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Old 01-26-2009, 02:32 AM   #26
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
... and yet, I dare say, nearly every Medal of Honor awardee acted not from a rational sense of the "constraints of the rules to accomplish the mission." By definition they went way, way, above and beyond those rules -- as an act of supreme love -- and we rightly laud them in that manner as the highest achievement of martial spirit.

Some worthy reading: http://www.history.army.mil/moh.html

As only a recent example, pulled at random, I quote the award citation in full because he is utterly deserving of a complete recounting: Always faithful.
No, I agree Eric, hence why I put my last paragraph concerning "on and individual basis. It is complicated for sure, but there is a fine line between the external process of carrying out missions and given orders, and the actions you take, and the internal processes that motivate soldiers and people to take action and why they do the things they do.

I think the same paradox exsist in martial arts/budo training as well.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:06 AM   #27
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
The false dichotomy is in the negative coping mechanisms vs positive coping mechanisms. Doesn't matter which ones one use, they are still coping mechanisms and don't adress the issue, be it the failure in the martial side of aikido, the failure at the spiritual side of aikido or, more important imo, the failure at balancing both aspects.
Ok, so you rather stubbornly don't like the words "positive" and "negative". I'll change them to "coping mechanisms that don't help the situation/address the issue" and "coping mechanisms that do help the situation/address the issue". It seems clear to me, from reading the linked article and others that it links to, that there are coping mechanisms in both categories; therefore, your contention is untrue.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:27 AM   #28
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Ok, so you rather stubbornly don't like the words "positive" and "negative". I'll change them to "coping mechanisms that don't help the situation/address the issue" and "coping mechanisms that do help the situation/address the issue". It seems clear to me, from reading the linked article and others that it links to, that there are coping mechanisms in both categories; therefore, your contention is untrue.
Coping mechanisms that adress the issue? It seems to me you haven't understood that coping mechanisms are, by definition, behavioral tools used by individuals to offset or overcome adversity, disadvantage, or disability without correcting or eliminating the underlying condition.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:19 AM   #29
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Coping mechanisms that adress the issue? It seems to me you haven't understood that coping mechanisms are, by definition, behavioral tools used by individuals to offset or overcome adversity, disadvantage, or disability without correcting or eliminating the underlying condition.
Yeah, I didn't get that at all. I read about coping mechanisms like "Adaptive mechanisms: That offer positive help" and "Behavioral mechanisms: That change what we do" and "Cognitive mechanisms: That change what we think" and thought that all of those certainly had the potential to "correct or eliminate the underlying condition" -- and, where it's not possible to do so, that they potentially represent a positive way of dealing with an "underlying condition" that's beyond your power to change (as, indeed, some are). But perhaps you're thinking about a different "underlying condition" than I am?
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:04 AM   #30
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
No, I agree Eric, hence why I put my last paragraph concerning "on and individual basis. It is complicated for sure, but there is a fine line between the external process of carrying out missions and given orders, and the actions you take, and the internal processes that motivate soldiers and people to take action and why they do the things they do.

I think the same paradox exsist in martial arts/budo training as well.
I think we are on the same page. The flip side of the guy taking the grenade is the survivors guilt for those that (usually through no fault of their own, at all) saw their comrades taken and they were not. The guilt is a sense that there should have been, could have been, must have been, that "something more" they (coulda woulda shoulda ) might have found in the situation or themselves that might have saved their buddies. Almost always they are wrong, and there was nothing that would have altered it, but the negative sensibility comes from the same source as the positive motivation that results in posthumous awards.

One can hope that his men will look after one another, and encourage them, but one can only effectively and consistently order them to do what is rationally conceivable and doable. To do that bit more requires, as O Sensei said a "divine technique" of one description or another. And I think that every leader of men in battle has, at most, one and only one St.Crispian's Day speech in him -- it will come forth on its own at need, if ever. That part of battle strategy cannot be planned -- it can however be trained for, even if its execution is in God's hands... Takemusu.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:33 AM   #31
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

You'll be surprised how effective (and easy to apply) a simple technique really is.

A buddy and I used to spar in the backyard ALL THE TIME when we were yonunger, eventhough neither of us had any MA training...we just loved the movies so we emulated them. He's a great grappler/submission and I was a striker. It had been a long time since we had done that and I recall a few summers ago he challenged me (since I was now in Aikido). I avoided quite effortlessly with simple Tenkans until he managed to shoot for my waist. He quickly got me to the ground and had me in a scissor hold around my stomach (didn't help that I had to pee too!). However, it was nothing to obtain his hand and apply a sankyo on him, IMMEDIATELY having him release.

Granted this was just friendly sparring but it was interesting to identify how techniques become engrained in you. Side note: he hasn't challenged me again - eventhough he says he will.

When you bow deeply to the Universe, it bows back. - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:17 AM   #32
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
But perhaps you're thinking about a different "underlying condition" than I am?
Perhaps.

I suggest you to read the following paragraphs taken from an interview with T.K. Chiba Shihan:

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss Zen training and its increasingly important association with Aikido training.

To begin with, I would like to describe how I began Zen training which, in a passive way, was due to my teacher, Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. What I mean by a "passive way" is that he taught me the importance of spiritual discipline along with martial discipline. However, the system of spiritual discipline he followed was based on CHINKON-KISHIN (method of pacifying the soul and regaining or recovering the spirit) derived from ancient Shintoism and its extension - the study of Kototama doctrine (the miraculous power of language inherent within the Japanese alphabet). The composition of O-Sensei's teaching of ancient Shintoism was based upon the KOJIKI', interpreted under the strong influences of Deguchi Wanisaburo of the Ohomoto Religion, who was the spiritual teacher of the Founder. The KOJlKl provides an account of the creation and development of the universe, along with the origin of the Japanese race and its state.

Although I was an uchideshi at the time, I found it extremely difficult to follow and I was unable to understand most of the words O-Sensei was using in his teaching. Shintoism was the spiritual backbone of his Aikido, and in order to understand his teachings, one had to understand the KOJlKl, which required extensive study. Unfortunately, I belonged to the generation whose education was strongly affected by the post-war policy carried out by G.H.Q. (General Headquarters of the Occupation Army), established in October of 1945 (1 entered Junior school in April, 1946), the central premise of which was the systematic denial of the Japanese culture, tradition and history. Thus, the myth and the world view represented by the KOJlKl was, for a time, denied as unscientific, an absurd superstition. This view was even widely supported by the post-war Japanese academic world. As for myself, being brought up and educated this way, I found the Founder's teachings not only difficult to follow, but also apparently nonsensical.

Nevertheless, the Founder always emphasized the importance of spiritual discipline ("religious faith", in his exact words) and the practice of farming along with martial discipline, if one wished to achieve one's goals. I had no problem with following the practice of farming and martial discipline (I still do both even up to today). However, I could not avoid the increasingly strong internal resistance that, as time went on, built up within me toward the Founder's spiritual discipline. I suffered from an internal split and feared the loss of unity between the physical art and spiritual discipline which was supposed to be the underlying principle of the art.

I started to look to Zen training as a substitute for the Founder's teaching. As I see it, it was a positive turning point in my Aikido life. However, I can't deny that it was an escape from the Founder. That is what I meant by my reference to "passive way".


Its clear to me Chiba Shihan says he was unable to follow O Sensei's shinto/omoto spirituality, so as a coping strategy he went into Zen spirituality. Maybe what Chiba Shihan did is what you call positive coping strategies, however, failing to follow the shinto/omoto spirituality (what I consider "the underlying condition") is still here.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:37 AM   #33
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

So -- back to where this thread started -- the "underlying condition" in this case is that (for whatever reason) one cannot use aikido for self-defense?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:03 AM   #34
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

Well, I bring this up it seems about once a year....reminds me of a story about 10 years ago when Saotome Sensei came home to the Wash DC area dojo (he lives in FL), and the "caretaker" of the dojo was informing him that since the house/dojo was empty at night that the crack addicts in the neighborhood were using the front porch to smoke crack in the dark. He informed Sensei that he should be careful at night going outside on the porch etc.

Listening carefully to what Sensei might say...he paused, nodded, and took a draw on his cigarette then said in his japanese/american accent..."oh, should have brought shotgun back from Florida with me!".

That kinda put the whole self defense/aikido thing in perspective for me!

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:15 AM   #35
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Maybe what Chiba Shihan did is what you call positive coping strategies, however, failing to follow the shinto/omoto spirituality (what I consider "the underlying condition") is still here.
But that begs the question -- What IS the "underlying" shinto/omoto spirituality drawn from the Kojiki ?

In a word -- kotodama -- and in a shorter word: SU

THE Word, in other words.

[Which makes Aikido practical lessons on loving one's enemy and turning the other cheek.]

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:20 AM   #36
Ron Tisdale
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So -- back to where this thread started -- the "underlying condition" in this case is that (for whatever reason) one cannot use aikido for self-defense?
Hi Mary, I'm waiting for the circus ponies to trot out...

No one can use ANYTHING for self-defense in all situations. Even shot-gun-fu has been known to fail from time to time.

Best,
Ron (interesting take on this discussion though...)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:24 AM   #37
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So -- back to where this thread started -- the "underlying condition" in this case is that (for whatever reason) one cannot use aikido for self-defense?
Let's see,

Quote:
Mitchell Rister wrote:
I have noticed that many people who study aikido have de-emphasized the importance of training In aikido as a practical self defense. They seem to come up with many reasons why they do so, such as the spiritual and philosophical aspects of aikido are more important. I agree that these issues are an invaluable part of aikido, but I also feel that the practical techniques should be heavily emphasized as part of the aikido journey. I hate to see how aikido has become so heavily criticized as being an ineffective martial art. When I see they way that many people train I can see why there are critics.

If I ever have to use Aikido to protect my family or myself, I want it to work
The underlying conditions in the OP are a) his disagreement on how many people study aikido de-emphasizing the self defense aspects while putting more importance in the spiritual and philosophical , b) what he feels when he sees aikido critizised for being perceived as an ineffective martial art and c) his desire to have functional aikido based self defense skills.

What can he do to eliminate/correct this underlying conditions? The disagreement, hate and desire he feels?

a) Make everybody train with heavy emphasis in practical self defense. No more disagreements.

b) Change the minds of people who perceive aikido as an ineffective martial art. No more critics, no more hate.

c) Aquire functional aikido based self defense skills. His desire obtained.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #38
Mitchell Rister
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Re: What if I have to use aikido?

I appreciate all the response to my original post. I am not the best at writing clearly so naturally some of you have misunderstood my intention. I know aikido can be effective in self-defense as well as beneficial in many other areas in life.

I have worked the last four years in a secure facility that housed violent criminals with mental illness. Their crimes ranged from serial killings to child molestation. It was a very dangerous environment. Staff were regularly attacked and often seriously injured. Sometimes residents would knowingly try to infect staff with blood born pathogens, such as HIV. Two of my friends have to take shots because they were bitten by an infected person.

In prisons, guards are able to use pepper spray, handcuffs, confinement, and even guns to protect themselves. In the setting I worked at, which looked like a prison from the outside, staff were limited to using only their bare hands and techniques learned during a two day training course each year which allowed them to practice about 4 different techniques, a total of about twenty times, to a person who wasn't even attacking. Staff were then certified to use these techniques and expected to do so if a crisis arose. There were also cameras recording every inch of the facility, other than the restrooms and bedrooms, so we had to be extra careful not to even bruise the residents who were trying to seriously hurt us. About 90% of the time a resident attacked a staff, they would later call abuse on that staff and try to get that staff fired.
In this setting awareness and prevention are very important just as they are important everywhere else. Effective technique is also important in this setting just as it is everywhere else as well. Relying on the inadequate training that we received from our employer proved to be a big mistake for those who did so.

I believe my training in aikido helped keep me safer while a worked at that facility. I had trained for 10 years before I started that job, and always took my training very seriously. I was never injured, during the countless altercations I faced. I was never able to pull off a flawless shihonage, but I was able to protect myself. I was also able to protect my family by not bringing home HIV to my soon to be wife. Luck may have been on my side, but aikido probably had something to do with it also. Thankfully, I have recently found a similar job that is much safer.

I have much to learn and who knows if or when I may be faced with another dangerous situation, so I will continue to study aikido.

Mitch
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