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Old 11-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #51
drcarey
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think we already established in the thread on "is twice a week enough?" that this isn't true...
Sorry, I have not read that thread.
Perhaps my meaning here needs clarification...
"That good" in my context did not mean an 'undefeatable badass'...
It meant more someone so in control of himself and his actions that he/she would not allow the attacker ever to be injured under any circumstances.
Someone so respectful of life and maintaining harmony that through his/her enlightened way of doing things injury would be unthinkable.
That sort of being "Good"...
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:48 PM   #52
Janet Rosen
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
David Carey wrote: View Post
Someone so respectful of life and maintaining harmony that through his/her enlightened way of doing things injury would be unthinkable.
That sort of being "Good"...
How can any person who is willing to engage physically with an attacker possibly guarantee such an outcome?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:15 PM   #53
Michael Hackett
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Re: Are We that Good?

Your seemingly random thoughts are far more cogent than most of us. Well said.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:50 PM   #54
drcarey
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
How can any person who is willing to engage physically with an attacker possibly guarantee such an outcome?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee...
My earlier statements were to clarify that that level of enlightened ability was a goal to be sought in Aikido.
Not that it would ever be achieved, much less guaranteed...
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:05 PM   #55
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Re: Are We that Good?

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
How can any person who is willing to engage physically with an attacker possibly guarantee such an outcome?
Another side note...
An attacked person, in my opinion, is not 'willing to engage physically'.
There is no choice or willingness... I am fairly sure most people would choose to not be attacked...
The discussion or my point in it is: the intent you have and the manner in which you are able to respond to (attack), your morality...
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:02 AM   #56
dps
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So, in that sense, anything that involved technique with "aiki" would be Aikido by his standard.
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
For 26 years I was in the muscle and torque group. We were trained to do this as a martial art and made the fundamental mistake that we had to be really physical and "strong" for the practice to be real. After the first Aiki Expo exposed me to some teaching methodology that made more sense, I realized that I could have kept training the way I had been and would NEVER have developed an understanding of what my teacher, Saotome Sensei, was doing. I devote all my efforts these days to showing folks how to train in a way that will actually result in some skill in Aikido that actually is based on "aiki" principles and not just efficient application of power against weak lines on the body.
So for those 26 years you weren't practicing Aikido.

dps
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:05 AM   #57
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Are We that Good?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
So for those 26 years you weren't practicing Aikido.

dps
I was trying... but if Aikido is not Aikido without "aiki" I wasn't. Not really... It certainly had almost nothing to do with what I am doing now.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:30 AM   #58
dps
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Re: Are We that Good?

Thank you for your answer George and I want to make it clear to everyone that I intended no disrespect toward you in asking the question.

What has baffled me since I have found Aikiweb is the apparently large number of people practicing Aikido that were not taught or did not learn some basics things that I did when I first started Aikido like aiki, atemi, and what is now called inner strength. Not to put myself out there as an expert on anything because I'm not but it certainly makes me appreciate the training I had under Sensei Cycyk 25 years ago.

dps

Last edited by dps : 11-06-2010 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:34 AM   #59
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Thank you for your answer George and I want to make it clear to everyone that I intended no disrespect toward you in asking the question.

What has baffled me since I have found Aikiweb is the apparently large number of people practicing Aikido that were not taught or did not learn some basics things that I did when I first started Aikido like aiki, atemi, and what is now called inner strength. Not to put myself out there as an expert on anything because I'm not but it certainly makes me appreciate the training I had under Sensei Cycyk 25 years ago.

dps
Hi David,
no disrespect here either, but what baffles me in turn is how many people, when IS/aiki is mentioned, tell me this story or a similar one: oh, we have been doing that all along, how strange that it has been absent from your training. My teacher is great at it.

I have been told that even by a ninjutsu guy from somewhere in the woods in Germany, when I mentioned a seminar with Mike Sigman on a closed German forum.

So I guess I just have to shrug. Sure, you have been doing it all along. We others just missed it.

So to come back on topic: In terms of "are we that good", I guess it just means they are that good, and have been all along - or is that not why you mention it?
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:30 AM   #60
dps
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Re: Are We that Good?

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi David,
no disrespect here either, but what baffles me in turn is how many people, when IS/aiki is mentioned, tell me this story or a similar one: oh, we have been doing that all along, how strange that it has been absent from your training.
Why is it difficult to believe?

dps
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:46 AM   #61
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Are We that Good?

Shrug...

Let's not turn this into an IS debate. I have my experiences that make it difficult to be believe, you have yours that make it easier, apparently.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:13 AM   #62
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Are We that Good?

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Shrug...

Let's not turn this into an IS debate. I have my experiences that make it difficult to be believe, you have yours that make it easier, apparently.
Hi David, I realise this may have seemed arrogant, so just to clarify: I have my answers to your questions, but they would derail an otherwise interesting thread that I would like to continue.

Everybody else, sorry for potentially derailing an otherwise interesting thread...

In terms of the OT:

For myself, I try to reason the argument "what kind of conflict can I resolve with aikido" not from the side of the "most violent encounter possible TM" (or the famous circus ponies of death ) , but from the other side. The assumption being that, as human beings, we are necessarily in a web of many relationships, and every relationship entails conflict. I see aikido as a practice (a powerful "psychophysical" practice for lack of a better term) that deals with this conundrum, but I start practicing with the real encounters on the mat and in my life. Difficult enough. Maybe one day I will be good enough to defuse even more violent encounters without doing harm, and that is certainly an important direction of present training, but the motivation of my training these days is to be free and at ease in present encounters - on the mat and elsewhere. And this by no means entails that those encounters don't entail real pressure, depending on training partners and training scenarios.

So a possible reality check for my training at the moment is whether I can, physicall and mentally, relax and accept completely when a very heavy and uncooperative uke with a known passive aggressive tendency (I am making this person up but they sure exist) grabs me in morote-dori to see what I can do. Without disliking him in the process for what he is. I find this more and more difficult the closer I look at both my body and mind.

Whatever happens in the "street" is not disconnected from that, but much further up the ladder, and actually much less "real" where I live.

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 11-06-2010 at 07:21 AM. Reason: added last paragraph
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:33 AM   #63
rob_liberti
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Re: Are We that Good?

Hi Nicholas,

To me, I think there are levels of training with aiki, just like there are levels of cleanliness, and levels of physical strength.

I have friends who tell me they are very clean. And to them, they are very clean. My mom, would consider their house a pigsty because it is not showroom clean. As an older Irish women explained to me once, <brogue> "they think they are the 'lace curtain Irish,' but they are the 'shanty Irish' and don't know it!!!" </brogue>

When I was playing highschool football I simply did not have the life experience to begin to comprehend just how different it would be to play with someone who played college football. The amount of physical power differential was almost outside of my capacity to imagine at the time - and certainly outside of my willingness to imagine due to pride and youthful arrogance.

In life, I find that people are generally willing to accept that there are physically stronger people and physically weaker people - but the amount of HOW MUCH stronger is generally only going to be well understood if you are on the high side of that spectrum (like one of the people who played linebacker for professional football). If professional football didn't exist, many people who were good for college football would probably be tricked into thinking they were as powerful as it _could_ get.

I see this "spectrum-perception" issue with aikido folks (and people in general) ALL the time, but it is to be expected. How can you imagine something so far outside of your experience? When your experience has defined greatness to be what other people wouldn't consider very good or very skilled at all, you will end up talking past each other every time.

Interestingly, people tend to be VERY unwilling to accept that there are vast differentials in intelligence, mental capacity, and aptitude. One kid can read, write, do basic math in first grade, and another kid can't do that level at 3rd grade, and another kid is graduating college at 12. People tend to not want to believe that there is such disparity. And when you talk about very smart kids like the first grader mentioned above to the parent's of the 12 year who just finished college, anything they say back to you will sound arrogant and boastful (and may be, but maybe not intended).
When people talk about how all of the kids should be treated as if they have the same mental abilities, that's generally a result of emotional investment combined with never having met any super smart children.

I find people's thoughts about aiki and IS to be treated much the same way - and for much the same reasons. If I say - no your kid isn't as super bright as you think, it's going to raise instant defensiveness. I understand, and I'm sure your kid is wonderful. What I'm getting at is that if I say - no your teacher just has the most rudimentary aiki abilities and mostly uses slightly more sophisticated external martial arts than others in YOUR experience, I'm certain to raise the same kind of instant defensiveness.

The only way to get the experience to not be talking past one another is to actually go out and find those people demonstrating and teaching aiki/IS and test your abilities to whatever level you find safe (physically and emotionally).

To me, that is the heart of this thread, really. To answer are we really THAT good, we need to define what THAT good is - and I don't think it can be truly appreciated without going out to see the people who have something special going on. There are a lot of people going to see Dan Harden in California right now - I assume many of those people will redefine for themselves what THAT good is. Several people who have some direct experience with what Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Aukusawa can do are slowly trying to meet and experience each teacher and even some others like Ushiro sensei.

To me, I can protect my son from getting hurt when he all out attacks me because the power differential is so incredibly vast and his skill level is not too high yet (6 years old). Well, if I can do that based on that power and skill differential with a child, doesn't it seem like I can theoretically do that with an adult who is attacking me as long as I train my power and skills to be similarly vastly superior than the typically trained adult? My question is: how far can I take that? Can I do that against MMA? Can I do that against aiki-powered MMA? We'll see...

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:29 AM   #64
kewms
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Why is it difficult to believe?

dps
No disrespect to you or your teachers intended. I don't know you. But if everyone who talks about IS training were actually doing it, the state of modern aikido would be very different.

Katherine
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:35 AM   #65
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Are We that Good?

Hi Rob,
nice post with a lot of interesting wider context to see stuff in, thanks a lot. Say hi from me please.

In relation to the thread topic, for me one very interesting consequence of meeting IS specialists (and being hugely impressed with them), plus some very good external MMA people, was the realisation how much I am actually committed to the (my) idea of aikido, of dealing with conflict in a certain way and with certain goals. Becoming "that good" - or not that good, more likely - for aikido reasons. The meetings really made me wonder what I personally would do with such power, why I would want to have it, and unlike some other people I have heard of, that seems to lead me back to aikido - though possibly to a very similar training paradigm to what you describe.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:44 PM   #66
drcarey
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Re: Are We that Good?

My understanding, limited though it may be, is that Aikido is not about 'fighting techniques'.
Aikido is about 'not fighting' techniques.
It is about self control, refining and developing 'the self' to a high level.
At some point we no longer need to 'win' the arguement, we do not even need to participate with it as an arguement.
No we, for the most part, are not that good.
I will say this again... We can try to be.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:40 PM   #67
dps
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post

Building from the ground up are we that good? Is it reasonable to expect that at some point my physical abilities will support my philosophical ideology (to engage in confrontation without injury to any involved party)?
Maybe it is something we should not worry about.


Quote:
David Carey wrote: View Post
My understanding, limited though it may be, is that Aikido is not about 'fighting techniques'.
Aikido is about 'not fighting' techniques.
It is about self control, refining and developing 'the self' to a high level.
At some point we no longer need to 'win' the arguement, we do not even need to participate with it as an arguement.
No we, for the most part, are not that good.
I will say this again... We can try to be.
It is about survival.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mDv85KPpKI

"Saotome Sensei teaches that in our Aikido training we should study survival techniques."

dps

Last edited by dps : 11-06-2010 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:54 PM   #68
Michael Varin
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote:
But if everyone who talks about IS training were actually doing it, the state of modern aikido would be very different.
How so?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:13 PM   #69
drcarey
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Re: Are We that Good?

Please disregard any earlier comments by me....
They are simply the incoherant ramblings of an ignorant wanderer who needs a new 'hobby'.
It seems my efforts and interest for the past 30+ years are of no use or value.
So please disregard...
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:50 PM   #70
kewms
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
How so?
Everyone "knows" that aikido isn't about strength, that internal power is very important, and so forth and so on. On message boards like this, many many people will tell you that *their* training is all about aiki, and dealing with sincere attacks, and all of that good stuff.

But then I go to seminars and see hordes and hordes of people who are muscling everything, attacking in stupid ways, and/or allowing someone half their size (like, say, me) to back them off the mat. Where are these people coming from?

There's a pretty clear disconnect between the training that people will tell you they are doing, and the results I see in the general aikido population. That says to me that there are a lot of people out there who don't know what they don't know.

Katherine
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:56 AM   #71
Michael Varin
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote:
There's a pretty clear disconnect between the training that people will tell you they are doing, and the results I see in the general aikido population. That says to me that there are a lot of people out there who don't know what they don't know.
Agreed, but you still didn't answer the question. In fact, I think you just raised a few more...

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:48 AM   #72
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Re: Are We that Good?

IMHO, when I look at the way most dojo martial arts (not just Aikido) are taught and the training, we certainly protect our attacker from harm not because we are that good, but because we are that bad.

Compassion is having the skills and psychology to do harm and not doing it. Just not doing it is incompetence.

The dojo is not a temple or psychologist office for trying to get congruence between our physical skills and our psychology (emotional and cognitive, individual and familial), philosophy, sociology, cultural, religious, and spiritual beliefs.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:50 AM   #73
rob_liberti
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Compassion is having the skills and psychology to do harm and not doing it. Just not doing it is incompetence.
I hear what your saying. The definition that works best for me is that "compassion" is bringing a loving attention to something. Demonstrating that in aikido by learning how to do minimal damage to someone is pretty much exactly what we ask our police force to do. We don't let them shoot someone for pushing them. Here are the 5 levels of the "Force Continuum":
-verbal commands
-empty hand control (<-- hmm can we improve on this one???!!!)
-tools (pepper spray, pr24/tonfa, taser)
-less lethal (<-- what's this?!)
-deadly force

Less lethal force has been added by police
Quote:
to temporarily incapacitate, confuse, delay, or restrain an adversary in a variety of situations.
Why? Because we as a people demand such demonstrations of compassion.

Obviously the "empy hand control" must have various sub-levels.
Quote:
There are two subcategories called, "soft empty hand techniques" and "hard empty hand techniques." Soft Empty Hand Techniques: At this level minimal force would involve the use of bare hands to guide, hold, and restrain -- applying pressure points, and take down techniques that have a minimal chance of injury. Hard Empty Hand Techniques: At this level the use of force includes kicks, punches or other striking techniques such as the brachial stun or other strikes to key motor points that have a moderate chance of injury.
- from:
http://www.policetest.info/FORCE_CON...E_OF_FORCE.htm

We ask our police to be THAT good and ask them to use their judgment about when being that good isn't enough for them to stay safe themselves while trying to protect the aggressor. Can we raise the bar about where that threshold is? Can we be THAT much better?

Katherine, be careful. Some folks are reading what you believe to be truth (and I agree) and all they can do is react as if you are telling them that their baby is ugly.

I know everyone faced with questions like "are we THAT good" and answers like "we'll probably not, but there are some ways to get a lot closer that most of you are not doing" will upset folks. But, the VERY STRONGLY desired "polite fiction" is how aikido got to be in the state it is in today where pretty much NO ONE is THAT good yet...

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:03 AM   #74
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Are We that Good?

Hi Lynn,

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
The dojo is not a temple or psychologist office for trying to get congruence between our physical skills and our psychology (emotional and cognitive, individual and familial), philosophy, sociology, cultural, religious, and spiritual beliefs.
You sort of keep mentioning that over the years I have been lurking here - could you elaborate? For me, the dojo is certainly a place (not a temple, not an office) to ponder and practice a little more congruence at least between physical skill, the psyche, personal philosophy and some beliefs - and, in line with this thread, this is the one area where I think I have, after many years of training in and outside of aikido, some competence, where I am, to a degree, THAT GOOD teaching. Also, I do not think I would be doing aikido if the dojo were not such a place.

Of course, I am talking neither clinical psychology nor scientific discourse or religious doctrine here - those are realms I keep separate from aikido.

So, if you could be so kind, what exactly do you mean?
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:21 AM   #75
kewms
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Katherine, be careful. Some folks are reading what you believe to be truth (and I agree) and all they can do is react as if you are telling them that their baby is ugly.
Sure. Such is the nature of Internet fora.

But if I've never seen your baby, but you still interpret my comments as saying that it's ugly, maybe you have some doubts of your own about its attractiveness. Might be a good idea to go train with some of the people mentioned in these discussions and see what they think.

Katherine
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