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Old 03-12-2009, 11:28 AM   #76
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Ok, I will make another attempt at this. It may or may not make sense to people. What I will say is this... don't let your own level and your own experience define what you think the art is. Get out and train with some folks who operate on the highest levels.

Aikido is not about "fighting" it is about "joining". O-Sensei was quite clear about this. There is no separation between you and your "opponent". In fact, if you really get this, there is no opponent. O-Sensei specifically said that in the instant you think about "fighting" you are defeated already.

In the thread about 'speed" I talked about Saotome Sensei. Sensei doesn't "fight" with you. He does not "contend", he does not "defend". He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.

Training in Aikido is fundamentally about ridding ourselves of the "mind of contention". It is only by doing this that you can get to the highest levels of martial skill. "Fighting" is relatively low level. You have to reset your Default Settings to get beyond that.

Aikido is about the study of connection. It is the job of our training to delve deeper and deeper into this study. "Fighting" and the "fighting mind" are essentially separating concepts, they push things apart. The mind of connection, the mind of no contending brings things together.

The fighting mind is totally limited. After a certain point you cannot continue to progress with that kind of thinking. And certainly, if you want to consider the benefits to ones own life that accrue from training, the "fighting" mind offers little useful application in daily life. The mind of connection and non-contention is far more useful in human relationships than fighting.

People often attempt to reevaluate the Founder and his art, leaving out those things which they don't understand. His believe that Budo is Love is quite simply the paradigm from which most people operate. Because they don't understand what is meant, they tend to reduce the art to the level of their own understanding rather than work to develop a training that raises them up to the level shown by the Founder.

I have trained with teachers who so amazing that in a previous time they'd have been burned at the stake as minions of Satan. What they can do is not magic but it certainly is "magical". Not a single one of them thinks that the point of what they are doing is "fighting". In fact each of them specifically says that what he is doing is NOT "fighting".

If you don't get this, then think of it as a Koan that your training will help you understand rather than staying at such a limited and fear based level as "fighting". Try to change your training to reveal this truth rather than structuring your training simply to make you a better fighter.

"Fighting" isn't transformative normally. It is how we are programmed already. To change ourselves we need to shift the paradigm. Aikido was designed to do that but you have to want it to be that and train with that in mind. Otherwise the art simply assumes the limitations of its practitioners and ends up being nothing like what the Founder intended.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:07 PM   #77
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Ok, I will make another attempt at this. It may or may not make sense to people. What I will say is this... don't let your own level and your own experience define what you think the art is. Get out and train with some folks who operate on the highest levels...Otherwise the art simply assumes the limitations of its practitioners and ends up being nothing like what the Founder intended.
That's a good point, and also a bit of a paradox since it's somewhat impossible to view the art through something other than my own current understanding of it. Still, it's necessary to try for all the reasons you described above.
One point I would like to make too is that I have a hard time finding terms that everyone can agree with. Anytime I use the word "fight" to describe something I'm trying to do in Aikido, I'm uncomfortable with my own language, but I use it because I think it's more straightforward to some people. I suppose that's a form of laziness on my part though, because truely I'm not interested in the ability to fight, even when in the middle of being attacked. I'm interested in reaching my goals without having to contend for them.
Thank you Ledyard Sensei. As usual, very nice post.
Take care,
Matthew

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #78
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Aikido is not about "fighting" it is about "joining". O-Sensei was quite clear about this. There is no separation between you and your "opponent". In fact, if you really get this, there is no opponent. O-Sensei specifically said that in the instant you think about "fighting" you are defeated already.
So far, for me, aikido is still a Martial Art and is about dodging and killing in a blink of an eye. It is obvious that we do practice techniques dedicated to do it. Just judo development proved that it is possible to perform deadly techniques (throw on the head) in a safe way, by protecting a fall (throw on the back). Morihei Ueshiba created an art based on it - Power To Stop Violence.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:29 PM   #79
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Aikido is not about "fighting" it is about "joining". O-Sensei was quite clear about this. There is no separation between you and your "opponent". In fact, if you really get this, there is no opponent. O-Sensei specifically said that in the instant you think about "fighting" you are defeated already.

In the thread about 'speed" I talked about Saotome Sensei. Sensei doesn't "fight" with you. He does not "contend", he does not "defend". He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.

Training in Aikido is fundamentally about ridding ourselves of the "mind of contention". It is only by doing this that you can get to the highest levels of martial skill. "Fighting" is relatively low level. You have to reset your Default Settings to get beyond that.

Aikido is about the study of connection. It is the job of our training to delve deeper and deeper into this study. "Fighting" and the "fighting mind" are essentially separating concepts, they push things apart. The mind of connection, the mind of no contending brings things together.

The fighting mind is totally limited. After a certain point you cannot continue to progress with that kind of thinking. And certainly, if you want to consider the benefits to ones own life that accrue from training, the "fighting" mind offers little useful application in daily life. The mind of connection and non-contention is far more useful in human relationships than fighting.
In his early books that focus on Aikido, Tohei Sensei discusses what he calls the "principle of non-dissension" at length for a reason.

I like your essay and grok what you are pointing out but I doubt it will get through to anyone that has not trodden down the road a ways. You are pushing at the limits of what a forum like this can communicate IMHO.

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Old 03-12-2009, 02:33 PM   #80
Niccolo Gallio
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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So far, for me, aikido is still a Martial Art and is about dodging and killing in a blink of an eye. It is obvious that we do practice techniques dedicated to do it. Just judo development proved that it is possible to perform deadly techniques (throw on the head) in a safe way, by protecting a fall (throw on the back). Morihei Ueshiba created an art based on it - Power To Stop Violence.
I'm curious about what are the techniques in aikido that so obviously can "kill in the blink of an eye" and if O-Sensei or Tohei Sensei ever used the term "martial art" describing what they did.
To me "martial" means something related to Marte, and if we agree that Marte is the god of war then Aikido must be something war-related.
Marte was, in the beginning, also the god of fertility, so it may also be that Aikido is the art of love..

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Old 03-12-2009, 02:35 PM   #81
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

I remember watching a sensei of mine doing jiyuwaza years ago. I was out with a bad knee injury just watching from the sidelines. As I watched I realized that he was just smiling, moving, and seemed almost, well, "laissez faire" about it. He wasn't attacking, he wasn't reacting, he was just "there". No wasted movement, no extraneous fluff, just moving and the other fellas going down each and every time. The lines between action and reaction had gone away. And as I watched I realized he had each of the students attacking him completely controlled before they even moved -- they just didn't realize it yet. So action and reaction didn't seem sufficient to describe what I was seeing.

When it was his turn to attack his look changed dramatically. Strong, committed and highly focused attacks with a completely different feel. Fighting mind.

Then when it was his turn to throw again, voila, back into a weird altered state of consciousness. I remember thinking it was like he expanded somehow and filled the room.

Aiki.

I'm still trying to get a tiny glimpse of that myself.

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Old 03-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #82
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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I'm curious about what are the techniques in aikido that so obviously can "kill in the blink of an eye"
ikkyo
nikyo
sankyo
yonkyo
irimi-nage
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shiho-nage
juji-nage
kaiten-nage
ude-kime-nage
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #83
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Ledyard Sensei (George),

I understand what you are saying. What I struggle with is the reductive thinking that occurs when you say budo=love.

I mean, how do you get to there without recognizing the holisitic process of conflict?

I mean if budo = love then why not just love? Why budo? With that reasoning there is no need for budo as I can reach this endstate through something like say yoga?

What essentially would be special about aikido as a form of budo that gets to love?

How do you see us working through this from your perspective?

I hope that makes sense!

I agree though that we must eliminate the "fight", but at some level we have to recognize and work with it and confront it...otherwise we are reducing it down way too early in the process and in my mind what is the point of budo as a way of transformation?

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Old 03-12-2009, 05:03 PM   #84
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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observer wrote: View Post
ikkyo
nikyo
sankyo
yonkyo
irimi-nage
kote-gaeshi
shiho-nage
juji-nage
kaiten-nage
ude-kime-nage
tenchi-nage
koshi-nage
Ok thanks,
didn't know you can die from wrist pain..

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Old 03-12-2009, 06:18 PM   #85
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Hello
Doe we need to have a single truth?
Yes the idea behind aikido is making you a better man and transcends the martial aspect, that being said it is as well maximum amount of damage for minimum effort.

Personally, I am not sure you can get one without the other, it is a little bit like the tea ceremony done with coffee because you don't like tea or may be horse riding on rocking horse because the actual animal is too scary.

Phil

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Old 03-12-2009, 07:51 PM   #86
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Ledyard Sensei (George),

I understand what you are saying. What I struggle with is the reductive thinking that occurs when you say budo=love.

I mean, how do you get to there without recognizing the holisitic process of conflict?

I mean if budo = love then why not just love? Why budo? With that reasoning there is no need for budo as I can reach this endstate through something like say yoga?

What essentially would be special about aikido as a form of budo that gets to love?

How do you see us working through this from your perspective?

I hope that makes sense!

I agree though that we must eliminate the "fight", but at some level we have to recognize and work with it and confront it...otherwise we are reducing it down way too early in the process and in my mind what is the point of budo as a way of transformation?
That's what the practice is all about, I think... figuring out what he meant. Ushiro Sensei, the last time I trained with him, was saying something similar when he talked about striking. he said that you should have the feeling of love in the strike or something to that effect. The Systema folks talk about this as well. So when I read these words from the Founder, then I hear them directly from people who are light years ahead of me on the path, I fgure I should pay attention and not just write them off. I have no idea if what Ryabko is talking about is identical to what O-Sensei meant. Or if what Ushiro means is precisely the same thing. I'll leave that to folks who have the academic tools to make the comparison. But I hear what I take to be very similar themes repeating cross art, even cross culturally, coming from people whose skills are outrageous and whose characters are impressive and I figure I'll put some focus on it. I absolutely think that for us this is a Koan that we each solve individually through our practice. But I also think that a practice must be given that direction if it is to yield an answer to this kind of question. The folks who can't let go of the "fighting" paradigm will simply get good at that and that kind of practice won't ever yield an understanding of what O-Sensei and these other teachers mean.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:08 PM   #87
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

George,

I suspect that with Morihei Ueshiba, quite a lot hangs on the fact that the Japanese words 合 and 愛 both have the same sound: ai. So his discourses are full of 合気 and 愛気: both aiki. Whether this is a mere coincidence or a fact of deep spiritual significance will depend on what one thinks of the Japanese language.

In my experience, the closest I have been to what you are discussing is being uke for the late Yamaguchi Seigo.

PAG

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Old 03-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #88
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Ledyard Sensei (George),

I understand what you are saying. What I struggle with is the reductive thinking that occurs when you say budo=love.

I mean, how do you get to there without recognizing the holisitic process of conflict?

I mean if budo = love then why not just love? Why budo? With that reasoning there is no need for budo as I can reach this endstate through something like say yoga?

What essentially would be special about aikido as a form of budo that gets to love?

How do you see us working through this from your perspective?

I hope that makes sense!

I agree though that we must eliminate the "fight", but at some level we have to recognize and work with it and confront it...otherwise we are reducing it down way too early in the process and in my mind what is the point of budo as a way of transformation?
Repost: the 15 minute editing rule, whose function I don't get, kept me from adding to my post above so here it is:

Hi Kevin,
That's what the practice is all about, I think... figuring out what he meant. Ushiro Sensei, the last time I trained with him, was saying something similar when he talked about striking. he said that you should have the feeling of love in the strike or something to that effect. The Systema folks talk about this as well. So when I read these words from the Founder, then I hear them directly from people who are light years ahead of me on the path, I figure I should pay attention and not just write them off. I have no idea if what Ryabko is talking about is identical to what O-Sensei meant. Or if what Ushiro means is precisely the same thing. I'll leave that to folks who have the academic tools to make the comparison. But I hear what I take to be very similar themes repeating cross art, even cross culturally, coming from people whose skills are outrageous and whose characters are impressive and I figure I'll put some focus on it. I absolutely think that for us this is a Koan that we each solve individually through our practice. But I also think that a practice must be given that direction if it is to yield an answer to this kind of question. The folks who can't let go of the "fighting" paradigm will simply get good at that and that kind of practice won't ever yield an understanding of what O-Sensei and these other teachers mean.

That said, I think that there is nothing wrong with attention to martial effectiveness. That is part of the checks and balances. If you think you understand something, you have to be able to do it or you don't understand it. I now you train with Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei with some frequency. Both of these men are ferocious martial artists. But they don't "fight". The closest thing you'll get to is when Saotome Sensei does his "dark side" work which is pretty much all about going to the center and destroying the attacker. But of course, even when we are doing that practice, the intention is different. We aren't fighting, we are facilitating each others learning. I've done whole classes with him in which the technique was all potentially destructive in the extreme but the end effect was exhilarating, providing a heightened state of awareness and connection and no one was hurt at all. I mean, I am doing this with my friends...

So it's interesting to see that it is not necessary or even desirable to have the "fighting mind" even when practicing techniques that would be of use in fighting. As I mentioned before, not one of the teachers with whom I have trained has said that "fighting" was the point of the art. Not Ushiro, not Kuroda, not Saotome, not Vasiliev or Ryabko, not one. Their teachings are remarkably similar to those of the Founder on this issue. And these guys are off the charts skill wise. So maybe we should listen and perhaps find that the highest level of fighting skill doesn't come by "fighting" but rather by getting past our limitations which cause us to have the fighting mind.

PS Ushiro Sensei talks about the need to "spar" in order to develop a deep understanding in ones body of the principles discovered through kata training. I think it is useful to think about what he means by sparring, because I am quite sure it isn't "fighting" in the way we usually mean it.

In Aikido we don't normally "spar" as a formal practice. It would be my take on it that Randori work with multiple attackers fills that bill to a large extent if done well. Anyway, it's just my thought on it.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #89
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
George,

I suspect that with Morihei Ueshiba, quite a lot hangs on the fact that the Japanese words 合 and 愛 both have the same sound: ai. So his discourses are full of 合気 and 愛気: both aiki. Whether this is a mere coincidence or a fact of deep spiritual significance will depend on what one thinks of the Japanese language.

In my experience, the closest I have been to what you are discussing is being uke for the late Yamaguchi Seigo.

PAG
Actually, Peter, the shade of meaning this word has seems. across the board, to mean some sort of attractive rather than repulsive energy. O-Sensei made various statements about "AI" being the energetic force that tied things in the universe together. When I have trained with Ushiro Sensei he specifically talked about the energy of a strike with "love" and my impression was that this also was meant in the same way as an attractive rather than repulsive force. Of course the experience of being struck might not feel so lovable. But my impression from training with him and reading his book is that "connection" isn't just neutral but rather a positive force and O-Sensei's use of Ai in his writings on martial technique seems to fit with this.

The Systema folks also play with this idea when they do their work. "Connection" at least at the level these guys are talking about, seems to require a positive, if not benign aspect rather than destructive emotional state. Of course, the "Koan work" gets a bit challenging when Vlad hits you with "love", smiling all the time, and you feel as if you got nuked... It definitely creates a weird disconnect in your mind. But the difference between that and when someone hits you with the normal intention of a standard punch is so dramatic, it makes you think...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:49 PM   #90
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
George,

I suspect that with Morihei Ueshiba, quite a lot hangs on the fact that the Japanese words 合 and 愛 both have the same sound: ai. So his discourses are full of 合気 and 愛気: both aiki. Whether this is a mere coincidence or a fact of deep spiritual significance will depend on what one thinks of the Japanese language.

In my experience, the closest I have been to what you are discussing is being uke for the late Yamaguchi Seigo.

PAG
Peter if you would provide your expertise please on this. Ya know, tell me if I am on or off target. 1. 合気 is the standard way of aiki frequently used in Japanese martial arts writings from way back to today? Is it specific to general budo writing? 2. 愛気 How is this used and how frequent and in what time of writings/publications does this come up in outside of Aikido? Is this the standard often use in budo general? And what is the difference in definition between 合 and 愛 ?
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:05 AM   #91
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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Ok thanks,
didn't know you can die from wrist pain..
Actually, I am serious, and I just have a different point of view on the subject. By the way, you perform a wrist pin not to cause a pain, but to change your opponent's focus (ki). It will let you finish the technique, and every technique has the same meaning - "up" and "down". You see, there is no fighting if your opponent is incapacitated within the first few seconds of the altercation. In a real life situation If you are attacked, you are supposed to evade, until the moment that physical contact is imminent. The perfect way to practice it is randori.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:53 AM   #92
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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observer wrote: View Post
Actually, I am serious, and I just have a different point of view on the subject. By the way, you perform a wrist pin not to cause a pain, but to change your opponent's focus (ki). It will let you finish the technique, and every technique has the same meaning - "up" and "down". You see, there is no fighting if your opponent is incapacitated within the first few seconds of the altercation. In a real life situation If you are attacked, you are supposed to evade, until the moment that physical contact is imminent. The perfect way to practice it is randori.
Thanks for the answer Maciej,
It is still not very clear to me when the actual killing takes place.
It is when you say that you "finish the technique"?
And what does it mean when you say that "there is no fighting if your opponent is incapacitated within the first few seconds of the altercation"? When do you feel it is the beginning of an altercation, when verbal aggression has escalated or when the first blow it struck?
Please excuse if my previous post was semi-serious, I just never thought Aikido was meant for killing and now I'm kind of curious..

niccolo

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Old 03-13-2009, 02:54 AM   #93
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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I just never thought Aikido was meant for killing and now I'm kind of curious..
I am sorry Niccolo, this forum has certain rules and answers to your questions are off topic.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:12 AM   #94
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Peter if you would provide your expertise please on this. Ya know, tell me if I am on or off target. 1. 合気 is the standard way of aiki frequently used in Japanese martial arts writings from way back to today? Is it specific to general budo writing? 2. 愛気 How is this used and how frequent and in what time of writings/publications does this come up in outside of Aikido? Is this the standard often use in budo general? And what is the difference in definition between 合 and 愛 ?
Peter will correct me I am sure but this (合 and 愛) seems illustrative of kotodama in functional terms and in positive application. This is part of how Norinaga proposed to "read" the "original" Japanese meaning from the Chinese script of the Kojiki -- essentially ringing changes on homophones for the full layering of connotative meaning. These articles may be helpful, although they leave one with lingering impression that the Japanese live in mortal fear of the unintended pun ...

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/_/prin...px?id=81136203
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/_/prin...px?id=83677628

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:44 AM   #95
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Thanks Erick.

I liked the pun joke...
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:53 AM   #96
Dan Rubin
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I mean if budo = love then why not just love? Why budo? With that reasoning there is no need for budo as I can reach this endstate through something like say yoga?

What essentially would be special about aikido as a form of budo that gets to love?
Kevin

Your post made me thing of the following excerpt from There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing and his Tai Chi Chuan by Wolfe Lowenthal, pp. 80-81:

"Professor spoke of 'getting it': 'Encourage the best among you,' he often said, 'because if one of you gets it, he will bring you all along.' Also, 'I have about 60% of it; the very best students here have only 5%.'

"What was this 'It' that we were supposed to be getting and were so far away from?....

"The general implication was that if 'It' was not an overtly martial quality, it definitely had to do with the power of Tai Chi Chuan. 'The difference between yoga and Tai Chi,' he once said, 'is that even if you get it studying yoga, there's nothing you can do if someone tries to knock you off your cushion.'"

Dan
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:01 PM   #97
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Kevin

Your post made me thing of the following excerpt from There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing and his Tai Chi Chuan by Wolfe Lowenthal, pp. 80-81:

"Professor spoke of 'getting it': 'Encourage the best among you,' he often said, 'because if one of you gets it, he will bring you all along.' Also, 'I have about 60% of it; the very best students here have only 5%.'

"What was this 'It' that we were supposed to be getting and were so far away from?....

"The general implication was that if 'It' was not an overtly martial quality, it definitely had to do with the power of Tai Chi Chuan. 'The difference between yoga and Tai Chi,' he once said, 'is that even if you get it studying yoga, there's nothing you can do if someone tries to knock you off your cushion.'"

Dan
Oustanding example of the the Bodhisattva way...Reaching back into my studies of the writings of Joseph Campbell I again refer to what he called the thin silver thread of connection that underlies man's pursuit of spiritual meaning....Bodhidarma who is generally acknowledged as the founder of the Asian Martial "Way" (and Chan/Zen) thought that the Martial Way was another "physical" vehicle to travel the Dharma Path...Kind of like Yoga!!!

Although the teachings of the Martial Arts are timeless and portable achieving peace/harmony (aka enlightment) appears not to be and... is not so easily passed on...My hope with Aikido is that by following the path O'Sensei laid out... I will experiance a little bit of what he did and perhaps the light in my eye will inspire others to try it.

So Practice Practice Practice.

William Hazen
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:22 PM   #98
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

Ledyard Sensei, thank you for your post. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the above. It is very helpful to see your perspective as a long time student of Saotome Sensei.

It explains alot of what I have experienced when I have trained with Sensei and what he talks about every time he is on the Mat.

No issues from me on this!

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:25 PM   #99
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

FWIW, here is the excerpt taken right out of the Army Combatives FM. While not directly related to aikido. I think it is an interesting read from an Army Perspective about what we consider to me the purpose of Combatives training.

Quote:
Soldiers must be prepared to use different levels of force in an environment where conflict may change from low intensity to high intensity over a matter of hours. Many military operations, such as peacekeeping missions or noncombatant evacuation, may restrict the use of deadly weapons. Hand-to-hand combatives training will save lives when an unexpected confrontation occurs.

More importantly, combatives training helps to instill courage and self-confidence. With competence comes the understanding of controlled aggression and the ability to remain focused while under duress. Training in combatives includes hard and arduous physical training that is, at the same time, mentally demanding and carries over to other military pursuits. The overall effect of combatives training is-

The culmination of a successful physical fitness program, enhancing individual and unit strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Building personal courage, self confidence, self-discipline, and esprit de corps.

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Old 03-16-2009, 10:15 AM   #100
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Re: Aikido is not about fighting

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Niccolo Gallio wrote: View Post
I'm curious about what are the techniques in aikido that so obviously can "kill in the blink of an eye"
Me too - that seems a little excessive as a description for the empty hand techniques :-)

However, all martial arts have a range of responses intended as discouragement or controlling techniques at one end, up to lethal responses at the other. Aikido dojo tend to train at the less violent end of the spectrum, but as a karateka, I can see openings in many techniques to up the vioelence level if I needed to. Often times that requires using the 70% of aikido (atemi) that aikido dojo rarely practice (IME, at least). Also, almost all throwing techniques that get uke's feet off the floor are potentially lethal.

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Niccolo Gallio wrote: View Post
and if O-Sensei or Tohei Sensei ever used the term "martial art" describing what they did.
"Budo" literally means martial art, but what "martial art" means is open to discussion. Traditionally, karate is classed as a budo, but it was not intended to be used by soldiers on a battlefield. So it's not a martial art in that sense of the word.

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Niccolo Gallio wrote: View Post
To me "martial" means something related to Marte, and if we agree that Marte is the god of war then Aikido must be something war-related.
It can trace its lineage back to truly martial arts (ie practised by soldiers), so it, or its ancestor arts, were originally martial in that sense. Such arts tend these days to be regarded as jutsu rather than do forms, but even then, the line is quite blurred, and few of the old bujutsu of Japan are still required learning for modern soldiers :-)
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