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Old 10-14-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
Buck
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Acceptable Aikido Vices?

What vices are acceptable for the Aikidoka outside the dojo.

Would beer drinking be acceptable and if so why?

Is hard liquor acceptable, if so why?

Is smoking tobacco acceptable, if so why?

Is pot smoking acceptable, if so why?

Gambling, solicitations, etc.

Or are there none that are acceptable?
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:06 AM   #2
Keith Larman
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

You must be kidding... What the heck does any of that have to do with Aikido in the first place?

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:32 AM   #3
batemanb
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

They're not aikido vices at all, they're yours, or at least they are the individuals. I don't care what you do, as long as you don't smoke in the dojo, or come onto the mat drunk.

I heard an instructor in Japan asked many years ago why he did aikido, the answer "because it makes the beer taste better". Personally I never drink alcohol before training, but I have to agree with that instructor, beer doesn't taste anywhere near as good as it does when I drink one after a good hard keiko session. After practice in Japan the class often retired to a local izakaya for a few "nama dai" glasses of ice cold beer, especially in the summer.

I can't even say don't drink on the mat, as I have had the pleasure of drinking beer on the mat at Hombu dojo

Last edited by batemanb : 10-15-2008 at 01:37 AM.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:22 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

IMHO, if you call it a vice, why would you want it to be acceptable?

Perhaps its called a vice because you already know you shouldn't be doing it.

Being incongruent in behavior and intent, works against unification and harmony on and off the mat.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
Mark Uttech
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Onegaishimasu. A vice is a vice. That is my advice. Heh heh

In gassho,

Mark

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Old 10-15-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

I have heard of people bad-mouthing a certain Japanese shihan because he smokes, drinks, and chases women. I think a point to be made is that as practitioners of budo we expect some kind of moral standards from those who claim to be serious about it, since the "goal" of budo has been said to be self-victory. When I first started Aikido, I was very disappointed to see people I respected on the mat, to be harassing women, getting drunk and making an arse of themselves at parties, showing of their power and hurting people, etc. off the mat (and sometimes on it). I decided to avoid those people and go my own way.

When we practice Aikido, we practice respect, compassion, love, harmony, and we all know that the ones who are really good at it learn by practicing in everything they do.

I think that as one progresses higher up the ranks, more is expected morally, especially if you are a teacher. It isn't an easy road, but can one claim or even say he is on the road to self-victory if he or she is an alcoholic, drug addict, or habitual gambler? I don't think so.

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Old 10-15-2008, 10:08 AM   #7
phitruong
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

one should take the advice to treat a vice like a lice and be not so nice lest one turns man into mice which in budo world is no dice.

*stage left exit like Vanilla Ice*

oh dear me! i need to go a drink more brews made from rice! arrrrghhhhhh
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #8
Ketsan
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Speaking as my dojo's offically designated party animal.........

I see Aikido as being more of a way of dealing with life rather than a seperation from it.
So I'd say that as long as you're in control, know your limits and maintain your dignity then it isn't a vice. With the excption of solicitation because even if there's a dignified way of doing it you might be harming someone else.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
Ketsan
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
one should take the advice to treat a vice like a lice and be not so nice lest one turns man into mice which in budo world is no dice.

*stage left exit like Vanilla Ice*

oh dear me! i need to go a drink more brews made from rice! arrrrghhhhhh
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:20 PM   #10
Shane Marcum
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

That stuff has nothing to do with Aikido! But, I certainly don't want to practice with a Nage or Uke who is drunk or stoned. An Aikido vice would be something like......preferring to do an omote technique when you should do ura.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:03 PM   #11
Buck
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Ok, got it, try instead Vices of Aikidokas that are Acceptable.

It is about tolerances..mmmm....social tolerances.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:55 PM   #12
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
I have heard of people bad-mouthing a certain Japanese shihan because he smokes, drinks, and chases women. I think a point to be made is that as practitioners of budo we expect some kind of moral standards from those who claim to be serious about it, since the "goal" of budo has been said to be self-victory.
masakatsu agatsu katsuhayabi
True victory is self-victory, a victory right here, right now.

If Aikido is a tool that represents or even bolsters one's personal concepts of morality, love, compassion, harmony, right & wrong, and so forth, then his Aikido is divisive. After all, there are other practitioners in different circumstances---different cultures, different faiths, different upbringings, and so forth---who have different understandings of those terms. His Aikido separates those who think like him from those who don't.

Can this be Aikido? Can this be self-victory?

Right here, right now---in this very moment, when the blade is swinging toward you---there is no morality, love, compassion, harmony, right or wrong; there is no womanizer, smoker, drunkard, or anything else. If when the blade is falling you're stuck on those concepts, you are dead.

So, what must "self-victory" really mean?

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Old 10-15-2008, 11:23 PM   #13
Keith Larman
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Ok, got it, try instead Vices of Aikidokas that are Acceptable.
Okay, let's turn it around. Ignoring the obvious objection about how some "vices" are more about our victorian tight-butt attitudes, why should you have different standards for different people?

Or to put it another way... Shouldn't everyone be held to the same standards regardless? And as a result why would being a student of Aikido make the slightest difference?

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Old 10-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #14
Sy Labthavikul
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Right here, right now---in this very moment, when the blade is swinging toward you---there is no morality, love, compassion, harmony, right or wrong; there is no womanizer, smoker, drunkard, or anything else. If when the blade is falling you're stuck on those concepts, you are dead.
Thats all very fine for that one, brief moment. But I think that, after that blade has fallen, and if you have survived and resolved that encounter and can go on to the longer moments of your life when the blade ISN'T falling, if you don't give those concepts a single thought, then was surviving that falling blade really worthwhile?


---------------------------------
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:02 AM   #15
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Sy Labthavikul wrote: View Post
Thats all very fine for that one, brief moment. But I think that, after that blade has fallen, and if you have survived and resolved that encounter and can go on to the longer moments of your life when the blade ISN'T falling, if you don't give those concepts a single thought, then was surviving that falling blade really worthwhile?
At what moment is the blade not falling?

Every moment is that moment. That is life.

If someday we meet, I am hopeful I will smile---rather than think I should smile

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Old 10-16-2008, 09:41 AM   #16
Michael Douglas
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
...
Would beer drinking be acceptable and if so why?

Is hard liquor acceptable, if so why?

Is smoking tobacco acceptable, if so why?

Is pot smoking acceptable, if so why?

Gambling, solicitations, etc.
Those are vices?

They sound like hobbies to me.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:53 AM   #17
Janet Rosen
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

A vice to me implies a moral failing, and I don't see how moderate drinking or using tobacco or drugs (assuming you are not putting others at risk by how you do so) is a moral issue. Health yes, moral no. And on that basis, it makes as little sense to me as asking if it is acceptable for an aikidoka to skip a health screening like a cholesterol level or a PSA test.

A person who trains in aikido is a person who trains in aikido, one of many martial arts, along with everything else that person does in his life. Aikido is not a religion and lays out no specific rules of conduct off the mat. Anything a person draws from it of a personal or spiritual nature or as a guide to living is that person's interpretation and not necessarily what anybody else draws from the art.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:14 AM   #18
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

A bit of history:

In the early XX century the Spanish Foreign Legion was founded by José Millán-Astray who was also involved in the spanish translation of Nitobe's "Bushido, the soul of Japan".

Nitobe's Bushido was very influential on his view about how a Legionnaire should behave... and, you know, all those "vices" Mr. Burgess listed in his post (and some more) were "virtues" for the old school Foreign Spanish Legion members.

FWIW

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Old 10-16-2008, 04:29 PM   #19
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
What vices are acceptable for the Aikidoka outside the dojo.

Would beer drinking be acceptable and if so why?

Is hard liquor acceptable, if so why?

Is smoking tobacco acceptable, if so why?

Is pot smoking acceptable, if so why?

Gambling, solicitations, etc.

Or are there none that are acceptable?
For me ...for myself none of these are acceptable....others must decide for themselves.
Mary
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:20 PM   #20
Buck
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Should the Aikido community (from a single dojo to all the dojo's in the world) tolerate people that have vices or not?

The Japanese like to drink heavily, and thus is acceptable for an Aikidokas to drinking and get drunk after class because that is what they do after work. And it is more acceptable to smoke, so you will have Aikido who smoke.

The Japanese drink heavily and smoke more then in the US, and because they are Japanese we tolerate that from them, because the are Japanese Aikidoka. We make exceptions for them. And some Aikido will emulate the whole Japanese experience of Aikido and take on their vices.

It is a question of tolerance, in what setting is it acceptable and in other it isn't.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:33 PM   #21
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Do you think the earth is round ? If so why

Do you think the chicken came before the egg? if so why

Do you think if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to here it the sound would still be more interesting than this topic?
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:54 PM   #22
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Gregg Block wrote: View Post
Do you think if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to here it the sound would still be more interesting than this topic?
The tree didn't fall; I hear Greg holding it up

I find it interesting that people attach morality (and whatever else) to Aikido.

It comes up in different threads. For instance, in one extreme, there's the thread discussing the fall of an aikido icon involved with a minor, which went on for 15 or so pages. Efforts to quash that thread were met with a storm of resistance. Then there is this thread. What if the aikido student or teacher is a drinker, smoker, womanizer, ...? No traction---except for the occasional (and possibly insightful) "What does this have to do with aikido?"

I find this irony interesting too.

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Old 10-16-2008, 07:38 PM   #23
Ketsan
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
I find it interesting that people attach morality (and whatever else) to Aikido.
Well a major theme of martial arts from as far back as we can go is character development, it's never been just about developing physical skills.
It's always been about producing someone who can look after the tribe or nation in wartime and wont be a threat to society in peacetime.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:58 PM   #24
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Well a major theme of martial arts from as far back as we can go is character development, it's never been just about developing physical skills.
It's always been about producing someone who can look after the tribe or nation in wartime and wont be a threat to society in peacetime.
These are both very sweeping statements...

Let me try one too!

There has always been the popularized romantic notion of the lone warrior sage, the samurai with his code. These people are attracted to aikido and other martial arts; they are not necessarily the product of them. Moreover, it is not necessarily the purpose of aikido to create them.

People who cling to such a samurai-ish image or code may see themselves as above the fray, intrinsically better than others among the unwashed masses.

This is ego---very divisive...

This samurai wannabe has as much to learn about self-victory as any unwashed bastard off the street.

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Old 10-16-2008, 09:33 PM   #25
Keith Larman
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
The tree didn't fall; I hear Greg holding it up

I find it interesting that people attach morality (and whatever else) to Aikido.

It comes up in different threads. For instance, in one extreme, there's the thread discussing the fall of an aikido icon involved with a minor, which went on for 15 or so pages. Efforts to quash that thread were met with a storm of resistance. Then there is this thread. What if the aikido student or teacher is a drinker, smoker, womanizer, ...? No traction---except for the occasional (and possibly insightful) "What does this have to do with aikido?"

I find this irony interesting too.
Because, Joe, in that other thread the concern of some of ours had little to do with the fella being an "icon". There aren't many out there I hold in all that much esteem. The issue was a very real one of sexual abuse of minors. Something which is a concern to many of us. It has little to do with the guy's experience or rank -- it has to do with some of us a) hoping it wasn't true but b) trying to learn what we can from mistakes that have been made that allow those things to happen.

I would have the same reaction to someone posting a thread about a murder in a dojo. Or a rape in a dojo. Or theft. Those are things that are germaine for discussion. And it wouldn't matter to me if it was Aikido, my local chess club, or the local group of guys I know who collect Japanese swords. Those sorts of things are quite different from whether someone drinks or smokes too much.

That said I do agree that the whole equating of morality with Aikido tends to much things up horribly. I don't come to aikido to find morality. I expect the same level of moral behavior no matter where I go. Aikido, chess club, token kai, ...

So to be completely clear -- I don't see how drinking or smoking (or any of the other "vices" listed) have much of anything to do with Aikido to the extent that they don't affect ability to perform. However, I do think whether someone is sexually abusing children and how to prevent it in the future is a bit more important as a topic of discussion.

Last edited by Keith Larman : 10-16-2008 at 09:35 PM.

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