my words should. In fact I would think an aikidoka like yourself would find the personal testimony of a very vocal former naysayer (Rob L.) to be very compelling. I must say Rob is one of the more blunt and very direct visitors I have met. He has not interest whatsoever in anything but the work, and in testing it. And he keeps showing up. I find his it hilarious to see his views now being doubted. Something which I delight in kidding him about.
I'm not much interested in training to do no harm in the first place, but your line of questioning began when I said this type of training has much greater potential to allow someone to deal with greater levels of pressure and still not cause harm.
While I am fully capable of demonstrating that in various venues, and have done so, my own proclivities lean more to winning in the most expedient means possible. What ever that may mean at the time. Maybe my ideas of not causing harm include a broader range of responses then yours.
In any event, I think your questioning reveals a lack of understanding of the power potential of this type of training so there really isn't a point in pursuing it further on line.
Again, until Jun sidelined this and it vanished-I thought we were talking about aiki and the thoughts of those who felt it. While I learned it in DR, I still see DR and Aikido as cousins in every way. You have the personal testimony of more than a few men in many posts here pretty much telling you this training, and the power delivery was way more than they thought possible. I simply brought to that years of learning to use it in a very direct fashion. You had mentioned my convincing you of something or other. I'll let others try. For me it's more of the same old argument, long since resolved. if you'd like to meet sometime it may answer your questions better than another on-line debate.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:00 AM   #27
Aikibu
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Quote:
Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
William, it is fortunate that we live in a world in which such an illogical tactic would never be employed -- whether with 'Firearms, Nuclear Weapons ect ect ect'. If we did not, it might make 'control without harm' an unattainable goal *in the general case*. Sure, it would remain a valuable ideal (as I have stated), but I guess it would break down in cases like the ones you describe . . . which fortunately never occur.

Chhi'mèd
Amen my friend...

With a couple of caveats they don't most of the time.
The Caveats... "Suicide by Cop."

Martial Hubris about ones own "tactical abilities" is another... like...The Roman Legions at Cannae,The French Knights at Crecy, The Zulu at Roarke's Drift, The BEF at the Somme, The German's at Kursk, and dozens of others...

We have a name for it in the Martial Arts I've practiced....

Blackbelt Disease...

Budo is the cure.... What a man knows is nothing compared to how he acts using what he has learned.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-09-2008 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:03 AM   #28
Aikibu
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
traingulate
CHOOO CHOOO? or MUUUU MUUUU???

William Hazen
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:49 AM   #29
clwk
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Dan,

Thanks for the reply, and I'm glad you had a good weekend.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think Rob did a fine job of explaining my own views in answering your questions in his posts #12 and #13.
Okay. Here's what he said:

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
However, I'm sure some people attack such that they protect both more kamikazi types as well as have pretty good structure as well as have fantastic internal/external fighting skills. My assumption is that this situation would probably wind up trading blows. The thing to note is that aiki blows are pretty much fight-enders. There simply cannot be too many people who can take several of those.
And you said:

Quote:
I'm not much interested in training to do no harm in the first place . . . .
That's all fine by me. I have no problem with that. Remember, this all started when I got a chuckle out of your 'with a broken everything' comment.

Quote:
In fact I would think an aikidoka like yourself would find the personal testimony of a very vocal former naysayer (Rob L.) to be very compelling.
Actually, I don't practice Aikido anymore. I don't like to talk too much about that on AikiWeb, since it's an Aikido forum. The aspect of your comments which did not sit well with me is part of a larger pattern. I'm willing to try to explain it if you're actually interested.

You immediately responded to my appreciation for your 'with a broken everything' comment by trying to convince me of your superior training methodology -- presumably on the basis that I am one of the group you are trying to convince.

In point of fact, my personal history puts me squarely in the category of people you explicitly asked to voice their opinions. I don't know Rob at all -- other than having gotten into some arguments with him in the last few days. You are right, he was a 'vocal naysayer'. I remember very well his long drawn-out arguments with Mike Sigman. I learned a great deal from reading those arguments, and one of those things was that I did not want to pattern how I judged such topics on Rob. Now, I hope Rob does not take offense at this -- since he has publicly admitted that he also regrets the stance he took.

After much private correspondence with Mike, I had the opportunity to meet him, and he showed me some very basic things. I am not a quick study, although I am clever with words; and I needed to meet with Mike again later to really understand some of what he was trying to explain. I had not improved much, but the concepts had soaked in so I could hear more. Now I really don't want to put words into Mike's mouth, but I *think* he would agree about two things: 1) I don't have a great deal of skill, and 2) I do have a *generally* accurate understanding of the *basic* skillset he has discussed in this forum -- the skillset which many consider to be common to *all* of the asian martial arts, and which even extend into numerous non-martial fields such as medicine, religion, dance, calligraphy, etc.

In the end, I chose not to pursue Aikido as the major venue for my training of these skills. I did try to do that for a while, and although the little I was able to integrate went a very long way in the dojo, I eventually stopped training there. My life simply went in a different direction. I realize that an exhaustive analysis of that situation might seem helpful to others in the same situation, but it probably wouldn't help much in the big picture. Meeting Mike helped me to recognize the manner in which these core skills are present within the religious tradition I practice. I am now actively involved in receiving teachings that facilitate deepening that understanding. I don't think this rates much discussion on AikiWeb though, even though it pertains very much to my own study of martial art.

Quote:
While I am fully capable of demonstrating that in various venues, and have done so, my own proclivities lean more to winning in the most expedient means possible. What ever that may mean at the time. Maybe my ideas of not causing harm include a broader range of responses then yours.
It sounds like it probably does. For myself, I do not see the need to equivocate about what is and is not harm -- because I do not hold to the belief that it is always possible to avoid causing harm. Since both positions probably acknowledge an *actual* spectrum of harm which might befall those who engage in physical conflicts, the difference is probably semantic. The value I find in my position is that when that real harm which may be caused is recognized as such -- rather than sugared over as some form of transcendent non-harm kind of harm -- it casts the circumstances in a clearer light. If the harm one causes is real harm then the responsibility to avoid it when possible is greater. If I simply explain away whatever harm I may cause by designating it part of a broader version of non-harm, then I am likely to use less restraint. I do not say this to criticize your version of non-harm, but I did advance the conversation to try to clarify my understanding of it. I thought it incongruous that you would turn around and justify 'with a broken everything' as needing to be somehow 'harmonious' (no pun intended, if that's a pun). I felt like you were doing that in order to 'sell' your training methods to Aikidoka; and I thought that was a shame because I don't think they need to be sold. If they are what you say they are then they will sell themselves. Or, as you suggested, those *Aikidoka* who have experienced them will sell them for you.

Given all that, why did you feel you needed to jump in to educate me -- and in a fairly condescending manner? My purpose was to contribute to what you would otherwise have considered 'your side' of the discussion. I think I made it abundantly clear at every turn that I understood and sided with your general position. I simply objected to your apparent need to proselytize to me -- without knowing my position -- in a thread where you had promised to refrain from doing so.

This was especially irksome since you had explicitly and specifically designated your thread to solicit input from a relatively small handful of people (of which I am one), and went out of your way at many points to make certain that no one deviated from allowing these people to voice their opinions. So it was somewhat weird for you to start whipping me into line before I had even had a chance to express a view. Did I enter the conversation obliquely? Yes, I did -- but that's just my personal style.

You said, "I'll be willing to betcha over which methods offers the greater potential for control over another humans violent actions without causing harm." Fine. I'll take the ki/kokyu/aiki methods (whatever language you want to use to describe them). What are you betting on?

Quote:
In any event, I think your questioning reveals a lack of understanding of the power potential of this type of training so there really isn't a point in pursuing it further on line.
I appreciate your frank assessment of my understanding. I am quite certain I do not underestimate it. I have never questioned the value of the skills being discussed here. What I have questioned is whether it is accurate or beneficial to represent these skills as being a road to the level of dominance which Rob has asserted for you, and which you have done nothing to discourage. I keep hearing you talk about what you can do, and I believe you can do wonderful things. But I am not sure that the uniform disdain you display for everyone else is helpful to your stated cause. My understanding of the original thread was that you were hoping to encourage the uptake of your type of training for people interested in studying Aikido. Believe it or not, based on a *great deal* of research and consideration, I happen to think that this is a very good idea. Maybe not your training methods in particular -- but *some* kind of direct training in the fundamental body skills is invaluable. What I fail to see is how all the rhetoric about your 'better way' is helpful. That is why I asked you initially: a better way than what? The methods I practice cannot be blamed on Mike -- although he certainly helped get me on the right path and has always provided sound advice. Nevertheless, I feel safe in saying that how I practice is not fundamentally incongruent with what he advocates as the core, common, baseline skillset. So when you assert -- without even making an effort to hear what my position might be -- the categorical superiority of your methods, it makes it sound like you don't really mean 'Dan, Mike, Rob, etc.' It almost sounds like you just mean, 'Dan'. I just don't see that this is necessarily the most helpful way to accomplish your stated goals -- of *helping* Aikidoka connect with the heart of their own art if for whatever reason they feel technically estranged from it.

Quote:
Again, until Jun sidelined this and it vanished-I thought we were talking about aiki and the thoughts of those who felt it.
So did I, and that is why I was wondering what this 'better way' you were going to show me was -- since what you call 'aiki' is a core component of what I consider to be vital to a truly viable martial arts practice.

Quote:
You had mentioned my convincing you of something or other. I'll let others try.
I was referring to your proposed bet. I couldn't quite tell if the bet was that you had a vastly superior method -- or that you could control my violent actions without harming me. I did ask you to clarify, or even to just tell me if the 'betcha' was meant rhetorically.

Quote:
For me it's more of the same old argument, long since resolved.
And that's what's so very strange. I haven't been having that argument at all. Why do you keep having the same argument even when others are not? What could this possible have to do with how *you* present yourself -- as opposed to the material itself -- *given that we probably more-or-less agree about the basic material*, as I have been saying all along?

Quote:
If you'd like to meet sometime it may answer your questions better than another on-line debate.
Sure, if it happens to works out sometime. I have no doubt you will be able to demonstrate well-practiced applications and display power in ways which I will find educational. By every report I have heard from you or others, you dominate everyone you meet, no matter how skilled. I have gone out of my way to touch hands with martial artists who can demonstrate unusual feelings and skill, and another experience is always welcome.

Chhi'mèd

Last edited by clwk : 07-09-2008 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:10 AM   #30
DH
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Chhi'mèd
Thank you for the expanded and finally forthright explanation of your views. I'll not be lengthy as I feel any single word or phrase will be turned on it's head to fit into your opinions of how I supposedly feel. Curiously I find that they do not express my views at all.

The issue of levels of violence and not causing harm has been addressed.
The issue of me only advocating training with me is simply hilarious. In this short exchange where the thread was highjacked, then rightfully split off from its original intent and I responded- I chose to respond and discuss my methods for fighting with these skills. Since I don't know anyone else's method-it makes sense that I was discussing my approach. This is not to be confused with training these skills.

Where those are concerned, you apparently missed all the many posts where I advocated training with not only Mike and Ark, but any and everyone who can help, Then making your training your own. Consistent with that internet dialogue-there is no one who trains with me who has not been advised to get out and meet-not in any order- MIke, Ark and Rob, Howard, several Chen Taiji teachers and certain DR teachers...and on another note to go to various dojo and gyms to train then comparing notes and find the best training-FOR THEM. This is something which others have stated-on the net- that I repeatedly say to them as well when they come to train here. And it is nothing new to anyone who has known me for many years. I have been rather insistent upon it long before you ever heard my name.
Curiously, I find myself surrounded by people who have done that very thing. Coincidence maybe?
Internet speak, and investiture in an argument for argument sake cannot change something which is just ...simply true. Those who enjoy word games, and clever turns of phrase to make a point do not alter many years of personal interactions and consistent action.
The rest of your post seems to take me to task for confusing you with the group of people who haven't gotten out themselves. Since you admittedly chose to enter the discussion obliquely and disguise your experience and opinions, I'll let my comments stand and I take me leave of the discussion with you.

Last edited by DH : 07-09-2008 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:14 AM   #31
rob_liberti
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Well, as I recall my many many discussions with Mike:

1) I argued with Mike about personality more than anything else. There was a nicer way to say many of the things and there was no good reason to be a nasty pants - which seems like your issue with Dan about beating people over the head with it.

2) I RARELY argued with Mike about internal skills. The only arguments we had about internal skills were:

(a) the level of how much was needed in aikido. I am now on his side about how much internal skills/aiki is needed for aikido to be truly effective. I have great appreciation for his help in getting me to see that.

(b) how much was available with the aikido teachers. He has formally retracted his statements about how much aiki skills were available in some of the aikido teachers.

c) about TEACHING internal skills. I felt: So what?! You can theoretically teach someone faster - since you don't ACTUALLY do that, I'm not interested in your dismissal of us flawed aikido teachers. Seems reasonable even now.

If I could go back in time, I'd still take him on - on many of those issues - I'd just do it more constructively and be more of a gentleman about it.

As far as your approach to this discussion, maybe you might think about that whole "constructive" concept a bit more yourself.

My goal is clear. Help other serious aikido folks. What exaclty was your goal?

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 07-09-2008 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:14 AM   #32
rob_liberti
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
(a) the level of how much was needed in aikido. I am now on his side about how much internal skills/aiki is needed for aikido to be truly effective. I have great appreciation for his help in getting me to see that.
I thought a bit more about this and the linch pin for my reversal was that
1- I met someone who could deliver internal power while attacking and moving around in general. All of my previous experience was pretty much that some people had such power but pretty much only commanded it well when they stayed in one pace. Like they were almost stuck in a flower pot. Just don't attack the guy stuck in that flower pot over there - OKAY. Big deal. When I met Dan, my opinion of how to power attacks changed. That was very helpful and convincing - but still I thought well okay but how many people are trained like that - that I will have to deal with? 4 in the world, I can avoid them!!! I figured, heck I can shoot them if need be.

2- Dan's approach was that he could deliver such abilities to people in a much smaller amount of time than anyone else I had encountered AND HE WAS AND IS STILL DOING THAT.

Those things amounted to being the linch pin of my reversal on the subject. Had I not had those experiences, I would have continued to dismiss most of Mike's and others criticisms of aikido. The Nisho camp were dealing with MMA type attacks and watching Saotome sensei move around trained martial artists attacking him was impressive enough. Seemed like no one was teaching it any better or faster. Now I see a way to leverage that kind of finesse and more productive power development. I was given a lot of help and I feel responsible to give back and help convince anyone who is also serious about making aikido effective. Testing it that way will help me with my personal goal of applying those physical/mental principles to the spiritual understanding of aikido - which Osensei seemed pretty interested in teaching.

Rob
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:21 AM   #33
DH
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Hi Rob
Would you mind placing your last two posts in the "Aikido where are we at?" thread.
They are directly related to my request for that thread and would be a better resource point for those looking for guys like you, Mark, Chris, hunter, etc.who want to share aiki within their Aikido. After all you do still teach Aikido.
My thread got hijacked split twice and is now getting back on topic by getting off topic within the split!!!!!...my head hurts

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:33 AM   #34
clwk
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Dear Dan and Rob,

You are right that this discussion has played out. In answer to your implicit and explicit questions about my purpose, I will try to answer. I should say to begin with that I do not have some great over-arching purpose which drives my every interaction. Rob mentioned wanting to help serious Aikidoka. That goal resonates with me because I was once in that category. I did not find that the standard Aikido pedagogical framework proved most effective *for me* to accomplish my goals. I do not regret my many years of practicing Aikido though. People move on in and life, and I really do not want to belabor whatever difficulties I may have had -- because people always experience difficulties when trying to make big changes *in anything*. Because I do believe there is knowledge in the world which can be valuable to anyone practicing Aikido, I wanted to enter your thread to share my perspective -- in whatever way might prove possible.

What I found instead is a dynamic which is *in some ways* part of what made it difficult for me to continue my Aikido training. Dan rightly points out that I do not know him or what he advocates in person. Nevertheless, I *have* assiduously read much of what he has written over the years. I happily give him credit for having helped me see the value of these skills -- based on his long history of internet posting. But the internet is not the whole of the 'real world'. I would have been happy to establish a personal dialog with either of you. In fact, I have emailed both of you in the past in just such an attempt (without the slightest confrontational content, I add). Whether the lack of response is due to technical problems or to a lack of interest in establishing communication is immaterial at this point. What matters is that lacking a 'private' option, I took the 'public' route.

Since you bring up long-standing interpersonal histories, etc. and do so almost in such a way as to cast doubt on my good faith while elevating your own -- I should say something on this topic. I have also, over the course of years, done my best to communicate with people -- even and especially those with whom I disagree if I also respect them in some ways. Rob says that he cannot make the effort necessary to discuss things with Erick Mead, for example. I do make that effort sometimes -- because there is a part of Erick's process I respect and which resonates with me, even though I often disagree with his surface conclusions and presentation. Given that discussion can only ever be conducted through words, I give them perhaps undue weight -- but that is the coin of the realm. If and when personal meetings become possible and seem potentially productive, I attempt to make them; and I am glad to say that *for me*, the process of rigorous discussion has frequently led to deeper acquaintance and even friendship -- even in conversations which began with disagreement. It is true that -- by default -- it is always easier not to engage deeply and substantively with a topic. This is especially the case when there is contention. However, without really exploring points of contention, real communication is almost impossible. Instead, one gets either knee-jerk agreement or knee-jerk disagreement. The difficulty I have found in establishing a substantive conversation with the two of you is related to the patterns of communication which are latent in the dynamic which has been established here. This can be seen quite clearly in the original thread, and in the frustration we have all experienced when I attempted to ask Dan some simple, but direct and pointed questions.

Rather than simply have a technical discussion with me about the complex moral, philosophical, pedagogical, and technical issues surrounding the question of 'controlling violence without harm', Dan left that job to Rob. He avoids the specific questions and treats them like personal attacks, while leaving Rob to explain his position. One of many reasons I find that method so exasperating is that Rob does not seem to be in a position to see Dan's methodology objectively. What should and could be discussions of the nature of the method become pissing contests about how much power has, or which tough martial artists he has rendered helpless. Now, it is fine for a student to view his teacher in such a light -- and it obviously helps one to have confidence in one's chosen path when he can see the end product of that path. So I do not *blame* Rob for resolving discussion to his personal observations of Dan's prowess. However, *given that Rob has publicly taken that stance* -- I find it utterly unfair of Dan to pass the explanatory buck to Rob. I do not *want* to conclude that Dan endorses the use of his own prowess as the primary argument for his position. There are several reasons for my hesitation. First, it leaves nothing whatsoever to be discussed verbally. If and when I meet Dan then I will know what he can and cannot do. I will then be able to compare it with my experiences of Mike Sigman, Vladimir Vasiliev, Chen Xiao Wang, and others whose skill levels range from extensive to less so. I have no problem at all with the importance of meeting up. However, if so much discussion time is going to be given over to the topic *on an internet forum* then I would like to be able to *discuss* the topic itself. Second, if Dan really were deferring to Rob's explanations in order to avoid direct discussion, then this would not speak well of his motivations. By letting Rob do his bragging for him, he seemingly keeps a moral high ground; and this allows him to act as though he is not indirectly boasting. It makes it almost impossible to call him on the boasting -- which, however accurate -- really confuses the issue for people who might want to learn what he has to teach. The general impression created by the original thread is that anyone who goes to meet Dan will be so impressed with his prowess that he is immediately and completely converted to Dan's methodology -- so much so that he will front for Dan and offload the boasting which is an unfortunate aspect of his personal style. I say unfortunate only because it is exactly this 'boasting' which confuses the situation for many Aikido practitioners. People want to believe that what they are learning will get them to their goals, and often their instructors are skilled enough to effectively 'boast' for the art. When people begin not to question the claims made in that way, then they initiate a process which makes it very hard for them to understand what they are trying to do. Even minor deviations from what may be strictly possible can create major problems for someone trying to replicate those effects in training. So when I hear this kind of boasting going on, directly or indirectly, I hope to hear it clarified. This is especially because I *do* think the training methods are probably quite valuable -- even without knowing specifically what they may be.

In the end, that message is probably the best I can do for readers of this forum. I do not expect to significantly influence the two of you because you have chosen the style of communication with which you want to present your information. I simply wanted -- as a qualified member of the constituency whose input you solicited -- to voice my objection to that style. I believe this is a non-trivial objection. When a 'group think' mentality becomes prevalent, it is easy for those who may be peripherally within a group to simply go silent rather than oppose that mentality. This unfortunately creates the impression that there is no dissent. I wanted to make it clear that not everyone who has experienced the general skillset you discuss takes on the characteristics the two of you display in discussion. You rightly point out that my example speaks for itself -- and I completely understand that by getting down and dirty and trying to address these difficult issues with you I quite probably discredit myself in the eyes of this forum. That is because a general consensus has been established that the mode to which I object is an acceptable status quo. Fortunately for me, I do not need to establish credibility here. Whatever credibility I have or do not have comes through personal interactions; and *for me* the fundamental thread which authenticates personal interaction as meaningful is precision and willingness to see questions through, even when they are uncomfortable. That is why I have continued this conversation (and others) even when it became obvious that nothing substantive would be accomplished. Sometimes pounding one's head against a wall is necessary -- because I do not like to judge people prematurely. I would therefore prefer to bloody my head to some small extent than to avoid doing so in the false belief that the person I am addressing is incapable of reciprocating a good faith effort to communicate.

In conclusion, I have written so much precisely because I was once in the position that *some* readers will be in. I have no interest in being the winner of a debate, but I do have interest in seeing that the discussion itself be furthered -- for the benefit of those who may be like I once was. There are many personality types in the world, and I am painfully aware that many are pushed away from Dan's otherwise good points by the way he expresses them. If many are similarly repulsed by my expression that is not a problem at all -- because I am not trying to sway anyone to my way of thinking. I simply wanted to provide a dialectic counterpoint to Dan and Rob's approach -- so that those who cannot appreciate the latter might still see that the investigation is worth pursuing. In that way, this discussion (or lack of it) has proven your position well, and you have definitely had the best of it. I am seen to be the contrarian that I am, and my substantive questions about the importance of precision in goal-setting have been left where they belong -- in the vaccuum of unanswered and unanswerable mysteries to which we must all submit if we wish to progress. All that having been said, I welcome the future point at which we may meet up and hopefully establish a more productive dialog. I am sure that Dan is much more persuasive in person than he is on the internet. I just wish it was important enough to him to take up the slack -- because *that* is how I see Aikido best benefiting from his obvious ability to assist others.

Chhi'mèd
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:57 AM   #35
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Dear Chhi'mèd,
Your dissent has been welcome and refreshing.
I feel similarly to you about the style and approach of Dan, Rob, etc's.....communication. The domination of technique that is espoused by Dan , in my experience, isn't exclusive to MA's but to conversation itself. It is a door shutter to people who want the product they are constatly advertising and then holding to their chest when you ask em for it.
I'm not sure what is behind all of this but it definitely comes across as verbal bullying.
If that approach were to change, you can bet it would be a good day for all of us.

For now I see the holy trinity of the IMA threads as : Triangulate,obfuscate,vacate.
I hope that changes.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:10 PM   #36
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Your dissent has been welcome and refreshing.
I feel similarly to you about the style and approach of Dan, Rob, etc's.....communication.

<snip>

For now I see the holy trinity of the IMA threads as : Triangulate,obfuscate,vacate.
Jennifer, thanks for the kind word. I don't know what you mean by triangulate in this context. It sounds like a specialized tactical term, but it is not one that lies within my experience. Can you clarify?

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:31 PM   #37
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
Jennifer, thanks for the kind word. I don't know what you mean by triangulate in this context. It sounds like a specialized tactical term, but it is not one that lies within my experience. Can you clarify?

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd
Hi Right Back to You,

You're correct. It is a tactical term.A political tactic.
And after trying to use my own words to further describe this I decided it would be best to call upon the 'great spirit of wikipedia':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(politics).
If that doesn't help, I'll give it another swing at the plate.

Best,
Jen

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Old 07-09-2008, 12:40 PM   #38
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
You're correct. It is a tactical term.A political tactic.
And after trying to use my own words to further describe this I decided it would be best to call upon the 'great spirit of wikipedia':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(politics).
If that doesn't help, I'll give it another swing at the plate.
No Jen, that was very clear; and I understand why you use the term. I do not follow that stuff very closely. I avoid politics because they are distasteful, but I expedite their aims more effectively in my own way. Did I get that right?

Thanks for a new word.

Chhi'mèd
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:44 PM   #39
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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... It is a door shutter to people who want the product they are constatly advertising and then holding to their chest when you ask em for it.
Sorry to hear that Jenn
When have you asked to come train and been denied? I have given over time and taught nights, weekends, and interuppted classes to teach for free. I hardly call that holding anything to my chest or holding it away. FWIW While some are teaching this stuff and charging, and thus you may say they are 'advertizing" something or other-I am discussing training ideas and goals and "sharing." I gain nothing in the process. I discuss and then attempt show this training at least exists and to offer a leg up to those who want to train.
Conversely while we hear from those who take offense, we seem to hear equally from all those who welcomed the discusions and training with open arms, and are pursuing it at a rapid pace.
Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
For now I see the holy trinity of the IMA threads as : Triangulate,obfuscate,vacate.
I hope that changes.
I can't see me having any fruitful discussions of Nature spirits and auras and cosmic ki while discussing the very real training of aiki. So there will be difficulties in communicating. Funny that I see the other side of these discussions in much the same light as you see me. I faced having to forcefully accept the status quo and a blind eye to the stunningly obvious. I also have seen it is usually that side that all too typically goes personal and starts discussing the people instead of the issues.
In any event, once again sorry to see you feel that way Jenn. Though. the discussions are sometimes difficult in nature I try to stick with issues and not people.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #40
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
No Jen, that was very clear; and I understand why you use the term. I do not follow that stuff very closely. I avoid politics because they are distasteful, but I expedite their aims more effectively in my own way. Did I get that right?

Thanks for a new word.

Chhi'mèd
Hi,
You definitely got it right.
And 'me too' for the rest of your post.

PM me if you'd like to talk more, so Jun doesn't have to split us up

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Old 07-09-2008, 12:57 PM   #41
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Sorry to hear that Jenn
When have you asked to come train and been denied? I have given over time and taught nights, weekends, and interuppted classes to teach for free. I hardly call that holding anything to my chest or holding it away. FWIW While some are teaching this stuff and charging, and thus you may say they are 'advertizing" something or other-I am discussing training ideas and goals and "sharing." I gain nothing in the process. I discuss and then attempt show this training at least exists and to offer a leg up to those who want to train.
Conversely while we hear from those who take offense, we seem to hear equally from all those who welcomed the discusions and training with open arms, and are pursuing it at a rapid pace.

I can't see me having any fruitful discussions of Nature spirits and auras and cosmic ki while discussing the very real training of aiki. So there will be difficulties in communicating. Funny that I see the other side of these discussions in much the same light as you see me. I faced having to forcefully accept the status quo and a blind eye to the stunningly obvious. I also have seen it is usually that side that all too typically goes personal and starts discussing the people instead of the issues.
In any event, once again sorry to see you feel that way Jenn. Though. the discussions are sometimes difficult in nature I try to stick with issues and not people.
I see that we do have a lot in common in that I don't fit in with the status quo, despite what might appear otherwise. I have a unique and missing from aikido today bent that is from a developed spiritual focused core that has come from shugyo. Your core seems to be physical and unconventional in aikido terms, too. Same difference to me. We would both like for people to train in real skills and we don't cotton to a lot of mumbo jumbo.And our verbage can be difficult to grasp. I try with yours,honestly.

And to answer your question: I asked you to come to train with me in CA in the Aikido...aiki do thread and you didn't respond. The offer remains open. If you'd like to discuss it, please PM me.

I've said my piece and I wish you, in brotherhood, good training.

Best,
Jen

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Old 07-09-2008, 01:10 PM   #42
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Chhi'mèd
You wanted to know my opinions on what levels these skills can be used to stop violence and cause no harm. I only have personal experience to draw on and was not going to go there with you.
a) I did not want to discuss the very real and practical aspects of what I have seen and done.
b) Get into a debate about where the line crosses between these skills, and where they may blend/ be accented. Or be superseded or overlap fighting skills.
c) Wind up in another debate about all of that-and- then have to defend debate things involving me.
d) So I chose to dodge any discussion involving what I have done. It would have been counter productive. The obverse, to discuss the "potentials" I see in any depth, I think would have been disingenuous and transparent. Why? I really would have been discussing, once again, personal experiences, now disguised as theories.

I have in the past here and in recent threads openly discussed and commented about training these skills and coming back to a Judo MMA dojo and getting my ass handed to me when I was learning to move this way, and going back to my teacher and asking what to do? Or why I quit formal training in the Aiki arts to try and get it for myself since there was no way to get it while doing what I normally did in grappling? I asked others to share personal experiences of their successes and failures, and I have shared my own. You apparently keyed on some of the successes. This sort of debate reminds of the Biblical passage “I played a funeral dirge and you didn’t want to mourn. I played a jig-you didn't want to dance. There’s no pleasing you- so why try.”

Rob threw some stuff out there unexpectedly. I didn’t feel a need to respond further.
He’s and Aikido teacher with dojos. Ask him his views

As for transparency, I'm glad you chose to speak your mind and offer your views both of me, what I know, what I have done, what I should do, how I should discuss things, and the various improvements I should make in my internet presence and the way I express myself. It speaks for itself and judging from my P.M.s and the responses here it is resonating with both sides. Good job.
I think once you choose to take offence and parse words the dialogue really just becomes declarations of firm and fixed views and ceases to be any real communication.
Thank you for sharing anyway.

Last edited by DH : 07-09-2008 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #43
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I see that we do have a lot in common in that I don't fit in with the status quo, despite what might appear otherwise. I have a unique and missing from aikido today bent that is from a developed spiritual focused core that has come from shugyo. Your core seems to be physical and unconventional in aikido terms, too. Same difference to me. We would both like for people to train in real skills and we don't cotton to a lot of mumbo jumbo.And our verbage can be difficult to grasp. I try with yours,honestly.

And to answer your question: I asked you to come to train with me in CA in the Aikido...aiki do thread and you didn't respond. The offer remains open. If you'd like to discuss it, please PM me.

I've said my piece and I wish you, in brotherhood, good training.

Best,
Jen
Hi Jenn

I must have missed it. As you may have noticed I don't get out often. When I can I have my own Koryu training that takes priority above all others. Other than that folks come here. I am currently trying to put together a seminar type thingy. I just have zero interest in doing it, but I care about the people who keep asking me to do it.
Now that you drew my attention to your offer, If I am ever out that way I'll P.M. you.

Unconventional we may not agree on. I think this training is thee most conventional way to do aiki..do. It is what has happened to Aikido™, largely because of Kissomaru that is unconventional. See there? Totally different, maybe even exact opposite view. But its an issue that needn't cause personal strife.
Once again, no offense intended.

Last edited by DH : 07-09-2008 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:17 PM   #44
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I see that we do have a lot in common in that I don't fit in with the status quo, despite what might appear otherwise. I have a unique and missing from aikido today bent that is from a developed spiritual focused core that has come from shugyo. Your core seems to be physical and unconventional in aikido terms, too. Same difference to me. We would both like for people to train in real skills and we don't cotton to a lot of mumbo jumbo.And our verbage can be difficult to grasp. I try with yours,honestly.

And to answer your question: I asked you to come to train with me in CA in the Aikido...aiki do thread and you didn't respond. The offer remains open. If you'd like to discuss it, please PM me.

I've said my piece and I wish you, in brotherhood, good training.

Best,
Jen
I think we are all kindred spirits and as long as I honor and nurture each Shguyosha's martial discipline, and support it... Then we will all progress to a point where technique does not matter.

From the days of yore

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archiv...php/t-167.html

Sincere Heart through Austere Training Shoji Nishio Shihan

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Old 07-09-2008, 01:21 PM   #45
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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I wanted to make it clear that not everyone who has experienced the general skillset you discuss takes on the characteristics the two of you display in discussion. You rightly point out that my example speaks for itself -- and I completely understand that by getting down and dirty and trying to address these difficult issues with you I quite probably discredit myself in the eyes of this forum. That is because a general consensus has been established that the mode to which I object is an acceptable status quo.
Hi Chhi'mèd,

I think I understand your perspective, even while I do not necessarily share it. I have heard these comments relative to Dan's presentation before, but I guess I am somehow able to overlook this, just as I try to overlook some other foibles on the net, to get to the substance of the discussion. Personally, I might try email to get your point accross...without an audience is often helpfull.

Hi Jen,
Personally, I think that term (verbal bullying) gets thrown around a bit too much and too loosely. Especially of late. Just my perspective.

Best,
Ron

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Old 07-09-2008, 01:44 PM   #46
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Dan,
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
a) I did not want to discuss the very real and practical aspects of what I have seen and done.
b) Get into a debate about where the line crosses between these skills, and where they may blend/ be accented. Or be superseded or overlap fighting skills.
c) Wind up in another debate about all of that-and- then have to defend debate things involving me.
d) So I chose to dodge any discussion involving what I have done. It would have been counter productive. The obverse, to discuss the "potentials" I see in any depth, I think would have been disingenuous and transparent. Why? I really would have been discussing, once again, personal experiences, now disguised as theories.
That's all fine. I really wish that if you did not want to discuss either the specifics or the potentials that you would have just said so. You did seemingly open up that discussion with your provocative comments to me. That's part of what I'm finding difficult here.

Quote:
As for transparency, I'm glad you chose to speak your mind and offer your views both of me, what I know, what I have done, what I should do, how I should discuss things, and the various improvements I should make in my internet presence and the way I express myself.
Come on, Dan. I haven't expressed views about what you know or what you have done -- other than to note that all reports are positive. As far as discussion, yes I have been trying to ask you to discuss the issues more directly if you want to bring them up. As far as your 'internet presence' goes, that has more to do with Rob's question about the function of this thread than anything else. I don't expect you to change, but I would *nevertheless* like to encourage people to train with you: that's what I was trying to say.

Quote:
It speaks for itself and judging from my P.M.s and the responses here it is resonating with both sides.
Come on, Dan. It's that kind of dig I object to. If our conversation is helping people to realize your methods are helpful, then good -- I *want* people to be exposed to it. I have no problem with that. If I incidentally encouraged some of the people you disagree with, that's fine too. It's not a popularity contest or a clique battle, as far as I'm concerned.

You say you just stick to issues and don't get personal. It seems to me, and I feel like you just said so yourself, that you are avoiding issues and focusing on personality. You keep saying you are done with the discussion -- but then you come back to get the last word. I think it's entirely obvious that we have a disagreement about how to discuss the topic, and since that's what we've been reduced to talking about, I am willing to be straightforward in acknowledging it. I have stated my disagreement directly, and you have stated yours by implication. We're both guilty of being personal here, and it has nothing to do with the substantive issues. You have now said that you don't want to discuss the issues. Fine, I can find the posts you have referred to if I want more information. On the other hand, why bring it up if you didn't want to discuss it?

Chhi'mèd
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:12 PM   #47
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I think I understand your perspective, even while I do not necessarily share it. I have heard these comments relative to Dan's presentation before, but I guess I am somehow able to overlook this, just as I try to overlook some other foibles on the net, to get to the substance of the discussion. Personally, I might try email to get your point accross...without an audience is often helpfull.of late. Just my perspective.
Thanks, Ron. I'm not trying to sugar-coat Dan for the masses. My actual interest is in the thread's subject. Dan's comments didn't sit right with me, and I was hoping to clarify them. All this personal back-and-forth is incredibly tedious, and it necessarily turns into a meta-discussion. Believe it or not, I just want to have a simple technical discussion -- because that is what I think can benefit people trying to or considering learn these skills.

What do you think, Ron? Is it a realistic goal to shoot for 'controlling without harm'? I will repeat my position:

1) I think it is a good goal -- in terms of the cases where it is possible.

2) I think it is not always possible.

3) I think some kinds of training (we can leave individual names out of it) make it much more plausible.

4) But it just isn't always possible, for example if the other person has similar training, or if they are not acting according to their own intelligent self-interest in the moment.

5) The preceding point does not in any way detract from the value of the training because 'controlling without harm' need not be the sole or primary focus of training. It is simply one aspect of a much larger topic.

These have always been my position, and I have done my best to bring them to the forefront of discussion -- and to find out whether this is or is not what other people think. I got the distinct impression that Rob and Dan (in some amorphous combination) were suggesting that their skill set makes a greater attainment of 'controling without harm' possible than I happen to think is. For example, I would not want to rely on being able to handle other trained adults as though they are two-year-olds. That strikes me as over-the-top. Yet it is one of the specific arguments that was put forth. So you can see why I think clarification would be helpful.

Since this thread is not inherently about Dan, Rob, and my somewhat pointless quarrel, we *could* look at those questions themselves. I should say that I am not qualified to discuss "Daito-Ryu's Aiki" but I think that thread title is more an accident of circumstance than anything. So what do you think?

Chhi'mèd
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:49 PM   #48
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Still just popping in here while I have a spare minute or two.

1 - If I had Dan's ability I would go on tour. I have offered to visit many people for nothing at my own expense once I develop something worth sharing. I can't speak for Dan on this, that's his business. I have read MANY online invitations from Dan to go visit him to many people. So I'm nto sure why there is some idea that the secrets are being held closely to the chest. We often say you can't learn aikido from a book. So why would learning aiki be something one could share on an internet thread?! You gotta go train with someone who can teach it.

2 - I didn't mean to say I wouldn't discuss with Erick and I hope he didn't take it that way. I actually find him brilliant (and I've said so many times) and so I try harder to give him well thought out answers. But I actually feel like it is helping me and others interested in the subject. I meant to explain that I didn't want to have to put in that much time to perfecting silly semantics to appease Chhi'mèd because each and every "clarification" was so obviously what I meant and since no one else seemed to be having trouble understanding either - it just seemed to be silly verbal one up-manship, and I have better things to do than to play those games. Especially becuase I've been misquoted too - it's not like he's being all super carefull to inspire me.

3 - As far as the style - I'll always be blunt but as helpful as I can. I'm not intending to brag about someone else. I really intend to report what I saw (because I was asked to) and give my opinions on what where that training can potentially go. It is my feeling that you can have enough of a power differential to be able to stop someone without harm. Obviously, if the person has more training than you in those same skills - it's not going to work. Did we really need clarification on such an obvious thing? Who exactly did that help? Only answer I can come up with is that it would help Chhi'mèd feel like he's verbally one upped me again. (I wrote my thoughts about social one-up-manship already. It just engenders pity at best.)

Rob
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:56 PM   #49
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

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What do you think, Ron? Is it a realistic goal to shoot for 'controlling without harm'? I will repeat my position:

1) I think it is a good goal -- in terms of the cases where it is possible.
Agreed!

Quote:
2) I think it is not always possible.
Agreed!

Quote:
3) I think some kinds of training (we can leave individual names out of it) make it much more plausible.
Agreed!

Quote:
4) But it just isn't always possible, for example if the other person has similar training, or if they are not acting according to their own intelligent self-interest in the moment.
Agreed!

Quote:
5) The preceding point does not in any way detract from the value of the training because 'controlling without harm' need not be the sole or primary focus of training. It is simply one aspect of a much larger topic.
Agreed! I hate to get specific to people (makes me look bad, anyway) but my comment to Dan after training with him was "I am not even in the same room with you...not even in the same freakin' building!".

I was not happy about it. Did he handle me like a two year old? No clue. I specifically was not willing to endure more pain to ensure what was already painfully obvious. Plus, while I'm not large by any sense, I was a reasonably fit 46 year old 175 to 180 at that time. I'm not used to being "handled".

Part of the problem in these discussions is that it is hard to

a) stay on topic about physical skills when people constantly try to to bring in ethical or moral statements...usually *seeming* to try to make proponants look like thugs. I haven't met any thugs in these groups yet.

b) find a way to discuss these physical things that makes a lot of sense...without setting down ground rules for basics that people adhere to consistantly.

This is one of the reasons I like Mike's list, and the internal-Aiki list. Most of the noise is left out, and high signal kept.

BUT you are correct...we really do need to be careful not to do the chest thumping thingy or any me me me stuff...because that does not help the message. But I just did it up above here, didn't I??

Surely you can see the difficulty...

Best,
Ron

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Old 07-09-2008, 04:34 PM   #50
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Ron,
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Agreed! I hate to get specific to people (makes me look bad, anyway) but my comment to Dan after training with him was "I am not even in the same room with you...not even in the same freakin' building!".
Thanks for putting yourself out there, even at the risk of being too specific. I appreciate your contribution to this conversation.

Quote:
I was not happy about it. Did he handle me like a two year old? No clue. I specifically was not willing to endure more pain to ensure what was already painfully obvious. Plus, while I'm not large by any sense, I was a reasonably fit 46 year old 175 to 180 at that time. I'm not used to being "handled".
And that gets to the essential quandary. In general, I would hope that any non-harmful 'handling' I might use to demonstrate control of a two-year-old could be accomplished without the idea of pain entering the equation. Of course, even two-year-olds may require a touch of pain from time to time -- and that reinforces my point about how difficult it is to truly control violence without harm. I am not saying that any application of pain is harmful, but control that depends on pain skirts the borders of potential harm, whether physical or psychological. This isn't meant to be a politically-correct rejection of pain in martial arts. Far from it. Pain comes with the territory. But by exactly that token, so does the possibility of harm. That is my point. I am not calling or attempting to subtly imply that anyone is a thug. I do not see it in such black-and-white terms. The options are not 'thug' or 'master'. There is an enormous area between in which careful consideration of the types of harm that can be caused seems extremely important. That is why I wanted to look at the question in detail. I very much wanted to avoid the stereotypes mentioned above, if at all possible.

Quote:
This is one of the reasons I like Mike's list, and the internal-Aiki list. Most of the noise is left out, and high signal kept.
Agreed. Signal good, noise bad.

Quote:
BUT you are correct...we really do need to be careful not to do the chest thumping thingy or any me me me stuff...because that does not help the message. But I just did it up above here, didn't I??
Ron, you're one of the few people I know (using the term loosely) who can get away with being self-effacing without projecting false humility.

Chhi'mèd

Last edited by clwk : 07-09-2008 at 04:35 PM. Reason: word reversal
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