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Old 11-16-2011, 11:41 AM   #51
kewms
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
The message needs to be more: we think this was an integral part of Ueshiba's aikido, and that without it modern aikido can never be complete. It should not detract from what is already understood, it should rather fill in the blanks we never realized were there.
Which in my experience is very much the way people approach the question in practice. Unfortunately, it is the nature of online fora that people (on both sides) can be pushed into taking extreme positions, or can be held responsible for those positions whether they actually hold them or not.

(Examples abound in the Ueshiba's Aiki thread.)

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #52
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Before we even get to definitions and such, I think you need to walk through the arguments and figure out where you stand. I think you need to start with figuring out why people are looking for information elsewhere...

We have had many years since the founder's passing in which to produce a competent aikidoka, theoretically one at least as competent as the founder, if not possibly excelled. While we have had many competent aikidoka, I believe that we have yet to see anyone who received 100% of O Sensei's teachings. We have another generation of deshi passing on, most of whom did not pass on 100% of their teachings. Something about the definition of idiocy...

This is what did it for me. The promise that in no way I would excel beyond my instructor and that I would receive only a portion of the teaching available to me unless I figured out how to change that equation myself.

Roll the dice. Either keep training the way previous generations of aikido people trained, or figure out what's busted and start reclaiming lost information. I think before arguing about who's right and wrong we need to get some colors to band around and figure out what it is we are arguing.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:07 PM   #53
Lee Salzman
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Before we even get to definitions and such, I think you need to walk through the arguments and figure out where you stand. I think you need to start with figuring out why people are looking for information elsewhere...

We have had many years since the founder's passing in which to produce a competent aikidoka, theoretically one at least as competent as the founder, if not possibly excelled. While we have had many competent aikidoka, I believe that we have yet to see anyone who received 100% of O Sensei's teachings. We have another generation of deshi passing on, most of whom did not pass on 100% of their teachings. Something about the definition of idiocy...

This is what did it for me. The promise that in no way I would excel beyond my instructor and that I would receive only a portion of the teaching available to me unless I figured out how to change that equation myself.

Roll the dice. Either keep training the way previous generations of aikido people trained, or figure out what's busted and start reclaiming lost information. I think before arguing about who's right and wrong we need to get some colors to band around and figure out what it is we are arguing.
Well, the argument for the IS side is actually pretty clear. We are bickering over how to present our viewpoint, but in the end, over the years, every person I've read on here who was a detractor and then met up with some high-level IS practitioner became an overnight convert after the meeting and initiation process. Now, either this initiation process involves some really strong powers of hypnosis, or there is something of profound significance here. That much we on the IS side are all on the same page about.

The problem is rather to figure out what is the argument for those who resist IS that results in the phenomenon you speak, that we have all failed to live up to Morihei Ueshiba in our own right? The answers for that are all over the map, but yet, the idea that he is a singular genius that can never be replicated, in a world full of now 7 billion people, several generations on, that always never sat well with me. 7 billion monkeys, laboring at the dojo, will never produce the combined works of Morihei Ueshiba, hmm.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 11-16-2011 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #54
kewms
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
The problem is rather to figure out what is the argument for those who resist IS that results in the phenomenon you speak, that we have all failed to live up to Morihei Ueshiba in our own right?
The argument appears to be that the IS proponents are chasing the wrong goal: that IS may be a valid study in its own right but is either (a) not essential to Ueshiba Sensei's aikido or (b) already taught in the aikido context. The lack of Ueshiba-like abilities is attributed to some combination of (a) Ueshiba's status as a unique genius, (b) insufficiently diligent students, or (c) failure to properly appreciate some other aspect of Ueshiba's teaching.

(Note: I have attempted to present this position as fairly as I can. However, there is always a risk of inaccuracy when stating a position that one does not personally hold. Please accept my apologies if I have made such an error.)

An interesting thought experiment might be to look at the debate from the point of view of one of Ueshiba's deshi. But that's not an exercise that I'm going to walk through in a public forum...

Katherine
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #55
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Well, the argument for the IS side is actually pretty clear. We are bickering over how to present our viewpoint, but in the end, over the years, every person I've read on here who was a detractor and then met up with some high-level IS practitioner became an overnight convert after the meeting and initiation process. Now, either this initiation process involves some really strong powers of hypnosis, or there is something of profound significance here. That much we on the IS side are all on the same page about.

The problem is rather to figure out what is the argument for those who resist IS that results in the phenomenon you speak, that we have all failed to live up to Morihei Ueshiba in our own right? The answers for that are all over the map, but yet, the idea that he is a singular genius that can never be replicated, in a world full of now 7 billion people, several generations on, that always never sat well with me. 7 billion monkeys, laboring at the dojo, will never produce the combined works of Morihei Ueshiba, hmm.
In my case it wasn't even meeting up with someone most would consider "high level". It was enough for me to find people who weren't aikidoka who could do things that, in our style are considered basic exercises, far better than I could. Heck, far better than I had experienced from anyone. That was more than enough to open my eyes. Then having Toby Threadgill do another of those basic exercises (kokyudosa, aiki-age,etc) and literally launch me 3ft backwards, from seiza, with all of my weight on him, smiling at me the entire time...

I don't see how anyone who is honest with themselves and considers themselves to be a serious student of the art can have that kind of experience and just go back to doing what they had been doing. Then again, I'm one that doesn't care to convince anyone. If they want to avoid having that type of experience, that's on them, not me. I have my doubts about the viability of this stuff for those that don't feel it and then get a hunger for it anyway, so why waste the time convincing people who don't want to be convinced?
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:46 PM   #56
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

If you don't mind...

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The argument appears to be that the IS proponents are chasing the wrong goal: that IS may be a valid study in its own right but is either (a) not essential to Ueshiba Sensei's aikido or (b) already taught in the aikido context.
or (c) overrated.

Quote:
The lack of Ueshiba-like abilities is attributed to some combination of (a) Ueshiba's status as a unique genius, (b) insufficiently diligent students, or (c) failure to properly appreciate some other aspect of Ueshiba's teaching.
I'm going with (c).

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:33 PM   #57
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Actually I was going to post exactly what Demetrio has posted as another option. And I think it is a sincere position. Now I am firmly in the IS camp, but I see his point of view as perfectly reasonable. And I think it is silly to argue about it because Aikido has evolved in a variety of ways and each person approaches it from their own perspective, needs, etc. What kills conversations is the almost religious zeal with which some approach things. And the incredible sensitivity some have about anyone else daring to question the absolute beauty and complete perfection of whatever it is they do themselves. And it goes both ways.

I'll also say that I find some approaches to the IS stuff to be overrated as well. I see finding ways of properly integrating it back in to my training in my conception of Aikido as a valid way to go. I even see the very real possibility for myself of abandoning Aikido completely to go elsewhere (if Toby or the Yoshida Boys (tm pending) would have me) to train in arts that have a comprehensive approach to this stuff.

So anyway, no easy answers from me. I think long term things will work out. And I think over enough time there won't be nearly as much questions about this stuff. And at that point there will *still* be people doing their own thing the way they want to. And Aikido will be just as fragmented and poorly defined as it is today.

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:39 PM   #58
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
*shrug* How many Western students have ever even met Doshu? How many of those would he recognize if he saw them again?

These discussions can be interesting, but fundamentally, aikido is what my teacher says it is.

Katherine
At least until you decide for yourself what Aikdio is.

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:48 PM   #59
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Simple answer to the OP: Because that's where I found it.

Chris Moses
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:49 PM   #60
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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At least until you decide for yourself what Aikdio is.
And be wrong too.

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:49 PM   #61
Mark Freeman
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
At least until you decide for yourself what Aikdio is.
I love the possibilities that your typo throws up Mary, people will be arguing for ages over whether it is really aikd-io or ai-kd-io

personally I question the existance of kd, but I respect the rights and opinions of those who believed it is real. Get ready for the KD wars!

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:53 PM   #62
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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personally I question the existance of kd, but I respect the rights and opinions of those who believed it is real. Get ready for the KD wars!
Hey! I exist! People who post here have even trained with me! -- Katherine (D.)
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #63
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
I emphatically agree with this point, no wait, let's add some bold, itallics, underline, and caps, EMPHATICALLY AGREE. I can't read the statements of "Ueshiba's aikido" without getting a little queasy. The message needs to be more: we think this was an integral part of Ueshiba's aikido, and that without it modern aikido can never be complete. It should not detract from what is already understood, it should rather fill in the blanks we never realized were there. So instead of, "ur 100% rong n i m 100% rite", we need to be more "there are grievous gaps in our understanding that threaten everything aikido stands for". No throwing the baby out with the bathwater, just rather realizing there was only ever a baby there, and neither bath nor water, and here we've got some handy new methods for giving a proper bath to show you...
Agree emphatically, too. Some excellent posts here, I am enjoing this thread (thanks Mary!). Lee, hope you are well wherever you are, liked your recent post on posture a lot, too.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #64
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
I love the possibilities that your typo throws up Mary, people will be arguing for ages over whether it is really aikd-io or ai-kd-io

personally I question the existance of kd, but I respect the rights and opinions of those who believed it is real. Get ready for the KD wars!
lol

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Old 11-16-2011, 02:42 PM   #65
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Mark, I'm not saying that any of the folk out in front are criticizing where aikido went. I'm simply saying it is taken that way and often the way of talking about it leaves that impression.

I was going to follow up on my post now that I'm feeling a bit better and less hazy but you posted first.

Really I think that a greater understanding of things always makes a difference when you go back and reread classic material. I have a habit of rereading Wittgenstein every few years and I must say each time I get new insights and understanding of what is a really rather difficult philosopher. What I see is that he is actually quite clear in many ways, it just requires the reader to have a deeper understanding to allow them to understand. The same is true of my Aikido training. I still have moments where something said to me 15 years ago flashes back in my brain and I say "Ohhhhhhhh." Geez, missed that completely.

Anyway, I think my point is that if someone says "you're not doing Ueshiba M's aiki!" they take it as an insult. And you guys *do* say that rather often, you said it up above. I understand completely what you're saying (and I agree with what *you mean by it* FWIW). But we could have a long and lovely philosophical discussion about what that *really* means since the reality is that Ueshiba M's Aikido was a multi-layered, multi-faceted thing that itself evolved in a variety of directions. They're all Ueshiba M's aikido. The exact nature of the aiki aspect is one part of it (and you and I may think it is the absolutely most important part, but others who went a different direction may disagree). So depending on how the statement is read it could be taken innocently or with a great deal of insult. In that *other* thread going on right now you can see a great example of someone arguing about what they *think* people are saying rather than what people mean. It ain't always easy to make that clear. And it does require a receptive listener as well.

Take a comparison to dogs. My wife and I raise and train Australian Shepherds. Lots of experience in that world and my wife makes extra cash on the side as a person who trains other people how to train their own dogs. Personally I don't care for extreme breeds. But I still know that a pug is a dog. So is a Chinese Crested (blech!). But they're still dogs but since I come from the world of "they should be useful, they should have instincts, they should be this or that, etc." they just don't seem like "real" dogs to me. But... as much as I don't care for them they are still dogs. And people love their own breeds for their own reasons and idiosyncrasies. So as much as I don't care for toy and "vanity" breeds, well, they're still dogs. But put a Chinese Crested next to an Australian Shepherd and you'll wonder how on earth they could possibly be the same species...

So I try to avoid saying "that's not Ueshiba M's aiki". Yes and no. It depends, and I don't think it's worth the angst of arguing over. Let the work and abilities speak for themselves. And let those who want to pursue the version as presented by his son's understanding (which is the version that "took hold" and became incredibly popular) continue in its own path. I know you don't disagree with this, but they all have their own value to those who find value in them. And it *is* Ueshiba M's "Aikido" in many ways. Just like nobody really can do *his* exactly.

No, I don't disagree that the understanding of "aiki" vs. "ai" and "ki" is important to understanding Ueshiba M's teachings. But I also understand that his art also became something else, something more for many people. And I leave it at that. It ain't for me, but there's a lot of stuff that ain't for me. Like pugs...
I really like this and think it bears repeating. I think it addresses the general nature of "these conversations" really well and that these topics would be better received if some of the language was adjusted. Considering the horse-to-water concept, it doesn't do much good for a public discussion to use language that can seem forceful...which usually seems to invite resistance...in my opinion, at any rate. The "trick" as I see it is putting forward a position which has as few pointy corners (real or perceived) as possible since people often like to push up against them.
And for the record, it's not a dog if my 20lbs. cat, Gus, could eat it in one sitting...he was a kind of domesticated small gray panther who I once saw chase off an English Mastiff. The Mastiff thought he'd just give him a wide berth, but Gus moved over and squared up to him again as if to say, "Nuh uh! I said get the @#$% out!" I miss that cat.

p.s. I mean, I EMPHATICALLY AGREE!

Last edited by mathewjgano : 11-16-2011 at 02:46 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:42 PM   #66
Byron Foster
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Why train outside of Aikido?

Why look outside the box? What could be out there?

There seems to be an implicit premise in that question that Aikido is a complete martial art system, that contains within it all the physical movements, techniques, theoretical framework and beginners-to-advanced teaching syllabus required to reach master level.

When I was younger I thought that this was the case quite passionately, but now I am not so sure.

Outside the box of Aikido? Some people do Mediation to supplement their Aikido and swear by it. Others do Iaido and testify how much it has made their aikido better. Others (this is scandalous!) even go to seminars to see other instructors. As if their own instructor was not good enough to teach them everything there is.

Dogma can only get someone so far.

I love doing Aikido and I am willing to try just about anything to improve understanding and skills. Then I read about an I.S. workshop that was going to happen in California last Spring.

My experiences at the workshop Dan taught were probably very similar to that of other Aikidoka. He asked me to push him over, nothing happened. He asked to push and pull his arms. Nothing happened. Then he put is hand on my chest, and my ribs popped out of my sternum. He was able to completely neutralize all of my techniques and power, and when he turned in on me, I had absolutely no defenses for it. As a martial artist, that was fantastic. Here was someone who could do great stuff and explain what he was doing and how to do it. When I first read some of his online articles, I was not sure, as the old saying goes, whether he was crazy or a genius. Well, he is not crazy.

I then went a little crazy. I started to research everything I could online regarding I.S., core conditioning, other martial arts. A two day seminar was just not enough. I bought Ark's three DVD set of the basic Aunkai exercises (quick review - well worth the money), I bought Systema DVDs, bought a Swiss Ball, I ordered every yoga, tai chi and Qi Gong DVD on the Netflix list. I bought and read and re-read "Transparent Power" (What were those exercises Sagawa?), "Hidden in Plain Sight" (Excellent), "Ki and Karate (????) and others. I even wrote a blog on aikiweb on some side research involving fascia and anatomy trains that was justifiably completely ignored. I even started an I.S. group meeting one a month with a friend so we could practice the exercises with others.

My passion for training and Aikido went way up.

I still have the same deep respect for myAikido teachers and still have a lot to learn regarding Aikido from them, but I think I am approaching how to do techniques differently. On the outside it looks the same, but my intent on the inside is way different than it was before. There is no way I would have figured any of that out on my own.

My box became bigger after being exposed to the internal strength concepts.

I have to thank Dan Harden for that. And then later on Toby Threadgill.

Why train outside Aikido? Because Aikido is bigger than just what we learn in Aikido Dojos.

Did that make sense?
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:57 PM   #67
Keith Larman
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Did that make sense?
Yes.

BTW and FWIW, I liked your writeup on fascia...

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Old 11-17-2011, 10:36 PM   #68
Janet Rosen
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Yes.

BTW and FWIW, I liked your writeup on fascia...
which is http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20239

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:59 AM   #69
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Byron Foster wrote: View Post
Why train outside of Aikido? Why look outside the box? What could be out there?
There's a box?

Man, no one tells me nuthin'!

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:44 AM   #70
lbb
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Byron Foster wrote: View Post
Why train outside of Aikido?

Why look outside the box? What could be out there?

There seems to be an implicit premise in that question that Aikido is a complete martial art system, that contains within it all the physical movements, techniques, theoretical framework and beginners-to-advanced teaching syllabus required to reach master level.
...and there's an implicit premise in your post that a "complete martial arts system", whatever that is, is what we all want and need.

This is something I really don't get. When you buy a car, do you expect it to be the be-all and end-all car, the car that can do everything? Well, no doubt some people do. We call those people "crazy". Normal people just look for a car that's right for their purpose, whether that is transporting four kids to soccer practice or hauling blocks of cement to a building site or going as fast as you possibly can around a track.

Or, if you want to put it in a martial context, what's the "best" fighter? Gee, I don't know. Put me in one situation and I'll take Mongol light cavalry, put me in another situation and I'll take a seasoned bouncer, and in another I'm definitely going to want a Marine platoon sergeant.

Given that, for the large majority of us, our fighting really is purely theoretical, and any fighting we might possibly encounter is within a specific context, I don't get the endless froth and fury about a "complete martial arts system". Even if such a thing existed, which it doesn't, it's not what any of us needs. If someone finds something sufficient to their needs, why would they look elsewhere?
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:07 AM   #71
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Byron Foster wrote: View Post
I then went a little crazy. I started to research everything I could online regarding I.S.,
so doing IS makes you crazy. jot down one more reason to not do IS, because that would be against spirituality stuffs. on second thought, my spirituality based on insanity, so this might work.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:22 AM   #72
Keith Larman
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
...and there's an implicit premise in your post that a "complete martial arts system", whatever that is, is what we all want and need.

... If someone finds something sufficient to their needs, why would they look elsewhere?
Yeah, I agree with you and really can't argue the point.

But that leaves us with two propositions (actually a lot more, but hey, I'm all for simplifying).

So Define...

Group I: "Aikido has everything I need."

Group 2: "Aikido is missing something fundamental so I must go outside to find it."

A. It is nearly incomprehensible to Group 1 why Group 2 will look outside Aikido for something fundamental Group 2 believes is missing.

B. It is nearly incomprehensible to Group 2 why Group 1 won't look outside Aikido for something fundamental Group 2 believes is missing.

And since the whole concept of "is it missing?" depends on a whole lot of factors including personal expectation, definition of what *it* is, style, etc., I don't see anything necessarily contradictory about the two statements.

"To-ma-to, Toh-mah-toh, let's call the whole thing off..."

And then there's those of us who can't for the life of us figure out which group we're in... Is it there? Was it there? Do I exist? No, wait, I'm having this inner dialog so I must exist... Hmmm. I like turtles!"

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:26 AM   #73
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

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Thanks Janet! While I think there is a *ton* of speculation there, I do think it is an interesting mental exercise to consider these different possibilities. And that's a good deal better than saying "Collect their ki, ball it up, then send their ki back past them..." At least from a perspective of trying to better understand what's really go on "under the covers".

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:27 AM   #74
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
There's a box?

Man, no one tells me nuthin'!
Well at least you're not telling me I'm not supposed to draw outside the lines! That's just crazy talk!

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:48 AM   #75
M. McPherson
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 39
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Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
No, wait, I'm having this inner dialog so I must exist... Hmmm. I like turtles!"
Mr. Larman,

I wanted to thank you for (appropriately) referencing Wittgenstein the other day, but this one deserves especially strong kudos. So mad props to you, sir. I'm just not sure if you're channeling Douglas Adams or the regressive epistemology of the Münchhausen Trilemma. Either way, the resistance on both sides of this issue does make me wonder if folks sincerely believe it to be turtles all the way down...

Best,
Murray McPherson
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