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  #26  
Old 08-18-2009, 12:12 PM
Ellis Amdur
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Guests in the House

I started aikido in 1973 at the New Haven Aikikai. The head instructor was Bob Barrett, and Terry Dobson and Harvey Koenigsberg were once-a-week instructors.

Last edited by akiy : 08-18-2009 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:33 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The version of the V-Bulletin software used over at E-Budo has a system of Warnings and Infractions built into it. The scale of penalties is decided by the Administrator and used by the moderators. It is automatic and easy to use. I have used it occasionally (and have always followed this up with a PM to the transgressor). I have not had to use it for many months.
My problem with the assuaging comments about E-Budo's moderation is that E-Budo is moderated by people with "expertise" that is quite similar to the "expertise" that has been exhibited by many other western-expert dominated forums... what the moderators deem appropriate seems to be determined mostly by their own view of what they think they know. As has been shown on AikiWeb and other forums, often the 'experts' are really simply the established hierarchy protecting their own view of their expertise.

In the case of AikiWeb there has been a noticeable change in what some of the onboard 'experts' viewed as correct, over a period of time. In the case of E-Budo, I never saw any indication that the 'experts' who were moderators were in any way willing to indicate that there was anything in which they were not already experts. The fact that some of the moderators, notably Nathan Scott, but others also, were willing to use their position rather than factual argument as a final factors in determining what was 'correct' has done a lot to damage the overall reputation of E-Budo. Thus goes the glory of all earthly things.

Based on their own whimsey and self-styled expertise, I've seen E-Budo toss a lot of people off their forum (me included). Of what use is such a forum if arbitrary whim trumps factual debate? Very obviously, such a forum is going to guide what is said on the forum by what the experts think they know, rather than putting the 'experts' into the situation of having to defend their positions with factual and 'how-to' commentary. In other words, as a forum of value, I think that E-Budo fails completely in the ultimate test.

In the case of AikiWeb, Jun is basically doing a form of solo-pilot... he can change the flight-course at whim. In the comparison with what has happened on E-Budo with its many self-congratulatory moderators and what has happened on solo-piloted AikiWeb, Jun is far ahead of the 'experts' on E-Budo... he's shifted course as need be.

Personally, I don't like or recommend E-Budo; I think the moderators are partisan to their own supposed expertise and therefore they potentially lead people astray. I don't say that lightly. I think E-Budo has a danger-potential built into it and should be avoided.

I would suggest that if some moderator or titled-position on E-Budo wants to debate a point, they should both argue the facts and, if they are a moderator, pull their position out of the debate and then also argue the facts... and (most importantly) the 'how-to's'.

All that being said, I think Jun is picking his way the best that he can, based upon what he knows, his wisom, and his expertise.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 08-27-2009 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:47 PM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Guests in the House

Incidentally... as a passing thought. Many people caught my inviting Nathan Scott onto Aikido Journal one time to debate a point. Please bear in mind that I only did that trivially, to point out that when he is not the moderator and thus able to wield power, he should be able to factually rather than trivially argue what he knows. At best, he seems to fall back onto the old trope that he is guarding the secrets of a koryu while not seeming to know the basics of the discussion at hand... how to do internal strength.

I had no axe to grind when I did that; I simply wanted to make an archived point. The vararies of established internet forums are often easily available to people who want to search the archives. In a number of case, including the JudoForum and E-Budo, my impression (and the impression of others) is that uncomfortable archives are deleted.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:56 PM   #27
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Guests in the House

Well, as a moderator on E-Budo, I disagree on quite a number of points you raise, but I do not plan to rebut these points here.

My point in mentioning E-Budo was not to discuss the moderation in that forum, but to point to the system of Warnings and Infractions that the V-Bulletin software has.

I think the fact that I stated earlier that any moderation here has to be scrupulously fair and even-handed indicates my own views on moderating forums.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Well, as a moderator on E-Budo, I disagree on quite a number of points you raise, but I do not plan to rebut these points here.
My contention would be that the archives of E-Budo (what hasn't been deleted) support my point fairly clearly. If, similarly, you look at the positions on AikiWeb a few years prior, you'll see the same sort of awkward point being made: what is "known" assertively by experts can come back to haunt at later times. Ipso facto.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:20 PM   #29
Buck
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Re: Guests in the House

My 25 satrang is that Ellis has really worked things out well. It shows how much of a concentrated effort there is on his part. I see it as a mix of good advice and a S.O.P. (standard operating procedure) that in itself if implemented in part or whole would be very beneficial goal.

The issue is that each individual would have to voluntarily refrain from and contain their own behavior illustrated by Ellis to work 100%. This, for some would require a great effort to use tolerance, refrain, understanding and seeing the big picture in refrain from such behavior illustrated by Ellis. This is the most difficult variable to control, but the most important in achieving the overall goal. Any thing that is said on this board is a reflection upon all of us.

To achieve the goal isn't going to be easy. It will take a lot of effort from all of us. Especially in the natural discourse of disagreement. But the goal is achievable, IMO. The bottom line is if Aikiweb is a more harmonious place, people like me will be more willing to be supportive and contributing members. We will not see it as risk.

And honestly, my initial behavior when I first started this board was a result of the board. I thought that was the house rules to be the way I was. I now realize that was a misconception on my part. As a result I am working very diligently on a more positive approach. I ask people to understand that I am not a writer and my writing is rough, awkward, and that kind of stuff and can lead to unwanted misuderstandings. Basically, I am saying I am practicing what I am preaching. Thus, my way of showing a serious effort on my part to contribute a positive effort here.

Last edited by Buck : 08-27-2009 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:46 PM   #30
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Re: Guests in the House

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your thoughts regarding the infractions system. As some folks here know personally, I do use it on occasion.

As far as e-budo.com goes, let's please keep the discussion "local" and focused on AikiWeb. If you feel the need to talk about the moderation policies of other websites, please do so elsewhere -- not here.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:32 AM   #31
MM
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
My problem with the assuaging comments about E-Budo's moderation is that E-Budo is moderated by people with "expertise" that is quite similar to the "expertise" that has been exhibited by many other western-expert dominated forums... what the moderators deem appropriate seems to be determined mostly by their own view of what they think they know. As has been shown on AikiWeb and other forums, often the 'experts' are really simply the established hierarchy protecting their own view of their expertise.

In the case of AikiWeb there has been a noticeable change in what some of the onboard 'experts' viewed as correct, over a period of time. In the case of E-Budo, I never saw any indication that the 'experts' who were moderators were in any way willing to indicate that there was anything in which they were not already experts. The fact that some of the moderators, notably Nathan Scott, but others also, were willing to use their position rather than factual argument as a final factors in determining what was 'correct' has done a lot to damage the overall reputation of E-Budo. Thus goes the glory of all earthly things.

Based on their own whimsey and self-styled expertise, I've seen E-Budo toss a lot of people off their forum (me included). Of what use is such a forum if arbitrary whim trumps factual debate? Very obviously, such a forum is going to guide what is said on the forum by what the experts think they know, rather than putting the 'experts' into the situation of having to defend their positions with factual and 'how-to' commentary. In other words, as a forum of value, I think that E-Budo fails completely in the ultimate test.

In the case of AikiWeb, Jun is basically doing a form of solo-pilot... he can change the flight-course at whim. In the comparison with what has happened on E-Budo with its many self-congratulatory moderators and what has happened on solo-piloted AikiWeb, Jun is far ahead of the 'experts' on E-Budo... he's shifted course as need be.

Personally, I don't like or recommend E-Budo; I think the moderators are partisan to their own supposed expertise and therefore they potentially lead people astray. I don't say that lightly. I think E-Budo has a danger-potential built into it and should be avoided.

I would suggest that if some moderator or titled-position on E-Budo wants to debate a point, they should both argue the facts and, if they are a moderator, pull their position out of the debate and then also argue the facts... and (most importantly) the 'how-to's'.

All that being said, I think Jun is picking his way the best that he can, based upon what he knows, his wisom, and his expertise.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I think that's a fairly accurate summation, Mike. Between the two, I have no doubts that Jun has handled Aikiweb far better than how E-Budo has been handled. Although, I'd guess Jun has had more headaches doing so.

I have had differences of opinion with both E-Budo moderators(To be fair, I don't include all moderators at E-Budo) and Jun. I left E-Budo because of how things were handled. I've been a sponsor of Aikiweb.

Sorry to get slightly off-topic, Jun. But I think it illustrates a point not made. That adding moderators to handle things isn't always the best way to go. And as we've seen, using an infraction system isn't always the best way to go, either. Comparing both usages, I'd have to say Aikiweb has fared significantly better.

I certainly don't have many answers for the situation. I think Ellis' suggestions are fair. I particularly liked the idea of a history section. As for DR, aiki, IS, etc, ... I just don't know. It seems kind of redundant to call it Aikido and Internal Strength. Aikido is literally the way of aiki. Aiki is internal strength.

But, then again, you can't just call it aiki because that word is defined differently amongst the various schools/systems.

Failing to come up with any measurable suggestions, I find a newly created forum Aikido and Internal Strength much better than Non-Aikido Martial Traditions.

Or perhaps, since the main forums have an understood essence of Aikido (training, spiritual, history, etc), we just call it Internal Strength with the understanding that Ellis has suggested?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
which, by necessity, would include discussions of Daito-ryu and internal strength training as well. Even for those who assert that there is something fundamentally different about aikido's "aiki" from that of Daito-ryu. However, if the question veered off into a central discussion of Chinese martial arts, for example, it should be moved or directed to the Non-aikido Martial Tradition.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
As far as e-budo.com goes, let's please keep the discussion "local" and focused on AikiWeb.
Well, the e-Budo example illustrates a rule that applies to many forums, including AikiWeb, and it can be used to illustrate a common problem: On most forums, discussions about the ki-related skills is moderated in a manner that reflects the moderators own knowledge of the subject. Since most moderators currently have little or no knowledge about the topic, moderation decisions suffer.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:53 AM   #33
akiy
 
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Re: Guests in the House

Thank you, Mark and Mike, for your thoughts. Let's move on from discussing E-budo.com's moderation policies now, as I will again request.

-- Jun

Last edited by akiy : 08-28-2009 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Typo

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Old 08-28-2009, 12:03 PM   #34
Dan Rubin
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Re: Guests in the House

A point I tried to make in my previous post is that the problem (in my opinion) is not with the subject of posts, whether the subject is ki or jin or whatever, but the tone of some posts, the arguments and challenges and insults and the inability of some posters to accept that their truth may not be my truth and the inability of some posters to just let it go.

So (in my opinion), it doesn't matter whether a moderator understands the subject matter, it's a matter of whether the moderator understands posting etiquette and whether posters will accept the moderator's rules of etiquette and state their opinions within those rules.

Last edited by Dan Rubin : 08-28-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:13 PM   #35
jxa127
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Re: Guests in the House

Jun,

I'll reiterate what I said above in a much wordier way: I think the aikido history forum is a great idea. I hope the internal strength forum won't be necessary.

Regards,

Drew

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Old 08-29-2009, 10:52 AM   #36
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Guests in the House

I don't see a sub-section of Internal Strength and Aiki as "ghettoizing" the subject. We have a separate section called "Spiritual," for example, where one can highlight anything from Ueshiba's spiritiual intentions to such subjects as Omotokyo, Mitake-kyo, Shin Shin toitsu, etc. To be sure, such a discussion could also occur in the General section - a point I also made in the article. But having separate sections allows one to focus on that aspect of training.

I agree with Mike and Mark that, truly, Ueshiba's aikido, at least, was always imbued with internal strength - and my opinion is that everyone else's should have been. That said, there are both other aspects of aikido and "other aikido's" that have developed. Just as aikido is not DR, many aikidos are not Ueshiba's, and many DR are not Takeda's. (There's a whole other story of concealment and HIPS there).

My idea was simply that a history and IT section would enhance discussion, just as a spiritual and a technique section already do. I think that the other subject that people have raised here - posters that people find obnoxious, irritating, won't shut up, etc., is best served by the ignore button and a moderator casting out, if a person is egregiously offensive. That was NOT the focus of my original article, which is how to make discussions on Aikiweb most productive, not how to deal with Mr. A or Ms B., who are easily ignored.
Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 08-29-2009 at 10:56 AM.

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Old 08-29-2009, 11:13 AM   #37
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Guests in the House

I agree with the separate area that Ellis proposes. Personally I break my own practice down into separate areas. I study Jiu Jitsu Skills as Jiu Jitsu Skills. When I do IT, I don't do the same type of things since this is a particular type of training with a different emphasis. Same with Spiritual stuff. Diet and Nutrition as well. All important areas in budo, but they do need to be looked at indepth in isolation in order to understand them I believe.

There is a synthesis at some point that needs to occur, putting all the pieces back together, but that is another subject I think.

So, I think it is better to have an IT section where we concentrate on just those things related to that area of tralning.

I do see how many view IT and Aiki as being the same. Personally I feel it is that way too, but the reality of it is that many view AIkiDO as a holistic system of synthesis fusing Jiu Jitsu and IT, Spiritual etc together...so I think it better to break this out for this reason.

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Old 08-29-2009, 11:40 AM   #38
Dan Rubin
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Re: Guests in the House

The “General” forum has accumulated 4,808 threads, far, far more than any other forum. So that itself might indicate that more forums might be helpful, perhaps several more. I agree that History and Internal Strength/Training forums would be good ones.

I don’t know if additional forums would make Jun’s work more or less difficult.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:13 AM   #39
Amir Krause
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Re: Guests in the House

Great post

Bravo for expressing something many here feel.

Amir
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #40
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Guests in the House

re: annoying posters /gadflies

can we have a self-moderating system in threads whereby you can nominate the turkey; and if they get 'seconded' too many times they are locked out from posting on that thread topic?
(may require scripting or software?)
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #41
Buck
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
re: annoying posters /gadflies

can we have a self-moderating system in threads whereby you can nominate the turkey; and if they get 'seconded' too many times they are locked out from posting on that thread topic?
(may require scripting or software?)
Wouldn't that be an unfair and a dangerous system, wholly subjective to ruling elite and/or influencial elite, squelching debate due to disagreement or fancy. And inhibiting expression, dialogue, intellectual exchange of ideas, free speech, censorship, and to mention profiling? Heck, I get that enough at work!

Last edited by Buck : 09-01-2009 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:19 AM   #42
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Guests in the House

Hi Josh, unfortunately, that rarely seems to work. Even the most obnoxious often have their supporters.

Not only that, but when Stanley gave up on the open forum he ran at aikidojournal.com, and started moderating very strictly, the quality of the discussions dropped sharply. I'm not all together sure why...I believe I supported the move at the time, but the end result was not quite as hoped for.

In the long run, we have to moderate ourselves...each one of us indiviually. In spite of others who do not. I think Ellis's suggestions are the best addition to that.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:37 AM   #43
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
re: annoying posters /gadflies
Irimi and atemi. No holds barred.

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Old 09-02-2009, 06:59 PM   #44
Rob Watson
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
re: annoying posters /gadflies

can we have a self-moderating system in threads whereby you can nominate the turkey; and if they get 'seconded' too many times they are locked out from posting on that thread topic?
(may require scripting or software?)
Instead of a cake next the names on birthdays instead a ranking indicating how many folks have you on their buddy/ignore list? Somebody with 0/100 (zero buddies and 100 ignores) might tend to get the message.

Seems like nobody posts over on that other aikido web site anymore ...

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:28 AM   #45
tarik
 
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Re: Guests in the House

Good thoughts.

I guess I forget about the ignore features because I tend to filter people I'm not interested in hearing from simply by skimming past their posts. I never used them even back in rec.martial-arts (or other forums).

FWIW, I think the history and IT forums are appropriate ways to organize discussions and I'd love to see them.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:12 PM   #46
DH
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Re: Guests in the House

The "history" and "IT" forums will not work. Why? It ties in with Ron's query and confusion as to why Aikido journal died and why E-budo more or less is dead to the quality of discussion compared to it's past.
Lack of dynamics in the discussion.

New information
Many times the ones with information are prompted by reading the nonsense from the unknowing (even when the unknowing are the supposed experts). Particularly when you see more "popular support" for incomplete and generally wrong information and direction (I feel that way about the latest turn with just Kokyu as a focus in aikido here lately ) leading to a lowest common denominator type of discussion.

If you get a whole bunch of people with the same interests moving in the same direction there will never be the same dynamics- therefore, less prompts. And the popularity of even bad information reduces the denominator anyway.

Challenging the accepted standard
Judo forum, E-budo, AJ, are all examples of the reducing the dialogue to topics that do not challenge the status quo. E-budo -(particularly one moderator who's behavior I later discovered has become well known across other forums) has allowed hard-line censoring of information, with threads disappearing and even internal editing and rewriting of peoples posts!!. A perfect example for killing a forum.
Were Aikiweb to confine the topic of internal training for aiki by placing into a very narrow parameter and leave the rest of the site for discussing popular aikido-it will all but kill many of the prompts that lead to "IT" discussion. That might prove to be a very good idea for many people; as it will solve the majority of "problems" people see.
It's a question of perception. I see "IT" as everything in aikido from it's spiritual underpinnings, to its waza, to its ukemi, to its aiki. Others see it as only a part, others do not see it at all and want it to go away and return to the peace of shared dialogue in what the majority know.
I happen to think those "problems" are the best thing that has ever happened to aikido since its founding.

Martial arts-left to the natural flow of organizational evolution diminish or die.
1. Entrepreneurial energy and creativeness
2. Creating the industry standard
3. Resting on its laurels (lack of drive to keep up with new information and change)
4. Eventual decline in market (already happening in aikido across the globe)
5. Out of business

In the absence of physical challenge for veracity and intellectual challenge for methodology that leads to soundness in physical expression- "group think" in martial arts always wins out. It is the singular reason why most martial arts and those in them are so bad at them.

The web as an instrument of change
Aikiweb has remained open to these challenging ideas and the difficulties in presenting them-and has become one of the premier sites for Martial Arts on the web. IMO, these discussons are a very sigfnicant reason for that. In other words, becasue of the receptiveness to discuss these difficult topics and also in being patient with the weaknesses and "failings" of those trying to forward them. Jun has not only made a venue for aikido to grow, he is lifting the receptivenss for others artists (Chinese and judo and BJJ) to reconsider the art of aikido that they all but wrote off in the past! That's my observation of talking with people from those arts in person and on the web from what they were told to come here and read, and their subsequant changed opinions for having read these pages!

Whether my idea that this change will greatly diminish the promptsthat forward discussion- remains to be seen.
I think I used up my alloted time for the day.
Cheers
Dan

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Old 09-08-2009, 12:29 PM   #47
Mike Sigman
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Re: Guests in the House

I more or less agree with Dan's premises. Personally, I think there are only a limited number of people who will chase the "IT"; the "IT" is actually what is traditionally part of the "self cultivation" of the Tao, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc., and very few people seriously will follow a "Do" (Tao). Of course everyone says a Tao/Do is what they want to do, but that's like the same way everyone says they want to go to Heaven someday.... just not yet.

I think Aikido is at the beginning of a trip, so there's no rush to set up the infrastructure, etc., until the direction becomes clearer. When the dust settles, I suspect that a lot of people will grab little bits and pieces and some incomplete skills; few people will actually go for the Full Banana.

YMMV

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #48
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Guests in the House

Dan and Mike - as far as your perspective is concerned - I agree with both of you.
And/But - I think some of Dan's concerns regarding creativity resulting form the collision of opposing viewpoints are covered in the sense that I suggest that a lot of IT comments/discussions can and should be placed in the General/Technical sections, but that if something "threatens" do take the thread too far off course, one starts a new thread in the specific section.
For example - let us say that someone wants to start discussing kaitennage, and some bright fellow notes that kaiten-nage is a sumo technique, and it is particularly used when you've pushed someone up to the edge of the ring and as they counter push, you open up, push down their head and wringingly twist their belt and throw them. And then someone says, "Wow, and Daito-ryu is supposed to come from sumo," and sumo history, blah, blah blah. Logical, is it not, to start a thread in the history section and continue the discussion on kaitennage in the original thread?
I do NOT believe that any mention of IT should start in an IT section or immediately be placed in that ghetto as soon as it raises it's shaggy head.
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-08-2009, 01:31 PM   #49
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Guests in the House

Amazing posts. Wow.

From the cheap seats, a few more ideas
1) Perhaps suggest to have ‘lounge' or relaxed off-topic discussion area
2) Allow the author to be able to set threads to ‘unbumpable'. This would mean that posting to one of those threads does not result in the thread title being bumped up to the top-level. I was thinking that this may be conducive to some more long-term and subtle conversations; as each post would not necessarily elicit the same level of in-your-faceness. The thinking here is that at present, and in general, each thread is imbued with a relatively short life-cycle. The subtle increase in granularity here by marking a thread (or even posts) as ‘unbumpable' may be conducive to allowing some threads to settle somewhere slightly below the surface allowing for more open and long-term discussions…using already existing member tools such as ‘subscribe to thread' make this easy.

m2c

Mike; you wrote: ""IT" is actually what is traditionally part of the "self cultivation" of the Tao". May I ask, does that then mean that pursuing IT ultimately becomes a ‘way' (i.e. like in a religion; or .. only makes sense in the context of a religion)? Sorry if too OT, but a fascinating point you raise, nonetheless.

I also just wanted to express my gratitude for Aikiweb, and all those here.
With respect,
Josh

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 09-08-2009 at 01:42 PM.
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