Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Open Discussions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-08-2012, 07:46 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,183
Offline
What kind of bullying is this?

Every time I read this kind of rhetoric it reminds of of a kind of bullying...but I can't think of the name of it...I see in this post and others like it techniques like: using assumed authority....big words, supposedly superior intellect, and the use of the group as if: many of us implies everybody.....does anyone have the name for what it is?

When everyone just sits and watches bullying it makes everyone who sits and watches a participant.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Graham:

People have been remarkably patient with you. You come on to this forum presenting yourself as somebody with knowledge and ability. People with demonstrable knowledge and ability have both questioned your claims and outright dismissed your claims. People have asked that you provide some demonstrable examples ( your videos are woefully lacking in this area if you have not already figured that out yet), such as holding an open seminar so that people can assess for themselves what you have to offer. Let's review some of the areas of concerns:

1) You say that you have understand a lot of what O'Sensei said: Fact 1- You do not speak or read Japanese. Fact 2- Much of the translated works of O'Sensei have not been accurately translated.
Fact 3- Much of what O'Sensei use to talk about was so heavily embedded in his deep religious beliefs, that without a deep understanding of the culture and beliefs, many of his own direct students had trouble figuring out exactly what he was trying to say.

Taking those three facts into account, it is highly improbable that you in fact understand a lot of what O'Sensei said. At best, some aspects of the translated works resonate with YOUR belief systems. To most people on this forum, who do have a much deeper understanding of what O'Sensei said (for example Chris Li) they simply point out the error of your ways, to which you seek to wiggle your way out of by claiming that your idiosyncratic understanding is somehow accurate.

2) You claim that what you do is "effective" and based on O'Sensei's principles:
To highly skilled and experienced Aikido teachers, your videos are uniformly dismissed as not representing O'Sensei's principles and displaying no signs of being any where near effective in any manner, shape of form. You talk mysteriously about having spent 10 years testing yourself. You talk mysteriously about some unspoken weapons skills. You talk your way out of having to demonstrate this to any open audience. The burden of proof is simply on you. You can allow Dan Harden to attend one of your classes, since you say that you are open to such encounters. This forum, for the most part, will respect the feedback that Dan provides us with. Better yet, hold an open seminar. Allow some of the senior Aikidoka from Britain to attend, besides other people, and allow your skills to be observed and felt by a larger audience. To Mark Tennenhouse's credit, at least he had integrity to put his money where his mouth was. You have yet to display any kind of budo integrity in terms of allowing what you say to be felt and observed.

You spend so much of your time discounting the feedback from other people. You spend so much of your time telling people that they simply do not understand the depth of your understanding and depth of abilities. You spend no time verifying a single thing. You complain about the keyboard warrior, yet you seem to be the worst offender of all. You come on this forum and put forth words and then hide behind them, saying that you are beyond the need for verification.

People have asked the legitimate question of why do you post on this forum. It seems to me that you should simply stick to a personal blog. If you put forth ideas and beliefs on this forum, it seems to most sane, rational and reasonable people that you should be able to amply demonstrate what you say to an open audience IN PERSON, as opposed to your words.

Many people are conflicted about you on this forum for a number of reasons. One, is that you appear to be a sincere, nice person, BUT you do come across as either overly sanctimonious and/or deluded in your beliefs and abilities. Another reason, is that there are a number of responsible people who view your ideas as being irresponsible (in terms of saying that what you do is martial and effective, while demonstrating nothing of the kind), misrepresenting Aikido in both is philosophy, practice and application. They post, not to enter into some kind of genuine discussion or face-to-face meeting to flesh these things out (you studiously avoid both of these situations), but to try and provide people with what most consider more accurate information. Another reason, is that people have heard what you say before (70's- & 80's) and have watched the responsible martial artists, with genuine integrity, discover that their previously held notions were simply a stage in their training that they moved beyond.

You have already worn out your welcome with some of the most respected martial artists on this forum. Their attempts to guide you were met with an attitude and response that placed you on the ignore list. Dan Harden's latest attempts to assist you in your understanding of things was very kind and very well attended. Your response to him was typical of how your respond to anybody who does not agree with your view of things. You avoid any real tests, while discounting any real need to do so, while trying to pass off your ideas as somehow valid and reasonable within the world of Aikido and larger world of budo.

Frankly speaking, in absence of you demonstrating in an open manner (lets say holding an open seminar), I can only hope that people simply stop responding to you. It seems to spur you on to writing more and demonstrating nothing. People's response should uniformly be "put up or stop typing." At the end of the day, martial arts is about what you CAN do, as opposed to what you CLAIM that you can do.

Marc Abrams

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 07:55 AM   #2
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,909
Spain
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Every time I read this kind of rhetoric it reminds of of a kind of bullying...but I can't think of the name of it...
Probably because it is not bullying in a technical sense.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:34 AM   #3
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,760
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
When everyone just sits and watches bullying it makes everyone who sits and watches a participant.
I dunno, Mary. I agree with this statement in the abstract, but I'm not sure of its application here. Strong statements lose their strength if they're used in situations where they don't really fit.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Probably because it is not bullying in a technical sense.
I don't see where it would be considered bullying at all.

Graham has claimed a black belt and tremendous ability in aikido, yet posted videos that indicate very little if any skill at all; he has told many people that he understands what Ueshiba did and that other people simply don't understand him (Graham) and his Way of the Bodhi....????

Really?

There are a couple of names for the strong responses Graham gets and this kind of response has a long and undeniable history in Japanese culture and martial arts.

The first is, "The nail that sticks up will be hammered down." And the only way to overcome that is to stand up like a black belt aikidoka and show that you can't be hammered.

The second term for this also has a long history in Japan: "Put up or shut up." The fact that anyone could make such claims (supported by those unbelievable video clips and his dismissive, passive-aggressive statements and responses) and have actual black belt aikidoka take him at all seriously simply shows how far the real essence of "black belt" has degraded in the United States. Also, how low the understanding of aikido has sunk if anyone can take Graham's videos seriously as aikido. The black belt consensus is that if Graham is charging any kind of payment for those lessons, he is indeed the real snake oil salesman.

I think what Mary perceives all this to be is what the Japanese call "ijimeru," which is harrassment, picking on, or bullying of people primarily for being "different" in any way. Ijimeru is cruel and unnecessary and is the main cause of the high suicide rate among Japanese children.

But Graham is not just "different." He's selling something bizarre and calling it "aikido" when it clearly is not good aikido but something which he should not be teaching to anyone.

All that people are calling for here is some measurement of what Graham claims against what other people have actually proven. Until then, he's selling perpetual motion cold fusion eternal salvation enlightenment in a bottle: i.e., snake oil.

Now, as for having proven he knows what aikido and Japanese martial arts are about, Marc Abrams is not someone who once had a teacher, who once had a teacher whose teacher studied with a Japanese guy...or actually trained in Japan. Marc is US representative for Ushiro Karate, under Kenji Ushiro, who has heavily impressed the likes of Hiroshi Ikeda, of aikido, as well as many, many other serious martial artists. Marc is also a 20 year student of Imaizumi Sensei in aikido. He is a professional psychiatrist with serious responsibilities in the criminal justice system and he has dedicated himself to operating a serious dojo with serious responsibilities to his students. And with that authority (yes: actual authority--not just a hakama), he has also been burdened with the responsibility to call a fraud a fraud, or, to call goofy-looking, highly questionable activities as highly suspect of being fraud. His teachers have made him a standard and he must serve as such.

Graham's expositions of aikido power are pretty sad-looking, really, even considering that all his students appear to be absolute novices. No one in any of his videos displays any skill whatever, which also raises the question of where all his students go after a couple of lessons. They don't seem to hang around. Or maybe they do, but just don't develop any skill? What's that about?

If Graham wants to be taken seriously, let him do a video of himself with a 6th dan judoka as his opponent. That would be nothing for someone with Morihei Ueshiba's understanding, which Graham repeatedly claims.

But sadly, Graham just keeps posting what seems like pure drivel and buzzwords that fly in the face of 70 years of aikido history and refuses to meet anyone outside his own circle of students so that he can even see whether his claims have any value or if they simply fall apart. My money would be on the judoka. Let's even take him down to 3rd dan, and I will be impressed if Graham can have any effect on him at all.

So there's no need to consider Marc's comments as "bullying" or to single him out when many serious people have said the same things about Graham's video examples and voluminous written statements. It's just a sign that there are still some people who know what "black belt aikido" actually means. Strange how people will cut out all kinds of vital elements from aikido training...but they will always be proud of that black belt.

Really pretty sad.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Mary:

As a rule of thumb, I like to refer to dictionary definitions:

bul·ly 1 (bl)
n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.
4. Archaic A fine person.
5. Archaic A sweetheart.

Thank you for calling me a sweetheart !

The expression that you are searching for is called "Empirical Validation", which does not equate with bullying. A person is neither a thug or sweetheart when asking for empirical validation. Advancements in almost all areas of human endeavors come as a direct result of empirical validation of ideas and alleged acts.

It's almost Valentine's Day and a fine person just called me a sweetheart..... I can't wait for the flowers and candies to arrive!

Hugs and Kisses!

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,751
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Mary:

As a rule of thumb, I like to refer to dictionary definitions:

bul·ly 1 (bl)
n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.
4. Archaic A fine person.
5. Archaic A sweetheart.

It's almost Valentine's Day and a fine person just called me a sweetheart..... I can't wait for the flowers and candies to arrive!

Hugs and Kisses!

Marc Abrams
hey, you might be a pimp, an aikido pimp! you can add that to your aiki-bunny title. and i hope you are not waiting for hugs and kisses from me, because my wife would take exception to that.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:16 AM   #7
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Now, as for having proven he knows what aikido and Japanese martial arts are about, Marc Abrams is not someone who once had a teacher, who once had a teacher whose teacher studied with a Japanese guy...or actually trained in Japan. Marc is US representative for Ushiro Karate, under Kenji Ushiro, who has heavily impressed the likes of Hiroshi Ikeda, of aikido, as well as many, many other serious martial artists. Marc is also a 20 year student of Imaizumi Sensei in aikido. He is a professional psychiatrist with serious responsibilities in the criminal justice system and he has dedicated himself to operating a serious dojo with serious responsibilities to his students. And with that authority (yes: actual authority--not just a hakama), he has also been burdened with the responsibility to call a fraud a fraud, or, to call goofy-looking, highly questionable activities as highly suspect of being fraud. His teachers have made him a standard and he must serve as such.

David
David:

This whole issue should not be made about me or Graham for that matter. That we ask for empirical validation, should never be looked down upon, but as giving everybody the opportunity to empirically validate claimed ideas and abilities.

As to myself, I am a lowly Shodan in Shindoryu Ushiro Karate. I frankly do not believe that I deserve that belt and am working everyday to live up to the rank. That I represent him outside of Japan is merely a result of my being the Westerner who has maintained the longest relationship with him (10yrs), as opposed to any substantial abilities on my part. I have been a direct student of Imaizumi Sensei since 11/88. What ever skills or abilities that I possess are as a result of my teachers and hard work. They are always open to being observed and tested and my dojo is always open to anybody who wants to visit, test, train, study, laugh, etc.... I am a PSYCHOLOGIST and not a psychiatrist ( I talk you to death, rather than drug you to death). I am a consultant for the legal system on national and international level.

I am simply asking for some empirical validation of ideas and alleged abilities. I have done so with Imaizumi Sensei, Ushiro Sensei, Dan Harden, and a host of other people, besides myself (Yes, I go out and have my abilities tested in a variety of ways). Graham is not special in the treatment that he receives from me. He just stands out to me because of his obvious, unwillingness to hold himself open to empirical validation, while at the same time, continuing to make claims and posit ideas that myself and many others question and disagree with. He has the opportunity like everybody else, to help educate us and/or himself through the process of empirical validation. I frankly find it sad that somebody would like to distort and reduce this process into some kind of ridiculous claim of bullying.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,183
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Ok...I agree, it is not quite bullying. What would we call it when a group on a forum consistently badgers (maybe that is a better word) anyone who disagrees with the group?

Whike I believe you certanly have the right to post anything you want, it is sad to me to see what Aikiweb has become. I wonder if more people would post again if this behavior was toned down.

What you do and what some others do does seem like some kind of attack. Do you know what it is really called? The only thing that comes to my mind is forced teaming and that does not apply to what is happening on Aikiweb.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:34 AM   #9
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,909
Spain
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
What you do and what some others do does seem like some kind of attack. Do you know what it is really called? The only thing that comes to my mind is forced teaming and that does not apply to what is happening on Aikiweb.
I see it as a form of "Dharma Combat". And there's nothing wrong with it afaik.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #10
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,536
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Well, geez, if I walk in to the weight room at a local gym and announce that I can bench press 400 pounds the people there who work hard day in and day out are going to want to see me do it. If I then say "oh, you wouldn't understand, but I can, and I do it all the time and was trained by greats of the weight lifting world" it is not unreasonable for those there to ask me more questions about who, how, when, ... And if I keep insisting it loudly eventually some will ignore me, others will tire of me, and some will likely tell me to "put up or shut up".

Folk are free to post whatever they want. But if it appears to be totally incorrect, totally unhinged, totally disconnected with reality, shouldn't people say "hey, wait a minute, that's just not the case." I asked about his definition of martial because he seems to claim all sorts of ability and knowledge. And yet watching his video I see, well, nothing even remotely what I'd call aikido or martial or anything. Sure, there are some superficial similarities but shouldn't we also be about protecting our art and traditions to some extent as well? Especially when things seem to completely out there and delusional?

If every opinion is perfectly valid then there is no reason to have a conversation at all. Yeah, we can disagree. And we should all try to remain civil. But sometimes you have to point and say the emperor is naked...

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:43 AM   #11
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,760
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Ok...I agree, it is not quite bullying. What would we call it when a group on a forum consistently badgers (maybe that is a better word) anyone who disagrees with the group?
Well, my first question would be, what behavior are you talking about? Clearly this isn't an abstract discussion, so what group are you talking about, what behavior are you describing as "badgering", and how do you support your claim that this group "badgers" people simply based on disagreement?

Second, is this really a group behavior? Just because a number of people do the same thing, doesn't mean they're a mob. If you stand at a bus stop and ask every person who comes by what day of the week it is, most if not all of them will give you the same answer, because most if not all of them know that answer to be the truth. And, of course, in the case of Aikiweb, you aren't going to get "the group" to "agree" anyway. So isn't it a bit much to accuse a "group" of "badgering" someone based on a non-existent group opinion?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:44 AM   #12
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Ok...I agree, it is not quite bullying. What would we call it when a group on a forum consistently badgers (maybe that is a better word) anyone who disagrees with the group?

Whike I believe you certanly have the right to post anything you want, it is sad to me to see what Aikiweb has become. I wonder if more people would post again if this behavior was toned down.

What you do and what some others do does seem like some kind of attack. Do you know what it is really called? The only thing that comes to my mind is forced teaming and that does not apply to what is happening on Aikiweb.
Empirical validation has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not people agree or disagree with a group. As a rule of thumb, I like to use the shape of the earth. A majority of the people believed that the earth was flat. Along comes a person who says "NO" the earth is round. This person then provided empirical validation of that idea. It is funny that thinkers accepted the empirical validation immediately and it was another group (gee who could that be) who said that you can never question the group thinking, that did not accept the obvious until hundreds of years later.

Does that mean that I am not your sweetheart anymore?

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 10:22 AM   #13
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 610
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Ok...I agree, it is not quite bullying. What would we call it when a group on a forum consistently badgers (maybe that is a better word) anyone who disagrees with the group?

Whike I believe you certanly have the right to post anything you want, it is sad to me to see what Aikiweb has become. I wonder if more people would post again if this behavior was toned down.

What you do and what some others do does seem like some kind of attack. Do you know what it is really called? The only thing that comes to my mind is forced teaming and that does not apply to what is happening on Aikiweb.
Dear Mary,

As the old saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. When someone repeatedly posts counterfactual statements and attempts to hide behind a (mis)characterization of those counterfactual statements as perfectly valid personal opinions, it is not surprising that such a person should attract vigorous counterarguments.

There are some people who object to such vigorous responses, it is true. My primary objection to them is that they simply take a good deal of time to put together and have a limited effect when directed at those who are simply ineducable. As I grow older and more careful regarding how I choose to spend my limited time, increasingly, my choice with such individuals is to ignore them and to avoid situations where it is necessary to interact with them. For better or for worse, with an occasional exception (whether well- or ill-chosen) this means generally avoiding any interaction on Aikiweb but the most basic transfer of inarguably objective fact.

I'm hardly alone in this. Indeed, I know a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post here at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs.

But I don't see this as a problem with Aikiweb alone. I see this as a fundamental problem with what, for lack of a better phrase, is termed "the aikido community." Having been trained to not only politely tolerate, but in some cases actually celebrate their own teachers' failings, there are a great many students of the art who have actively damaged not only their own critical thinking ability, but their capacity for moral reasoning. It may not be dead, but for many practitioners, it has certainly gone to sleep.

In that circumstance, the wake-up call often sounds harsh indeed; but like an alarm clock, hitting the snooze button only buys a few more minutes of restive dormancy. And that is, I think, about all I have to say about that.

Best regards,

FL

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #14
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 915
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Well, geez, if I walk in to the weight room at a local gym and announce that I can bench press 400 pounds the people there who work hard day in and day out are going to want to see me do it. If I then say "oh, you wouldn't understand, but I can, and I do it all the time and was trained by greats of the weight lifting world" it is not unreasonable for those there to ask me more questions about who, how, when, ... And if I keep insisting it loudly eventually some will ignore me, others will tire of me, and some will likely tell me to "put up or shut up".
What Keith said. It's easy to claim whatever you want online. If you hope to be taken seriously, though, you eventually need to support those claims in person. Asking someone to do that is not bullying.

I also question whether "bullying" is even possible when the "victim" is an adult, posts here voluntarily, and has no real-world contact with any of the people involved.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
Brad Gould
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai/Bedford Hills, NY
Location: NY
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Ok...I agree, it is not quite bullying. What would we call it when a group on a forum consistently badgers (maybe that is a better word) anyone who disagrees with the group?

Whike I believe you certanly have the right to post anything you want, it is sad to me to see what Aikiweb has become. I wonder if more people would post again if this behavior was toned down.

What you do and what some others do does seem like some kind of attack. Do you know what it is really called? The only thing that comes to my mind is forced teaming and that does not apply to what is happening on Aikiweb.
As an example of practicing what one preaches, Marc does actually follow the ideals underlying his quoted posting. I know this from personal experience. The following is not to make this about Marc or Graham, but to share, based on my first hand knowledge, what I see behind the posting, and that it is not about picking on someone who has a different perspective.

As sensei, Marc does not let an uke take a fall to make teacher look good. Nobody’s perfect, and if an uke manages to stop his technique, he adapts, but then highlights what he sees that his flaw was. He then demonstrates a correction. He’ll tell you when he was wrong.

As a martial artist looking to improve, he earnestly seeks out those who claim to be very capable, and when he finds someone who is, he tries to learn from them, and fortunately he also brings the ones he can to the dojo to have his students learn from them as well. He’ll tell you when he considers someone else to be a better martial artist than he is, or when another has a great way of explaining things that he is trying to understand.

Marc’s example post is frank, honest, and legitimate. There’s no bullying or improper badgering in asking someone to support a claim they make or pointing out that no support has been provided.

From my perspective, I haven’t been in martial arts anywhere near the time the truly experienced people on this list have been. When the opportunity presents, I do try to see/feel/ask martial artists who are potentially great. I work hard at learning what I can from people who have the knowledge, the martial ability, and the teaching ability. There is a value to me, as well as to the art itself, when masters who publicly make a claim to abilities and knowledge actually substantiate these claims, either by way of substantive explanation, substantive discussion, or working in person with other masters who report on it.

We have such a great opportunity here for learning from each other and for culling the effective from the misguided, but we’ll miss it if people are continuously chided for asking for the substance behind public claims or statements. Maybe I’m just too inexperienced a budoka, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that there is such a thing as “martially effective” or “what O’Sensei actually intended to say.” When someone claims martial effectiveness or knowing what Ueshiba meant to say, I for one, become very interested in learning what I can from this. I do my best to filter truths from fallacies, and to do this, I too look for the substance of the discussion, or of experts’ opinions of each other’s budo after they’ve worked together.

Even discussing what O'Sensei meant to say should not be considered the equivalent of discussing a creation myth. Whether obtainable or not, there should be a correct answer to it, and the topic shouldn't be lumped amog those about which everybody is entitled to an unchallenged opinion. Calling for a basis in quotes, translations, context, witness accoutns, or other substantial facts or reasoning shouldn't be considered improper in this forum.

It’s not bullying to ask for substance or to call out an unwillingness to provide substance. It has nothing to do with bullying due to disagreements.

On the other hand, it is belittling to effectively take a position such as: I know something that you don’t; and I am very aware that you don’t; and I won’t try to help you learn because I don’t care that you don’t know it.

Last edited by Brad Gould : 02-08-2012 at 11:41 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:41 AM   #16
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Dear Mary,

As the old saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. When someone repeatedly posts counterfactual statements and attempts to hide behind a (mis)characterization of those counterfactual statements as perfectly valid personal opinions, it is not surprising that such a person should attract vigorous counterarguments.

There are some people who object to such vigorous responses, it is true. My primary objection to them is that they simply take a good deal of time to put together and have a limited effect when directed at those who are simply ineducable. As I grow older and more careful regarding how I choose to spend my limited time, increasingly, my choice with such individuals is to ignore them and to avoid situations where it is necessary to interact with them. For better or for worse, with an occasional exception (whether well- or ill-chosen) this means generally avoiding any interaction on Aikiweb but the most basic transfer of inarguably objective fact.

I'm hardly alone in this. Indeed, I know a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post here at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs.

But I don't see this as a problem with Aikiweb alone. I see this as a fundamental problem with what, for lack of a better phrase, is termed "the aikido community." Having been trained to not only politely tolerate, but in some cases actually celebrate their own teachers' failings, there are a great many students of the art who have actively damaged not only their own critical thinking ability, but their capacity for moral reasoning. It may not be dead, but for many practitioners, it has certainly gone to sleep.

In that circumstance, the wake-up call often sounds harsh indeed; but like an alarm clock, hitting the snooze button only buys a few more minutes of restive dormancy. And that is, I think, about all I have to say about that.

Best regards,

FL
Sigh
Sometimes I just sit there, reading your words...shaking my head and smiling.
It's great to see a man so well equipped at his task.

With great admiration.
Dan
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:46 AM   #17
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

I think the question Mary really raises is, what kind of community is AikiWeb?

If it were a dinner party, the kind of interactions Mary E objects to (and, Mary M, she was very clear in her OP what triggered her to post) would be inappropriate. And it would be inappropriate to continually badger people to try a new approach or technique for their own good, whether they want to or not--sort of like badgering people to try a new religion, or telling them their religion is whacked.

I think the counter-argument is that AikiWeb isn't a dinner party--it's an expert community. As such:
  1. Expertise matters.
  2. Experts exist. There are people who have put in the time and the sweat to become experts, and there are those who haven't. The two are not on an equal footing in the community.
  3. Claims of expertise are open to challenge, and it is not inappropriate to issue such a challenge. Expertise is the currency of the community after all.
  4. Claims of fact or effectiveness are also open to challenge and verification. Why else are we talking, if not to increase our expertise? Challenging another's opinion or claim is not inappropriate.
  5. Expertise is evaluated via objective criteria. Traditionally, drawn swords at 6 paces; currently it's a little more involved than that.

A corollary is that repeated claims of fact that cannot be supported are subject not only to disagreement, but ridicule. You don't just point out the error of scientists promoting cold fusion, you laugh them out of the room. This is because their false claims not only are wrong, but a challenge to the expertise of the group. Allowing false claims to stand is an admission that we simply don't care about our area of expertise very much.

I think this is really what Mary E is responding to--the continued, vehement disagreement with an unsupported opinion that runs counter to the experience of every expert that's speaking up. I'd say, actually, that there's been very little mockery--the focus has been very much of the content at issue.

Coming up with "objective criteria" is a problem, I admit. Competition would only demonstrate that you could demonstrate your ability within the rules of the game. Furthermore, Aikido doesn't just claim to be effective; it claims to be effective in real-world situations (multiple attackers, weapons, disengagement is possible) while maintaining a spiritual center. Robust discussion about the criteria themselves is not inappropriate. Asserting that there does not need to be any criteria at all is.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:46 AM   #18
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Hi Mary.
Yes there could be many names for it and yes also, I know many who don't come on the forum because of it.

To me true budo is a peaceful place. Thus to me all negatve comments are just noise. Disharmonious sounds.

Clever noise is nonetheless noise. But now and again there's some music.

I think noise joining with other noises makes it believe it is music. Oh well.

Reminds me of people in cars. They can be very abusive towards others and it's always about the others poor driving and even reaches rage. In the end they learn their own behaviour is the problem.

Imagine them doing the same things or acting the same way on the street or even their own house.

This thread I could entitle 'reasons and excuses for bad behaviour' and not be far off the mark.

To look inwards is sadly a not very well practiced art. Masakatsu and agatsu. Maybe it's not budo.

Regards.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #19
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Not having Fred's luminous skills...I will just say that I think we are seeing the last gasps of the indefensible aikibunnies™ (an old term) being exposed for what their skills are truly worth among an ever growing and better educated community.
I think it is a very positive move. It is also worth noting how very, very, few rise to their defense and just who they are and what they practice themselves. Of course they object to someone being called on their talk versus their actual abilities.
Dan
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
Brad Gould
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai/Bedford Hills, NY
Location: NY
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mary.
Reminds me of people in cars. They can be very abusive towards others and it's always about the others poor driving and even reaches rage. In the end they learn their own behaviour is the problem.

Imagine them doing the same things or acting the same way on the street or even their own house.
Regards.G.
This part of the reason people offer to meet in person.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #21
Gary David
 
Gary David's Avatar
Location: Long Beach, CA
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 329
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Every time I read this kind of rhetoric it reminds of of a kind of bullying...but I can't think of the name of it...I see in this post and others like it techniques like: using assumed authority....big words, supposedly superior intellect, and the use of the group as if: many of us implies everybody.....does anyone have the name for what it is?

When everyone just sits and watches bullying it makes everyone who sits and watches a participant.
Quote:
Reminds me of people in cars. They can be very abusive towards others and it's always about the others poor driving and even reaches rage. In the end they learn their own behaviour is the problem.

Imagine them doing the same things or acting the same way on the street or even their own house.

This thread I could entitle 'reasons and excuses for bad behaviour' and not be far off the mark.

To look inwards is sadly a not very well practiced art. Masakatsu and agatsu. Maybe it's not budo.

Regards.G.
Mary
I think that Graham is an interesting "character" and would stop by to visit him if I were ever in his area of the world, and he is free to do whatever he choses to do on his own time..... but his approach here is like laying out his biography for all to see and getting upset when someone actually tries to confirm the content. I was thinking hard on who Graham reminded me of and it came to me yesterday. This guy, who is also likable and friendly, makes a number of claims in his online bio that don't line up with the facts. He claims being promoted to shodan in 1972 and that he trained with my original instructor five or six days a week for years. He was only in the dojo one time a week during the summer months when the adult school Aikido classes he was taken were off for the summer. And when he finally came into the dojo in 1978 or so he was a 3rd or 4th kyu (purple belt) All of the senior level instructors he claims to have trained directly under he may have touches on a wednesday night class or a weekend seminar.......none of these individual were ever his "sensei" I found it interesting that this individual always found a way to end up in the front row and next to the visiting instructor even when his place in the ranking level was 3rd row or maybe 2nd at best. In short all but a few lines in the bio are misstated or direct fabrications. Of course none of this showed up until he was at least 10 years gone from the dojo and living in another state.

Should he be called on this......yes he should. Every time I brought the subject up when there was a annual or special session happening that brought him to the dojo to take part as a participant I was told "aaahh it just the way he is, you know how he is, he is harmless...so don't worry about it....." After all he was a likable guy. Is this the way it should have been handled...no...but not my dojo to run.

The question to your comment about bullying what do you do about statements, comments and visuals that don't hold up...do you question them or let them ride? All it would take would be a little level sitting here on Graham's part to clear it all up ..... just get on the mat with some of the folks posting here to see how the practices hold up to each other.

Gary
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #22
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,909
Spain
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mary.
Yes there could be many names for it and yes also, I know many who don't come on the forum because of it.
Probably, but consider this: Only Mary has stepped out in your defense when she felt you were being bullied, she has shown more courage than your other friends around here. Props to her.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #23
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,126
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Mary
I think that Graham is an interesting "character" and would stop by to visit him if I were ever in his area of the world, and he is free to do whatever he choses to do on his own time..... but his approach here is like laying out his biography for all to see and getting upset when someone actually tries to confirm the content. I was thinking hard on who Graham reminded me of and it came to me yesterday. This guy, who is also likable and friendly, makes a number of claims in his online bio that don't line up with the facts. He claims being promoted to shodan in 1972 and that he trained with my original instructor five or six days a week for years. He was only in the dojo one time a week during the summer months when the adult school Aikido classes he was taken were off for the summer. And when he finally came into the dojo in 1978 or so he was a 3rd or 4th kyu (purple belt) All of the senior level instructors he claims to have trained directly under he may have touches on a wednesday night class or a weekend seminar.......none of these individual were ever his "sensei" I found it interesting that this individual always found a way to end up in the front row and next to the visiting instructor even when his place in the ranking level was 3rd row or maybe 2nd at best. In short all but a few lines in the bio are misstated or direct fabrications. Of course none of this showed up until he was at least 10 years gone from the dojo and living in another state.

Should he be called on this......yes he should. Every time I brought the subject up when there was a annual or special session happening that brought him to the dojo to take part as a participant I was told "aaahh it just the way he is, you know how he is, he is harmless...so don't worry about it....." After all he was a likable guy. Is this the way it should have been handled...no...but not my dojo to run.

The question to your comment about bullying what do you do about statements, comments and visuals that don't hold up...do you question them or let them ride? All it would take would be a little level sitting here on Graham's part to clear it all up ..... just get on the mat with some of the folks posting here to see how the practices hold up to each other.

Gary
Hi Gary,
The points you make concerning people who are inflating/exaggerating their skills or claiming grades/lineage imo should be asked to validate their work.In any line of business , be it a doctor /librarian , soldier sailor tinker tailor if one applied for a position of responsibility in a job would any employer hire somebody with a home made PHD Certificate or a licence to do brain surgery with a licence to do so issued by the university of Tom & Jerry ?I think not .Guys who inflate or make unsubstantiated claims in Internet BioGraphies make the genuine people who have grafted and sweated over many years studying aikido shudder.The only thing I can say is this, self promotion [grade wise] is in my opinion self delusion. cheers, joe
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #24
tarik
 
tarik's Avatar
Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 516
United_States
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Dear Mary,

As the old saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. When someone repeatedly posts counterfactual statements and attempts to hide behind a (mis)characterization of those counterfactual statements as perfectly valid personal opinions, it is not surprising that such a person should attract vigorous counterarguments.

There are some people who object to such vigorous responses, it is true. My primary objection to them is that they simply take a good deal of time to put together and have a limited effect when directed at those who are simply ineducable. As I grow older and more careful regarding how I choose to spend my limited time, increasingly, my choice with such individuals is to ignore them and to avoid situations where it is necessary to interact with them. For better or for worse, with an occasional exception (whether well- or ill-chosen) this means generally avoiding any interaction on Aikiweb but the most basic transfer of inarguably objective fact.

I'm hardly alone in this. Indeed, I know a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post here at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs.

But I don't see this as a problem with Aikiweb alone. I see this as a fundamental problem with what, for lack of a better phrase, is termed "the aikido community." Having been trained to not only politely tolerate, but in some cases actually celebrate their own teachers' failings, there are a great many students of the art who have actively damaged not only their own critical thinking ability, but their capacity for moral reasoning. It may not be dead, but for many practitioners, it has certainly gone to sleep.

In that circumstance, the wake-up call often sounds harsh indeed; but like an alarm clock, hitting the snooze button only buys a few more minutes of restive dormancy. And that is, I think, about all I have to say about that.

Best regards,

FL
*applause*

I tried to trim, but found that entirely ineffective. Well, said.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 10:55 PM   #25
gates
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Offline
Re: What kind of bullying is this?

Whatever 'this' is, it is a distraction and an annoyance to the real reason why people come onto Aikiweb.

Last edited by gates : 02-09-2012 at 10:59 PM.

Enjoy the journey
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bullying BobGorman "Off-The-Mat" 34 09-19-2012 05:31 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18 Peter Goldsbury Columns 187 09-08-2011 02:41 PM
Ki is Kindness. graham christian Spiritual 157 12-21-2010 09:36 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 17 Peter Goldsbury Columns 41 06-03-2010 09:46 PM
Shouts for Sub-Teens Thomas Donelson Teaching 12 10-13-2008 09:32 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:46 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate