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Old 11-04-2009, 09:58 AM   #1
Kevin Leavitt
 
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The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

A good article that was posted on my Facebook this morning. Worth a read.

http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/bre..._POST-_-110409

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Old 11-04-2009, 10:06 AM   #2
Bob Blackburn
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Good article. Also extremely useful in business. I have had to referee a few verbal matches at work. I think the dojo is safer.

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Old 11-04-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Excellent example of Aiki Principles at work!

Thank you for sharing!
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:51 AM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

I agree that it is a good example. However, I think that we need to be careful at projecting this as the default way to always respond. It is one thing to "absorb" a verbal attack, quite another to deal with a physical lethal attack.

There is a time and place for everything and the wise man understands this and uses the right tool at the right time!

Just want to throw that caveat in there.

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Old 11-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

I liked it. I have been told that it is a good way to deal with arguements. Actually using it on the other hand isn't so easy....

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

That is probably one of the worst examples I've read. And it conveys the notion of what, I think, is going wrong in this country.

1. First, the neighbor used property that wasn't hers but believed that she had a right to use it.

2. She justified #1 by it happening only rarely. It's okay that she can use other people's property without their consent or notice as long as it's only rarely.

3. She blamed her wrong actions on the neighbors, who were the victims.

4. Emotionalism is okay and we have to "empathize" with people, even when what they've done is completely wrong. We have to be "understanding".

5. As long as her intentions were good, her neighbors should have bent over backwards to let her do what she wanted.

6. It's okay to not tell the other person what you're doing with their property. They should be okay with whatever you want to do.

Now, as to the actions by the married couple. How about these instead.

1. Irimi. The husband should have walked in with the phone and told her if she didn't quiet down and behave respectfully, he was dialing 9-1-1. That she can talk about what happened, but in an adult manner.

As an aside, it is *amazing* how people (normal, not criminals or domestic disputes) calm down when they realize that law enforcement is going to get involved. I've had quite a few "road rage" drivers in front of me driving insanely, veering, braking, etc, etc. I make sure they see me in their rear view mirror, I pick up the cell phone, pretend to hit three numbers, and start talking while looking at their license plate. I mime their license and voila -- they suddenly start driving sanely again.

2. Tenkan. Ask why she didn't leave a note. Explain that had the note been left, the whole situation would have turned out completely differently. People can be "understanding" when they're informed of a situation. It was late and with no information as to what was going on, they were left with no options.

3. Blending. Tell her that she is a good neighbor and if they would have known of the very special circumstances, other arrangements could have been made, even that late at night. They wouldn't have had the car towed had they known it was her son's.

Final note. Think about this. Because the married couple capitulated and apologized, some neighbors might have sued them to pay for the towing fees.

The only thing this article did was to teach people how to roll over, be submissive, and play good little doggie when someone takes their bone. A perfectly horrible example of "aikido" outside the mat.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
That is probably one of the worst examples I've read. And it conveys the notion of what, I think, is going wrong in this country.

1. First, the neighbor used property that wasn't hers but believed that she had a right to use it.

2. She justified #1 by it happening only rarely. It's okay that she can use other people's property without their consent or notice as long as it's only rarely.

3. She blamed her wrong actions on the neighbors, who were the victims.

4. Emotionalism is okay and we have to "empathize" with people, even when what they've done is completely wrong. We have to be "understanding".

5. As long as her intentions were good, her neighbors should have bent over backwards to let her do what she wanted.

6. It's okay to not tell the other person what you're doing with their property. They should be okay with whatever you want to do.

Now, as to the actions by the married couple. How about these instead.

1. Irimi. The husband should have walked in with the phone and told her if she didn't quiet down and behave respectfully, he was dialing 9-1-1. That she can talk about what happened, but in an adult manner.

As an aside, it is *amazing* how people (normal, not criminals or domestic disputes) calm down when they realize that law enforcement is going to get involved. I've had quite a few "road rage" drivers in front of me driving insanely, veering, braking, etc, etc. I make sure they see me in their rear view mirror, I pick up the cell phone, pretend to hit three numbers, and start talking while looking at their license plate. I mime their license and voila -- they suddenly start driving sanely again.

2. Tenkan. Ask why she didn't leave a note. Explain that had the note been left, the whole situation would have turned out completely differently. People can be "understanding" when they're informed of a situation. It was late and with no information as to what was going on, they were left with no options.

3. Blending. Tell her that she is a good neighbor and if they would have known of the very special circumstances, other arrangements could have been made, even that late at night. They wouldn't have had the car towed had they known it was her son's.

Final note. Think about this. Because the married couple capitulated and apologized, some neighbors might have sued them to pay for the towing fees.

The only thing this article did was to teach people how to roll over, be submissive, and play good little doggie when someone takes their bone. A perfectly horrible example of "aikido" outside the mat.
*LOL*

Mark! I thought I was the only one who thought like that!
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

I disagree Mark...I think you've missed a big part of deeper issue.

Having been in the situation in which I am the only authority...there is no one left to call or appeal to for outside help. "Nuking them", only seems to cause problems later on.

Failing to understand their point of view regardless of how stupid and irrational it may be can cause you problems later on.

It requires a great deal of personal restraint and supression of your own emotions to do this.

In all cases where I have followed this type of problem solving...I have walked away with a deeper understanding of the real underlying issues and have been in a better situation to have a permanent solution.

As the last result...if in the end, I still believe the person is a complete bonehead and it does not go the right way....I sleep alot better at night knowing that my decision to "write them off" was the right one.

That said, there is a time and place for everything and sometimes it is not warranted to continue to expose yourself to "violence" and a call for swift decisive action is needed.

I think in this example though, a neighbor and seeking to understand...goes a long way at allowing for everyone to go home and still be friends.

I wish more folks acted this way than less.

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Old 11-04-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

I'm with Kevin on this. My two cents, FWIW:
In my experience, threatening to call 911 is an immediate escalator. If I think 911 NEEDS to be called be, I'll do so without warning the person ahead of time.
Once a person is hopping mad, it is too late to have an ethical stance on whether or not "emotionalism is ok." It is what is happening - it is the Mr. Reality that has to be dealt with. Listening does NOT mean agreeing in this situation. It is however often the single most effective tactic.
Once somebody is really mad, asking them why they did or did not do a particular thing (in this example, leaving a note) is akin to asking a 4 year old to explain his motives - I have never gotten a coherent answer that clarified the situation from asking that question and often it simply leads the tirade into a new direction.
I did not read anything to indicate that the couple was bending over backwards. Nor was there anything to construe they had given up the legal right to have had the car towed.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

The steps taken by the husband to diffuse an emotional situation can be found in a lot of customer relation courses as well as in 'Verbal Judo' courses geared towards law enforcement personnel - core principle here is to not throw fuel on a fire. The neighbor was obviously expecting a fight and the husband dissipated that - as Francis mentioned, this is good mental aiki.

However, Mark has some very good points as well. After the emotions died down, I think the husband needed to present their reasons for their actions so the neighbor had a chance to understand the reality of the situation; which is her son illegally parked his car in some else's driveway depriving the owners the use of their own property.

I was involved in a similar event a year or so ago when I came home and found a car illegally parked half in my side yard and half on the street - it looked like someone just drove up into my yard halfway at an angle and just abandoned the car. I did not recognize the car, and based on its position between my two neighbors across the street, it did not look like they were visiting any of them since there was room in their driveways for visitors as well on the street closer to their own homes. It just did not look right, and a few months ago, a neighbor a mile or so from us was gunned down and robbed at his front door by four guys just driving around in our suburban area looking for a crime of opportunity. So, I wrote down the license number of the car and called the police just to be safe. After I called, one of my neighbors apparently saw me writing down the plate number and came over to explain that the car belong to a friend of his wife and that they went out shopping. I asked him why they parked well into my yard when there was plenty of room in his driveway and in front of his house - he did not have an answer. I told him I called the police, but I will call them back and explain what happened and to drop the incident ( they came around away) he asked me why I called the police, so I explained it looked odd and based on the killing a few months ago, it was the smart thing to do. To this day, he just can not bring himself to see it from my point of view and just does not understand why I called - this guy it a victim waiting to happen.

Anyway, I think it is important that people understand that there can be unpleasant consequences to their actions and that they need to try to see things from some else's perspective to try to understand the other person's actions.

Greg Steckel
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:41 PM   #11
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Good points Greg. very good points.

Janet also brings up good points. I am not a big believer in brandishing threat. Either you use it or you don't.

The old adage of you don't draw your gun unless your gonna fire it is a good one I think.

Same with cell phone, I think you don't telegraph what you are gonna do...you do it.

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Wow, cool exchange!

Great job guys and gals!

Aiki Principles represent the ideal, just as the principles of democracy, religious ethic and the Golden Rule do. Only practice makes perfect and we are talking a hellava lotta practice here.

Doing the right thing will always be the challenge, not to necessarily accomplish it each time, but to give it our best effort each and every time.

Metsuke - correct assessment of the situation, and for options

Ma-ai - establishing and maintaining proper distancing.
Kuzushi - deflecting or deflating the force of the attack, creating an opening for timely
Irimi - entering into controlling position to execute
Kake- appropriate technique(s), striving for an equitable, and peaceful resolution, resulting in a win win resolution.

Making a new friend is so bad, you know.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:02 PM   #13
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I disagree Mark...I think you've missed a big part of deeper issue.

Having been in the situation in which I am the only authority...there is no one left to call or appeal to for outside help. "Nuking them", only seems to cause problems later on.

Failing to understand their point of view regardless of how stupid and irrational it may be can cause you problems later on.

It requires a great deal of personal restraint and supression of your own emotions to do this.
... I think in this example though, a neighbor and seeking to understand...goes a long way at allowing for everyone to go home and still be friends.

I wish more folks acted this way than less.
One can make a moral case on every point Kevin just said, as well as the tactical case for caution, which he has plainly stated, but the larger strategic martial case needs to be laid out as well.

If some one attacks you, physically, verbally politically -- in any way whatever, really -- it is most preeminently important to understand WHY that attack has occurred and whether you are a target or a collateral impact -- because it should radically change the strategic dynamic that necessarily follows, whatever the hurt. And if you have no clear strategy -- that IS a strategy -- just not a terribly good one...

Only in the "Why" will you discover who is an actual enemy, who is a actual friend, who your natural allies are and who your enemies' natural allies are -- and who is neutral, and more importantly (as the wag once said) -- who are they neutral FOR....

Remember, if you survived an initial attack -- it may be the rest of the tribe that comes calling after one asserts too quick or too forcefully or unwisely one's inalienable "rights."

A mother's estranged sons,
sometimes come with guns.

Ooh look -- a pithy rhyme

Last edited by Erick Mead : 11-04-2009 at 04:05 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
That is probably one of the worst examples I've read. And it conveys the notion of what, I think, is going wrong in this country.
I agree. It sounds like a contrived example - to merely provide a scenario in which the principles of active listening can be presented.

If it weren't a contrived example, all this active listening rubbish could have been avoided in the first place. A simple apology (on both sides) would have sufficed.

Ignatius
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:44 PM   #15
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Your possibly and probably right Ignatius, but at least it gives a vignette for discussion.

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Old 11-04-2009, 05:57 PM   #16
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
One can make a moral case on every point Kevin just said, as well as the tactical case for caution, which he has plainly stated, but the larger strategic martial case needs to be laid out as well.

If some one attacks you, physically, verbally politically -- in any way whatever, really -- it is most preeminently important to understand WHY that attack has occurred and whether you are a target or a collateral impact -- because it should radically change the strategic dynamic that necessarily follows, whatever the hurt. And if you have no clear strategy -- that IS a strategy -- just not a terribly good one...

Only in the "Why" will you discover who is an actual enemy, who is a actual friend, who your natural allies are and who your enemies' natural allies are -- and who is neutral, and more importantly (as the wag once said) -- who are they neutral FOR....

Remember, if you survived an initial attack -- it may be the rest of the tribe that comes calling after one asserts too quick or too forcefully or unwisely one's inalienable "rights."

A mother's estranged sons,
sometimes come with guns.

Ooh look -- a pithy rhyme
Erick,

Not so sure I really am going to take time to consider WHY in a physical attack, but again, I suppose it is all relative to the situation.

I think discussing it in terms of OODA is warranted here to provide a framework and I suppose how much time you spend or can afford to spend in the OO process of a physical attack is probably very (or shoudl be) minimal.

However, I suppose that in the DA process you need to consider how much force you need to use or is appropriate maybe..and may be situationally dependent.

One concern I have concerning the practice of aikido is that we are OOers for the most part. We tend to like to work in the OO side of the house as long as possible as it is part of our philosophical make up to understand as much as possible about the situation before deciding how to act.

Ironically though, our Waza is really based around spontaneous and correct action given an attack and in a way, it should become second nature to respond appropriately given a situation.

However, I think that again, that we need to be careful when we approach conflict...especially a physical one in which the attack may occur, we may not have time to Orient much on what is going on, and may have to actually take Action on very limited information.

I personally hope that through my practice that I have developed as much skill as possible that my "instincts" will guide me and take over until I can gain an orientation to what is going on and then re-enter the loop with more information...making a better choice.

The key here I think is that the process is not necessarily linear or sequential..and this is the real rub I have with Martial Art practices...we practice in a linear fashion WRT OODA.

We line up, bow, have a huge amount of information provided, then we practice accordingly within a fairly predictable pattern of practice!

Carrying this forward to the street this linear O-O-D-A habit can cause us a great deal of problems.

Anyway, don't mean to get too far in left field on this, but I agree, WHY is important for sure...we just need to make sure that we understand that WHY may not arrive in a sequential or linear fashion as the situation unfolds!

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Old 11-04-2009, 06:16 PM   #17
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Staying centered, all options in your repertoire are available to you. Then you are not a slave to your own impulses, emotions, train of thought, predetermined beliefs, or anything else. From there, you can respond with fury or calmness, logical discussion or emotional rant, truth or lies, vacuous threats or a punch in the nose, or anything else that you suspect will resolve the situation to your satisfaction.

Or so the theory goes

What the fellow did worked in this situation: He got his parking space back when he needed it and he seems to have kept the peace with the neighbor and presumably with his wife. From my view, it was a significant achievement that the neighbor's <i>intent</i> to fight was resolved in the encounter. It was not just assertion of dominance, leaving something to fester; rather, it was neutralized. Good stuff

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Old 11-04-2009, 07:15 PM   #18
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Aikido in Daily Life 101 I think.

Still won't have been a problem if there were more parking spaces in the world. Cities exists to give us parking tickets.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:33 PM   #19
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I agree. It sounds like a contrived example - to merely provide a scenario in which the principles of active listening can be presented.

If it weren't a contrived example, all this active listening rubbish could have been avoided in the first place. A simple apology (on both sides) would have sufficed.
Contrived example = kata?

Some say kata is a poor way to develop aiki which requires appropriate response to a real attack. Contrived examples do serve as poor examples to demonstate a sincere response above and beyond a mere contrived reply to a contrived attack.

Too late to find a parking space but plenty of time to get a tow? In my neighborhood no tow unless the vehicle is ticketed which means cops + tow. How long does that take compared to finding another parking spot?

Where is Paul Harvey for the 'rest of the story'? How about the back story? The son who rarely visits and parks in someone elses driveway? Moms extreme reaction (my mom would have said 'dumbass, park like a normal person') clearly indicates way more going on here. Better to have him towed and never come back I think. One should not read too much into such a contrived story with so little other info (the type of neighborhood makes a big difference, for example).

Let's go with the story as presented ... dealing with a random irate person calls for a completely different approach than dealing with a neighbor. As a general example this serves a very limited case so is not really that helpful in permitting exposition on appropriate techniques (as an expression of principles). Working from how to deal with the random irate person and modulating those principles to dealing with a neighbor can be easily done but going the other way, not so much.

Last time I had someone blocking my driveway towed (took about 1 hour to get the car ticketed and towed) they were pretty upset but I straight away I asked what they would do when I blocked their driveway ... they deflated and went away (in Berkeley near the University there is no parking for many blocks at certain times-decent area with occasional crazy or transient crackhead). Everyone from anywhere near that area knows parking is a huge problem and knows better tha nto block someones driveway (who doesn't know this?) Besides, I always use the peep or look out the window to see who is there and can read them pretty good. Someone too wound up won't get the door opened that is for sure.

Not to mention an irate person at ones door is not what I would call a difficult conversation.

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

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:02 PM   #20
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Sorry,

Making a new friend is NOT so bad.

Great conversations!!!
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:50 PM   #21
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Erick,

Not so sure I really am going to take time to consider WHY in a physical attack, but again, I suppose it is all relative to the situation.

I think discussing it in terms of OODA is warranted here to provide a framework and I suppose how much time you spend or can afford to spend in the OO process of a physical attack is probably very (or shoudl be) minimal.
I think we are talking slightly past one another, but I thought my comment was that "Why" is a strategic assessment -- i.e. -- only after one is past an initial attack. Your comment seemed more tactical assessment based on likely immediate action in which "how" is more dominant than "why."

I.e. -- The order of tactical-strategic transition = 1) survive; 2) recover; 3) assess. "Why" is in assessment. Tactically or strategically I think a similar process is going on with different scales of orientation and observation. The difference between them being -- in my way of thinking -- tactical assessment deals with key factors presently or likely deployed for immediate or near engagement -- whereas strategic assessment deals with factors that are likely to change the balance of engagement that are not immediately deployed or liminally engaged.

In Col. Boyd's terms -- Stage one is in the "implicit guidance and control" side loops that we have discussed before -- dominated by Orientation (i.e -- a strong drilled training component) and Action and only secondarily by Observation (sensitivity/reactivity) --and eliminating most conscious Decision processes -- at that moment.

"Recover" is an intensive bout of Observation-Orientation OO looping without committing to any decision or action.

"Assess" is a tentative stage of Orient Decide OD "testing" where decisional strategy and eventual action begins to take shape and are weighed for likely outcomes and preferences, without foreclosing anything.

For reasons that I outline below, I think this stage of OD Orient-Decide looping should relate to the OO loop in the same basic way that the more immediate OA survival loopong should relate to the OO loops
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
One concern I have concerning the practice of aikido is that we are OOers for the most part. We tend to like to work in the OO side of the house as long as possible as it is part of our philosophical make up to understand as much as possible about the situation before deciding how to act. Ironically though, our Waza is really based around spontaneous and correct action given an attack and in a way, it should become second nature to respond appropriately given a situation.
We are loopy, aren't we ...

I think that the goal of training should always be to drive action -- but without much decisional planning -- responsive and naturally from correct structural and sensory orientation -- i.e.-- the implicit guidance/control loops in Boyd's original diagram.

In my experience, this "mix" seems to allow more seamless adjustments to the inherent contingencies -- more timely (but much tighter) OO awareness correctives that avoid the dangers of OA loop -- the "automatic" or "training default" action or the linearity ( and delay) of strict OODA progession. So the OO orientation of training is not wrong, exactly -- but....

The flip side, which I think you correctly identify, is that one can fall in to "default training mode" and the endless OO loops without letting Boyd's implicit guidance/control side loops where structure and sense take over to drive OA reflexive action.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
The key here I think is that the process is not necessarily linear or sequential..and this is the real rub I have with Martial Art practices...we practice in a linear fashion WRT OODA.

Carrying this forward to the street this linear O-O-D-A habit can cause us a great deal of problems.
I agree. Aikido is intended in its takemusu aiki goal to elicit non-linear response. If I were to roughly describe this in Boyd's terminology I would say that the "implicit guidance and control" sequence would alternate btween OO Observe-Orient and OA Orient- Act so O-O-A triplet loops would mix with OO and OA binary loops. D drops out almost completely in the action cycle, but without becoming some automaton. That frees in some respects the mind to have OOD loops going on almost "above the fray" so to speak, and ceasing attempts to "will" certain or defined "ruleset" actions or results -- and so not falling into the linear trap you have correctly illustrated in OODA done "straight." The OOD loop then becomes more a matter of re-orienting the perceptive imaging mind to possibilities it opens itself to, instead of closing off free possibilities in favor of costly certainties it tries to force (usually with disproportionate effort and mostly failure).

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:12 PM   #22
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Yes, I think we are talking past each other...I see your point concerning tactical vice strategic.

I think that good, repetitive training reduces the D (Decide), or as you say it drops out. Kata that follows proper form is a big part of this process of reducing responses to "instinct".

Of course, there is alot more to this than Kata. Which is why OODA is such a good model I think for discussing (Even though it will give you a head ache!).

So, I think that one form of practice (kata or controlled waza) allows us to practice in a very contrived way in order to develop appropriate responses. As discussed already in order to force good responses and habits we tend to practice linear through OODA. At one level this reduces the D from the conscious to the spontaneous/habit level.

On another level, we need to also practice upsetting this linear practice, by forcing our opponents into situation where they cannot process OO very well and are being bombarded or overwhelmed so they can learn to figure out how to turn the tables in the heat of the fight.

Randori Waza is supposed to do this, however, I think it is typically not developed properly or skillfully very well in most dojo experiences.

Randori in the sense of Boyd's process is not "Free", but is practiced with alot of constraints, controls to force, challenge, and stress the "testee" into a ODA loop..seeing how they can deal with the stimulus presented.

Done correctly, the "testee" should be able to come out of the situation understanding the gaps in their training so they can then concentrate on what those things are, fix them, and then progress, returning to the situational training again with a better handle on this set of skills.

Interesting conversation! I appreciate it.

However, I think we went way off.

My only point was that this article was good example of a skillful way to handle conflict.

I just wanted to caveat that it is linear essentially WRT OODA. that you have time and can afford to take more risk in verbal conflict, which allows you a greater window to process information and spend more time on the OO side, which, of course, allows you to make better and more skillful decisions.

However, when physical violence is presented, your OO window and margin for error is much greater, and you can't afford to have all information available and therefore you have to drop off on the OO side and enter DA...or as you put it Erick...O-A, with the D being a "little D" if possible when you reduce training to habits.

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Old 11-04-2009, 11:11 PM   #23
eyrie
 
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Last time I had someone blocking my driveway towed (took about 1 hour to get the car ticketed and towed) they were pretty upset but I straight away I asked what they would do when I blocked their driveway ... they deflated and went away
Ah, a judicious play of the Golden Rule trump card.

Quote:
Not to mention an irate person at ones door is not what I would call a difficult conversation.
So, the people on the average customer service helpdesk must be 10th dan black belts to deal with the constant abuse from irate customers? And a "difficult" conversation is one where you try to weasel your way out of "donating" to some "good cause" from the unexpected door knock appeal?

Ignatius
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:10 AM   #24
MikeLogan
 
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

excellent thread. Even if the original sitch may have been semi artificial, it still offers something to ponder. A person attacked does not have to consider their opponent. It's my impression that an aikidoka prefers to consider the opponent as though they were not opponents. The linked article shows how the writer joined the side of the opponent, and so there was no longer an opponent. harmony, right?

It is good to see your passion, Mark. I'm having a tough time with an elderly neighbor who is angry about the fallen branches I put in a pile on the property line. All of them fall from his sycamore, but I've volunteered to remove them. It is sad in a way, because he has put a lot into the region over the course of his life, and a lot of things have changed in the last 50-60 years since his prime. We were the good neighbors, but it seems even we are falling from the grace of his perspective. I'll still shovel his driveway in the winter, though. Good neighbors sometimes make concessions for the temporary insanity of their own good neighbors.

If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.

- Thomas Hardy
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:09 AM   #25
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Quote:
Mike Logan wrote: View Post
Good neighbors sometimes make concessions for the temporary insanity of their own good neighbors.
...and for `yer family too.. ^ ^
I struggle with this. Concession...Accommodation...Manipulation. It's a feedback loop teaching Positive Reinforcement..a slippery slope here methink. People aren't stupid.. In general they know what's going on. And they learn what works. I read somewhere that we teach others how we want to be treated..
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