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Old 11-03-2010, 11:43 AM   #76
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Michael McNamara wrote: View Post
Your counter is very weak. Yes...If I truly embrace the teachings of Aikido, I would try to subdue a madman with a gun without inflicting overkill. I've seen Aikido techniques that disable an armed gunman that turn the tables on him without extreme measures.

I am paraphrasing Alan Watts, but this whole universe depends on each and every individual. It depends on every gnat, and every vibration of every gnat's wings. If one can cherish even the smallest of creatures, then isn't it also important to respect human life to one's own capability?
Michael,
I think this fundamentally a flawed and unrealistic interpretation of O-Sensei's message and intention.

Yes, Aikido techniques can be used to prevail without serious injury over an attacker if ones skills exceed, by a fair amount I think, the skills of that attacker.

But it is a myth without foundation that this is what happens i Aikido, as a martial art. A martial art, as opposed to some system of self defense, is about an encounter with an opponent who is trained. At least that was always the assumption when the term "martial arts" was coined.

O-Sensei made a couple of statements on this subject. One was that, if you wrote the character for life and the character for death on two sides of a sheet of paper, that was how much separated the outcome in a real martial encounter. In other words, one or the other combatants is dead.

The other statement is along the same lines... He said that the reason that there is no competition in Aikido is because there is no way to do it safely. If there is real contention, there will be injury. He was opposed to sportification, meaning the introduction of rules to allow competition, because he felt that Aikido was a practice that was about being in accord with the natural forces and environment around one, in which there is no real separation between you and anything else, including the attacker. Artificial "rules" have nothing to do with that.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:51 AM   #77
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
He said that the reason that there is no competition in Aikido is because there is no way to do it safely.
Did he?

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Old 11-03-2010, 12:13 PM   #78
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Did he?
We're paraphrasing here and I'm going by what I remember of my research, but, yes, George is correct. Most people just remember Ueshiba saying that there is no competition because there should be no opponent or that competition was not a good spiritual goal.

Off topic a bit, but there are different definitions for "competition". Ueshiba mostly talked about sport-type competition. But he wasn't referring to the type of "competition" that occurs between students trying to be better than each other, or the competition of being tested (for example, push tests).
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:24 PM   #79
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

It seems I should rephrase my question:

Did Ueshiba said "there is no competition in Aikido because there is no way to do it safely"

If so, could you provide the citation (via PM if you feel we shouldn't hijack this thread with pointless historical issues)?. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 11-03-2010 at 12:34 PM. Reason: clarification

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Old 11-03-2010, 12:27 PM   #80
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

I said this before, but I think we are giving ourselves a LOT of credit for actually being able to defend ourselves from attack, let alone protect our attackers.

Unless by using subdue in "subdue a madman with a gun without inflicting overkill" you mean tense up, maybe pee yourself, and give the man your wallet and hope he doesn't get nervous and squeeze the trigger. If that's the case, I think many of us are all about subduing madmen...
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:05 AM   #81
Randall Lim
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Hi. I find when I look spiritually that want and need are both of the ego and thus selfish whereas desire is of the spirit as is require. For me Aikido is a spiritual discipline and true spirit cannot harm so the discipline is to see through the ego of the opponent to their true spirit and true nature and via the vehicle of Aikido take them on a journey and show them a better way. G.
Spot on! Bingo!!
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:15 AM   #82
Randall Lim
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Ai symbol Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Sure there is. First four letters, right there... See?

Actually O-Sensei never used the word "harmony". He used a lot of really esoteric Japanese words and often used them in curious ways. "Harmony" *is* one common way to translate "ai" but it is incomplete and the word "harmony" carries a lot of connotations that he might or might not have agreed with in his usage of the term.

Sounds nicely philosophical, however.

Alas, Japanese is not my forte. So I'll bow out now.
in Japanese or Chinese means "to blend", "to combine", "to mix". in Japanese has the same pronunciation as "Love" in Japanese.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #83
Chris Evans
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

use "violence" only to stop the violence, the felony-in-progress.
if in stopping that mind initiating the 'evil" violence also happens to die then at least we will know that felon, who had already proven willingness to harm an innocent, can no longer threaten another precious spirit. Dead proven bad people can longer do bad and that would be a very nice unintended consequence.

Now, what that particular Krav man was saying sounds like plain murder, a felony.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 11-04-2010 at 12:35 PM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #84
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
It seems I should rephrase my question:

Did Ueshiba said "there is no competition in Aikido because there is no way to do it safely"

If so, could you provide the citation (via PM if you feel we shouldn't hijack this thread with pointless historical issues)?. Thanks in advance.
It's somewhere in Kissomaru Ueshiba's biography of his father... I looked briefly but couldn't locate it quickly. It was after a gentleman had challenged the Founder to a match. The fellow as a swordsman and attacked O-Sensei, not with the 90% intention that would have been the polite way to test the Founder's skill, but with full intention, a killing blow. O-Sensei entered and the guy smashed into O-Sensei so hard that he bounced off, smashed into the wall (dojos were very small), and was very seriously injured. It ended his martial arts career. So the Founder stopped accepting challenges because he felt bad about the possibility of injuring someone.

That didn't mean that he didn't allow people to try to throw him or some such, but a real challenge match, not after that episode. That was in the late 1920's if I remember correctly.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:45 PM   #85
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

George, do you remember the first post Peter Goldsbury made in aikiweb?

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Old 11-04-2010, 05:54 PM   #86
graham christian
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Smile Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Spot on! Bingo!!
Thank you Randall. In my Aikido I have a Golden rule which states: There is no against in Aikido.

This is hard for the ego to understand and yet so easy for spirit. Sometimes I conclude that there are indeed 2 forms of Aikido. One is called AIKIDO and one is called AIKEGO.

However back to the subject at hand and my statement that there is no harm in true aikido. Ego can only think in terms of competition, outsmarting, overpowering, harming.......etc.etc.etc. and cannot see or understand the power of love or active non-resistance or even humility and thus has to translate these things as weak or say the person who said it meant something else.

If you intend to harm another in a violent situation then chances are you have just made it more likely that you will be harmed and if both parties intend to harm each other then it is almost a certainty so it is a matter of taking responsibility for your true nature and and ending the situation without any intention to harm.

Now people may call this a philosophy but I call it a responsibility.

George gave an incident of O'Sensei earlier where he is said to have defeated a challenger who was trying to kill him. Well one of the responsibilities of true Aikido is that the intention to harmonize and act with the principles which extant in love and non-resistance ie: center, immovable mind, koshi etc, are so powerful that the attacker with harmful intent IS liable to damage theirself severely.

On realizing this I say O'Sensei decided as he did to do with competition for the sake of others.

Selflessness has true universal power whilst domination, force and harmful intention is the way of selfishness and ego.

Peace.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:51 PM   #87
Anthony Loeppert
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
George gave an incident of O'Sensei earlier where he is said to have defeated a challenger who was trying to kill him. Well one of the responsibilities of true Aikido is that the intention to harmonize and act with the principles which extant in love and non-resistance ie: center, immovable mind, koshi etc, are so powerful that the attacker with harmful intent IS liable to damage theirself severely.

On realizing this I say O'Sensei decided as he did to do with competition for the sake of others.
Lets say all of this is true... without debate (I don't know the history). Nevertheless, in agreeing to the 'facts' there is still a contradiction in your interpretation - IMO

Again, assuming factual correctness of the above quote, WTF does abstention from 'competition' (in the sense of any contest less than life/death) have to do with not f-ing up some one trying to destroy you?

You do not see in the story, the founder of aikido DID f-up someone trying to KILL him. This was in the context of being formally challenged (and accepting - if I understand the story correctly) not being ambushed in the street, jungle, space station, etc. So, he made a logical decision to not accept challenges, rather than to continue to do so. However, I don't make the logical jump from this, to 'never hurt anyone trying to hurt you otherwise you fail' nor do I see even a remotely persuasive reason to do so.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:42 PM   #88
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Yes, I remember. When the thread came up, I was thinking of real competition rather than sport competition. However, my point stands. In order to have competition safely you have to have rules. Tomiki Aikido competition is in no way shape or form a "no holds barred" type of fight. It is quite formalized in order that it be done safely. It is my understanding from Saotome Sensei that this is what O-Sensei did not like about the idea of competition, the need to give it form in order to keep it safe. He didn't oppose competition because it wasn't "spiritual". At least that's not the way it was presented to me. I don't even know if this is written down anywhere. It was told to us by Saotome Sensei, but it may be recounted in one of his books somewhere.

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:28 AM   #89
Janet Rosen
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

For me there are three different moral imperatives:
1. I have an obligation to not harm my training partners.
2. I have a responsibility to do my best not to hurt a client/patient/impaired person who may need to be restrained to prevent them from harming me, themself, or a third party.
3. I have a moral right to do whatever is needed to protect myself from someone who is trying to harm or kill me or my family.

From what I have read/understood of OSensei's teachings - and I do not read Japanese or have any formal study - he conceives of an attack as a disturbance in the harmony of the universe, and "aiki" as restoring the harmony. I don't see anything there about the initiator of the disturbance walking away whistling dixie...

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Old 11-05-2010, 01:30 AM   #90
Michael Hackett
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

But, Janet I CAN see you tilting up the brim of your sun hat, dusting off your hands and humming "Another One Bites The Dust".

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:30 PM   #91
Janet Rosen
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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But, Janet I CAN see you tilting up the brim of your sun hat, dusting off your hands and humming "Another One Bites The Dust".
"I'm just an old lady. I wouldn't hurt a fly."

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Old 11-05-2010, 05:12 PM   #92
Michael Hackett
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

Ah, but you're a nurse and they really know how to hurt. Wasn't Lady McBeth an old lady too?

Michael
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:43 PM   #93
Janet Rosen
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

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Ah, but you're a nurse and they really know how to hurt. Wasn't Lady McBeth an old lady too?
Lady McBeth - along with Mme. Defarge: one of my favorite women in fiction (but NOT role models... I really am quite inoffensive)

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Old 11-05-2010, 07:29 PM   #94
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Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

I could never quite understand the disavowal of competition in martial arts because it is "modified for safety" and therefore not a real martial art, but deemed instead as a sport. What martial art (regardless of the inclusion of competition) isn't modified for safety? Whether you are competing or not, aren't there are always rules?
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