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Old 02-24-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Everyone gets an 'A'

Everyone gets an 'A' in my book for offering an opinion. Everyone gets an 'F' for degrading another.

Now to Aikido. Everyone gets an 'A' for saying there own views and describing their own ways.

Everyone gets an 'F' for comparing any part of Aikido to another art for the sake of making Aikido look stupid. This shows merely lack of understanding. An easy, silly, game.

You can take any part of Aikido and do this 'trick' and thus lead others into what 'sounds' reasonable yet is actually an undermining of the art through once again not understanding.

The sword being a case in point. You cannot compare it with sword arts or use such statements as a true swordsman would take them apart. This only shows lack of understanding.

You can take tsuki and then go over to a punching art like boxing and make a similar unrelated, uneducated put down of Aikido.

I saw Tamura Sensei doing a few kicks during randori. Now you could go to a kicking art and play the same game.

Tegatana. You could go to Karate and say any Karate man would laugh at it. Once again a failure to understand Aikido.

Same applies to pins and comparisons in such a manner to grappling arts.

No wonder Chiba Sensei got annoyed regarding 'other' swordwork done when he was around. No wonder Ueshiba said 'that's not my Aikido'

Very strange to me that the biggest put downs of Aikido actually come from Aikidoka or those purporting to it's betterment. Every person in life I meet respects Aikido in all it's forms, in the REAL world.

The enemy within as usual always with the negative views for the betterment of course.

Budo is love and love is powerful and thus Aikido is different and should be to most other martial arts and long may it be so. No comparison. Different purpose and potentially therefore a different level.

Others from other arts may big up their art, say how great it is, believe in it and live it. So they should. Aikidoka should do the same for a change. Pride and faith in your own art.

Undermining of Aikido can only be done by your own negativity, putting down others and listening to such comparisons to other arts.

Put yourself back in time to the year, lets say 1950 or thereabouts and hear the following.

'You know, there's some dude who's started some new martial art. He reckons budo is love and is babbling all the time about religious nonsense. No one understands him and he runs some hell dojo, I hear theyre a bunch of thugs. He's totally changed everything he says. More than that he reckons he will spread it all around the world like he's on some mission, he even believes it's all about love and harmony. Poor guy, no chance. He even reckons there's no competition in his art, he's banned it, and yet says it's true budo. Wow, I reckon 90% of 'budo' people won't get it, I give it a year or two and it will dissappear.'

Many years later it's all around the world in all it's forms doing very well for such a new art in such a short space of time thank you very much. Now that's an 'A' + with honours.

Some people don't know how lucky they are

May all Kung fu people be great kunk fu people. May all of all arts be great in their arts. May all Aikidoka be great Aikidoka. There is no comparison and no mix, only mutual respect.

May everyone get an 'A'.

Fudoshin.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-24-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
kewms
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
The sword being a case in point. You cannot compare it with sword arts or use such statements as a true swordsman would take them apart.
Why not? O Sensei fought true swordsmen and won. Why shouldn't the rest of us aspire to at least not look stupid with swords in our hands?

Katherine
 
Old 02-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
graham christian
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Why not? O Sensei fought true swordsmen and won. Why shouldn't the rest of us aspire to at least not look stupid with swords in our hands?

Katherine
O'Sensei used Aikido principles and developed his own way with the sword and being as good as he was from there could demonstrate it's superiority.

When you are good enough at Aikido sword or Aikiken then may you be able to do the same.

Kokyu techniques look stupid and always will to those of other budo, budo of different definition, but when you are good enough what does that matter.

You look stupid only to the stupid.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #4
jonreading
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
1. Everyone gets an 'A' in my book for offering an opinion. Everyone gets an 'F' for degrading another.

Now to Aikido. Everyone gets an 'A' for saying there own views and describing their own ways.

2. Everyone gets an 'F' for comparing any part of Aikido to another art for the sake of making Aikido look stupid. This shows merely lack of understanding. An easy, silly, game.

You can take any part of Aikido and do this 'trick' and thus lead others into what 'sounds' reasonable yet is actually an undermining of the art through once again not understanding.

3. The sword being a case in point. You cannot compare it with sword arts or use such statements as a true swordsman would take them apart. This only shows lack of understanding.

You can take tsuki and then go over to a punching art like boxing and make a similar unrelated, uneducated put down of Aikido.

I saw Tamura Sensei doing a few kicks during randori. Now you could go to a kicking art and play the same game.

Tegatana. You could go to Karate and say any Karate man would laugh at it. Once again a failure to understand Aikido.

Same applies to pins and comparisons in such a manner to grappling arts.


No wonder Chiba Sensei got annoyed regarding 'other' swordwork done when he was around. No wonder Ueshiba said 'that's not my Aikido'

Very strange to me that the biggest put downs of Aikido actually come from Aikidoka or those purporting to it's betterment. Every person in life I meet respects Aikido in all it's forms, in the REAL world.

**The enemy within as usual always with the negative views for the betterment of course.**

Budo is love and love is powerful and thus Aikido is different and should be to most other martial arts and long may it be so. No comparison. Different purpose and potentially therefore a different level.

Others from other arts may big up their art, say how great it is, believe in it and live it. So they should. Aikidoka should do the same for a change. Pride and faith in your own art.

Undermining of Aikido can only be done by your own negativity, putting down others and listening to such comparisons to other arts.

Put yourself back in time to the year, lets say 1950 or thereabouts and hear the following.

'You know, there's some dude who's started some new martial art. He reckons budo is love and is babbling all the time about religious nonsense. No one understands him and he runs some hell dojo, I hear theyre a bunch of thugs. He's totally changed everything he says. More than that he reckons he will spread it all around the world like he's on some mission, he even believes it's all about love and harmony. Poor guy, no chance. He even reckons there's no competition in his art, he's banned it, and yet says it's true budo. Wow, I reckon 90% of 'budo' people won't get it, I give it a year or two and it will dissappear.'

Many years later it's all around the world in all it's forms doing very well for such a new art in such a short space of time thank you very much. Now that's an 'A' + with honours.

Some people don't know how lucky they are

May all Kung fu people be great kunk fu people. May all of all arts be great in their arts. May all Aikidoka be great Aikidoka. There is no comparison and no mix, only mutual respect.

4. May everyone get an 'A'.

Fudoshin.

Regards.G.
To address the underlined points (in the order from the original post):
1. If Everyone gets an 'A' in my book for offering an opinion. Everyone gets an 'F' for degrading another. What do you get for degrading those who degrade aikido? I think it a very important function of our peers to vet one another; in this sense the hammer of criticism helps to remove the impurities and forge ourselves into something. I think you need to understand some hammer fells will will accomplish more than others. I think you also need to understand sometimes those hammer fells bang us back into the right direction.
2. Bad aikido looks stupid, it does not need help in that regard. Do not confuse your inability to resolve fundamental conflicts from outside of aikido as a fault in a sister art's observations against aikido. I have heard, and seen good aikido people do just fine in the presence of sister arts; I know many good aikido people who train in multiple arts because there is much overlap. I do not think you should project your personal issues with aikido onto the art as a whole.
3. When I see these arguments, I think, "but good aikido has many similarities in each of these examples...." If you have learned to punch in a manner that is dis-similar with than of [any] other art, maybe you should be asking, "why is my punch dis-similar from everyone else's?"
4. This is, of course, mathematically impossible if one interprets the the letter grading analogy as that of the modern educational grading scale. Again, I think your effort to qualify yourself as an "A" student is a personal issue for you. Not everyone in aikido can be an "A" student, and some are content to be average. It is no small feat to be excellent in any endeavor, and to imply that by some minimal participation one may assume mastery or excellence is degrading to those who do put forth the effort and commitment to realize expertise.

As a point of observation, the cult of aikido seems to require the dismissal of martial validity, usually through a call of ignorance. While tangental to the point of the thread, I bolded comments Graham made to using the vehicle of ignorance to point out that only stupid people point out the fallibility of aikido. For such a short post, there are many occasions of such language. For someone who is claiming to only talk positive (see double **) there is a lot of negative language. I guess let he who has no sin...

I responded to this post because I feel some people need to qualify themselves as experts and they cannot do it through physical demonstration. I responded to this post because if Aikido is not about competition, why the f%#$ do I care if I get an "A" or a "C"? Do you know what they call a "C" student who graduates medical school? Doctor. I do not know why this insecurity is prevalent in aikido, I hazard a guess it is because the cult of aikido's philosophical underpinnings are not conducive to functioning aikido.

Aikido is about mind and body unification. Ikeda Sensei uses an analogy of playing baseball versus coaching baseball. Some of us have the talent but not the experience, some have the experience but not the talent, some have both. You look at leaders in the aikido community who are trying to engage those with the experience to revitalize their bodies using ukemi. You look at leaders in the aikido community who are trying to improve the transmission of aikido so we know what's going on without training for 30 years. When I look at the leaders I want to emulate they do not express this insecurity - they are looking at what they can do better, not excusing away what they cannot do. This is the positive of aikido. The honesty in our training comes from understanding our problems and finding the solution. Introspection sucks, and for that, anyone with courage to look inside themselves gets a "P" from me.

P.S. I don't know what "Kunk Fu" is, but if that's the only thing the Kung Fu people are good at then let's have at them!
 
Old 02-25-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
Gary David
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Graham
The folks in the local park taking the Recreation Center sponsored Tai Chi class are having fun, getting health benefits and enjoying the friendships being formed.......but if I am ever in a situation were I am confronted by a bunch of drunken sailors I think I take the Chin style folks over the recreation class folks to watch my back. Same with Aikido....doing what amounts to recreation level Aikido is good for many purposes, but it just won't hold up if the situation you are dropped into a place that brings you up against opposition that is greater than the top of the mark for the "kind" of Aikido you are doing.....I'll take the folks who searched out ways to improve and up grade, who have looked into the other arts for help and understanding.......that is the reason to get out and see what is there.

Just of straight

Gary
 
Old 02-25-2012, 10:04 AM   #6
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
... Aikido is different and should be to most other martial arts and long may it be so. No comparison. Different purpose and potentially therefore a different level. ...
aikidō is just one of the Japanese budō. No more and no less.

It is the one budō I chose to dedicate my life to. But that makes it different only for me.

In itself aikidō is not different but is comparable to every other budō. Be it technically, be it on a philosophical or spiritual base. And not only Japanese budō, aikidō is also comparable to methods like nei gong or philosophies like Daoism.
There is a countless number of connections, aikidō is not unique and it is not isolated from the rest of the martial world.

So if you want to use the sword correctly you have to look at school which use the sword, to better understand your own skills and methods.

If you want to apply atemi, you have to campare your own knowledge to karate, maybe boxing, to better understand your own art.
Same with kicking: You named a shihan. Christian Tissier - who btw. practiced kickboxing himself - practiced with karateka to have someone kicking who knows how it really works.
If you want to learn how to strike, you have to compare your knowledge with someone of a striking art.
When it comes to grappling and pinning, it is usefull to practice with judoka for a better understanding of one's own practice.
If you want to learn about breathing or guiding your feeling/ki or about aligning you body, you may look into methods like nei gong or tai chi or even shiatsu to better understand your own background.

In my eyes this is crucial. It doesn't mean that you learn pinning from judo, striking and kicking from karate, and so on. You learn and practice aikidō.
But if you don't relate it to the arts it is related to by it's nature it will simply loose it's real skills (which means you / I will never learn them) and will become something only existing in the minds of its practioners as a phantasma.

Doing my job among other things as a teacher, I know that what is an 'A' for one teacher may only be an 'F' according to the criteria of another. I don't share your criteria. I seem to do something different from what you think aikidō is. Allthough I also call it aikidō.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 02-25-2012 at 10:10 AM.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
To address the underlined points (in the order from the original post):
1. If Everyone gets an 'A' in my book for offering an opinion. Everyone gets an 'F' for degrading another. What do you get for degrading those who degrade aikido? I think it a very important function of our peers to vet one another; in this sense the hammer of criticism helps to remove the impurities and forge ourselves into something. I think you need to understand some hammer fells will will accomplish more than others. I think you also need to understand sometimes those hammer fells bang us back into the right direction.
2. Bad aikido looks stupid, it does not need help in that regard. Do not confuse your inability to resolve fundamental conflicts from outside of aikido as a fault in a sister art's observations against aikido. I have heard, and seen good aikido people do just fine in the presence of sister arts; I know many good aikido people who train in multiple arts because there is much overlap. I do not think you should project your personal issues with aikido onto the art as a whole.
3. When I see these arguments, I think, "but good aikido has many similarities in each of these examples...." If you have learned to punch in a manner that is dis-similar with than of [any] other art, maybe you should be asking, "why is my punch dis-similar from everyone else's?"
4. This is, of course, mathematically impossible if one interprets the the letter grading analogy as that of the modern educational grading scale. Again, I think your effort to qualify yourself as an "A" student is a personal issue for you. Not everyone in aikido can be an "A" student, and some are content to be average. It is no small feat to be excellent in any endeavor, and to imply that by some minimal participation one may assume mastery or excellence is degrading to those who do put forth the effort and commitment to realize expertise.

As a point of observation, the cult of aikido seems to require the dismissal of martial validity, usually through a call of ignorance. While tangental to the point of the thread, I bolded comments Graham made to using the vehicle of ignorance to point out that only stupid people point out the fallibility of aikido. For such a short post, there are many occasions of such language. For someone who is claiming to only talk positive (see double **) there is a lot of negative language. I guess let he who has no sin...

I responded to this post because I feel some people need to qualify themselves as experts and they cannot do it through physical demonstration. I responded to this post because if Aikido is not about competition, why the f%#$ do I care if I get an "A" or a "C"? Do you know what they call a "C" student who graduates medical school? Doctor. I do not know why this insecurity is prevalent in aikido, I hazard a guess it is because the cult of aikido's philosophical underpinnings are not conducive to functioning aikido.

Aikido is about mind and body unification. Ikeda Sensei uses an analogy of playing baseball versus coaching baseball. Some of us have the talent but not the experience, some have the experience but not the talent, some have both. You look at leaders in the aikido community who are trying to engage those with the experience to revitalize their bodies using ukemi. You look at leaders in the aikido community who are trying to improve the transmission of aikido so we know what's going on without training for 30 years. When I look at the leaders I want to emulate they do not express this insecurity - they are looking at what they can do better, not excusing away what they cannot do. This is the positive of aikido. The honesty in our training comes from understanding our problems and finding the solution. Introspection sucks, and for that, anyone with courage to look inside themselves gets a "P" from me.

P.S. I don't know what "Kunk Fu" is, but if that's the only thing the Kung Fu people are good at then let's have at them!
1) Self evident I would say. Don't degrade others. Very simple.

2) Many do many things. The sensible ones don't mix them. Each is of itself.

3) Indeed. Precisely my point.

4) Well expressed opinions, you get an 'A'.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
graham christian
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Graham
The folks in the local park taking the Recreation Center sponsored Tai Chi class are having fun, getting health benefits and enjoying the friendships being formed.......but if I am ever in a situation were I am confronted by a bunch of drunken sailors I think I take the Chin style folks over the recreation class folks to watch my back. Same with Aikido....doing what amounts to recreation level Aikido is good for many purposes, but it just won't hold up if the situation you are dropped into a place that brings you up against opposition that is greater than the top of the mark for the "kind" of Aikido you are doing.....I'll take the folks who searched out ways to improve and up grade, who have looked into the other arts for help and understanding.......that is the reason to get out and see what is there.

Just of straight

Gary
Ha, ha. You think so. All Aikido should be recreational and fun but he who thinks that means not effective........a lot to learn..they have.

Fudoshin.

Regards G.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
graham christian
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
aikidō is just one of the Japanese budō. No more and no less.

It is the one budō I chose to dedicate my life to. But that makes it different only for me.

In itself aikidō is not different but is comparable to every other budō. Be it technically, be it on a philosophical or spiritual base. And not only Japanese budō, aikidō is also comparable to methods like nei gong or philosophies like Daoism.
There is a countless number of connections, aikidō is not unique and it is not isolated from the rest of the martial world.

So if you want to use the sword correctly you have to look at school which use the sword, to better understand your own skills and methods.

If you want to apply atemi, you have to campare your own knowledge to karate, maybe boxing, to better understand your own art.
Same with kicking: You named a shihan. Christian Tissier - who btw. practiced kickboxing himself - practiced with karateka to have someone kicking who knows how it really works.
If you want to learn how to strike, you have to compare your knowledge with someone of a striking art.
When it comes to grappling and pinning, it is usefull to practice with judoka for a better understanding of one's own practice.
If you want to learn about breathing or guiding your feeling/ki or about aligning you body, you may look into methods like nei gong or tai chi or even shiatsu to better understand your own background.

In my eyes this is crucial. It doesn't mean that you learn pinning from judo, striking and kicking from karate, and so on. You learn and practice aikidō.
But if you don't relate it to the arts it is related to by it's nature it will simply loose it's real skills (which means you / I will never learn them) and will become something only existing in the minds of its practioners as a phantasma.

Doing my job among other things as a teacher, I know that what is an 'A' for one teacher may only be an 'F' according to the criteria of another. I don't share your criteria. I seem to do something different from what you think aikidō is. Allthough I also call it aikidō.
You get an 'A' for your opinion too.

Budo of love is quite different from the use and definition of most other arts. Similarities are good to see and even experience. Differences are even more important.

For me the Aikido strike has no resemblance to most other arts due to purpose so learning from them is a waste of time. Each art should learn to strike their way, the way of their art.

So contrary to what you say it shows me only that some are not satisfied with their strike and think the answer lies elsewhere. When they are good enough they'll find it was here all the time.

I relate all parts of Aikido to universal principles not other arts primarily. After which I will observe other arts.

If you want to use the sword correctly learn it's principles in relation to Aikido. You want to learn another sword art go there. Both different.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 10:51 AM   #10
sakumeikan
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Ha, ha. You think so. All Aikido should be recreational and fun but he who thinks that means not effective........a lot to learn..they have.

Fudoshin.

Regards G.
Dear Graham,
You must be training with Yoda. May the force be with you.Cheers, Joe.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 11:08 AM   #11
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Graham, the marks or grades you give me are meaningless to me. Even if it is an 'A'. Doesn't matter. To me they are empty because they don't relate to my practice or thinking of aikidō. They don't relate to what aikidō is in my understanding.
And it is only you who believes to be in a position, to judge me, my practice or my understanding. I know, you are not.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
Linda Eskin
 
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Ai symbol Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Graham, thank you for your excellent post. It is heartening, especially against a background of so many people being negative and critical of each other's views.

I came to Aikido from the equestrian arts, where the English folks think the Western folks are hicks, and the trail riders think the dressage folks are snobs, and everyone thinks everyone else is misguided, stupid, or downright evil. (With many, many exceptions, of course! Perhaps the majority, but you hear from the most vocal ones.)

A friend told me once that "horsepeople are great at circling the wagons... and then shooting inward."

What it has led to is decreasing popularity of riding and horsekeeping, closed trails, and a vilified impression in the public's mind that horsepeople are "the other" and "not real people, like us." It's been really desctructive, and has cost a lot of people the opportunity to participate in something they could enjoy their whole lives.

Imagine instead the difference a unified, positive, supportive community could make to the future of the art. Any art.

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
 
Old 02-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #13
graham christian
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Graham, the marks or grades you give me are meaningless to me. Even if it is an 'A'. Doesn't matter. To me they are empty because they don't relate to my practice or thinking of aikidō. They don't relate to what aikidō is in my understanding.
And it is only you who believes to be in a position, to judge me, my practice or my understanding. I know, you are not.
Oh please...... Your opinions do get an 'A'. Your practice I make no comment on. I judge you not nor your views. I accept them and offer mine only.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Somethings are simply stupid and a waste of time. We can say that and be respectful as long as we qualify and say why it is stupid.

As Jon and a few others have said...it is awesome when you find a person that can operate intelligently across many styles and arts. I seek those folks and avoid the one dimensional parochial ones that simply cannot Explain what they do and how it is applicable or the limitations of it. Those are called masters.

Those that have a chip on their shoulder and are constantly threatened about what others say are both stupid and get a F.

 
Old 02-25-2012, 12:14 PM   #15
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Oh please...... Your opinions do get an 'A'. Your practice I make no comment on. I judge you not nor your views. I accept them and offer mine only.
I understood that.
As I said: You are simply not the one to judge me.
Be it an 'A' or anything. It's just not your comptence. Believe it or not.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 02-25-2012 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 02-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #16
Marc Abrams
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

No finer words have been spoken!

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
Marc Abrams
 
Old 02-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #17
akiy
 
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Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Hi folks,

Honestly, I'm uncomfortable at people giving "grades" and such here on AikiWeb for their participation, thoughts, opinions, and such. Doing so seems needlessly judgmental as well as unfortunately hierarchical in setting up a sense of "I can give out grades" and such.

If you disagree with what someone says, then post your thoughts on how you disagree, not on how you judge the relative merits regarding the topic being raised.

Please let's all try to move our discussions towards a more positive and constructive place in the future.

Thank you.

[Thread closed.]

-- Jun

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