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Old 01-25-2012, 02:45 AM   #151
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Graham, haven't you ever seen the quote by Ueshiba where he says something like "Aiki is the power to make people do what I want them to do."?

I've seen it and I keep expecting someone to post it again.

Aikido is not supposed to be "accidentally" effective, but intentionally very effective.

Someone please post that quote by Ueshiba.

Thanks.

David
No. Seen plenty of quotes though. None imply asserting will or intention, in fact quite the opposite. You are quite right though in saying Aikido is not 'accidentally effective' for the truths and principles of the universe are real.

Do you intend your love on another? Do you impose your compassion on another? It's not a matter of intention or will, it's coming to terms with and harmonizing with those natural universal resources all around you.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:55 AM   #152
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Graham, haven't you ever seen the quote by Ueshiba where he says something like "Aiki is the power to make people do what I want them to do."?
Maybe you mean this one:

to equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Way of the Gods

You can find it in http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=676 (last paragraph).
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:58 AM   #153
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Nope. Although he might suggest that marathon runners are so focused on their times that they miss some of the pleasures of the journey.

Also a valid practice. But not "better" or "worse," just different.

Katherine
Different enough to not be called "marathon running"?
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:08 AM   #154
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Maybe you mean this one:

to equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Way of the Gods

You can find it in http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=676 (last paragraph).
Nice article. Expressed as the way of the Gods and merely the tip of the iceberg. I agree. The rest of the article, especially how he feels sad when seeing all this physical Aikido I relate to as well.

Nice one.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:11 AM   #155
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
No. Seen plenty of quotes though. None imply asserting will or intention, in fact quite the opposite.
Someone will post it. Ueshiba made it very clear that he could "make people do" what he wanted them to do. It's unfortunate that so many aikido people have lost touch with that basic reality of training. Ueshiba's original interest in budo was from seeing his father roughed up by a crowed over his political beliefs. He didn't want a "martial art" that depended on accidental functioning. And when he met Takeda, he found someone who could show him how to be sure his methods always worked. He had his religious beliefs just as I have mine. I don't go out and seek to control people. I just want to be sure that other people can't obstruct my freedom of movement, can't move me if I don't want to move, and can't prevent me from moving if I want to.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You are quite right though in saying Aikido is not 'accidentally effective' for the truths and principles of the universe are real.
And one of those truths and principles is "human nature," which is why budo methods must be unquestionalbly effective and real, and they must work by intention or they are fraudulent methods that will only lead to trouble and failure when the truth shows up.

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Do you intend your love on another? Do you impose your compassion on another? It's not a matter of intention or will, it's coming to terms with and harmonizing with those natural universal resources all around you.
Normally, what I intend is to go to work and come home, buy groceries and take care of my garden. And if someone, for some misguided reason, wants to obstruct me in that or even attack me, I fully and consciously intend to eliminate their ability to do so. So far, every one who has thought to attack me has backed off without my ever having to touch them. I take that back: I did touch one guy, one time. He put himself into position for a beautiful hiza garuma (judo), but I didn't apply it because my intention was not to throw him, but just to mind my own business. On the other hand, I was certainly willing to throw him with intention if necessary. I can't say I was fully "in control" of the situation. There were two of them and we had a stand-off in the middle of the street. But there was never a moment when I felt that I could put both of them on the ground in pain. I was very comfortable with the situation--more so than they were.

So...my "goal" was not to throw, but my intent and ability was to throw if necessary. And because of that clarity, throwing wasn't necessary. Nor was atemi.

Best to you.

David

Regards.G.[/quote]

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:12 AM   #156
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Maybe you mean this one:

to equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Way of the Gods

You can find it in http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=676 (last paragraph).
Thanks, Demetrio. That's not "the one" I had in mind, but it says basically the same thing.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:21 AM   #157
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
No, actually my point is that it isn't nearly so obvious as you suggest.

To use your example, why exactly *can't* you have a tea ceremony with Rooibos? True, it isn't "authentic," but what does that matter?

I'm not pushing on this just for the sake of stirring the pot, but because I think it's problematic to equate "not what I do" with "wrong."

Katherine
I think that two distinct things get entangled here. One is what sort of personal, subjective satisfaction one can derive from specific activity, the other is what objective value can be assigned to that activity in the real world.

As far a subjective aspect goes one can be satisfied with the full mastery of the tea ceremony, with performing a tea ceremony without tea or by simply imagining performing a tea ceremony in their mind. In a way all these are equally valid, at least on the subjective playground. In the objective reality, a well executing tea ceremony is aesthetically nourishing to all participants while an imaginary one is useless.

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:26 AM   #158
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Someone will post it. Ueshiba made it very clear that he could "make people do" what he wanted them to do. It's unfortunate that so many aikido people have lost touch with that basic reality of training. Ueshiba's original interest in budo was from seeing his father roughed up by a crowed over his political beliefs. He didn't want a "martial art" that depended on accidental functioning. And when he met Takeda, he found someone who could show him how to be sure his methods always worked. He had his religious beliefs just as I have mine. I don't go out and seek to control people. I just want to be sure that other people can't obstruct my freedom of movement, can't move me if I don't want to move, and can't prevent me from moving if I want to.

And one of those truths and principles is "human nature," which is why budo methods must be unquestionalbly effective and real, and they must work by intention or they are fraudulent methods that will only lead to trouble and failure when the truth shows up.

Normally, what I intend is to go to work and come home, buy groceries and take care of my garden. And if someone, for some misguided reason, wants to obstruct me in that or even attack me, I fully and consciously intend to eliminate their ability to do so. So far, every one who has thought to attack me has backed off without my ever having to touch them. I take that back: I did touch one guy, one time. He put himself into position for a beautiful hiza garuma (judo), but I didn't apply it because my intention was not to throw him, but just to mind my own business. On the other hand, I was certainly willing to throw him with intention if necessary. I can't say I was fully "in control" of the situation. There were two of them and we had a stand-off in the middle of the street. But there was never a moment when I felt that I could put both of them on the ground in pain. I was very comfortable with the situation--more so than they were.

So...my "goal" was not to throw, but my intent and ability was to throw if necessary. And because of that clarity, throwing wasn't necessary. Nor was atemi.

Best to you.

David

Regards.G.
Quite so David. As I said to Carsten, I can do that too. You're examples I quite believe. I don't see them contradicting what I say though. In fact I see them as validation.

As I pointed out, my view is that it's a phase of Aikido practice, now I can say after reading the article Demetrio pointed out, it's a tip of the iceberg.

You see most people think that the discipline of love and harmony and it's application means the willingness to do otherwise is missing. Not true, far from the truth. In fact the person who can do such with love and compassion and harmony for real is also capable of doing whatever is necessary. Sometimes we must draw the sword of correction.

You on the other hand showed willingness to do what was necessary, comfortable within yourself, and thus saw no need for giving pain etc. You actually acted from compassion there. Well done.

Regards.G.

Last edited by akiy : 01-25-2012 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:45 AM   #159
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Thanks, Demetrio. That's not "the one" I had in mind, but it says basically the same thing.

Best to you.

David
I think the specific quote you're referencing came from Takeshita Isamu, but that's neither here nor there. Though there are some similar things from Ueshiba, I believe in the radio interview he did. Some people say why, I say why bother. Let him do whatever it is he wants to do. You're never going to change the opinion of someone who constantly asserts that he's already doing whatever it is you're talking about when all evidence points to the contrary.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:57 AM   #160
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Ueshiba made it very clear that he could "make people do" what he wanted them to do.
folks who believed in love and harmony and compassionate and so on, don't want to hear about that of their idol/founder of the art that they devoted a good chunk of their lives. so in order to deal with that sort of conflict, selective reading and remembering are needed, i.e. read and remember the things that you like and throw out the things that you don't. so the goal here is to throw things you don't like and keep things that you do. it's human nature.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:25 AM   #161
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I think that two distinct things get entangled here. One is what sort of personal, subjective satisfaction one can derive from specific activity, the other is what objective value can be assigned to that activity in the real world.
Yes, when something has an established identity and someone else, doing something very different, wants to appropriate that identity and the reputation that goes with it, it matters.

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
As far a subjective aspect goes one can be satisfied with the full mastery of the tea ceremony, with performing a tea ceremony without tea or by simply imagining performing a tea ceremony in their mind. In a way all these are equally valid, at least on the subjective playground. In the objective reality, a well executing tea ceremony is aesthetically nourishing to all participants while an imaginary one is useless.
On the other hand, a master of tea ceremony could effect the purpose of the tea (harmonizing two or more people who attend the ceremony) using Earl Grey or even soda. A pretender would just make a mess of it, but wouldn't even know they'd made a mess.

Cheers.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:39 AM   #162
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Quite so David. As I said to Carsten, I can do that too. You're examples I quite believe. I don't see them contradicting what I say though. In fact I see them as validation.
How could that be, Graham. You said that Ueshiba didn't operate by "will" or "intention," yet here he is saying that he did: "...to equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Way of the Gods..."

Power. Will. Intention.

How did those things get neutered out of aikido?

Why have they become such anathema to people who "follow" Morihei Ueshiba when they were so important to him?

Power is not bad. If you have to chop down a tree, do you want a butter knife or a heft axe? Will the tree somehow accidentally cut itself down?

It's just like money. Do I want only enough aikido to buy penny candies (protect myself against idiots who can't walk and talk at the same time)? Or do I want aikido that can handle a sumo champion?

Sadly, so many people willfully misread these ideas and think "Oh, he wants big muscles and he's mad with the quest for power."

But the secret of aiki does not rely on big muscles. That's why so many truly tiny Japanese are immoveable and irresistible. That's how Ueshiba was able to stop Tenryu with virtually no effort.

You don't get those kinds of results by not reaching for them, or by not intending to get them.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You see most people think that the discipline of love and harmony and it's application means the willingness to do otherwise is missing. Not true, far from the truth. In fact the person who can do such with love and compassion and harmony for real is also capable of doing whatever is necessary. Sometimes we must draw the sword of correction.

You on the other hand showed willingness to do what was necessary, comfortable within yourself, and thus saw no need for giving pain etc. You actually acted from compassion there. Well done.
"Love" does not mean to ill-equip yourself for life. I was able to act intentionally with compassion only because I had the physical and technical training to take control of the situation. In fact, through the whole encounter (and others like it), I was "in control" of the situation but did not "exert" any effort to control it. There was nothing they could have done because I had the upper hand.

But what if both of those guys had been well-trained soldiers or cage fighters?

To go out in the "Emperor's clothes" and actually believe you're in good shape is a sad state to be in.

Best to you.

David

Last edited by akiy : 01-25-2012 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 AM   #163
Tengu859
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

 "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make then do what you want." Ueshiba, from Takeshita's diary.

From Dueling with O' Sensei by Amdur

ChrisW
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #164
Janet Rosen
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Chris Western wrote: View Post
"Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make then do what you want." Ueshiba, from Takeshita's diary.

From Dueling with O' Sensei by Amdur

ChrisW
Excellent. Now I have to say, after following this thread for days and days, I don't actually see an inherent contradiction.

If I may be permitted to go a bit afield to tell a non aikido story of two approaches to hospital discharge planning. In each case, a discharge planning nurse has already received written orders to start getting a patient transferred out of the hospital to a skilled nursing facility for ongoing rehab - maybe after a mild stroke or heart attack, matters not. So each of us (yes I'm one of the two) has the very same end goal or intent: to get the person transferred out of the hospital.

I watched a peer go about it this way: "Mr. Smith, I'm the discharge planner. The doctor wants us to transfer you to a rehab facility today." Mr. Smith, three days after having been suddenly hospitalized and feeling very vulnerable, looked shocked and dismayed. You could see his family members' hackles rise immediately. It ended up being a very very long and contentious process, creating stress for everybody.
My typical way of going about it: "Mr. Smith, I'm Janet, a discharge planning nurse. May I sit down? Thank you...I'm wondering what your doctor told you to expect in terms of how long you will be here and where you will be going? ..... uh huh.....uh huh..... ok, well, good....sometimes folks need that extra care before they go home, and your doctor has told us that she thinks you are doing well enough for us to arrange to make that transfer." Took more time upfront but saved a ton of time and aggro - especially when repeating this scenario up to 4 times a day every work day.

This would have been part of my professonal repertoire for years before I ever set foot in a dojo. You don't walk in with your agenda flashing like a neon sign above your head.

"Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make then do what you want." I have no problem with this statement because I understand that listening to what the other person wants is HOW I achieve getting them to do what I want.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #165
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

When a small nage tries to throw a larger uke using muscle and brute force the throw is ineffective. Uke knows what is happening every moment and never loses balance. Actually, uke finds better balance because there is so much to lean on. When the same nage relaxes, blends with and lets the throw reveal itself...uke loses balance and is thrown.

Same uke, same amount of resistance; yet because of connection, blending and attention to now, uke loses balance and falls.

The goal is to throw or not throw depending on the circimstance...sometimes the parameters of class call for a throw, sometimes not.

Aikido as I know it involves falling throwing, blending and connection with the understanding that what happens in the dojo might not look so pretty in the world. Yet the decision to defend oneself has been made and once that decision is made we are safer because of the decision.

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #166
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

@ Janet..I really like your story.

For me it is not about making uke do what I want....because I don't know what I want...I am seeing in the moment what is good for both of us. I don't go into technique with a plan...that would put me in my brain...I enter into technique with commitment to see what happens. I accept the gift of attack and blend to become....whatever.

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #167
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
How could that be, Graham. You said that Ueshiba didn't operate by "will" or "intention," yet here he is saying that he did: "...to equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Way of the Gods..."

Power. Will. Intention.

How did those things get neutered out of aikido?

Why have they become such anathema to people who "follow" Morihei Ueshiba when they were so important to him?

Power is not bad. If you have to chop down a tree, do you want a butter knife or a heft axe? Will the tree somehow accidentally cut itself down?

It's just like money. Do I want only enough aikido to buy penny candies (protect myself against idiots who can't walk and talk at the same time)? Or do I want aikido that can handle a sumo champion?

Sadly, so many people willfully misread these ideas and think "Oh, he wants big muscles and he's mad with the quest for power."

But the secret of aiki does not rely on big muscles. That's why so many truly tiny Japanese are immoveable and irresistible. That's how Ueshiba was able to stop Tenryu with virtually no effort.

You don't get those kinds of results by not reaching for them, or by not intending to get them.

"Love" does not mean to ill-equip yourself for life. I was able to act intentionally with compassion only because I had the physical and technical training to take control of the situation. In fact, through the whole encounter (and others like it), I was "in control" of the situation but did not "exert" any effort to control it. There was nothing they could have done because I had the upper hand.

But what if both of those guys had been well-trained soldiers or cage fighters?

To go out in the "Emperor's clothes" and actually believe you're in good shape is a sad state to be in.

Best to you.

David
I would 'neuter them out of Aikido because I know how the egotistical nature will mistranslate it.

Your own will is not the will of ego or greed or fear or selfishness etc. Many people have intentions by the way but when they think it's all a matter of intention I can but smile. There's much more powerful things than intention.

Regards.G.

Last edited by akiy : 01-25-2012 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:23 AM   #168
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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 "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want."
So if you want them to throw themselves like the uke of the (in)famous Kiai Master, and they obey you then you are doing aiki?
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:35 AM   #169
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Different enough to not be called "marathon running"?
Probably. But still "running."

Which, I realize, is part of the issue in the martial arts case. It's all very well for those fluffy bunnies/uncivilized brutes to do what they do, but do they have to call it "aikido?"

That's fundamentally a question for the heads of the various styles, though. The Aikikai allows a very wide range of things to be taught under its umbrella, and that's probably beyond the ability of anyone on this forum to change. Nor would such a change necessarily benefit any particular group of "purists." Past splits have not really had much to do with technical merit, so there's no reason to assume that the "best" aikido would "win" in any future upheaval.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that as long as a dojo is an affiliate in good standing with a recognized organization, they are entitled to call what they do "aikido." Likewise unaffiliated dojos with traceable lineage to Ueshiba Sensei.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #170
kewms
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
As far a subjective aspect goes one can be satisfied with the full mastery of the tea ceremony, with performing a tea ceremony without tea or by simply imagining performing a tea ceremony in their mind. In a way all these are equally valid, at least on the subjective playground. In the objective reality, a well executing tea ceremony is aesthetically nourishing to all participants while an imaginary one is useless.
But at what point is the "essence" of tea ceremony lost? If the person performing the tea ceremony is truly a master, wouldn't they be able to produce the same aesthetic nourishment using black tea or rooibos instead of matcha? (On the other hand, perhaps coffee would be a bridge too far, because the preparation method is too different.)

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #171
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I think that two distinct things get entangled here. One is what sort of personal, subjective satisfaction one can derive from specific activity, the other is what objective value can be assigned to that activity in the real world.
The objective value the real world assigns to tea ceremony, or to martial arts, is approximately zero. That's my point. That for the vast majority of people, the subjective satisfaction is really the only reason to practice, and so why should it bother others if they don't care about making their art more objectively valuable.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #172
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Yes, when something has an established identity and someone else, doing something very different, wants to appropriate that identity and the reputation that goes with it, it matters.
As I pointed out in another post, the "identity and reputation" of aikido are "owned" by the Aikikai. (Leaving the other organizations aside for the moment, as Aikikai was Ueshiba Sensei's designated successor organization.) They have chosen to define "aikido" fairly broadly, as is their right, however misguided you believe that decision to be.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #173
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Demetrio,

No. That's how you get knocked out(I'm sure you have seen that vid on YouTube as well)...!!! I have the feeling YOU know it's more complicated than that...!!! :0)

ChrisW
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #174
Janet Rosen
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
@ Janet..I really like your story.

For me it is not about making uke do what I want....because I don't know what I want...I am seeing in the moment what is good for both of us. I don't go into technique with a plan...that would put me in my brain...I enter into technique with commitment to see what happens. I accept the gift of attack and blend to become....whatever.
You want to have a good outcome, however you define it.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:18 AM   #175
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 779
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
If the person performing the tea ceremony is truly a master, wouldn't they be able to produce the same aesthetic nourishment using black tea or rooibos instead of matcha?
Maybe, or maybe not. One thing is sure, you can't run without knowing how to walk. You can't become a chado master without being chado novice. Maybe you can become something else, maybe there will be a lot of satisfaction when you walk the way (Way?) of rooibos but that walk leads to a different place.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But at what point is the "essence" of tea ceremony lost?
Don't know, perhaps there is a point (when it turns out that the water temperature for matcha is radically different then for rooibos ), or perhaps like many things its a process (at what point does a child becomes a grown up). Either way, the end result is different.

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