Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-08-2009, 06:50 PM   #676
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

What is it you are here on the earth for? To simply consume, survive, or exist? Or is there some purpose to your being here? What is that purpose? Does spirituality imply recognition of a higher power? For me it does. And for me, the crux of spirituality boils down to aligning one's own will with that of one's higher power.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 09:35 PM   #677
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

I think sprituality means looking externally at the world or universe in some way and realizing that there is more to this than just you and maybe understanding or recognizing that you are a part of it and that you have a realationship with it.

That "IT" is defined differently by folks. It could be God, it could be a concept of Interconnectedness...or any other thing, belief, or allegory.

But, yes, RIcky, I agree, that it does require you to look externally.

A Higher Power?

Well some may not necessarily identify with it as being Higher per se.

A Power or Force...well maybe maybe not.

Something greater than our selves...or something that we are a part of is greater than us alone....Yes, I think so.

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 09:55 PM   #678
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 693
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Intent, is everything.
But it springs from the mind/heart/will. And they...are not all the same
thanks for this
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 05:39 AM   #679
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

You want answers? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Deep down in places that you don't talk about at parties, you WANT aiki back in aikido, you NEED aiki back in aikido...

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 06:35 AM   #680
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
But is there a reason for those experiences.
A good question. One that I specifically didn't add to my post.

It's a little like aiki. Until you actually experience these things, it's all words on paper, or blips on screens. Then, when you experience it, things like, What the *&^% was that, come out. How can you explain the reason for why it works, how it works, etc at that stage?

Now, back up a step and ask how those who have never had that experience can explain it? Let alone stating reasons for it.

And then when talking about aiki to those who haven't experienced it, you get a lot of negative views on your experiences. Or people just don't believe you. Or ignore you. Or think that you don't have the experience to have views/opinions/etc.

No, I left that question out for good reasons. Spirituality is a tougher sell than aiki. How can you get someone to experience unnatural or unexplainable things and then teach them to do those things? Instead, I chose to focus on Ueshiba and his life, his words.

How does that change your (plural) views of the spiritual side of Aikido if Ueshiba's words were true. Something to think about, no? It means that there's something far deeper there than the normal "spiritual" aspect that most people talk about. And that would change a lot of the reasons for doing Aikido.

But, as I stated, Kisshomaru Ueshiba changed all that and made Aikido into something the world could learn. Not a bad thing, mind you. Aikido was taught to the masses and spiritual messages did make it through, even if they weren't the same as the founder.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 07:37 AM   #681
aikilouis
Location: Germany
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 218
France
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Hikitsuchi sensei chiming in on sincerity in aikido practise :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PfQZ0gM1z4

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 10:25 AM   #682
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

If something is missing in Aikido, I guess it is like everything else. As the saying goes, it isn't the instrument that is lacking, it is the person using the instrument.

And like the other saying goes, there is nothing new, it is just re-discovered.

There are many things in my life that I think are new, and then come to find out it by some older and who lived longer says differently that it has been around for decades.

I think another problem for those who feel something is missing relates to many other things that are lost or forgotten, or missed over-time.

I don't think it is the same thing that is always missing with each person in their practice. And if it is, then not everyone is going to assimilate and an apply it equally. Interpretation, understanding and application will vary, wouldn't it since each person is different?

So how do we know if it is one thing or many things that is missing in Aikido? Is there one precise thing that fixes everyone's Aikido meeting everyone's needs? Is everyone missing the same thing from O'Sensei to the newest member of Aikido?

Tangent: I do think O'Sensei wasn't missing anything in his Aikido, he is the model. He had complete scope of knowledge. He is the one setting the mark we are trying to reach. He is the model, he had it, it wasn't given to him, yet he still got it. I don't think we should move away from the model of O'Sensei. I don't know why there is so much resistance from some who feel we should abandon that model for other models.

Last edited by Buck : 08-09-2009 at 10:28 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 11:40 AM   #683
observer
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 80
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Somebody asked me once: "Who is an aikidoka?" I answered: "I am an aikidoka, I presume." Why? Because, the first thing I have in mind after waking up is aikido. Same, the last thing before falling asleep is aikido. For 20 long years.

I do not know folks anything about you and your dreams, but in aikido we practice today I miss everything what aikido promises. First of all the way to get the skill. Too many confusing techniques and exercises, weapon, suwari waza, breathing, meditations, endless basics, etiquette and feudal rules. No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 11:49 AM   #684
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,170
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Hikitsuchi sensei chiming in on sincerity in aikido practise :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PfQZ0gM1z4
Excellent. Thank you Ludwig .

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 11:53 AM   #685
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,170
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?
Your spiritual practice is when you practice by yourself not in the dojo or at a seminar.

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #686
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
Somebody asked me once: "Who is an aikidoka?" I answered: "I am an aikidoka, I presume." Why? Because, the first thing I have in mind after waking up is aikido. Same, the last thing before falling asleep is aikido. For 20 long years.

I do not know folks anything about you and your dreams, but in aikido we practice today I miss everything what aikido promises. First of all the way to get the skill. Too many confusing techniques and exercises, weapon, suwari waza, breathing, meditations, endless basics, etiquette and feudal rules. No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?
Good post, like the other few who have posted here and have either gone ignored or little attention has been paid to their wisdom.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 12:07 PM   #687
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
Somebody asked me once: "Who is an aikidoka?" I answered: "I am an aikidoka, I presume." Why? Because, the first thing I have in mind after waking up is aikido. Same, the last thing before falling asleep is aikido. For 20 long years.

I do not know folks anything about you and your dreams, but in aikido we practice today I miss everything what aikido promises. First of all the way to get the skill. Too many confusing techniques and exercises, weapon, suwari waza, breathing, meditations, endless basics, etiquette and feudal rules. No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?
I can't comment on most of Aikido, but I would agree one of the "problems" is probably the fact that in order for a dojo to survive, it generally needs money and that the more paying students you get, the more "successfull" the dojo appears. Ultimately, whatever is missing within a given group comes down to its individuals. What are they doing? Do they work tirelessly, both in body and mind, to develop their learning?
I think another "problem" might be that Aikido seems to be focused a bit more heavily on the ; I presume that to a lot of people, the physical ability is somewhat secondary. I'm sure if I had been less interested in applying the concepts I'd learned to life, my physical ability would have received more attention and thus development. Adding that potentially wider focal lense on top of the fact that most people (in any art) already have to juggle work, family, pre-existing friendships, and other hobbies, and I think a reasonable picture comes forward. Beyond that I can only think of ego as being responsible...but, then again, my opinion is that's responsible for most things in this world (good and bad).

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 12:07 PM   #688
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

I have already wrote this in a different thread. but I feel strongly it applies to this topic as well.

Because of the difficult nature of understanding the coded language of O'Sensei had for Aikido, never the less, to me it is pretty clear that there is something missing. The difficultly is understanding completely what O'Sensei was keeping hidden. O'Sensei highly complicated Aikido by interweaving the fabrics of both the spiritual and martial together. Creating the feeling for some, that something is missing.

And that also could be what people feel they are missing. That is because of the complexity crafted by O'Sensei weaving a very complex and intricate cloth called Aikido it is to easy feel there is something missing because all information is readily at hand, and it can result in misinformation and stuff.

How do you crack the Aikido code. And find out what is missing. It isn't going to be with a promotional toy decoder that spells out "Drink your Ovaltine." (making references to the movies "DaVinci Code, and Christmas Story). It would be nice if we all had a Rosetta stone to help. But one step, in toward understanding I think, isn't the quick and easy way, but rather something seen in Maciej Jesmanowicz words some posts back.

Last edited by Buck : 08-09-2009 at 12:18 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 12:33 PM   #689
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,170
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
David,
I think the point is:
"What is the point of doing this?".
I don't think there is any point in doing large seminars. Your time and money would be better spent going to practice at different dojos.

Shugyo as defined here; http://www.lion-gv.com/v08/shugyo/ht...is_shugyo.html

" In the shugyo model, the student takes only a handful of skills or forms and repeats them time and time again. Each repetition refining the skill or deepening the knowledge.
The aim here is total mastery over one's object of study and oneself to the point where both subject and object disappear into the void of experience... enlightenment."

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 12:33 PM   #690
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
If something is missing in Aikido, I guess it is like everything else. As the saying goes, it isn't the instrument that is lacking, it is the person using the instrument.
Ummmm.....unless it really is the instrument. Want a surgeon cutting on you with a second-hand scalpel? Want him using a scalpel on you that he shaved with this morning? Or one he found on the floor???

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I do think O'Sensei wasn't missing anything in his Aikido, he is the model. He had complete scope of knowledge. He is the one setting the mark we are trying to reach. He is the model, he had it, it wasn't given to him, yet he still got it. I don't think we should move away from the model of O'Sensei. I don't know why there is so much resistance from some who feel we should abandon that model for other models.
I think your ending says it best, Buck: confused, confused, confused.

It isn't we who have moved from OSensei's model. Aikido itself (the brand name product) moved away from OSensei's model to something very different. There can be a lot of power in the brand name product, but it just isn't what O Sensei was doing. Clear that up and most of your will clear up as well. The people you're dismissing are the ones you should be listening to.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 01:59 PM   #691
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Thought George Ledyard's post from another thread was worth bringing here:

http://http://aikiweb.com/forums/sho...0&postcount=14

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are two types of folks whom, in my opinion, you don't want to be. First is the True Believer as Eric Hoffer called him. This is the guy that "drinks the cool aid" so to speak. The suspension of common sense, the subjugating of ones own judgment to another person or to an ideology. You can see this within Aikido all the time. Our way is the right way. My teacher was the one who really understood the Founder. This is the real way the Founder did technique and the other folks out there are ruining Aikido.

The True Believer shuts down his own process in order to model himself on some outside set of beliefs or principles. Almost always this seriously restricts his growth as a person and retards any ability to go beyond the external limits placed on him. In Aikido this type of thinking results in practitioners who are good copies of an original. But a copy is never as good as the original because it lacks genuineness, originality, and creativity. But seeking out your own way is far riskier and entails living at the edge of ones comfort level. Most folks prefer to have someone else tell them what to do.

The other extreme is the perennial doubter. In his effort to not "drink the cool aid" he ignores anything that he doesn't feel is proven already to his satisfaction. I guess I don't really understand this deeply rooted fear of "being fooled". But there are many folks who seem so controlled by this fear that they dismiss, out of hand, anything which they don't understand.

I have many friends who a like this. I have watched as they summarily dismissed a teacher or a style based simply on a YouTube video. I have seen people simply turn their backs on some training because it challenged their preconceived notions of what is what. It's much easier to call something fake and walk away than to make the changes needed to understand and maybe do what had previously been thought impossible.

Morihei Ueshiba was clearly a giant in 20th century Japanese martial arts. I am sure he had that rare combination of natural talent and total focus on succeeding required to be great. I once heard someone say that Ueshiba Sensei's true distinguishing character was that he trained harder than anyone this person knew. And that is what yields wisdom.

Yes, it is important that each of us find and develop his own wisdom; find what makes each of genuine. But an attachment to that individuality causes us to ignore what has been done by others before us. The resistance to being drawn into someone else's sphere can cut us off from the synergy of collective effort. It causes us to reinvent the wheel rather than piggy back on the work others have done before us. In fact, if we are talking about the highest levels of teaching, you won't even reinvent the wheel unless you slipstream behind the work done by others.

Myth is very important in a culture. It is at the heart of the drive to better ourselves. In our Aikido culture, the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is our central mythical figure. His myth provides the model for our practice and our striving to be better.

The modern trend towards historical deconstruction is valuable. It allows us to see how our reality has failed to match our myths. But I have to say that the facts of reality seldom inspire anyone. It is the power of myth to move people.

It's important to understand the Founder and to this end, historical research, understanding of the cultural and religious influences that shaped his thinking all contribute. But it is not the historical O-Sensei as a man like the rest of us but rather the mythical figure of O-Sensei as a man who has become something greater that inspires us to go the distance and attempt great things.

But myth supplies the inspiration, it is not your reality. The True Believer ceases to exist as himself by subjugating his own reality to the myth. The Doubting Thomas disavows the myth and settles for less than he might otherwise have accomplished because he stays within his own comfort zone and his own understanding.

Training is about developing the strength of character to be centered, to be oneself. If one has this strong sense of himself he will never disappear into some cult or ideology. Nor will he feel threatened by new ideas or things that he can't explain. He is free if he is centered. The myth for such a person provides the target, it is the source of aspiration. It doesn't actually matter if the myth was historically true in every detail; that 's not its power.

We need the myths. A culture that has its myths destroyed is lost, its heart is missing. Every time we destroy one of our myths, we are driven to find another to put in its place. Its how the human mind works. When used correctly it can be a tremendous impetus towards growth. When used incorrectly it can be deadly.

Why would we impute some degree of wisdom to Morihei Ueshiba? Well, he trained longer and harder than any of us doing things most of us will never do. So that's a pretty good start right there. Coupled with the fact that, clearly his intentions were towards the light rather than towards the dark I think that gives us enough of a reason to give his ideas a good hearing. But the "myth" of the Founder is merely a tool we can use in our lives and our training. We can be inspired by it but do not lose ourselves in it. But for me, I am always looking to verify the myth through my own efforts in training rather than spending all my time debunking the myth as many people feel they need to do. That, to me, is the function of the myth.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #692
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post

Because of the difficult nature of understanding the coded language of O'Sensei had for Aikido, never the less, to me it is pretty clear that there is something missing. The difficultly is understanding completely what O'Sensei was keeping hidden. O'Sensei highly complicated Aikido by interweaving the fabrics of both the spiritual and martial together. Creating the feeling for some, that something is missing.

And that also could be what people feel they are missing. That is because of the complexity crafted by O'Sensei weaving a very complex and intricate cloth called Aikido it is to easy feel there is something missing because all information is readily at hand, and it can result in misinformation and stuff.

How do you crack the Aikido code. And find out what is missing.
It could be O'Sensei who was confused. It could be that O'Sensei was still searching when he died. It could be that there is no "code," but rather that the ambiguity in O'Sensei's words and acts reflects the striving and ultimate lack of integration of a human being who did not have final answers or ultimate insights, but who had caught a glimpse of something spiritually greater than his own small self, and his personal practice reflected his yearning for spiritual union with that something greater. Look at Ueshiba the man, not O'Sensei the symbolic projection of aikidokas' collective yearning.

There is no "complex and intricate cloth called Aikido," Philip. There is a worn patchwork blanket of many conflicting partial visions of what Aikido is, with the internecine politics of shihans and wannabe shihans gnawing around the edges. It is said that the only true Christian died on the cross, or perhaps was martyred in Rome. It may be that Aikido is buried at Tanabe.

What does that leave us? The example of Ueshiba the man. Ueshiba followed Takeda Sokaku as martial arts master and Deguchi Onisaburo as spiritual guru. Ultimately Ueshiba left masters and gurus behind, and looked to his own practice for the meaning of Aikido.

The spirit is forged in physical training. The spirit grows and becomes more resilient in the cooperative venture of training hard, both alone and together, where everyone works to help each other's skill, internal strength/connection, and health, grow. That is a dojo, and a forum, and an art--a true community.

Dan Harden (and others) offer a challenge to conventional thinking in aikido, but even more, a positive contribution to moving aikido out of the warm and fuzzy solipsism of conventional training into substantial improvement through which more aikidokas can move closer to the very real body/mind skills that Ueshiba exemplified. To get there requires difficult, often-tedious solo training and investing in loss through sincere, hard partner work. Your training, your progress and your character are truly in your own hands.

How is that really any different than the example Ueshiba himself set?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 02:18 PM   #693
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

One of my favorite quotes taken from, I believe, Conrad's, Heart of Darkness says, "...We had to destroy the village in order to save it..."

Among other things, it clearly illustrates the (often widening) gap between the ideas people come up with in their often maligned attempt to reach their own ideals. Lately I find myself reading posts from seasoned Aikidoka such as the one, below...

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
You want answers? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Deep down in places that you don't talk about at parties, you WANT aiki back in aikido, you NEED aiki back in aikido...
I find that statement packed with about as much irony as the one, from Conrad. Again, I am left feeling about as uneasy trying to understand the logic in these statements, when I can only find them being made by people who's ideals have been somehow twisted to fit the ideas they now seem to be having.

Should the village be saved (from communism)?

Does Aikido need to be saved (from being passed down as a hollowed out form)...?

Sure, but...

In both cases I find myself wondering how the people making the statements never seem to ask themselves, nor have an answer to those that ask, "Yeah, but at what cost...?"

FWIW

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 02:43 PM   #694
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Well there is alot missing in my Aikido.

It is evident yesterday when my good friend Min Kang simply grabs my wrist and I cannot influence him!

Lots going wrong, lots to learn and discover.

The mind leads the body...and my mind is not leading my body.

It really is a simple as that.

Once my mind begins to lead my body, I will have the power of aiki, and I will be able to influence the wrist grab way before it ever touches me. Then when it does make contact, I will be able to influence the situation properly without having to resort to secondary means of influence such as my physical jitsu/grappling skills.

Min and I worked hard on this yesterday and it is evident that I have lots of neurons firing when they shouldn't be firing in places where they shouldn't be. Others that should be are not getting the message from my mind!

So, I think it is all about learning this process. It really is this simple.

Once we have command over our mind and connect our thinking brain, with our non-thinking brain and wire it to our body...any spirituality pretty much flows out of this connection of mind and body.

Becoming one...commanding as one. Once we have this we have no discord within ourselves and we can pretty much realize some inner peace...this is true spritiuality....becoming happy.

Not happy in the glee since...but happy in the fact that we have unified and are no longer is disharmony or discord.

Budo makes us strong by teaching us to move to discord and resolve it. (Irimi)...it is not done through asthetic practices like monasticism.

I think this is what we are practicing.

I thoughts are that all of this solo training be it Yoga, Ark's stuff, MIke's, or Dan's....leads to develop your body to better be able to acheive this ideal.

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #695
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
One of my favorite quotes taken from, I believe, Conrad's, Heart of Darkness says, "...We had to destroy the village in order to save it..."

Among other things, it clearly illustrates the (often widening) gap between the ideas people come up with in their often maligned attempt to reach their own ideals. Lately I find myself reading posts from seasoned Aikidoka such as the one, below...

I find that statement packed with about as much irony as the one, from Conrad. Again, I am left feeling about as uneasy trying to understand the logic in these statements, when I can only find them being made by people who's ideals have been somehow twisted to fit the ideas they now seem to be having.

Should the village be saved (from communism)?

Does Aikido need to be saved (from being passed down as a hollowed out form)...?

Sure, but...

In both cases I find myself wondering how the people making the statements never seem to ask themselves, nor have an answer to those that ask, "Yeah, but at what cost...?"

FWIW

.
Good question Shaun..."At what cost"?

Well I don't think Aikido needs to be saved. I don't think we need to have another Crusade, an inquisition, a protestant reformation, a tent revival or any other fundamentalist type movement to convert the masses to our way of thinking.

It is dangerous ground as history has proven time and time again...one that never seems to end with a happily ever after ending.

I know alot of folks are excited about this stuff and what to share it with others. I applaud the enthusiasm and openness and hope that those in the know continue to be patient and answer questions...

But, I also think we should be careful about how we do things and how our actions are perceived too.

Does Aikido need to be saved?

Naw, I could really care less...I'm selfish that way. I hope that we end up with a few quality individuals that practice and achieve mastery so I don't have to go stand in line to receive their lessons and wait my turn.

I'd rather do this own my own, get better, then open my own dojo so I can pay the bills!

Who wants competition anyway!

No aikido doesn't need to be saved....and if we do try it, the cost may be too, too high and for what end?

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 02:52 PM   #696
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
One of my favorite quotes taken from, I believe, Conrad's, Heart of Darkness says, "...We had to destroy the village in order to save it..."

.
As an aside:

http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%E1%BA%BFn_Tre

One of the most famous quotes of the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. Air Force Major by AP correspondent Peter Arnett. Writing about the provincial capital, Ben Tre, on February 7, 1968, Arnett said: "'it became necessary to destroy the town to save it,' a U.S. major says." To this day, "Ben Tre logic" is a common saying for whenever a "logical" conclusion is to destroy something out of the perceived best interests of everyone involved. Papa Bravo Romeo - U. S. Navy Patrol Boats at War in Vietnam, by Wynn Goldsmith (pages 184 to 186) attributes the quote to USAF Major Chet Brown.

The incident was taped and shown on the news. Peter Arnett said, "So you had to destroy the village in order to save it?" The major said, "Let's get down from here. We're drawing fire."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 02:59 PM   #697
Mark Mueller
Location: Louisville Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 161
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Thought George Ledyard's post from another thread was worth bringing here:

http://http://aikiweb.com/forums/sho...0&postcount=14

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are two types of folks whom, in my opinion, you don't want to be. First is the True Believer as Eric Hoffer called him. This is the guy that "drinks the cool aid" so to speak. The suspension of common sense, the subjugating of ones own judgment to another person or to an ideology. You can see this within Aikido all the time. Our way is the right way. My teacher was the one who really understood the Founder. This is the real way the Founder did technique and the other folks out there are ruining Aikido.

The True Believer shuts down his own process in order to model himself on some outside set of beliefs or principles. Almost always this seriously restricts his growth as a person and retards any ability to go beyond the external limits placed on him. In Aikido this type of thinking results in practitioners who are good copies of an original. But a copy is never as good as the original because it lacks genuineness, originality, and creativity. But seeking out your own way is far riskier and entails living at the edge of ones comfort level. Most folks prefer to have someone else tell them what to do.

The other extreme is the perennial doubter. In his effort to not "drink the cool aid" he ignores anything that he doesn't feel is proven already to his satisfaction. I guess I don't really understand this deeply rooted fear of "being fooled". But there are many folks who seem so controlled by this fear that they dismiss, out of hand, anything which they don't understand.

I have many friends who a like this. I have watched as they summarily dismissed a teacher or a style based simply on a YouTube video. I have seen people simply turn their backs on some training because it challenged their preconceived notions of what is what. It's much easier to call something fake and walk away than to make the changes needed to understand and maybe do what had previously been thought impossible.

Morihei Ueshiba was clearly a giant in 20th century Japanese martial arts. I am sure he had that rare combination of natural talent and total focus on succeeding required to be great. I once heard someone say that Ueshiba Sensei's true distinguishing character was that he trained harder than anyone this person knew. And that is what yields wisdom.

Yes, it is important that each of us find and develop his own wisdom; find what makes each of genuine. But an attachment to that individuality causes us to ignore what has been done by others before us. The resistance to being drawn into someone else's sphere can cut us off from the synergy of collective effort. It causes us to reinvent the wheel rather than piggy back on the work others have done before us. In fact, if we are talking about the highest levels of teaching, you won't even reinvent the wheel unless you slipstream behind the work done by others.

Myth is very important in a culture. It is at the heart of the drive to better ourselves. In our Aikido culture, the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is our central mythical figure. His myth provides the model for our practice and our striving to be better.

The modern trend towards historical deconstruction is valuable. It allows us to see how our reality has failed to match our myths. But I have to say that the facts of reality seldom inspire anyone. It is the power of myth to move people.

It's important to understand the Founder and to this end, historical research, understanding of the cultural and religious influences that shaped his thinking all contribute. But it is not the historical O-Sensei as a man like the rest of us but rather the mythical figure of O-Sensei as a man who has become something greater that inspires us to go the distance and attempt great things.

But myth supplies the inspiration, it is not your reality. The True Believer ceases to exist as himself by subjugating his own reality to the myth. The Doubting Thomas disavows the myth and settles for less than he might otherwise have accomplished because he stays within his own comfort zone and his own understanding.

Training is about developing the strength of character to be centered, to be oneself. If one has this strong sense of himself he will never disappear into some cult or ideology. Nor will he feel threatened by new ideas or things that he can't explain. He is free if he is centered. The myth for such a person provides the target, it is the source of aspiration. It doesn't actually matter if the myth was historically true in every detail; that 's not its power.

We need the myths. A culture that has its myths destroyed is lost, its heart is missing. Every time we destroy one of our myths, we are driven to find another to put in its place. Its how the human mind works. When used correctly it can be a tremendous impetus towards growth. When used incorrectly it can be deadly.

Why would we impute some degree of wisdom to Morihei Ueshiba? Well, he trained longer and harder than any of us doing things most of us will never do. So that's a pretty good start right there. Coupled with the fact that, clearly his intentions were towards the light rather than towards the dark I think that gives us enough of a reason to give his ideas a good hearing. But the "myth" of the Founder is merely a tool we can use in our lives and our training. We can be inspired by it but do not lose ourselves in it. But for me, I am always looking to verify the myth through my own efforts in training rather than spending all my time debunking the myth as many people feel they need to do. That, to me, is the function of the myth.
A timely and thoughtful reminder.....nicely placed Thomas
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 03:14 PM   #698
mickeygelum
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
mickeygelum's Avatar
Dojo: Warren Budokan, Ohio USA
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 502
United_States
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Shhh....It's missing

Shhh....It's a secret

Shhh...It's too complicated to explain

Shhh...It's not even the topic of the thread anymore



Mickey
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 03:17 PM   #699
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
It could be O'Sensei who was confused. It could be that O'Sensei was still searching when he died. It could be that there is no "code," but rather that the ambiguity in O'Sensei's words and acts reflects the striving and ultimate lack of integration of a human being who did not have final answers or ultimate insights, but who had caught a glimpse of something spiritually greater than his own small self, and his personal practice reflected his yearning for spiritual union with that something greater. Look at Ueshiba the man, not O'Sensei the symbolic projection of aikidokas' collective yearning.
Thomas, do you really believe that O-Sensei was confused? Is that answer merely a way of justifying some present need to accept some new-found explanation, one easier for the masses to grasp at will, because that which O-Sensei put forth was and is not so easy, and for some people, nearly impossible to grasp? Of course, we are all human. As humans we want to believe that we are all potentially equal. As Aikidoka we all want to feel we are entitled to and deserve delivery on the promises of Aikido. However, when we do not receive it, at what point do we then demand it?

If we take the time to actually listen to what Hikistuchi Sensei says O-Sensei saiid, over and over, that the work of Aikido, the way of Aiki is about understanding how to connect with the divine and being in that place the waza is something other than movement, other than self defense, other than competition... etc. Given this is what the founder said was the substance of his art form isn't it delusion to think that for even a moment that without a complete and true connection with the divine, THERE IS NO AIKI. Perhaps it is just easier to thrown that uncomfortable cloak of perfection in favor of that worn patchwork of mediocrity because let's just face it, the patchwork is easier to obtain and more comfortable to wear for most of us.

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
There is no "complex and intricate cloth called Aikido," Philip. There is a worn patchwork blanket of many conflicting partial visions of what Aikido is, with the internecine politics of shihans and wannabe shihans gnawing around the edges. It is said that the only true Christian died on the cross, or perhaps was martyred in Rome. It may be that Aikido is buried at Tanabe.
Like I said before, The Jews for Jesus, use "I found it" as their mantra, while the Jews answer back with, "I never lost it." So, while it may be said that the only true christian.... it can definitely be said that the one true christian was no christian at all. He was a Jew. Say it over and over and over, cause he lived and died as a Jew and should he ever come back, he would still be one regardless of how anyone of us feel about that.

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
What does that leave us? The example of Ueshiba the man. Ueshiba followed Takeda Sokaku as martial arts master and Deguchi Onisaburo as spiritual guru. Ultimately Ueshiba left masters and gurus behind, and looked to his own practice for the meaning of Aikido.
Well, if we accept this model of understanding, then one must ask two questions... Why? and How?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
The spirit is forged in physical training. The spirit grows and becomes more resilient in the cooperative venture of training hard, both alone and together, where everyone works to help each other's skill, internal strength/connection, and health, grow. That is a dojo, and a forum, and an art--a true community.
While interesting, and possibly even accurate, how does any of this relate to what Hikistuchi Sensei was saying in the video? Does it relate?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Dan Harden (and others) offer a challenge to conventional thinking in aikido, but even more, a positive contribution to moving aikido out of the warm and fuzzy solipsism of conventional training into substantial improvement through which more aikidokas can move closer to the very real body/mind skills that Ueshiba exemplified. To get there requires difficult, often-tedious solo training and investing in loss through sincere, hard partner work. Your training, your progress and your character are truly in your own hands.
Those are some very impassioned remarks, ones we are hearing more and more lately.The idea behind them seems to be to help us all to reach up to the ideals promised by O-Sensei's Aikido. So, Thomas. I ask you, "At what cost...?"

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
How is that really any different than the example Ueshiba himself set?
The example O-Sensei set was clearly verbalized in the video of Hikistuchi Sensei. He said it over and over, "...to absolutely connect oneself to the divine. I might be surprised, but I have to ask as I am wondering... Is Dan teaching that? If not, is he even speaking about it? If not, is he even wondering about that? If not, who is? It leads me to wonder something else, something that perhaps we should discuss in a new thread should someone care to start it, "Based upon O-Sensei's model of Aiki as illustrated in his many writings, interviews and videos, is something missing in Dan's model of Aiki?


Best in training to you and all?

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 08-09-2009 at 03:22 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 03:44 PM   #700
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Best in training to you and all?

.
Why the question mark, Shaun?

Thanks for the detailed response, in which you described a bit more where you are coming from. I honestly don't see any conflict between what Hikitsuchi said and what I said--except in how he and I would view the "divine." I don't want to detract from this thread with my opinion on that topic, however ( ) and would like to follow up with you via PM when I have time later this week.

This is indeed an engaging thread. Thanks, everyone who is contributing.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 Peter Goldsbury Columns 32 05-16-2009 06:05 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 6 Peter Goldsbury Columns 35 03-13-2009 06:16 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10 Peter Goldsbury Columns 200 02-04-2009 06:45 AM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 07:27 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:07 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate