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Old 03-04-2012, 06:21 PM   #176
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Have you ever been in really violent, physical encounters? The idea that you have some choice as to trying to control the level of "peacefulness" is in my own view, unrealistic and frankly dangerous to ask anyone to consider when faced with such a situation. The same applies to killing cleanly...
Hate to distract you from Standard AikiWeb Digression #2 (we all know what #1 is), but I'd like to cycle back to something Marc said earlier.

I don't disagree with your point, Marc, but I think it's only half the story. The other half the story is, in my view, one of the main reasons to train budo. The point of "detachment" and "compassion" as they relate to budo is that bringing those qualities to an encounter raises the odds that you won't leave it dead. Look back at the recent posts by Kevin, who has more credibility on this than I ever will (God willing). Coolness under fire matters because it works--and once you have it, you do in fact have the opportunity to make decisions, even in stressful situations. Achieving that state is the whole point of training

The flip side is the point you raise, which is also true at the same time. Complete detachment is something to work towards, not something that is ever likely to be achieved. Few of us will ever be like Ueshiba, dodging bullets in Mongolia. (And whatever you think of that story, I think it does express the sense of being detached and in control in a high-stress situation.)

And, of course, you don't train for coolness under stress without ever putting yourself under stress.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:20 PM   #177
phitruong
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
NO NOW, All please lets get back to the topic thread, in hand and stop the arguing.

Many thank`s,

Andy B
ironic isn't it, considering the topic of the thread? telling folks to stop arguing doesn't work out as you hope does it? welcome to life.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:33 PM   #178
Stephen Nichol
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
ironic isn't it, considering the topic of the thread? telling folks to stop arguing doesn't work out as you hope does it? welcome to life.
More ironic to me that a forum filled with people who train in a martial art that is supposed to 'meet' 'blend' 'guide' 'find harmony' etc... end up clashing and falling all over the verbal/written floor. Although I am seeing some nice back rolling and some attempts to 'get off the line' but that is about it.

And even funnier is those who know it is not an encounter that one will be able to apply actual technique with so with so they take the highest order of philosophical Aikido and apply it instead and 'simply are not there' to be part of it. (just sit on the side lines and watch the classic 'thread de-rail' train wreck.. 8 pages and still going strong. )

Sometimes when I think that could make the effort to write another wall of text in an attempt to bring peace to this thread (and the many others like it), to the parties involved within it and their issues with each other, themselves and their various points of view... I realise I could just go spend two to three hours training instead and most likely 'feel' like I get more out doing that. You know, that feeling of a tangible, positive result from learning something or helping another Aikidoka learn something they were over looking in their technique? Yeah, that is a great feeling. Something solid at least.

Also, I tend to find doing solo weapons work to very relaxing and almost meditative and can get lost in it for hours. So many subtle nuances in it that translate so well to open/empty hand... yet so simple at the same time. Good for your own development and may allow you to pass something on to others you train with later.

So given the choice, and we always have a choice, I recommend that stepping away from the keyboard/smart phone/tablet (whatever you method for viewing and replying is) and do a little training with someone or by yourself with weapons will go further in personal growth and pay off when training with others and possibly 'try to teach and explain it all to someone' who is 'right there with you' than trying to express a point on here on the internet in the hopes of changing another persons mind/views/opinions.

Do not get me wrong, I am a hypocrite at times too... because once in awhile I kind of 'try to instigate that change by expressing my views and seeing the reactions of others.'

I do not resist that knowledge or try to. I simply acknowledge that 'the situation changes so I myself must consider that, be aware of it, blend and change myself' or else I could find myself in conflict with the situation and worse, with myself over a moral/intellectual situation because I was unwilling to blend and change.

In those situations I will admit/say I was mistaken, wrong, that I misunderstood or that what I believed, felt, thought 'then' no longer applies 'now'... at the very least, it may not apply in the same way.

So even though I will agree with someone's thoughts on the mind vs 'being' and all this other existential stuff that surrounds us, it does not mean I or we are the only voices we need to hear anymore. I always keep my ears, eyes, and especially my mind open to further possibilities as I never know when the next tiny grain of enlightenment will pass me by. Its source could come from even idiot babbling away on the internet.. however from a certain perspective it could be 'spiritual gold'.

Differences of opinion and belief... only acknowledge that it is not the same as your own and be a peace with that. Arguing a point with all the facts you want with someone who is only does not even begin to acknowledge your position but continuously side steps it and even chance you make to assert it is well.. oh wait, that is a good example of getting off the line and 'not being there'... but on the internet it feels like being 'trolled'.

So this reply is my attempt to bring a little perspective back here and to remind people not to feed the trolls... especially the little troll that lives inside yourself that may be trying to get out and feed itself on here. Better to read first and when you feel you are being trolled... step away, go practice or train and do something truly productive. Then decide that even if you are / were being trolled on these forums... does it really matter? Compared to what you were doing when you were training and practicing?

If you feel you are being trolled. Ask once. Check it once with the general community as it gets done here. After that.. just avoid the troll lest you become one yourself in any attempt to engage it. Any attempt at all.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:17 PM   #179
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

It is okay to say"your wrong" and qualify why you believe it.
It is okay to stand up for your beliefs.

It is a requirement to seek to understand before being understood.

There is no requirement to blend or compromise if there is none. You can't create something that not there.

We must engage in the most thoughtful and skillful way possible. This is mindfulness.

In budo it is not okay to avoid or sit on the sideline and not take action if it is necessary.

That said, picking your battles is what is called wisdom!

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Old 03-04-2012, 11:33 PM   #180
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
Gary please don't go, dont, goooooo, away. Couldn't resist famous song I like, that just popped in there.



Hope you guys can mend your differences that's what Aikido is all about it is not in the differences, it's in the how. it's in reconciliating the conflict that is happening in this moment, through and that resolution, comes from a non competitive mind. There you go, take it or leave it my friends. There is the truth.

In peace brothers

Andy B
Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Hate to distract you from Standard AikiWeb Digression #2 (we all know what #1 is), but I'd like to cycle back to something Marc said earlier.

I don't disagree with your point, Marc, but I think it's only half the story. The other half the story is, in my view, one of the main reasons to train budo. The point of "detachment" and "compassion" as they relate to budo is that bringing those qualities to an encounter raises the odds that you won't leave it dead. Look back at the recent posts by Kevin, who has more credibility on this than I ever will (God willing). Coolness under fire matters because it works--and once you have it, you do in fact have the opportunity to make decisions, even in stressful situations. Achieving that state is the whole point of training

The flip side is the point you raise, which is also true at the same time. Complete detachment is something to work towards, not something that is ever likely to be achieved. Few of us will ever be like Ueshiba, dodging bullets in Mongolia. (And whatever you think of that story, I think it does express the sense of being detached and in control in a high-stress situation.)

And, of course, you don't train for coolness under stress without ever putting yourself under stress.
I am not sure what came first the chicken or the egg.

However I think simply that detachment or coolness under fire are by products. You train hard and gain skill, competence, and experience in what u are doing, it allows you to see more clearly what is going on. Because you understand this better you can make decisions better more devoid of emotion, and much will become intutuive, without thought.

It frees up the mind to make more important decisions with more input that provides us a better chance of making a better informed decision.

If I am going to debate I study debate. If I am going to enter pie eating contest, I am going to study those things that attribute to me to eat more pies. If I am going to fight, I study fighting, and approximate the conditions under which I am going to potentially face.

The point is, to reach the state of detachment I want to achieve in any situation requires that I gain experience in those conditions or I will have very little to fall back on when reality is met.

Budo will allow me to experience some important things that will help us in life if we are true to it, and honestly look at what it is that it will actually do for us. The catch 22 is that we form associations and attachments, and look for meaning when in fact, there is nothing really there many times. IMO there are some very simple and straight forward things that budo can teach us, but because we are human, we like to make things difficult and complex. It also gives us an excuse to not hold ourselves accountable when we fail to learn those simple lessons or don't want to pit in the hard work. For a lot of folks, it is also about the entertainment value.

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Old 03-05-2012, 06:36 AM   #181
graham christian
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am not sure what came first the chicken or the egg.

However I think simply that detachment or coolness under fire are by products. You train hard and gain skill, competence, and experience in what u are doing, it allows you to see more clearly what is going on. Because you understand this better you can make decisions better more devoid of emotion, and much will become intutuive, without thought.

It frees up the mind to make more important decisions with more input that provides us a better chance of making a better informed decision.

If I am going to debate I study debate. If I am going to enter pie eating contest, I am going to study those things that attribute to me to eat more pies. If I am going to fight, I study fighting, and approximate the conditions under which I am going to potentially face.

The point is, to reach the state of detachment I want to achieve in any situation requires that I gain experience in those conditions or I will have very little to fall back on when reality is met.

Budo will allow me to experience some important things that will help us in life if we are true to it, and honestly look at what it is that it will actually do for us. The catch 22 is that we form associations and attachments, and look for meaning when in fact, there is nothing really there many times. IMO there are some very simple and straight forward things that budo can teach us, but because we are human, we like to make things difficult and complex. It also gives us an excuse to not hold ourselves accountable when we fail to learn those simple lessons or don't want to pit in the hard work. For a lot of folks, it is also about the entertainment value.
Very nicely put.

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:14 AM   #182
graham christian
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Stephen Nichol wrote: View Post
More ironic to me that a forum filled with people who train in a martial art that is supposed to 'meet' 'blend' 'guide' 'find harmony' etc... end up clashing and falling all over the verbal/written floor. Although I am seeing some nice back rolling and some attempts to 'get off the line' but that is about it.

And even funnier is those who know it is not an encounter that one will be able to apply actual technique with so with so they take the highest order of philosophical Aikido and apply it instead and 'simply are not there' to be part of it. (just sit on the side lines and watch the classic 'thread de-rail' train wreck.. 8 pages and still going strong. )

Sometimes when I think that could make the effort to write another wall of text in an attempt to bring peace to this thread (and the many others like it), to the parties involved within it and their issues with each other, themselves and their various points of view... I realise I could just go spend two to three hours training instead and most likely 'feel' like I get more out doing that. You know, that feeling of a tangible, positive result from learning something or helping another Aikidoka learn something they were over looking in their technique? Yeah, that is a great feeling. Something solid at least.

Also, I tend to find doing solo weapons work to very relaxing and almost meditative and can get lost in it for hours. So many subtle nuances in it that translate so well to open/empty hand... yet so simple at the same time. Good for your own development and may allow you to pass something on to others you train with later.

So given the choice, and we always have a choice, I recommend that stepping away from the keyboard/smart phone/tablet (whatever you method for viewing and replying is) and do a little training with someone or by yourself with weapons will go further in personal growth and pay off when training with others and possibly 'try to teach and explain it all to someone' who is 'right there with you' than trying to express a point on here on the internet in the hopes of changing another persons mind/views/opinions.

Do not get me wrong, I am a hypocrite at times too... because once in awhile I kind of 'try to instigate that change by expressing my views and seeing the reactions of others.'

I do not resist that knowledge or try to. I simply acknowledge that 'the situation changes so I myself must consider that, be aware of it, blend and change myself' or else I could find myself in conflict with the situation and worse, with myself over a moral/intellectual situation because I was unwilling to blend and change.

In those situations I will admit/say I was mistaken, wrong, that I misunderstood or that what I believed, felt, thought 'then' no longer applies 'now'... at the very least, it may not apply in the same way.

So even though I will agree with someone's thoughts on the mind vs 'being' and all this other existential stuff that surrounds us, it does not mean I or we are the only voices we need to hear anymore. I always keep my ears, eyes, and especially my mind open to further possibilities as I never know when the next tiny grain of enlightenment will pass me by. Its source could come from even idiot babbling away on the internet.. however from a certain perspective it could be 'spiritual gold'.

Differences of opinion and belief... only acknowledge that it is not the same as your own and be a peace with that. Arguing a point with all the facts you want with someone who is only does not even begin to acknowledge your position but continuously side steps it and even chance you make to assert it is well.. oh wait, that is a good example of getting off the line and 'not being there'... but on the internet it feels like being 'trolled'.

So this reply is my attempt to bring a little perspective back here and to remind people not to feed the trolls... especially the little troll that lives inside yourself that may be trying to get out and feed itself on here. Better to read first and when you feel you are being trolled... step away, go practice or train and do something truly productive. Then decide that even if you are / were being trolled on these forums... does it really matter? Compared to what you were doing when you were training and practicing?

If you feel you are being trolled. Ask once. Check it once with the general community as it gets done here. After that.. just avoid the troll lest you become one yourself in any attempt to engage it. Any attempt at all.
8 Pages shows that the topic is interesting doesn't it? Most pages showed various views on the matter. Some even had banter.

You yourself have 'entered'.

Now when people of different views meet in discussion, as long as they stay on topic, then what's the problem? When a person opposes the view given then you may see 'confusion' flying about a bit. That's real, that's life. Ever had a 'discussion' with your wife when your views are opposite? I think for some the results may be similar to here except for a few pots and pans flying.

The one who 'fails' is the one who goes into personal or even general insult for is it not he who has lost and is bitter? Now taking pot shots from the sidelines? Now uninvolved with the topic?

As I say in Aikido to someone trying to throw me or move me without success: 'That's at me, not with me'

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #183
Patrick Hutchinson
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

"I used to walk around covered with cream and strawberry's and sponge"
I guess you must have been a trifle congested Graham
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:56 AM   #184
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Patrick Hutchinson wrote: View Post
"I used to walk around covered with cream and strawberry's and sponge"
I guess you must have been a trifle congested Graham
Ha, ha. I was admired, drooled over, a real tasty geezer, alas eaten alive....lol.

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:31 AM   #185
jonreading
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

I will try again...

For the original post, I think some elements of the argument are incomplete or insufficient. The sport mentality does have some negative aspects; but it also has positive ones. The deliberate omission of the opposite aspects of sport mentality indicate to me a weak and biased position. I think if you are seeking a honest exchange, you need to respect the opposite position (even if you do not agree with it). As several posts have pointed out, your bias has weakened your position.

Second, (more to Graham's points, but in relation to the discussion:
1. Aikido is not religion. Do not imbue aikido with religious doctrine. If you belong to a religion, fine. Aikido is not Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Juddaism, or Islam. Your ideology is cultist and not aikido.
2. Aikido is practical. Do not strip the practicality of aikido because you cannot physically apply aikido. You have set up such large spiritual goals and constructs as they will never be realized. If budo is about world peace, then it has failed. As Kevind pointed out, show me where your grand theology has succeeded ( even a snake oil salesman shows how his product cures).

As many have pointed out, before we can talk about this topic there needs to be a reality check. Much of my frustration in this thread is the evasion, occlusion, and ignorance of the argument. If you cannot simply explain your position, then you simply do not understand your position. Think about what you want to say and try again.

As I see this argument, the claim is that we should omit ALL sport mentality because some percentage of those who participate in this mentality may in-appropriately apply it to other aspects of their life which the poster believes is negative. This claim is made without respect to the opposite position, inconsiderate of the possibility of other causational factors which may contribute to the in-appropriate application of sport mentality and finally based upon a subjective personal observation that judges the behavior as either good or bad.

Remember, the Nazis believed they were right. Self-righteousness is a perspective. Everyone wants world peace, some just want world peace because it puts them at the top of the food chain.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:52 AM   #186
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am not sure what came first the chicken or the egg.

However I think simply that detachment or coolness under fire are by products. You train hard and gain skill, competence, and experience in what u are doing, it allows you to see more clearly what is going on. Because you understand this better you can make decisions better more devoid of emotion, and much will become intutuive, without thought.

It frees up the mind to make more important decisions with more input that provides us a better chance of making a better informed decision.

If I am going to debate I study debate. If I am going to enter pie eating contest, I am going to study those things that attribute to me to eat more pies. If I am going to fight, I study fighting, and approximate the conditions under which I am going to potentially face.

The point is, to reach the state of detachment I want to achieve in any situation requires that I gain experience in those conditions or I will have very little to fall back on when reality is met.

Budo will allow me to experience some important things that will help us in life if we are true to it, and honestly look at what it is that it will actually do for us. The catch 22 is that we form associations and attachments, and look for meaning when in fact, there is nothing really there many times. IMO there are some very simple and straight forward things that budo can teach us, but because we are human, we like to make things difficult and complex. It also gives us an excuse to not hold ourselves accountable when we fail to learn those simple lessons or don't want to pit in the hard work. For a lot of folks, it is also about the entertainment value.
Kevin:

You pointed out something very important. The detachment and coolness under extreme stress situations are products of proper training. That type of training is typically missing from most martial arts training paradigms. I have seen too many martial artists get the piss knocked out of them because they simply fell apart during extreme stress incidents. Training in the military and some realistic self-defense training schools work on "inoculating" the person so that the person can effectively function under extreme stress circumstances.

Non-competitive training paradigms are not designed to address that issue. I separate these components in my school and make it entirely optional for people to do some occasional work on learning how to deal with high stress situations. Some things, like addressing breathing patterns are built into what I teach as part of the regular curriculum.

It might be instructive and informative for some for you to describe some the means by which the military addresses this issue in their training paradigms.

Be Well,

marc abrams
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:55 AM   #187
graham christian
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I will try again...

For the original post, I think some elements of the argument are incomplete or insufficient. The sport mentality does have some negative aspects; but it also has positive ones. The deliberate omission of the opposite aspects of sport mentality indicate to me a weak and biased position. I think if you are seeking a honest exchange, you need to respect the opposite position (even if you do not agree with it). As several posts have pointed out, your bias has weakened your position.

Second, (more to Graham's points, but in relation to the discussion:
1. Aikido is not religion. Do not imbue aikido with religious doctrine. If you belong to a religion, fine. Aikido is not Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Juddaism, or Islam. Your ideology is cultist and not aikido.
2. Aikido is practical. Do not strip the practicality of aikido because you cannot physically apply aikido. You have set up such large spiritual goals and constructs as they will never be realized. If budo is about world peace, then it has failed. As Kevind pointed out, show me where your grand theology has succeeded ( even a snake oil salesman shows how his product cures).

As many have pointed out, before we can talk about this topic there needs to be a reality check. Much of my frustration in this thread is the evasion, occlusion, and ignorance of the argument. If you cannot simply explain your position, then you simply do not understand your position. Think about what you want to say and try again.

As I see this argument, the claim is that we should omit ALL sport mentality because some percentage of those who participate in this mentality may in-appropriately apply it to other aspects of their life which the poster believes is negative. This claim is made without respect to the opposite position, inconsiderate of the possibility of other causational factors which may contribute to the in-appropriate application of sport mentality and finally based upon a subjective personal observation that judges the behavior as either good or bad.

Remember, the Nazis believed they were right. Self-righteousness is a perspective. Everyone wants world peace, some just want world peace because it puts them at the top of the food chain.
Jon.
The o/p is about how to be non competitive. How does sport mentality fit in with that? I would say it's not 'deliberately omitted' and rather it's not this subject.

Sports mentality is great for sports as is other mentality for other things.

Thus on first studying, being open to non competitive, only then may someone see how causative that can be and in what way. Then one may see how it's very useful in this competitive world.

The 'arguments' are thus only answers to people who question this approach. The thread is this approach.

Now, it just so happens that Ueshiba promoted and said such things, very spiritual. The principles of non competitive are spiritual principles therefore my stance is quite open and clear.

There are no claims about what others should do. The non competitive mind allows others to do as they do, it's all inclusive.

Hitler was very competitive and is a good example of how far the competitive mind can go and how far you can be led by it.

Nice new word though, cultist. Ha, ha. New negative label for spiritual.

If you want to understand non competitive or such statements by Ueshiba then you have no choice but to study spiritual principles. If not then practice it in a competitive way. No problem.

If you want to talk about positive aspects of sports mentality then why not start a thread for such?

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:08 PM   #188
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Marc, I am going to take a slight twist on your request.

Really the military models of stress inoculation and overload do not have to remain in the realm of the military. When we use these things in the military I want to also point out that we understand the endstate of what it is that we are trying to inoculate. If not, then it could have a negative effect if not done in a controlled and proper manner. So, it is not enough simply to "go harder, go faster".

To go off on a slight tangent:

and, Marc, feel free to correct me from a psychological point of view if I get it wrong, as I am simply looking at my experiences with no education in psychology.

The stress a Navy Seal feels is really no different than say an accountant female that shows up to the dojo for the first time and has someone approach her with a shomen strike and tells her to irimi.

the stress she feels is as valid and as real as any stress that anyone else feels. I think we need to recognize it. The difference is what we are training that stress to result in.

For the seal, it is taking creating an overload so he can work through his faculties and apply his skills he as accumulated through slow methodical training. In that, he will receive feedback that will tell him alot about how he functions under pressure and then he can go back and fix the things he needs to fix. WHen that pressure is applied again, he will hopefully be able to handle it better. So, when he does a room clearing, or he is trying to fire off a 1000 meter shot from a windy, rocking, boat, he can deal with that better.

We can do the same in Aikido. That Female accountant can be placed under increasing stress in the dojo after doing kata and drills repetitively and provided feedback and correct things that wrong until she can handle increasingly more and more.

The issue is on the endstate though. What I find disturbing is that alot of people will do ....say iriminage in a very controlled manner, they get comfortable with it, and they get more and more efficient with it, feell better and more confident.

However, many times they fail to recognize what it is that they are training and how the conditions would apply correctly to other aspects. A HUGE gap is jumped and they believe because they can deal with "strikes" and "multiple opponents", that they can "handle" themselves.

There is a Cognitive Dissonance that occurs and IMO is the largest sickness and the thing we must be very careful of in the dojo cause it is HIGHLY contagious and affects us all.

Anyway, there is some benefits to the way Aikido is typically trained if we recognize the limitations of our training.

Again, the stress a Female Accountant feels is every bit as real and valid as a Navy Seal.

So, we can create an stressful environment (realitively speaking) for the female, as well as the Navy Seal. Keep in mind the stress environment will most likely look very, very different as they are working on two different levels.

So, we create that CONTROLLED stress environment for the average joe, in this case our female accountant in the Aikido dojo. She will learn alot about herself, and how to handle stress, what her triggers are, how to better control it, how to eliminate and mitgate many of the factors of stress and fear.

These things can carry over into other aspects of her life and have positive outcomes. A HUGE benefit of budo.

However, it may not mean she has the skills to handle a rapist, multiple opponents, or even really defend herself in reality.

That all depends on the conditions she is subjected too in training. As Marc identifies, there are two separate and distinct methodologies that he trains in for very different reasons depending on what his students want to work on.

Note, that I have not mentioned ANYTHING about philosophy, religion, or spirituality.

I personally don't think these things belong in the dojo as a focus. Certainly we can create an environment that allows people to experience and self actualize philosophically, religiously, or spiritually, and many people certainly find those things through budo.

However, in training, I honestly believe they muddy the waters and cause a great deal of confusion. Most Aikido instructors do not have the backgrounds in psychology, religion, or philosophy to really be getting into the business of counseling or provide advice in this area.

I think if you focus on good, solid, fundamental training that has been proven over time and guide your students correctly to understand the nature and limitations of their trainng, mentor and push them in the right directions, they will find their way.

Too much garbage and attachment gets injected in what we do, when in reality we should simply concentrate on the physical. Very real, very physical training.

If we do this, I have found that the rest tends to take care of itself without the preaching or pontification.

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Old 03-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #189
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Jon.
The o/p is about how to be non competitive. 1. How does sport mentality fit in with that? I would say it's not 'deliberately omitted' and rather it's not this subject.

Sports mentality is great for sports as is other mentality for other things.

Thus on first studying, being open to non competitive, only then may someone see how causative that can be and in what way. Then one may see how it's very useful in this competitive world.

The 'arguments' are thus only answers to people who question this approach. The thread is this approach.

Now, it just so happens that Ueshiba promoted and said such things, very spiritual. The principles of non competitive are spiritual principles therefore my stance is quite open and clear.

There are no claims about what others should do. The non competitive mind allows others to do as they do, it's all inclusive.

Hitler was very competitive and is a good example of how far the competitive mind can go and how far you can be led by it.

2. Nice new word though, cultist. Ha, ha. New negative label for spiritual.

If you want to understand non competitive or such statements by Ueshiba then you have no choice but to study spiritual principles. If not then practice it in a competitive way. No problem.

If you want to talk about positive aspects of sports mentality then why not start a thread for such?

Peace.G.
Hey Graham, let me address the two bolded comments:
1. I believe the original post is not actually referring to "competition", but rather, the sport-oriented mentality that drives us to "win" or "lose". In this sense, I am actually aligned with much of what the poster presents. For example, I agree that designating "winners" and "losers" can be detrimental to personal growth. I have chosen not to use the word "competition" because I do not believe that is the appropriate term. As I said in my previous post, using "competition" in this sense would eventually lead us to a conflict of scientific theory (using the theory of evolution as an example to demonstrate that natural selection is competition). The original post's argument is too weak to stand against Darwin, so I am speculating that he is actually referring to the sport-oriented mentality.
2. I do not believe "cult" is a negative word; you may choose to place a negative label on that term. Rather, "cult" refers to a small religious offshoot of devotees to a singular entity. I believe this labels your perspective rather well. You emphatically advocate spirituality (derived from some religious or some moral foundation) is central to (even over the physical practice) your aikido. Cult aikido is quite common and while your flavor is different, you are one of many one who have deified O Sensei and his spiritual path. To be fair, Big Trouble in Little China is one of my favorite cult classics.

I have more time (and a full keyboard)... What I am trying to get at is that I see little empirical evidence to support a claim that the "sport mentality" that we manifest is wholly at fault for any number of our shortcomings. You [Graham] posted some fictitious examples to outline some of my earlier comments, to which I can now respond:

Quote:
I see people at work competing with things even and suffering the consequences. A builder who is trying to do something, like say remove a screw or hang a door or whatever. If it's a bit troublesome and he decides to look at it as the door is opposing him he then starts swearing at it and blaming it and trying to force it and ouch!!! Yeah, something 'bad' happens. He caused it, yet he blames the door. Crazy

If you work in an office or environment with people working closely together and there's that one who is always trying to show they are better, to impress the boss, to do all kind of annoying things and then act innocent, all kinds of methods. Oh the competitive mind. This person thus has to prove and therefor proving to the boss how 'bad' the others are become all part of the game. Lies become useful to this end. On and on. This fellow or woman is heading for a good beating or come uppance, after annoying and possibly destroying a few lives on the way of course. Oh the competitve mind.
In your first example, you are talking about projection. This is actually quite common and has nothing to do with competition, but rather the projection of causation onto a person or object.

In your second example, you are talking about the drive to place yourself in a position of security. The example lacks the necessary facts to ascertain whether those actions are or are not appropriate. For example, if the employee was better than her fellow employees, would her actions to illustrate this fact be inappropriate? If the employees job was quality control and her job was to illustrate the poor performance of her fellow employees, would her actions be inappropriate?

In neither example can you assert that the idea of winning and losing was wholly at fault for any outcome... and you fictitiously created them to serve as your examples. The original argument uses inductive reasoning to cast a generalization using a limited number of examples. Generally, inductive reasoning is considered to be a poor style of argumentation because it is very difficult to support. Not necessarily wrong, just argumentatively weak.

The sense I get from this thread that raises my hackles is that for being a personal journey, I am hearing many "thou shalt nots" that are associated with budo. The thread also hands out alot of judgements (in my opinion lacking sufficient evidence to support a position) in the name of budo. To ask the rhetorical question, if my aikido is about me, why should I give a f%#$ whether my partner is being competitive? Or negative? Or resistive? Because if my aikido is poor, I cannot get it to work on uke unless she is anything but a lamb.

Truly, I believe this is a conversation to justify a change in [uke] behavior that contributes to aikido success. I am not sure if that is the intent of the original post, or the progression of responses. Once again, uke is bad and nage is good. Competing is bad and not competing is good. Resisting what I want to do is bad, letting me throw you is good. This has nothing to do with budo. The assumption on my end (and I assume others) is that we are talking about an aikido that requires cooperation to work. This is not my aikido. The aikido I am working on is about me and it [should] work regardless of what my partner thinks, acts, or says.

I am trying to tease out from the thread that if we are talking about something other than simply glorifying nage while admonishing some habit in uke that prevents success, then I am missing some key facts to help me understand the argument.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:58 PM   #190
Janet Rosen
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Kevin, thank you - great post (#188)

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Old 03-05-2012, 12:58 PM   #191
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Jon.
The o/p is about how to be non competitive. How does sport mentality fit in with that? I would say it's not 'deliberately omitted' and rather it's not this subject.

Sports mentality is great for sports as is other mentality for other things.

Thus on first studying, being open to non competitive, only then may someone see how causative that can be and in what way. Then one may see how it's very useful in this competitive world.

The 'arguments' are thus only answers to people who question this approach. The thread is this approach.

Now, it just so happens that Ueshiba promoted and said such things, very spiritual. The principles of non competitive are spiritual principles therefore my stance is quite open and clear.

There are no claims about what others should do. The non competitive mind allows others to do as they do, it's all inclusive.

Hitler was very competitive and is a good example of how far the competitive mind can go and how far you can be led by it.

Nice new word though, cultist. Ha, ha. New negative label for spiritual.

If you want to understand non competitive or such statements by Ueshiba then you have no choice but to study spiritual principles. If not then practice it in a competitive way. No problem.

If you want to talk about positive aspects of sports mentality then why not start a thread for such?

Peace.G.
Graham:

Did you forget your earlier post?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Chris, please. I don't decide those who don't do as me are not thank you. I took the trouble to make a whole inclusive scale.

Saying intellectualism is a western trait is incorrect from one perspective yes. I'm sure there are many in Japan or anywhere else for that matter. That just makes them intellectual Buddhists or Buddhists still trapped in duality to a larger degree.

No more on that subject from me now, on this thread, been a pleasure explaining my view.

Peace.G.
For such an allegedly peaceful and noncompetitive person, your acts speak differently.

Now you would like to shape the thread to conveniently fit your position- common pattern for you. O'Sensei was competitive, Martin Luther King Jr. was competitive, Ghandi was competitive, as well as Eisenhower, Patton, Hitler and a whole bunch of other people. So much for that empty comparison of yours.

If people do not agree with your non-intellectual, idiosyncratic positions on things, your responses are little more than sad attempts at sophistry trying to justify your own beliefs (quite competitive an approach). By the way, have you heard back from Mike Muspratt yet regarding his history? Remember those questions you said that you were going to get answered for me? Or is this yet another attempt to wiggle out from a self-created corner?

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Old 03-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #192
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Hey guys (and gals), let's not forget Graham didn't started this. He was only supporting Andrew.

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Old 03-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #193
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Hey Graham, let me address the two bolded comments:
1. I believe the original post is not actually referring to "competition", but rather, the sport-oriented mentality that drives us to "win" or "lose". In this sense, I am actually aligned with much of what the poster presents. For example, I agree that designating "winners" and "losers" can be detrimental to personal growth. I have chosen not to use the word "competition" because I do not believe that is the appropriate term. As I said in my previous post, using "competition" in this sense would eventually lead us to a conflict of scientific theory (using the theory of evolution as an example to demonstrate that natural selection is competition). The original post's argument is too weak to stand against Darwin, so I am speculating that he is actually referring to the sport-oriented mentality.
2. I do not believe "cult" is a negative word; you may choose to place a negative label on that term. Rather, "cult" refers to a small religious offshoot of devotees to a singular entity. I believe this labels your perspective rather well. You emphatically advocate spirituality (derived from some religious or some moral foundation) is central to (even over the physical practice) your aikido. Cult aikido is quite common and while your flavor is different, you are one of many one who have deified O Sensei and his spiritual path. To be fair, Big Trouble in Little China is one of my favorite cult classics.

I have more time (and a full keyboard)... What I am trying to get at is that I see little empirical evidence to support a claim that the "sport mentality" that we manifest is wholly at fault for any number of our shortcomings. You [Graham] posted some fictitious examples to outline some of my earlier comments, to which I can now respond:

In your first example, you are talking about projection. This is actually quite common and has nothing to do with competition, but rather the projection of causation onto a person or object.

In your second example, you are talking about the drive to place yourself in a position of security. The example lacks the necessary facts to ascertain whether those actions are or are not appropriate. For example, if the employee was better than her fellow employees, would her actions to illustrate this fact be inappropriate? If the employees job was quality control and her job was to illustrate the poor performance of her fellow employees, would her actions be inappropriate?

In neither example can you assert that the idea of winning and losing was wholly at fault for any outcome... and you fictitiously created them to serve as your examples. The original argument uses inductive reasoning to cast a generalization using a limited number of examples. Generally, inductive reasoning is considered to be a poor style of argumentation because it is very difficult to support. Not necessarily wrong, just argumentatively weak.

The sense I get from this thread that raises my hackles is that for being a personal journey, I am hearing many "thou shalt nots" that are associated with budo. The thread also hands out alot of judgements (in my opinion lacking sufficient evidence to support a position) in the name of budo. To ask the rhetorical question, if my aikido is about me, why should I give a f%#$ whether my partner is being competitive? Or negative? Or resistive? Because if my aikido is poor, I cannot get it to work on uke unless she is anything but a lamb.

Truly, I believe this is a conversation to justify a change in [uke] behavior that contributes to aikido success. I am not sure if that is the intent of the original post, or the progression of responses. Once again, uke is bad and nage is good. Competing is bad and not competing is good. Resisting what I want to do is bad, letting me throw you is good. This has nothing to do with budo. The assumption on my end (and I assume others) is that we are talking about an aikido that requires cooperation to work. This is not my aikido. The aikido I am working on is about me and it [should] work regardless of what my partner thinks, acts, or says.

I am trying to tease out from the thread that if we are talking about something other than simply glorifying nage while admonishing some habit in uke that prevents success, then I am missing some key facts to help me understand the argument.
O.K. Jon.
Firstly I believe the original post has nothing to do with sports mentality and is not too weak to stand up to Darwin. Quite the contrary. Darwin would be an observation the competitive mind would love for on the whole it fits it.

As far as the word cult is used I was tempted to say I take it as a compliment but it tends to have too many negative connotations. So thanks for the compliment.

The examples are not fictitious. Projection in such a way is done by the competitive mind.

The secretary who is good need not go behund others backs and say negative things for her work will stand out like a bright star and needs no competitive 'help' I think you will find in life that it would be the others through fear for their job security or plain jealousy would resort to such things. Then maybe even justify it with Darwins theory of survival.

Whether or not inductive reasoning is considered the way of arguing or not I don't really care. I would say that too is more to do with competitive mind also. It reminds me only of a 'friend' who would come to visit me on my stall in portobello road every week. He loved an argument just like you describe. Every week I would listen and take my time and give him a short answer which had him laughing and going away to think about it. Then next week he would come back with a new 'yeah but' and argument and only get the same result.
It actually blows some peoples minds when all I say is no, or I don't know, or good. They wait and then complain saying 'you can't just say that' . 'I just did'. I say. They then go into but, but, but, blah blah blah,. Good. No argument. You see they want an argument. They want competition. Good.

So you believe Budo is about you being able to do whatever you wish to the opponent, I'll add while defending yourself so you don't think I'm being 'clever' Good. Then that's your view and how you practice.

So I will inform you of another budo. Both are disciplines and both take great discipline and training and studying, ie: shugyo. Yet they are different.

It is not the person telling you what you should do, ie: me or anyone else, it is the rules of your discipline that tell you what you should do.

Now this other Budo is non competitive and thus a different Budo. Thus this Budo is not about self it is solely about the protection of the other. Thus different principles.

Therein lies the difference.

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #194
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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So you believe Budo is about you being able to do whatever you wish to the opponent, I'll add while defending yourself so you don't think I'm being 'clever' Good. Then that's your view and how you practice.
Well,

"To equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Kannagara no Michi."

It seems Jon's and O Sensei's views are very similar.

Quote:
So I will inform you of another budo. Both are disciplines and both take great discipline and training and studying, ie: shugyo. Yet they are different.

It is not the person telling you what you should do, ie: me or anyone else, it is the rules of your discipline that tell you what you should do.

Now this other Budo is non competitive and thus a different Budo. Thus this Budo is not about self it is solely about the protection of the other. Thus different principles.
Fine but, why do you call aikido this other budo?

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #195
graham christian
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Graham:

Did you forget your earlier post?

For such an allegedly peaceful and noncompetitive person, your acts speak differently.

Now you would like to shape the thread to conveniently fit your position- common pattern for you. O'Sensei was competitive, Martin Luther King Jr. was competitive, Ghandi was competitive, as well as Eisenhower, Patton, Hitler and a whole bunch of other people. So much for that empty comparison of yours.

If people do not agree with your non-intellectual, idiosyncratic positions on things, your responses are little more than sad attempts at sophistry trying to justify your own beliefs (quite competitive an approach). By the way, have you heard back from Mike Muspratt yet regarding his history? Remember those questions you said that you were going to get answered for me? Or is this yet another attempt to wiggle out from a self-created corner?

Marc Abrams
Nice try but no cigar. I am still on topic thank you. Not discussing the ins and outs of Buddhism.

Passionate people are very competitive, compassionate people not so. That doesn't mean they don't stand up for what they believe. Nothing to do with competition.

Sophistry, nice word. As I said stand up for your belief is not competition.

Haven't even seen Mike yet. I answered those questions of yours then, did you listen? I have asked my friend who is going to see him, when he is ready and not before, and then it is for Mike to decide not you or me.

As I said to you, the idea I shall put to him is the idea of having his story told. Now this he may well like. Alas, to do so because of your 'demands' ? NO. So when the idea is put to him and if he agrees then we will find a person qualified to talk or correspond or meet him. It would be an honour for me to arrange such if he so desires.

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #196
Marc Abrams
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Marc, I am going to take a slight twist on your request.

Really the military models of stress inoculation and overload do not have to remain in the realm of the military. When we use these things in the military I want to also point out that we understand the endstate of what it is that we are trying to inoculate. If not, then it could have a negative effect if not done in a controlled and proper manner. So, it is not enough simply to "go harder, go faster".

To go off on a slight tangent:

and, Marc, feel free to correct me from a psychological point of view if I get it wrong, as I am simply looking at my experiences with no education in psychology.

The stress a Navy Seal feels is really no different than say an accountant female that shows up to the dojo for the first time and has someone approach her with a shomen strike and tells her to irimi.

the stress she feels is as valid and as real as any stress that anyone else feels. I think we need to recognize it. The difference is what we are training that stress to result in.

For the seal, it is taking creating an overload so he can work through his faculties and apply his skills he as accumulated through slow methodical training. In that, he will receive feedback that will tell him alot about how he functions under pressure and then he can go back and fix the things he needs to fix. WHen that pressure is applied again, he will hopefully be able to handle it better. So, when he does a room clearing, or he is trying to fire off a 1000 meter shot from a windy, rocking, boat, he can deal with that better.

We can do the same in Aikido. That Female accountant can be placed under increasing stress in the dojo after doing kata and drills repetitively and provided feedback and correct things that wrong until she can handle increasingly more and more.

The issue is on the endstate though. What I find disturbing is that alot of people will do ....say iriminage in a very controlled manner, they get comfortable with it, and they get more and more efficient with it, feell better and more confident.

However, many times they fail to recognize what it is that they are training and how the conditions would apply correctly to other aspects. A HUGE gap is jumped and they believe because they can deal with "strikes" and "multiple opponents", that they can "handle" themselves.

There is a Cognitive Dissonance that occurs and IMO is the largest sickness and the thing we must be very careful of in the dojo cause it is HIGHLY contagious and affects us all.

Anyway, there is some benefits to the way Aikido is typically trained if we recognize the limitations of our training.

Again, the stress a Female Accountant feels is every bit as real and valid as a Navy Seal.

So, we can create an stressful environment (realitively speaking) for the female, as well as the Navy Seal. Keep in mind the stress environment will most likely look very, very different as they are working on two different levels.

So, we create that CONTROLLED stress environment for the average joe, in this case our female accountant in the Aikido dojo. She will learn alot about herself, and how to handle stress, what her triggers are, how to better control it, how to eliminate and mitgate many of the factors of stress and fear.

These things can carry over into other aspects of her life and have positive outcomes. A HUGE benefit of budo.

However, it may not mean she has the skills to handle a rapist, multiple opponents, or even really defend herself in reality.

That all depends on the conditions she is subjected too in training. As Marc identifies, there are two separate and distinct methodologies that he trains in for very different reasons depending on what his students want to work on.

Note, that I have not mentioned ANYTHING about philosophy, religion, or spirituality.

I personally don't think these things belong in the dojo as a focus. Certainly we can create an environment that allows people to experience and self actualize philosophically, religiously, or spiritually, and many people certainly find those things through budo.

However, in training, I honestly believe they muddy the waters and cause a great deal of confusion. Most Aikido instructors do not have the backgrounds in psychology, religion, or philosophy to really be getting into the business of counseling or provide advice in this area.

I think if you focus on good, solid, fundamental training that has been proven over time and guide your students correctly to understand the nature and limitations of their trainng, mentor and push them in the right directions, they will find their way.

Too much garbage and attachment gets injected in what we do, when in reality we should simply concentrate on the physical. Very real, very physical training.

If we do this, I have found that the rest tends to take care of itself without the preaching or pontification.
Kevin:

I agree with what you said. I think that many teachers have not really explored the physical and psychological aspects of being in extreme stress environments. Like you pointed out, in absence of that, magical thinking occurs in that there is an unrealistic jump between the existing training paradigms employed and the belief that the skill sets and abilities would continue to manifest properly during high stress events/interactions. The very hard and real training that we both agree upon as being important are far too frequently dismissed by many who think that a totally cooperative & non-competitive training environment will suffice. Then again, I also think that people can maintain the right not to have to be exposed to that type of situation as long as they are fully aware that by missing those aspects of training, the likelihood of being able to respond effectively to a real assault, significantly diminishes.

I am upfront with my students when I let them know that I will slowly introduce them to these components of training as they have some time under their belts. I do not advertise that I am there to teach them to be able to effectively defend themselves in a short period of time. I am focused on systematically changing the way in which they respond to stressors so that they keep their focus and composure. It is easy to hard-wire in the fear/anger response set and difficult to get it out (good evolutionary survival set). When I add this stuff into the typical training paradigms, I normally have to do some psych. debriefing to help the person whose issues were set off, properly process what happened so that the person can use the experience as a building block on the way to being able to respond effectively during high stress events/interactions.

Adding to what you also said, most martial arts teachers have not received any formal training/instruction into hows and whys of teaching. I think that people need to spend time thinking through the hows and whys of their teaching paradigms. That thinking should be connected to the goals and paradigms of training.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #197
graham christian
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Well,

"To equip your inner-self with the power to move the enemy according to your own will is the true Kannagara no Michi."

It seems Jon's and O Sensei's views are very similar.

Fine but, why do you call aikido this other budo?
The first quote above I agree to you it seems so. To see differently you would have to know inner true self and the meaning of will in that context.

It's called the Budo of love.

Peace.G.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:31 PM   #198
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

All scholastic, academic, and practical concepts in the field of conflict resolution pretty much recognize that you have three basic elements to a conflict. At least two people or ideologies or concepts, and the situation in which they meet. By the nature of them meeting, they are competing to dominate and achieve the desired goal.

The competition is real and it exist.

Failure to recognize it and deal with it does not mean it does not exist. It is still there and will exercise its will to dominate or "win".

It could be that we never recognize that it is there (failure to identify) or we may actively choose to ignore it. I believe that choosing to ignore it might be the non-competive mind.

It may be that it does not actively or blatantly affect us. It could be that it affects us somehow, but we are unable to see that clearly, but we still experience that something is not right. (Dissonance).

However, if we identify it, and take action because we do not like it, or feel we need to stop it, or control it, we are immediately competing with it. That is unrefutable, no matter how you choose to reframe it.

However, we can over react to it, become emotionally invested to the point we are clouded by our own preoccupations to see it for what it really is. I believe this would be what Andrew and Graham are calling the competive mind.

I think they might intuitively understand this, but are using the wrong words and framing the perspective incorrectly and have made a doctrine by combining several concept incorrectly and are therefore focused on the wrong solution set.

However that is my opinion, and discussing this with them is like discussing religion with someone that has their mind made up about how the world works and the relationship with religion. If you don't share the same common dogma at the base level, then you are never going to be able to convince them that your view point has merit.

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #199
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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To see differently you would have to know inner true self and the meaning of will in that context.
Sorry, I've run out of whiskey.

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:40 PM   #200
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Kevin, I read your post (188). Very nicely put. From the heart. Your view.

Now if someone came to me and whether they had watched me or trained with me or just met me but said they were looking for someone to teach them physical Aikido and gave me a good reasoned explanation as to why then I would gladly send them in your direction.

Thus there is for me no competition.

Peace.G.
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