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Old 05-16-2011, 11:35 AM   #1
dps
 
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An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19842

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post
" how can we know excellence when we see it?
Excellence is a subjective term that we define for ourselves.

We see excellence wherever we want it.

One person's excellence is another person's "What the hell was that."

dps

Last edited by dps : 05-16-2011 at 11:40 AM.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:48 AM   #2
Aikibu
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19842

Excellence is a subjective term that we define for ourselves.

We see excellence wherever we want it.

One person's excellence is another person's "What the hell was that."

dps
Take allot of Ukemi from those who are considered excellent.

William Hazen
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
aikishihan
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Excellence is simply doing what you committed yourself to doing, with uninhibited enthusiasm, humble appreciation and boundless joy.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
dps
 
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Take allot of Ukemi from those who are considered excellent.

William Hazen
Considered excellent by them, yourself or what others tell you?

dps

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
Mark Peckett
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

It's been a few years since I read "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", but if you change the word excellence for Quality then his line about - I'm paraphrasing badly here - "Nobody can define what Quality is, but everybody knows good Quality when they see it" seems about right. It's an a priori awareness.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
Aikibu
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Considered excellent by them, yourself or what others tell you?

dps
Yes in part...Opinion based on actual experience is usually the best criteria for excellence... at least for me.

I have always been stupid enough to walk right up to the Sensei and ask to take Ukemi or to show me what they are trying to teach. (One cautionary note however... In my experience... this is works best with an attitude of humility and an open mind. )

William Hazen
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
Daniel Lloyd
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Screw everybody else. Strive to do your absolute best. Never stop improving and always be willing to learn.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #8
BJohnston
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

I think we learn excellence through sincere training, but I also think we can recognize excellence when we see it. I do feel that some have a tendency to allow jealousy and polotics to cloud their vision of excellence. That may or may not be a seperate subject.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:36 AM   #9
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Excellence is a subjective term that we define for ourselves.
I don't think so.

In my view excellence can be recognized by someone who is quallified or competent.
Excellence relates to certain standards, i.e. methods, objectives, technical aspects. So it can be judged by people who know these standards and can reproduce them to some extent himself.

Quote:
One person's excellence is another person's "What the hell was that."
I think there are different standards in different lines of tradition of aikido. So there are different understandings of what excellence is.
But in one certain line of tradition there are certain standards and so there is a certain understanding of what excellence is. Which is not subjective or individual, but shared by the members of this given group of people.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:51 AM   #10
Mark Uttech
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Onegaishimasu, showing up for class once a week no matter what, could be a type of beginner's training in excellence...

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:19 AM   #11
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu, showing up for class once a week no matter what, could be a type of beginner's training in excellence...
Interesting example. Thank you.

Showing up one time a week wouldn't be "excellent" in our dojo, because we advise beginners not to start aikido if being able to show up just once a week. And most of our beginners practice three times a week.
True: Some show up once a week anyway. But
others take part four times a week. Just different standards.
(I clearly don't want to say right or wrong. It's just the way it is - different.)
(And we are used to beginners who show up very constantly. With very few exceptions.)

Maybe this is just a matter of different languages?
"Excellence" in German is defined in a sense of "better - compared to ..." Coming from exceller (lat.) - to protrude and is used to compare things. And to indicate achievements above average.
This is what I thouhgt the OP meant?

And: In my textbook "excellence" means a certain skill or proficiency.

I appreciate "showing up for class once a week no matter what," very much!!!
I just wouldn't call this "excellence" but a requirement to become excellent. Or better one of the requirements.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 05-17-2011 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:29 AM   #12
graham christian
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

I think it's one of those sayings which are a kind of 'word trap.'

If it's used as a superlative then the person using it is searching for what? Something extraordinary? Something fantastic? Perfection?

If it's used to to mean 'being the best' then so be it.

How it's used is and even why it's used is what you need to answer.

Bottom line is it is to do with improving and setting targets. That's the reality. The rest is added significance, unnecessary.

Ask any top athlete or person in their field and you find it's down to improving yourself continually, finding your weaknesses and addressing them as well as improving your strengths. Many areas to cover.

Or you could deny it and grab hold of some saying and say ' But I'm searching for.............

Regards.G.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu, showing up for class once a week no matter what, could be a type of beginner's training in excellence...
<Cough...cough>
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #14
Michael Hackett
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Can there be levels of excellence? Would you consider an 8th kyu excellent for his level at the time? Would it be possible to be an excellent apprentice bricklayer who might progress to being a very good journeyman and then only an average master? If those are possible, it would suggest to me that "excellence" is relative to a context and subjective to the observer. Peters in his work "In Search of Excellence" defined what excellence was as he began his research into excellent corporations. Without a frontloaded definition, a discussion is pretty fruitless. Even if I disagree with your definition, at least I can understand your assessments if I know what it is.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:07 PM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Can there be levels of excellence? Would you consider an 8th kyu excellent for his level at the time? Would it be possible to be an excellent apprentice bricklayer who might progress to being a very good journeyman and then only an average master?
Excellent points.
No pun intended!

Janet Rosen
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:34 PM   #16
Michael Hackett
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Janet, I soooooo have to bring my training partner Ron up to our soiree on Labor Day. The two of you can get into a corner and punnel one another.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:10 PM   #17
ramenboy
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Excellence is a subjective term that we define for ourselves.

We see excellence wherever we want it.

One person's excellence is another person's "What the hell was that."

dps
Well said. I remember reading an article years ago about Steve Martin and he'd bought some really expensive paintings. The interviewer asked why he bought them and he said something Like 'i'm not an artist, but i know what i like.'

practice hard
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:14 AM   #18
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Can there be levels of excellence? Would you consider an 8th kyu excellent for his level at the time? Would it be possible to be an excellent apprentice bricklayer who might progress to being a very good journeyman and then only an average master? If those are possible, it would suggest to me that "excellence" is relative to a context and subjective to the observer. Peters in his work "In Search of Excellence" defined what excellence was as he began his research into excellent corporations. Without a frontloaded definition, a discussion is pretty fruitless. Even if I disagree with your definition, at least I can understand your assessments if I know what it is.
Now that is an excellent post.

dps

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:15 AM   #19
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

For me anyone who practises Aikido has somehow made a frame of reference that (at that time for that person) defines 'their' Aikido, or at least 'their' idea of what 'their' Aikido is to become. When someone comes along that exceeds that frame, one could say that person excells (relatively). The reference is perhaps adjusted to the newly gained insights. This is the point where others have mentoined 'can you spot the excellence?'. My teacher indicates this by pointint out that you have to known what to look for. But how do you know what to look for? (Another point he makes is *not* to make such a frame of reference.)
This is where a good teacher comes in, I guess.

Hope this makes sense...

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 06-17-2011 at 01:22 AM.

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* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #20
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quoted from George Ledyard's post about this:

"Then you have to train like crazy. Everyone I know of who is truly excellent spent some substantial period of time training every day. In an earlier thread there was a discussion of "how much is enough?" I made a number of people upset by stating that, in my opinion, the average adult needs to train AT LEAST three times a week to become competent. That's competent, not excellent. Excellent requires almost every day. People who have done an uchi deshi program have not only done every day but have done multiple classes each day.

You have to really want it. Aikido will have to be a primary focus of your life. In my own case, I had a demanding job, a family, and my Aikido. I did not feel I could do a good job on all three. So I combined my job with my training. That has been barely enough.

It is important to "get out" and train with people from outside your immediate circle. Set styles or slavish devotion to a single teacher seldom produces anything really top level, although it might produce a good "stylist"."

Here's a link given by a former professional cricketer on his experience of "professionalism".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011znl3
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:12 AM   #21
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Re: An ' inexperienced voice' response to 'In Search of Excellence in Aikido'

Quote:
Here's a link given by a former professional cricketer on his experience of "professionalism".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011znl3
Thank you, I really enjoyed that, and it matches my experience - although, to be fair, when I have trained for love, it turns out I am spending a lot more time on the mat than I notice. Its just the attitude that changes. Funny thing, if I am pursuing excellence, I am living in the future, and lose the present - which is where it all happens - but in order to be in the present I have to be focused there, pursuing excellence there, which is the paradox of practice. No path, no end to the path. I wish I could stay there.

B
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