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

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > "Off-The-Mat"

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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
Rick Berry
Dojo: Kokikai Wilmington Dojo
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 14
United_States
Offline
Armor! Or not.

Recently one of my old Quiet Storm black belt students arrived at the dojo requesting an opportunity, as he put it, to complete his training. I had not seen him for many, many years. He said he traveled through several other martial disciplines in that time frame. The request was for more than just the physical.

He wanted to know how to solve a perplexing problem. How to achieve that allusive quality known as peace of mind.

Our conversation drifted from our history together to going over his personal history to his ways of dealing with opposition and resistance to peaceful coexistance. In other words he constantly found himself sizing up possible adversaries whether they were openly aggressive or not. He was always evaluating how he would deal with the individuals around him if violence were to break out. He had been in several fights since he left The Quiet Storm many years ago.

The description of his lifestyle showed me that he is constantly on guard, always wondering about an attack, never relaxing for a moment. In my first few comments I described the proper usage of the 4 principles we utilize in Aikido and how they must practiced in everyday life while off the mat as well as during training. Then I took it a step further.

I mentioned how I stopped wearing a protective groin cup while sparring during the last four years of my active involvement teaching Tae Kwon Do. I did that because I didn't wear one on the street and I needed to train the way I dressed on those streets. I had to learn to deal with protecting my entire organism. I pointed out that I was also training in Aikido during those last 4 or 5 years.

That was the period in which I transitioned to a new understanding of one of life's most interesting phenomenons. Namely this: Life evolves and grows, it takes back and comes back or reflects back at us just what we expect of it.

The way I taught Quiet Storm practitioners, they developed a protective means of defense I call "armor" in order to cope with the physical world. That was primarily because we fought, and fought hard, not all the time, but most of the time. Our defense was a strong and aggressive offense which worked very well.

In those days it was not unusal for several males to walk into a karate school and challenge the instructor or students to a fight. It happened at many schools throughout the United states, but especially in California. It never happened in our school because whenever someone walked in with that certain swagger and stood in the doorway glaring around, I would simply call any two students to the middle of the floor, have them bow to me, bow to each other and free fight. I usually turned away and walked over to my senior student for a little quiet conversation while the fight was going on. After a few minutes, the transgressors, with a much different expression on their faces would look at each other, turn around and leave and never return. Well, every once in a great while one of them might come back to join, but that was very rare. After a few years of this the Chester grapevine was full of talk about those Quiet Storm people being crazy because they fought for real in that school. After a while they stopped coming in that way.

But getting back to my old student, I spoke to him of other things; Of growth, life changes and a new way of looking at life…

As you grow older you grow weaker and that armor grows heavier. My new way of thinking was to lighten the load. What changed? Take off the armor! Face life the way you were born.

For me, the first thing to go was the groin cup, then I dropped my armor. My realization was simply this: The most powerful weapon in the universe is the human mind and the most powerful force in the universe is love.

I've not had to defend myself in all that time. Neither mentally nor physically.

The question has been asked, do you live in a fundamentally friendly universe or a fundamentally hostile universe? How you answer this question dictates whether or not you can safely remove your armor.

If you can believe, you can achieve. For me no other defense is necessary nor desired. My expectations have changed.

ONE RESPONSE TO " ARMOR OR NOT! "

Comments:
Mark Yerger says:
July 6th, 2011 at 11:30 am e
Wow.
That really hit home with me.
For the first 40 years of my life, I have been very tense. This tenseness was my "armor". Fight or Flight. Always ready for any altercation.

Years ago when I was training, in the course of a regular conservation we were having, you asked me my age. When I replied 34, you commented, "Man!!! 34!!! You are still a baby!! You start to really grow up when you get to 40!!"

That little conversation has stayed with me ever since.

Now at 43, a father and a husband, I feel like I am getting lighter on a "spiritual" level…my armor is slowly leaving me. I am not tensed up and ready for a fight like I used to be.
Whatever comes at me I will decide what to do at that moment--with my mind first.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Reminds me of something that happened the other day... I was driving slowly down the front of a mall, slipping the clutch and goosing the accelerator as I looked for a row with an empty space. I found one, parked, and got out of the car only to find my way blocked by another car driven by a skinhead/redneck/weightlifter type. He squints at me and says, "You! Were you revving your engine at me back there? Were you?"

Clearly he's spoiling for a fight. (His girlfriend is in the seat next to him, dying of embarrassment.)

I'm so flabbergasted I just stare at him and tell him, "No. No, I wasn't." So he mutters some imprecations and drives off.

But it left me with this profound sense of pity. Can you imagine going through your life with your antennae on high alert always, looking for the guy who's going to diss you? I'd be exhausted.

Sounds like that was maybe your friend.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
Rick Berry
Dojo: Kokikai Wilmington Dojo
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 14
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Armor is heavy. Armor slows the warrior down. Soldiers wear armor and so do police officers now. That was not always the case and many deaths resulted at least in combat. Policemen did not die from gunshot wounds all that often in the past. The question is why now? What changed?

What changed is simpy this: most everyone is wearing armor now. At least most think they need it now. And if one were to follow all the newspaper articles, that would be a correct assumption.

Where can I get a set of good quality, effective and lightweight ARMOR? And how much will it cost?

Answer: The cost is quite high. In more ways than you realize, you will be paying for a lifetime and the price will be much more than money. One price is freedom. And another is fear and loathing.

Now don't get me wrong, I not talking about something physical here. I'm talking about an attitude. The lack of understanding of how the universe works can be detrimental to the health of all, not just the usual participants. To give an example of what I mean consider this:

It takes the presence of a man to teach a boy how to be a man! This society's young males don't have enough real men available for examples because so many of them are stationed around the world solving the world's problems while open communication and living conditions in and around many homes are at an all time low. Examples abound with athletes demonstrating poor choices while acting like little children celebrating actions they get paid enormous salaries to perform. I'm talking about the antics performed after scoring a touchdown or making a tackle. I mean these are grown men, are they not?

Another example: whenever something goes wrong between nations or there is a severe or ideological disagreement, war or talk of war, is the usual answer to the problem. Why do you think that for many young men, the first thought is "to fight?" They learn this from adults. Why is the right to buy and sell arms more important than lowering the death toll on our city streets?

All of these situations lead many people to seek arms for their protection. Or armor.

The answer to the situation of armor is to change our focus from constant conflict to more harmonious concepts and we will need bricks for building instead of armor.

Martial arts in this country would primarily serve for self-improvement as is the case of "wushu" in China. Most of their art is no longer practiced for conflict. Now wouldn't that be nice?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

I really try hard to be harmonious and all that...but someone comes along and ruins it. I hate when that happens.

I mean it. I try and work with people and try and do the right and compassionate things. unfortunately, there are those out there that want to take things from others and to impose their will on them for their own personal gain.

I'd love a world with the kind of people that want to help and be compassionate, harmonious and all that. When someone comes along that wants to ruin that, well it is hard to find a way to reason with them some of the time.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Armor or not?

Amor or not??

Last April, my crew and I were doing security for an engineer's strike. It was quite aggressive.
Picture this: The decible (noise) level was equal to LAX airport's tarmac. metal gongs, whistles and drums filling the air for 10 hours a day. Police are doing nothing about it.It is also windy and a frigidly cold San Francisco day.

The client asks one of my video specialists to walk off property to record several knives (illegal at a strike) that were being weilded in a rally of about 300 strikers. There were 10 of my agents at this specific point of protection and the tasking did not go through me. I was unaware of it as I was handling another issue.

This Samoan fellow in the photo is one of the ring leaders. He flanks my video agent and clocks him on the head with a picket sign whose wood had been sharpened for improved cutting impact. My agent doesn't budge.

I notice the incident as it was happening and walk out to provide a flanking support for his work.
Another agent takes this photograph. The video is even more explicit as the picketer is waving double signs near my head and even behind my head as he enters past Maii.

I smile and offer tonglin (meditation of compassion/love and energy alchemy). But my body doesn't forget its instinctive knowledge of angle, zone and critical distance from many years of eskrima bouts. The trick is to hide these skills so that your body does not reveal any defensiveness. I give myself a "B" grade in this photo.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	chris strike.JPG
Views:	101
Size:	22.8 KB
ID:	1023  

Last edited by Chris Parkerson : 06-16-2012 at 05:03 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
Anthony Loeppert
Dojo: Aikido of Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 155
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Armor or not?

Amor or not??

Last April, my crew and I were doing security for an engineer's strike. It was quite aggressive.
Picture this: The decible (noise) level was equal to LAX airport's tarmac. metal gongs, whistles and drums filling the air for 10 hours a day. Police are doing nothing about it.It is also windy and a frigidly cold San Francisco day.

The client asks one of my video specialists to walk off property to record several knives (illegal at a strike) that were being weilded in a rally of about 300 strikers. There were 10 of my agents at this specific point of protection and the tasking did not go through me. I was unaware of it as I was handling another issue.

This Samoan fellow in the photo is one of the ring leaders. He flanks my video agent and clocks him on the head with a picket sign whose wood had been sharpened for improved cutting impact. My agent doesn't budge.

I notice the incident as it was happening and walk out to provide a flanking support for his work.
Another agent takes this photograph. The video is even more explicit as the picketer is waving double signs near my head and even behind my head as he enters past Maii.

I smile and offer tonglin (meditation of compassion/love and energy alchemy). But my body doesn't forget its instinctive knowledge of angle, zone and critical distance from many years of eskrima bouts. The trick is to hide these skills so that your body does not reveal any defensiveness. I give myself a "B" grade in this photo.
I commend how you commented on this post yet also made it about yourself. I wonder about your business... the business of protecting people. In my everyday experience, people who live respecting others need no protection. As in, no one is pissed at them... Something like what you said in another thread, "that which has substance..."

This is of course excluding people assassinated for their unpopular (though power challenging) beliefs. Perhaps you only protect them. Do you have a set of standards as to who and what you will provide protection to?

Last edited by Anthony Loeppert : 06-19-2012 at 04:23 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 07:08 AM   #7
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Anthony Loeppert wrote: View Post
I commend how you commented on this post yet also made it about yourself. I wonder about your business... the business of protecting people. In my everyday experience, people who live respecting others need no protection. As in, no one is pissed at them... Something like what you said in another thread, "that which has substance..."

This is of course excluding people assassinated for their unpopular (though power challenging) beliefs. Perhaps you only protect them. Do you have a set of standards as to who and what you will provide protection to?
I prefer to talk about my experience rather than assume my experience is some global truth. Mine is only one perspective.
Regarding who I protect? That has been an amazing learning curve. Early on, I was hired to manage executive protection at Sony, Gateway Computers, and finally Panasonic. I accept grey
areas as long as I recognize my inner prostitute.
But I have always preferred protecting battered women and others who cannot afford to have
decent protection. I left corporations in 2001, and opened my own firm. Now, I get to choose my
clients more freely. I try not to judge my own judgments too harshly. That is a function of ego.
Rather, I listen to my "inner knowing". When it says yes. I accept the client. I do not try to
rationalize the decision. It is a shamanic thing. Then, I commit 40-50% of my income to assist
poverty. I live on 20% of my income. That is about surrender, sacred activism and following the
hard sayings of Jesus.
My favorite clients? The Aids Foundation in San Francisco. Project Open Hands in san Francisco.
Kuni Ando (former President Worldwide) at Sony. He was a great fabric that held sony together during a tough transition. Princess Huda who introduced me to her father Al Skaikh. On His death bed. He was minister of Religious Affairs in Saudi Arabia. He took time to preach Islam to me. What a loving and humble man. He held together a factional religion that could tear his nation apart. There were many more I was blown away by, but I will not name them.

Be well,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Parkerson : 06-19-2012 at 07:12 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #8
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

I apologize Jun and to others, as I was definitely a part of the thread drift that culminated in discussions about the ideal of the "forum"; and for my geo-social rant.

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 06:05 PM   #9
Anthony Loeppert
Dojo: Aikido of Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 155
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
I apologize Jun and to others, as I was definitely a part of the thread drift that culminated in discussions about the ideal of the "forum"; and for my geo-social rant.

Chris
Aww.... what's a little hijacking among friends? BTW: PLEASE start a thread in the open discussion area expounding on your various "rant(s) from an iconoclast deep ecologist libertarian."

Last edited by Anthony Loeppert : 06-19-2012 at 06:07 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 10:10 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

I agree with Chris's comments about the ego of who to protect and not to protect. At some level you simply need to remove yourself from the ethics...to a degree...and realize you are hired or commissioned to protect and to prevent violence from occurring.

You are not the politician nor do you participate furthering their agenda...you are simply there to stop harm.

That said, of course, I personally would try and choose my clients wisely and there are some li its to who I would choose to not serve. However, in the grater scheme of things...philosophically, stopping harm or violence is the business you are in and that morality I believe comes before the other stuff.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2012, 05:53 AM   #11
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I agree with Chris's comments about the ego of who to protect and not to protect. At some level you simply need to remove yourself from the ethics...to a degree...and realize you are hired or commissioned to protect and to prevent violence from occurring.

You are not the politician nor do you participate furthering their agenda...you are simply there to stop harm.

That said, of course, I personally would try and choose my clients wisely and there are some li its to who I would choose to not serve. However, in the grater scheme of things...philosophically, stopping harm or violence is the business you are in and that morality I believe comes before the other stuff.
I have not met a CEO who is a saint (except Kuni Ando). I have worked for many of them. To get where they are requires an armor of it's own. Manufacturing is too costly, for instance in the USA. Go to Mexico, there are fewer environmental regulations but the local community pays for it in brain damaged kids because of your toxic run off. And $7 a day wages are great on the budget. That raises a slew of social and economic quagmires.

Mexican law requires that local executives shadow the expat managers. You cannot protect them all (and their families) from the local mafias. So someone inevitably gets compromised with an offer they cannot refuse. Before you know it, $millions are missing. Supply chain is disrupted so less of your product is on the store shelf. Your retailers start buying from another brand.

What to do? Pay off the mafia (directly or through a politician) and the FBI arrests you for Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act.

These are daily issues. All gray area. But the customer get's his new electronic product anyway.

My answer: take off the armor of self righteous judgment. Get in touch with your internal knowing. I.e. "sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." act from the heart. confront chaos, one sign wave at a time, like in Randori.

Living like that made my hip flexors, intrecostals, pecks and iT bands tighter than he'll. My perineum is no longer aligned well with my crown chakra. My psoas is a mess. My chigot constricted. Nei Gung became a drudge. I refocussed on 8 brochade and Zhang Zhuang (postures) in my training, but my triple warmer and spleen remained out of balance.

Nowadays, I hire younger guys to do the field work for the most part. I and mt fiancée have a non profit that helps inner city women in crisis. These issues are much clearer and easier to handle.

Waging peace.

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Just as an after thought. I was hired by Sony as a result of the Mamoru Kono kidnapping in Tijuana in 1996. From Kono (Sanyo) to two years ago to present, I have seen a number of Japanese plant presidents in the maquiladora (border manufacturing) industry bring their do art and business Budo with them. The Mexican environment chewed up a number of them. It is a grinder. Some were transferred home to receive "an office with a window view".

I concluded that Budo is much more than the ability to engage in a physical fight. For me to survive working within 3 cultures (American, Mexican, Japanese), and in such a chaotic environment, Budo
had to be about strategy as well.

You can train to be the perfect weapon (remember Jeff Speakman and Ed Parker's movie) and end up becoming someone else's push toy. You can turn into "Man on Fire" and nobody wins.... especially the client company. At best, You resonate with Sean Connery in Rising Sun.

And my favorite quote of all:

Jeff: You should know, I’m a black belt.
John Connor: But of course you are dear.

Regards,

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #13
Anthony Loeppert
Dojo: Aikido of Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 155
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I agree with Chris's comments about the ego of who to protect and not to protect. At some level you simply need to remove yourself from the ethics...to a degree...and realize you are hired or commissioned to protect and to prevent violence from occurring.

You are not the politician nor do you participate furthering their agenda...you are simply there to stop harm.

That said, of course, I personally would try and choose my clients wisely and there are some li its to who I would choose to not serve. However, in the grater scheme of things...philosophically, stopping harm or violence is the business you are in and that morality I believe comes before the other stuff.
Forget ego and politics. And never forget ethics, not to any degree. Unless propping up and protecting assholes is your business. I've never been in the military and I say that proudly. Why? Because I don't believe in doing violence to people on order of others.

Does that mean pacifism? Absolutely not.

This would be me in a similar situation:
without the 911 call of concern.

An act of violence should be understood and not blindly obeyed on orders.

I am a computer programmer. I work in the cell phone industry and understand and program some of the most complex devices in the market today.

I'm sure I could make more money in the war industry but I don't. Why? Because I don't let nonsensical bullshit convince me it is ok.

My hero of the day
Anthony

Last edited by Anthony Loeppert : 06-21-2012 at 08:20 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #14
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

We each have our own paths in life Anthony. Each part of the whole helps to balance the other.

Why would one part judge another? Isn't that like the hand saying to the foot, I do not need what you do?

Confused,

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 08:33 PM   #15
Anthony Loeppert
Dojo: Aikido of Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 155
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
We each have our own paths in life Anthony.
Agreed.
Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Each part of the whole helps to balance the other.
If you say so. Personally, I don't need shit to balance out anything in my life.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Why would one part judge another? Isn't that like the hand saying to the foot, I do not need what you do?
You'll have an uphill battle trying to convince me murdering on orders is noble. Let the orders do their own murdering.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #16
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Anthony,

How about opening a new thread for this or contacting me or Kevin on PM.

Gassho

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 08:43 PM   #17
Anthony Loeppert
Dojo: Aikido of Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 155
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Anthony,

How about opening a new thread for this or contacting me or Kevin on PM.

Gassho

Chris
Done: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=311388
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 08:51 PM   #18
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Anthony,

Suffer me a few questions.
Tell me the brand of shirt, pants, and shoes you most recently bought.
What kind of transportation do you own?
If it uses gasoline, what brand are you pumping?
What store do you buy your food at?
What brand is the eggs, meat, chicken, cereals, you bought?

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #19
Anthony Loeppert
Dojo: Aikido of Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 155
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Anthony,

Suffer me a few questions.
Tell me the brand of shirt, pants, and shoes you most recently bought.
What kind of transportation do you own?
If it uses gasoline, what brand are you pumping?
What store do you buy your food at?
What brand is the eggs, meat, chicken, cereals, you bought?

Chris
Certainly, as soon as you start your own thread. In the mean time should I prepare receipts?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #20
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,100
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

This is very interesting to me...and I think lies at the heart of budo as I understand it. Really, forget budo. It lies at the heart of the human condition.
Quote:
The question has been asked, do you live in a fundamentally friendly universe or a fundamentally hostile universe?
My quick answer is "yes." The longer one is that the Universe can be described as a gradient between the two, "indifferent," being the middle point. I think it's mostly indifferent, but I try to account for "both" extremes...in fact I tend to look to extremes in order to understand what I consider to be the boundaries of reality; to (hopefully) understand the unifying principles holding those extremes together. So, when I walk past someone, I try to hold two ideas in mind at the same time: 1) this guy might want to kill me for no reason at all; 2) this guy might want to be my best friend. I assume the reality is probably somewhere in between, while trying to be prepared for either possibility. Mostly they don't care who I am...although I just had a "gentle" reminder to the contrary when a pregnant meth-head took one look at me as I came out of a store and flipped me off saying, "fuck you pig." Maybe she thought I was a cop who arrested her one time? I don't know. Whatever the case, she's an addle-brained tragedy. She is part of the Universe, just as are my two darling boys. Examples of light and dark abound, and the rest is a constantly shifting shade of gray.
I discovered a bullet hole above my bed when I was kid. If I had been sitting on my bed I would have been shot. To describe this "side" of life I like to point out that we're invisible specks in a small bubble flying through blood-boiling space. It's a fact and it's hard to ignore. But it's also so very awesome and so amazingly beautiful! To my mind, it's the Grand Irony. Be serious; have fun; I try to do both at the same time.
"The world is what we make of it." This rings true to me in a couple ways. We act based on what we perceive. Even when we're trying to remain neutral our body/mind responds in sublte ways. The people around us perceive this to varying degrees and in turn respond in various, often subtle, ways. And on and on it goes. We train to adjust our responses to adjust their responses, etc.
That's how it seems to me.
...and what that all means exactly, I'm not so sure, but there's my two bits.
Be excellent to each other (and yourselves).
Matthew

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-22-2012 at 12:15 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #21
Rick Berry
Dojo: Kokikai Wilmington Dojo
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 14
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

The longer I practice martial arts (Ji Do Kwan for the first 18 and Aikido for the next 29 years now) the more relaxed I become. The more relaxed and positive my outlook, the more comfortable I become. I now experience more risks on the dojo mat than I do in the streets. Of course I no longer go to bars (I've outgrown the bars) but I do not get occosted, nor do I get into violent arguments. It's as if an aura radiates out from me and is getting stronger and stronger and negativity cannot enter.

As I learned on my last job before retirement and what I teach my students: You teach all others how to treat you by the way you respond to their overtures. What I learned is you can, or to be more precise, must train your supervisor in how to treat you, then I practiced this everywhere. How else will you enjoy a bountiful life.

To me the true goal of martial arts training is "Gaining and Maintaining Positive Self-control."
My martial arts in action, "off the mat."

What I experienced is that it works! Aikido anyone?

Now how is that for a friendly universe?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 10:03 PM   #22
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Wow Rick,

It sounds like the fist of the fighter is shadowed by the open hand of the Scholar. Armor off until necessary.

Gratitude,

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #23
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Quote:
Rick Berry wrote: View Post
The longer I practice martial arts (Ji Do Kwan for the first 18 and Aikido for the next 29 years now) the more relaxed I become. The more relaxed and positive my outlook, the more comfortable I become. I now experience more risks on the dojo mat than I do in the streets. Of course I no longer go to bars (I've outgrown the bars) but I do not get occosted, nor do I get into violent arguments. It's as if an aura radiates out from me and is getting stronger and stronger and negativity cannot enter.

As I learned on my last job before retirement and what I teach my students: You teach all others how to treat you by the way you respond to their overtures. What I learned is you can, or to be more precise, must train your supervisor in how to treat you, then I practiced this everywhere. How else will you enjoy a bountiful life.

To me the true goal of martial arts training is "Gaining and Maintaining Positive Self-control."
My martial arts in action, "off the mat."

What I experienced is that it works! Aikido anyone?

Now how is that for a friendly universe?
Sounds good to me.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #24
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Armor! Or not.

Rick, I have a similar view to you. One thing I always ask people when they are relating a hostile experience is to them usually a very shocking question. It is "what did you do to them first?"

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


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

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

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


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:45 PM.



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