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Old 08-19-2012, 08:01 AM   #76
lbb
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Assigning Value without Experience: Writing folks off without actual interaction, without valid experiences or with enough interaction to place real value. This goes both ways of course. You can have enough trust in someone who has had experience to then except that someones placement, though nothing replaces real experiences. Of course you have to make yourself available for these experiences and be ready to travel.
I'd add an asterisk to this, in that there's more than one kind of experience. This forum is also "actual interaction"; I don't think you can get away from that one. I don't think it's appropriate to try to discredit someone for being unwilling to pursue a face-to-face encounter with a person who has acted in a disparaging, abusive or arrogant manner in this forum. I'd call that instead making an intelligent decision.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:04 AM   #77
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
The Rationalising Mysticism Trick: We need martial experience to explain Ueshiba, but for reason XYZ we can really do without religious experience. We dont have much ourselves? Oh, that is just coincidence really.
Nicholas, I really liked your list. I thought it was clear and on target. I was a little confused as to exactly what this one meant, however. Can you elaborate on it?

Thanks,
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:42 AM   #78
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'd add an asterisk to this, in that there's more than one kind of experience. This forum is also "actual interaction"; I don't think you can get away from that one. I don't think it's appropriate to try to discredit someone for being unwilling to pursue a face-to-face encounter with a person who has acted in a disparaging, abusive or arrogant manner in this forum. I'd call that instead making an intelligent decision.
Mary
I am thinking in the broader view...I have met folks over the years and have avoid them off a single encounter only to go back later an find out I had missed somethings. I trained with a guy years ago that I found, in my mind, to be an a__.......I avoided him off of one or two encounters. 20 years later watching him teach and see what he was passing along I could see that it filled in some holes. I talked with him and let him know what I had been thinking years ago and what I though now that I had missed. This has happened with me several times over my lifetime.

I understand the reluctance when someone is offering you something you see wrapped in a bitter package like 'you don't have it' or 'you suck'.........One way to react is to get angry, consider all of this as disparaging, abusive or coming from arrogance with no basis, walk away or fight back.

Sometimes one needs to look in the mirror and ask..."could there be any truth in this?" and check it out. I have more than once walked into a room to 'check it out" and never gotten by the watching part before leaving....and as often stayed to participate. One will never know unless one makes the effort to find out.

In the end though...I don't think any of this is about abusive, disparaging and arrogant behavior by a few individuals...it is more basic than that.....

Gary
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:53 AM   #79
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

So it's basically the question if you want to be diagnosed and cured by Dr House or patted on the back by a mild-mannered "alternative medicine" quack.

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:02 AM   #80
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
So it's basically the question if you want to be diagnosed and cured by Dr House or patted on the back by a mild-mannered "alternative medicine" quack.
No, because for starters, you cannot be "cured" over the internet and diagnosis is still somewhat problematic, even if not in all cases. It's basically the question of recognizing the impact we're having on the nature of communication and adjusting to promote greater dialogue.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:21 AM   #81
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'd add an asterisk to this, in that there's more than one kind of experience. This forum is also "actual interaction"; I don't think you can get away from that one. I don't think it's appropriate to try to discredit someone for being unwilling to pursue a face-to-face encounter with a person who has acted in a disparaging, abusive or arrogant manner in this forum. I'd call that instead making an intelligent decision.
I don't think it's appropriate to try to discredit someone for being unwilling to pursue *any* face-to-face encounter. Life is short. Training time and travel budgets are limited, and we all have to pick and choose.

But that cuts both ways. If you haven't seen someone, you're not really qualified to talk about what they can or can't do. (Something to especially keep in mind when discussing people who are now dead.) If no one has seen you, then no one can corroborate your own claims.

Along the same lines, it might be helpful to remember that writing ability has little or no relationship to any physical skill. Ability (or inability) to be articulate on internet forums implies nothing whatsoever about a person's martial ability (or lack thereof).

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 08-19-2012 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #82
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
So it's basically the question if you want to be diagnosed and cured by Dr House or patted on the back by a mild-mannered "alternative medicine" quack.
There are plenty of doctors who have *both* excellent technical skills and excellent bedside manner. The idea that geniuses are inevitably miserable human beings makes good television, but doesn't have much to do with reality.

On the other hand, it can be helpful to remember that if a teacher is being nice, that could just mean they don't give a @#$% whether you get it or not.

Katherine
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:25 AM   #83
Dan Rubin
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

No matter how wonderful someone is in person, I don't want him/her to hijack threads with argumentative posts. The problem is in the nature of the posts, not in whether or not I agree with what the person is saying.

Last edited by Dan Rubin : 08-19-2012 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #84
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

"The Group Paranoia: There is no group. Dan’s stuff is just very persuasive to very diverse people, who may agree on little else in life and in budo. Live with it. "


I disagree with this one. I am not paranoid. I have been on the other side of a bunch of people who disagree with me. That is fine.

Sometimes when I respond to one person another person responds in a vehement attacking fashion interpreting what I have said in some detrimental way. There is no discussion of what I have said just rhetoric about how I said it.

I think a better way to discuss these matters is to keep the topic at the forefront.

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 08-19-2012 at 12:26 PM. Reason: too many tos

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Old 08-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #85
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Nicholas, I really liked your list. I thought it was clear and on target. I was a little confused as to exactly what this one meant, however. Can you elaborate on it?

Thanks,
Mary, I will try: What I mean is that it seems evident to me that Morihei Ueshiba was strongly, if not decisively, motivated by religious motives, occasionally culminating in important mystic (for lack of a better word) experiences - one with the universe and the like. At least in his later years, they seem to have been his primary motivation, and they definitely seem to have been a major turning point and legitimation in his own narrative about his art.

Now I often find that people who are exclusively interested in the martial in the first place will argue that that motivation of his, and the corresponding practices, are somewhat not relevant for his fighting skills and his art.

Almost regardless of what he himself said about it (there are a couple of contradictory standard quotes that can be inserted here), I think it is incorrect, in the attempt to reconstruct the product of the life of the man, to just parcel out the things one likes and is interested in (often: his fighting skills), and leave out the ones that one is less comfortable with (e.g. his mysticism). As if a person's life could be split up like that.

BTW, reformulating this makes me notice that this is of course the mirror image of the often rightly criticised thought pattern "oh, I have done meditation, blissful stuff - I guess I know what O-Sensei meant, I have felt one with the universe, let's forget about the martial side." So thanks. It applies both ways.

Or, shorter: with the same dedicated practice that is needed make "fist in face" possible, "one with the universe" can also be made possible. It's not that one is the hallmark of realism and the other one only for saints of times passed.

Hm. Hope I made myself clearer...
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:03 PM   #86
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Janet Rosen, Thank you very much for starting this thread. I consider politeness, gratefulness, humbleness and having an open mind as essential parts of Budo keiko. Without it any martial art would just be about fighting. Aiki-Web could be an excellent place to practice this aspect of Budo.
Just like in a dojo a few basic rules on behavior will make any dialogue go smoother.

Jun Akiyama, thank you for your follow up on this. It is good to see that you recognize that here is a problem here and that you are addressing it. I am one of those that was rather disappointed with AikiWeb and started to stay away from just about every thread.
Thank you both.

Tom
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:37 PM   #87
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Thank you for this list - I think most of them are very good points that should be taken in consideration everytime anyone submits a post on a thread.

"However, I do not agree with this one; The Group Paranoia: There is no group. Dan's stuff is just very persuasive to very diverse people, who may agree on little else in life and in budo. Live with it."

As soon as individuals with a similar background or experience or conviction start to act and react as a group, then even if they live in different parts of the world they are in effect a group!
Perhaps you have time to rewind some of the threads and you will clearly see a group interaction.
Besides that some of them have admitted they were a group. As such there is nothing wrong with a group or identifying them as a group. A basic rule of politeness applies to an individual just as much as to a group. So there is really no reason to speak of group paranoia here.

Personally I am very interested in O Sensei's religious/spiritual experiences and the way this has influenced his Aikido practice and teaching. I think the importance of this part of his life is generally much underestimated.

Tom
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #88
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Janet,

Here is a quote I found from a book on cross-cultural rhetoric. The quotation is from a life of the Buddha. He is being pressed by opponents with questions as to whether he would ever use unpleasant, disagreeable speech. He replies,

"Speech that the Tathagata knows to be untrue, false, and useless, and also unpleasant and disagreeable to others, he does not speak; that which he knows to be true, real and useful, but also unpleasant and disagreeable to others, he knows the right time to express it. Speech that he knows to be untrue, false and useless, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, he does not speak; that which is true, real, but useless, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, that, too, he does not speak; but that which is true, real, and useful, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, in that case he knows the right time to express it." (Edward J Thomas, The Life of Buddha as Legend and History, 1975.)."

So, for the Buddha, timing is everything. This is part of an Indian rhetorical tradition that is definitely not Greek. The rhetorical tradition that is usually called 'western' is based on ancient Greek rhetoric, which itself is based on contentious disputation prior to a decision being taken by third parties.

Best wishes,
That is a wonderful quote and a great addition to this thread!
Thank you very much,
Tom
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #89
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

When I first read the the title of this thread (Aikiweb as a "Big Tent) I thought you meant 'The Big Top' like at the circus.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #90
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Thank you for this list - I think most of them are very good points that should be taken in consideration everytime anyone submits a post on a thread.

"However, I do not agree with this one; The Group Paranoia: There is no group. Dan's stuff is just very persuasive to very diverse people, who may agree on little else in life and in budo. Live with it."

As soon as individuals with a similar background or experience or conviction start to act and react as a group, then even if they live in different parts of the world they are in effect a group!
Perhaps you have time to rewind some of the threads and you will clearly see a group interaction.
Besides that some of them have admitted they were a group. As such there is nothing wrong with a group or identifying them as a group. A basic rule of politeness applies to an individual just as much as to a group. So there is really no reason to speak of group paranoia here.
I agree more with Nicholas' point. Yes, there are a number of aikiweb members involved in internal training. That includes Nicholas and Janet (and many others, including me). Still, Janet started this thread and Nicholas stated his points. Doesn't that in itself support Nicholas' point?
If some internal training students happen to support each other's posts about some topic, it does not mean they represent the opinions or sentiments of all other internal training students. It's not the group speaking.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:01 PM   #91
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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If some internal training students happen to support each other's posts about some topic, it does not mean they represent the opinions or sentiments of all other internal training students. It's not the group speaking.
And I think that's why members of that group get upset when other posters invoke the Dan Conspiracy. (And yes, that *has* happened.) The members of the group disagree on an enormous number of topics, up to and including the value and applicability of what they're learning.

Katherine
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #92
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Founder-related Legitimacy Digs: telling somebody who practices aikido -- especially if you do not practice it yourself -- that they do not do what their founder intended is simply impolite and mostly pointless, even when presented in the most rational and polite way. Do not do it. I mean, you would probably not go on some religious forum and tell people their prophet was really not what they thought. Though there is historical evidence in that direction for many prophets. Slightly different field, same sensibility.
I like your post overall, but I must say I totally disagree with this. This is O-Sensei we're talking about. How are we possibly NOT to argue about what he was doing, how he was doing it, and how to reproduce it ourselves? And if part of the argument is that the core of what he was doing has been largely lost, how can that argument be made at all without saying "Most of you missed it"? Particularly when the argument has been made over the years with extensive research into the founder's actual circumstances, language, videos, training, and the reactions others had to his budo.

It's telling that you have to go to religion for your parallel. If you're seeing Aikido as a religion, you've got a problem. Other areas of human experience are supposed to be debatable.

Arguing in the alternative, have you ever hung out on religion boards? Speaking as a follower of one of those prophets, let me tell you that telling each other that the other hasn't understood the prophet at all is a major source of entertainment and refreshment for all.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:26 AM   #93
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

I'm aware that you asked Nicholas, but I couldn't resist the urge to respond (I'll say ahead of time that I don't know whether or not Nicholas agrees with my response. I only represent myself.).

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I like your post overall, but I must say I totally disagree with this. This is O-Sensei we're talking about. How are we possibly NOT to argue about what he was doing, how he was doing it, and how to reproduce it ourselves? And if part of the argument is that the core of what he was doing has been largely lost, how can that argument be made at all without saying "Most of you missed it"? Particularly when the argument has been made over the years with extensive research into the founder's actual circumstances, language, videos, training, and the reactions others had to his budo.
Whether it's true or not, restating those points over and over in the form of unsolicited advice or criticism will not have the desired effect of convincing people. It just causes friction. Peter Goldsbury's post #66 hints that a wise man knows when to speak and when to remain silent.

If you think your neighbour is ugly, do you think that every time you see him, you should tell him that, and advise him to go see a plastic surgeon to fix it? Do you think that he will appreciate your honesty, even after he has told you over and over that he happens to like his looks and so does his wife?
Ofcourse it's a different matter if he asks your opinion about his looks. But even then, one might try to avoid hurting his feelings or insulting him by choosing ones words carefully.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
It's telling that you have to go to religion for your parallel. If you're seeing Aikido as a religion, you've got a problem. Other areas of human experience are supposed to be debatable.

Arguing in the alternative, have you ever hung out on religion boards? Speaking as a follower of one of those prophets, let me tell you that telling each other that the other hasn't understood the prophet at all is a major source of entertainment and refreshment for all.
You don't have to go to religion. Wars have been waged over other convictions.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 08-20-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:50 AM   #94
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Mary, I will try: What I mean is that it seems evident to me that Morihei Ueshiba was strongly, if not decisively, motivated by religious motives, occasionally culminating in important mystic (for lack of a better word) experiences - one with the universe and the like. At least in his later years, they seem to have been his primary motivation, and they definitely seem to have been a major turning point and legitimation in his own narrative about his art.

Now I often find that people who are exclusively interested in the martial in the first place will argue that that motivation of his, and the corresponding practices, are somewhat not relevant for his fighting skills and his art.

Almost regardless of what he himself said about it (there are a couple of contradictory standard quotes that can be inserted here), I think it is incorrect, in the attempt to reconstruct the product of the life of the man, to just parcel out the things one likes and is interested in (often: his fighting skills), and leave out the ones that one is less comfortable with (e.g. his mysticism). As if a person's life could be split up like that.
Got it -- that's what I thought you were getting at. Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:10 AM   #95
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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I'm aware that you asked Nicholas, but I couldn't resist the urge to respond (I'll say ahead of time that I don't know whether or not Nicholas agrees with my response. I only represent myself.).

Whether it's true or not, restating those points over and over in the form of unsolicited advice or criticism will not have the desired effect of convincing people. It just causes friction. Peter Goldsbury's post #66 hints that a wise man knows when to speak and when to remain silent.

If you think your neighbour is ugly, do you think that every time you see him, you should tell him that, and advise him to go see a plastic surgeon to fix it? Do you think that he will appreciate your honesty, even after he has told you over and over that he happens to like his looks and so does his wife?
Ofcourse it's a different matter if he asks your opinion about his looks. But even then, one might try to avoid hurting his feelings or insulting him by choosing ones words carefully.

You don't have to go to religion. Wars have been waged over other convictions.
Um, it's a public forum. So, there is no "unsolicited advice" nor "unsolicited criticism". It's public. Forums on the internet are specifically designed for this. So, should my neighbor rent a Public Meeting Hall, invite all people inside to "communicate" and then proceeds to talk about how ugly he is, then, yes, he is inviting other people to comment on that "conversation". That is Internet forums, not someone living next door and unceremoniously telling him/her that they are ugly. Apples and Oranges.

Also, with all due respect to Peter, but I find it ironic that here we are on a thread discussing how we should converse about not taking Morihei Ueshiba out of context yet we take a snippet of a translated work about Buddha to apply here. Could we also not point to the monk who carried the woman across the river? What, you're still holding on to that?
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:10 AM   #96
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I like your post overall, but I must say I totally disagree with this. This is O-Sensei we're talking about. How are we possibly NOT to argue about what he was doing, how he was doing it, and how to reproduce it ourselves?
My answer to this is simple: we avoid the argument by admitting that we don't really know. I don't mean to dismiss scholarship, but the fact is, I'm not a scholar myself, and I don't speak Japanese. Any "research" that I did would be in English, and thus, at second-hand at best. I can look at the work of others, and I can make intelligent decisions about whose scholarship (and motives) I am inclined to trust. But even the most rigorous and impartial scholar doesn't really know, either. No one does.

Any time that knowledge is passed on, it's like a game of telephone. Things get changed and distorted. You can check back with the originator up to a point; however, even there you're unlikely to get precisely the same message twice. And even mouth to ear, there's always a gap. What is said and what is heard are always different. So why cling to the notion that we can truly know someone else's intention and carry it forward with perfect clarity through the years? This is why religions get bogged down with clothing and hair and who sleeps with who and what you can eat: because it's a lot easier to track these kind of details, and to use them as a prop for one's legitimacy, than to admit that there is no authority and that we each pursue our own truth. That's not to say that all truths have equal value -- but each person has to pursue their own. You can't drink anyone else's koolade (at least, not to good effect!).

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
It's telling that you have to go to religion for your parallel. If you're seeing Aikido as a religion, you've got a problem. Other areas of human experience are supposed to be debatable.
If I understand Nicholas's point, it's not that he sees it as a religion, but that he perceives others as treating it in such a way -- specifically, like a scriptural religion, a "religion of the book", one with a growing fundamentalist element that claims authority from what is purported to be the word of God. I don't think aikido is helped by "O Sensei Fundamentalism", where people use quotations from the founder as bully clubs to try and advance their point of view. I don't see that it leads to anywhere good -- just an escalating arms race in an effort to claim the ultimate authority over what aikido is.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:11 AM   #97
Marc Abrams
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I'm aware that you asked Nicholas, but I couldn't resist the urge to respond (I'll say ahead of time that I don't know whether or not Nicholas agrees with my response. I only represent myself.).

Whether it's true or not, restating those points over and over in the form of unsolicited advice or criticism will not have the desired effect of convincing people. It just causes friction. Peter Goldsbury's post #66 hints that a wise man knows when to speak and when to remain silent.

If you think your neighbour is ugly, do you think that every time you see him, you should tell him that, and advise him to go see a plastic surgeon to fix it? Do you think that he will appreciate your honesty, even after he has told you over and over that he happens to like his looks and so does his wife?
Ofcourse it's a different matter if he asks your opinion about his looks. But even then, one might try to avoid hurting his feelings or insulting him by choosing ones words carefully.
That is a double edged sword issue: First, people who start threads are simply inviting comments. If they don't want comments or feel the need to only allow certain classes of comments, they should write blogs instead. The advice and criticism is solicited by virtue of the fact that a person chooses to start a thread. It seems like an on-going circus of certain people starting threads who like to read their own words, inviting thread "wars" without any real attempt to have open minds on their behalf (and that is not even approaching the unwillingness to be able to demonstrate anything in person). It is not surprising that other groups of people challenge, criticize, etc. the people and their posts. The most remarkable thing that most people do not want to face in this thread, is that those who typically give the "unsolicited advice and criticism" are the ones who also make genuine offers to respectfully "flesh-out" the ideas in some type of training experience.

Friction can be a wonderful opportunity for people to look at their own ideas and beliefs from differing perspectives. Friction can allow people to actually be motivated to test out their beliefs and ideas. After all, martial arts begin and end with what can be done or not done (as opposed to differing thoughts).

I would suggest that wisdom and integrity should go hand in hand. Don't ask a question if you are not willing to hear an answer. Don't put your ideas out there in a thread and not expect to receive a myriad of opinions. The people who spend so much time on the Aikiweb complaining about the poor reception to their ideas, the "mean-spirit" of people's comments, the "unwillingness" of those "mean" people to fully understand and embrace their ideas, etc., are typically the ones who shy away from the natural consequence of putting ideas about martial arts out in the public = "SHOW ME!"

As much as both sides should show some respect and restraint in their comments and threads that they start, both sides should be also be willing to find some format to demonstrably put their ideas and beliefs about "martial arts" abilities, theories, understandings to the test. If a person is not willing to stand behind and up to their beliefs and ideas, then maybe, just maybe that person should show better restraint in starting threads and/or a "thicker skin" when the expected criticisms and unsolicited suggestions start arriving.

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #98
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
My answer to this is simple: we avoid the argument by admitting that we don't really know. I don't mean to dismiss scholarship, but the fact is, I'm not a scholar myself, and I don't speak Japanese. Any "research" that I did would be in English, and thus, at second-hand at best. I can look at the work of others, and I can make intelligent decisions about whose scholarship (and motives) I am inclined to trust. But even the most rigorous and impartial scholar doesn't really know, either. No one does.
To a point, that's true, but it's not really a valid argument. Understanding a historic person (or anyone, for that matter) isn't a binary, yes-no, situation, it's a continuum. And yes, I think that it is important to make the attempt, otherwise why study any history of any kind? Isn't it a forgone conclusion that studying what people thought in the past is useful to those of us living in the present and moving to the future?

I've also found, oddly enough, that many Aikido students are actually interested in what the Founder of their art had to say.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:16 AM   #99
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I've also found, oddly enough, that many Aikido students are actually interested in what the Founder of their art had to say.
Unfortunately, there are very few works in English that offer anything like a coherent body of the Founder's views. (And many kudos to you for helping to fill that gap.) There are lots of sentence- or paragraph-length quotations, but they are, as Mary said, quite often yanked out of context and used as weapons to advance this or that modern agenda.

Katherine
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #100
lbb
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
To a point, that's true, but it's not really a valid argument. Understanding a historic person (or anyone, for that matter) isn't a binary, yes-no, situation, it's a continuum.
I agree -- but I feel like that's most decidedly not what most people on Aikiweb try to do with O Sensei. Here, it's all about promoting and bringing forth the aspects and interpretations that support your worldview. Developing a nuanced, non-binary understanding of a complex human being who isn't around to speak for himself (which surely would include admitting to quite a few "we don't know"s) doesn't seem what most folks want to do.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
And yes, I think that it is important to make the attempt, otherwise why study any history of any kind? Isn't it a forgone conclusion that studying what people thought in the past is useful to those of us living in the present and moving to the future?
It can be. But it's always worth asking the question, "Where are we going with this?" When you have a fuller understanding of O Sensei, what will you do with it? Maybe that's the question we really should be asking ourselves.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I've also found, oddly enough, that many Aikido students are actually interested in what the Founder of their art had to say.
Hmm, bit of Monday morning snark? Well, whatever. I've seen enough people go dangerously wrong through the fundamentalist approach for me to want to approach "scripture" with a good deal of caution. I don't see how caution does any harm here.

Do you ever wonder if maybe some of the things O Sensei said were just toss-off remarks? Do you think everything he said should be given equal (fundamentalist) weight?
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