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Old 10-16-2008, 09:08 PM   #26
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Keith, I don't think I could have made my own point better than you just did...

... post #2 in this thread notwithstanding.

Last edited by Joe McParland : 10-16-2008 at 09:19 PM.

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Old 10-16-2008, 09:08 PM   #27
ilia rudnitskiy
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

I agree with most of the things most people have said here, so to summarize my thoughts:

You can do whatever you want since it is your own life, as long as you don't interfere with other members of society and the dojo. Because once you interfere with them (by coming to the dojo drunk, etc.) you're interfering with their learning, and they should have the right to avoid you in order to keep learning effectively... but if you want to make an ass of yourself, I guess that's your choice too! Personally I have nothing against most of these things, except maybe for smoking and drugs...

Some people may want Aikido to be a way of their life (like me!), but as far as I know, teachers don't prohibit these things from being done outside of the dojo... and if you want to have a wholesome life, there's nothing wrong in doing any of these things if they are done in moderation... most things are fine if they're done in moderation (even if you drink too much water you can die!)... so it's all up to you.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:54 PM   #28
Keith Larman
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Keith, I don't think I could have made my own point better than you just did...

... post #2 in this thread notwithstanding.
You're not by any chance Sarah Palin's speech writer...

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:27 AM   #29
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
You're not by any chance Sarah Palin's speech writer...
Now post #2 is appropriate:

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
You must be kidding... What the heck does any of that have to do with Aikido in the first place?
You know, we really don't have to guess about a lot of this stuff. Consider:

Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
As soon as you concern yourself with the "good" and "bad" of your fellows, you create an opening to your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:44 AM   #30
iain wilson
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

...maybe it is people with vices that are particularly the kinds of people who stick with Aikido? Weakness, cowardice, general unfitness, etc.

Maybe they think, "Wow, I am really mixed up in some negative things. I really can't seem to change them. Maybe this spiritual art called Aikido will give me tools to change myself. Maybe someday what I get from that dojo I'll be able to bring into my life, and if not get rid of these pesky life-habits, at least find a better way to deal with them."

Like churches, or gyms. People want to get better, that's why they're doing this. This does not mean they will ever be perfect.

I started all my bad habits before Aikido, I hope not to form any more, and if I'm able to cut out this or reduce that, I consider the monthly dues worthwhile.

Aikido is not an immunization shot against anything.

I think. But I've just been doing this for a month, so, handful of salt if you like.

-iain
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:17 AM   #31
Mark Uttech
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Onegaishimasu. If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, it doesn't matter if there is a sound or not. For what it's worth.

In gassho,

Mark

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Old 10-17-2008, 09:00 PM   #32
Ketsan
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
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.
Hmmmm.

That's not quite what I had in mind. I was thinking more pragmatically. Yes there have always been romantic tales of the martial arts but at their heart was a central truth: An art that doesn't psychologically prepare you to put your physical skills into action isn't worth the paper it's densho are written on.

At the risk of sounding like a samurai wannabe, a bit in bushido shoshinshu kinda relates to this when the author states that you can tell brave people even in peace time by their personal habbits.

If someone for example can't even handle their drinking or their gambling, or whatever "vice" you care to mention, can you expect them to be particularly reliable in a life and death situation?
An issue like that indicates some deep personality flaw and thus an opening.

So if you think about it closing up those openings is as vital, as closing up your physical openings.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:26 PM   #33
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Hmmmm.

That's not quite what I had in mind. I was thinking more pragmatically. Yes there have always been romantic tales of the martial arts but at their heart was a central truth: An art that doesn't psychologically prepare you to put your physical skills into action isn't worth the paper it's densho are written on.

At the risk of sounding like a samurai wannabe, a bit in bushido shoshinshu kinda relates to this when the author states that you can tell brave people even in peace time by their personal habbits.

If someone for example can't even handle their drinking or their gambling, or whatever "vice" you care to mention, can you expect them to be particularly reliable in a life and death situation?
An issue like that indicates some deep personality flaw and thus an opening.

So if you think about it closing up those openings is as vital, as closing up your physical openings.
When you hold such a pragmatic view of what aikido is to you, you naturally judge everyone around you according to that standard.

So, here's a question: During your actual practice---particularly during the more intense or exhausting moments---are you actively holding that view and judging others accordingly?

Outside of the dojo, sitting in easy chairs, you and I may have some intellectual disagreement about what the practice is for, and our minds may never meet on these issues---we are not in harmony. On the mats, though, if I strike at you with all of my being and you throw me with all of yours, then in that moment our minds do match---they are equally empty, and we are in harmony.

So it's true: my talking about my own opinion of aikido is not different than you talking about yours. Our thoughts about aikido are equally pointless. On the mats, though, we may both have it

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Old 10-26-2008, 08:48 PM   #34
Buck
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Vices I think effect the personally of a person, and that personally is reflected on the mat. being on the mat is a interpersonal and intimate exchange between two people. Funny thing about practice is you can really get to know someone with out ever taking to them just through the exchange of practice.

Vices affect that mat relationship, i.e. respect, attitude, harmony, etc. Vices can interfere with the dynamics of O'Sensei's philosophy he had for Aikido. You can dislike a person based on the result of a vice and never blend with them, find harmony, etc. It can adversely effect what happen's on the mat.

Some vices are stronger than others. Some not so seemly bad vices if intense enough are like a super typhoon. It permeates so deeply the personality that the vice radiates through the personality of that person. A habitual vice is deeply ingrained into the personality where there is almost no distinguishing separation.

I don' t think there are many acceptable vices in Aikido, because the vice become the down fall of the Aikidoka. The Aikidoka's behavior dictated by the vice will ultimate ruin the Aikido relationship. There are many cases in Aikido of this.

I think there are no acceptable vices, a person should work-out those personality issues that are a result of a vice either before or early on in the practice of Aikido. You might say I am advocating making saints out of Aikidoka. That wouldn't be a bad thing if it wasn't impossible. But, understanding that being intolerant of vices will help the Aikidoka experience a clear Aikido, and more of Aikido's dynamic.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:54 PM   #35
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I think there are no acceptable vices, a person should work-out those personality issues that are a result of a vice either before or early on in the practice of Aikido. You might say I am advocating making saints out of Aikidoka. That wouldn't be a bad thing if it wasn't impossible. But, understanding that being intolerant of vices will help the Aikidoka experience a clear Aikido, and more of Aikido's dynamic.
Pride.

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Old 10-27-2008, 12:44 AM   #36
Janet Rosen
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Funny thing about practice is you can really get to know someone with out ever taking to them just through the exchange of practice. ....
Vices affect that mat relationship, i.e. respect, attitude, harmony, etc. ....
I think there are no acceptable vices, a person should work-out those personality issues that are a result of a vice either before or early on in the practice of Aikido....
There's some assumptions built in to this that I question.

The first sentence I totally agree with, and for that reason, the second sentence makes no sense. As I exchange somatic and energetic touch with a training partner I indeed learn a lot about them on a nonverbal level. Often I develop trust and respect for a person about whose life I know very little: a lot of the time I have no idea how s/he earns a living, marital status, religious convictions, favorite color, etc. So in fact I also have no idea if she or he engages in "vice". And frankly, my ability to totally trust this person as a training partner (which means, with my health and well-bring) within the context of training on the mat, doesn't require me to know those things as they don't count for how we train together.

I'm also confused by your use of the word "vice." The OP listed things like smoking, drinking, and drinking, which may be posited (depending on one's background, beliefs, or training) as habits or as physical addictions or as symptoms of an illness, but I'm not sure that "personality issues" are either a cause or an effect of these things. The word "vice" and the list read to me like a list of things some religions ban, and again it doesn't jive for me (unless you think the dojo is a church?). Do you honestly believe that if a person bets on the horses that is something I feel in his technique or it makes it impossible for him to contribute positively to the dojo culture? I strongly disagree.

Finally, we are all "works in progress," muddling through life the best we can at any given time. I hate to think there needs to be a "morality test" we are expected to pass before we can start training.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:10 PM   #37
C. David Henderson
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

I guess if one did know one's partner had a "vice," it might affect on-mat interactions. Is that because of the "vice," or because of my knowledge of the "vice," and my judgment that it is a "vice?"

A sincere question -- would this feel to the person who has a "vice" as a withholding of harmony and respect to the extent it affects practice?

Sure, lots of bad habits can seriously affect a person's health, family, friends, happiness, lifespan, and -- to the extent it matters next to this list -- development as a martial artist.

But, is my intent as the partner to this person to sit in judgment or engage in practice?

A line from a recent Santana song comes to mind -- Even if your fallen, or struggling, there's still beauty in what we do.

Regards,

DH
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:44 PM   #38
Buck
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Janet,

I think of it in two ways and first is the external. This is the effects vices have on relationships as training partners, as people, and the sexes in the dojo. The second is internal and relates heavily to budo. To examine and recognize one's weaknesses; lacking emotional control or psychological stability, i.e. vices. To be aggressive and intent to over-come the weakness, i.e. having the mental discipline. Here in lies the modern sense of the samurai duty, and code, and conduct, bushido. The mental discipline.

Your warriorhood as an Aikidoka lies in winning over one's self. Mental discipline is metaphorically the sword that cuts the enemy. It is the ability of self-discipline to overcome personal vices that measures the character of the budoka. It is not the ease of which technical ability preformed by an Aikidoka that shows strength.

In combat, fights ( often on the losing end, but I had my share ), no one is undefeatable. Even the great Polumbus the Roman Gladiator was eventually slain. it is just that those who are said to be undefeatable knew when to quit. The real victory is the mental combat to over come weaknesses where a person can truly be undefeatable.

It all ties into having the mental discipline to over come the weaknesses i.e. vices that can bring harmony etc. internally and externally. And all of which is a part of Aikido; that is budo.

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:18 PM   #39
Amadeus
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

-You smoke, baaaad aikidoka
-You drink, so I'm better than you
-If you use drugs you are evil and your mother hate you
ect.
Those statements are lies.

I'm a moralist. I find anything that make other people feel smaller evil.

Love me, hate me, tolerate me or ignore me. I care!
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:25 PM   #40
Janet Rosen
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Philip, I think you and I shall have to "agree to disagree" as we are approaching this issue from such different places. Although I don't feel my previous questions have been directly answered - which is fine - my next question is :
If the internal task of the aikidoka is some kind of self-transformation (and you and I probably are in agreement on that, in general terms), then how can the imperfect human we each are essay to work on it if we are not permitted in the dojo until AFTER solving the problem, ie, achieving the self-transformation? To extend the part of your arguement with which I disagree: If it can be done before entering the dojo, why bother to train?

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 10-27-2008 at 10:26 PM. Reason: clarity and spelling

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:34 PM   #41
Amadeus
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

If you feel like a better person for an hour 2-3 times a week, it could be enug

A defenition of learning I came over a while back went somewhat like: "Learning is a change of behavior". So there is alot of self-transformation just by learning aikido (or go to school, read an informative article, ect. ). Everything counts.

Love me, hate me, tolerate me or ignore me. I care!
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:53 PM   #42
Buck
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Philip, I think you and I shall have to "agree to disagree" as we are approaching this issue from such different places. Although I don't feel my previous questions have been directly answered - which is fine - my next question is :
If the internal task of the aikidoka is some kind of self-transformation (and you and I probably are in agreement on that, in general terms), then how can the imperfect human we each are essay to work on it if we are not permitted in the dojo until AFTER solving the problem, ie, achieving the self-transformation? To extend the part of your arguement with which I disagree: If it can be done before entering the dojo, why bother to train?
Yea, maybe we do. I am coming strictly from Budo that is about mental strength/discipline. Look at O'Sensei's life as a example. He said Takeda taught him Budo. Mental training is a part of Aikido because Aikido is a Budo and mental training is part of Budo. That is all there is to it, no psychological evaluations, or the complexity, or the judgements involved. Or the fear.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:16 AM   #43
Janet Rosen
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Was O Sensei "free from vice"?

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:47 PM   #44
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

Living in moderation includes moderating our desire for a perfectly clean life.

Perfect is perfectly boring.
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