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Old 08-28-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
InfantrySamurai0312
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Question Salutations and a request for help :)

I joined the forum a while back but never got around to actually posting anything due to life commitments. I look forward to being able to learn from all of your knowledge and experience, regardless of time or rank!

At present, I have a problem. Let's say for the sake of simplicity and civility that I have negligible experience in Aikido. I'm trying to find a school that fits me. The school I most recently devoted my efforts to is not right for me. Their head teacher has been quoted by my former teacher as saying, "If you want to learn self defense, better get a gun. Aikido is about not making enemies." And their practice reflects this. Perhaps it is just that I have 19 years in combat-centered martial arts (I wouldn't say practical in some cases), but I personally am looking for an Aikido that accomplishes what I was told Aikido should accomplish: Effective self defense that does minimal damage to your enemy. I believe the purpose of martial arts is to allow the strong to protect the weak, and the weak to protect themselves, and that this is the Warrior Way to spiritual growth.

All that said, can anyone recommend a good, practical, "hard" school of Aikido in the Boulder, Colorado area? Because I can't seem to find any.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to your answers!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Ikeda sensei teach in Boulder? From what I can tell from his videos, he has excellent aikido.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
akiy
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Hi Kenneth,

Welcome to AikiWeb.

You may get more responses to your inquiry if you were to re-post your question outside of the Introductions forum (eg in the "Training" forum).

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Ikeda sensei teach in Boulder? From what I can tell from his videos, he has excellent aikido.
Well, he always threw me sufficiently hard (we used to call him "Chewbacca"), and he's just about the nicest guy you'll ever meet. I'd recommend him...

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:11 AM   #5
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Gakku Homma Sensei is incredible too.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
JJF
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

well... I don't know exactly how the sensei you talk about teach his philosophy, but I think you should give it another shot.

It's a little bit to the extreme with the 'get a gun' comment, and granted some aikido dojos teach something closer to dancing than to budo... still I believe that if the purpose is to learn how to defend oneself without hurting the opponent you need to change your mindset compared to what you learn in (most) other styles of budo. And at least for me - it has been worth the time I have put in so far.

Still I think he is right. Aikido is not about making enemies or conquer your opponent. Aikido is about creating harmony from conflict (as I see it) while still maintining your own integrity. It's damn hard, but as it is very eloquently described in the latest mirror-posting on this site, it is a quality that would do endless good things in other aspects of life than on the mat. Give it some thought. In my experience we need to wrap our minds a different way around our perspective to gain something really good out of Aikido.

Good luck

JJ

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

If you are practicing aikido with the goal of beating an enemy you are not practicing aikido. Perhaps what you really are looking for is not aikido at all. In order to truly practice aikido you have to be willing to let go of the idea of winning and the notion that the other guy is your enemy.

I would suggest very much checking out Ikeda sensei in Boulder.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
GMaroda
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Thirding or fourthing Ikeda sensei!
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
If you are practicing aikido with the goal of beating an enemy you are not practicing aikido. Perhaps what you really are looking for is not aikido at all. In order to truly practice aikido you have to be willing to let go of the idea of winning and the notion that the other guy is your enemy.

I would suggest very much checking out Ikeda sensei in Boulder.
That's a judgement call on your part. There are four possible out comes to any situation. These are covered well in Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. Beating your opponent is unfortunately necessary in some situations and nothing wrong with it as long as you are doing it for the right reasons, with compassion, and know within your heart that this is the only option.

Warriors, Soldiers, Marines, and Police Officers have taking on a huge responsibility to make tough decisions. I applaud any of them that come to an art like aikido to improve their skills. It may give them the ability to save lives on day.

Practicing a martial art, even aikido involves doing nasty things designed to dismember, disfigure, and kill. It is hypocritical IMO to sugar coat this and apply revisionistic philosophy to it and then profess a moral high ground.

Winning and losing. I always choose to win. Why would I choose anything other than that. Why is winning a bad thing? If there is one trophy and someone will go home with it, it will be me, or the better man. Sure if there are two, I'll share. In matters of life or death you need to be clear about being a winner. You need to understand what it takes to win and train yourself to make damn sure you will win.

Letting go of winning? Misinterpreted from Musashi I think. Not what he meant. You let go of the NOTION of winning at the moment of decision and give it no thought, but to be clear, you are all about winning.

Approaching a foe without primarily concerned about winning...when he is all about winning, means you will lose. Unfortunately not everyone shares your love and ability to reason.

Sorry to get on the soapbox on this, but it something that I care deeply about and I think is one of the largest areas that gets misinterpreted in Aikido. Of course, I still respect your views.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:04 AM   #10
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
That's a judgement call on your part. There are four possible out comes to any situation. These are covered well in Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. Beating your opponent is unfortunately necessary in some situations and nothing wrong with it as long as you are doing it for the right reasons, with compassion, and know within your heart that this is the only option.

.
Actually that is what Mary Heiny sensei has said many times. It is not just my personal view. She herself said to our dojo on her last visit, "Aikido is not a fighting art". And this she got directly from O'Sensei.

I am not saying that it is wrong to come out of the conflict on top. I am saying that having the mindset that "my goal must be to beat my enemy" is not in the spirit of aikido, as I understand it.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:18 AM   #11
MM
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Actually that is what Mary Heiny sensei has said many times. It is not just my personal view. She herself said to our dojo on her last visit, "Aikido is not a fighting art". And this she got directly from O'Sensei.

I am not saying that it is wrong to come out of the conflict on top. I am saying that having the mindset that "my goal must be to beat my enemy" is not in the spirit of aikido, as I understand it.
Which creates a dilemna. If aikido is not about victory over the enemy, then why did Ueshiba state that it was ... sort of.

Masa Katsu A Katsu Katsu Haya Bi

Generally translated as True Victory is victory over self which happens instantly. So, Ueshiba is saying that there is an enemy, just that it's you and that there must be a victory over yourself. Right?

If we look at it that way, then you do have an enemy. So, what's the difference between you as an enemy and someone else? There still needs to be a victory over self, right? Just that the "self" might be someone else.

===

Or just possibly, we could look at it this way which negates having any enemy at all. Wouldn't that be more congruent with Ueshiba's vision?

Masa Katsu A Katsu Katsu Haya Bi

The True and Correct Victory is found by ovecoming Self with the connecting of two things.

See here for latter part of translation:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...7&postcount=23
Musubi can mean connecting of two things.

In Ueshiba's other works, those "two things" are contradictory forces. In/yo.

Mark
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:29 AM   #12
phitruong
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
I am not saying that it is wrong to come out of the conflict on top. I am saying that having the mindset that "my goal must be to beat my enemy" is not in the spirit of aikido, as I understand it.
that's the thing. dealing with "enemy", you want to beat them or be beaten. it's a binary solution. dealing with friends and others, you might want something different. i thought the spirit of aikido is to make the other person knows that they are beaten before the beating start, by inviting them to the local pub to discuss the beating, over a pint or two or three.

"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 08-30-2012, 08:47 AM   #13
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Actually that is what Mary Heiny sensei has said many times. It is not just my personal view. She herself said to our dojo on her last visit, "Aikido is not a fighting art". And this she got directly from O'Sensei.

I am not saying that it is wrong to come out of the conflict on top. I am saying that having the mindset that "my goal must be to beat my enemy" is not in the spirit of aikido, as I understand it.
Well there is something there. For example, in combat, my goal is not to beat my enemy in the sense that I have disregard for him and his actions. My goal is to win his heart and mind if it can be won. my guns, sticks, weapons, and training, and "winning attitude" provide me the space necessary to do this.

However, if that fails, well then, I am going to win. I think it depends on what you are focusing on. I think there might be a difference between the external...beating your opponent, and the internal...winning.

I am always about winning. If I can't create a win/win then I am okay with win/lose. me as the winner opponent as the loser. in all cases, winning is my goal. I think though that their are better ways to win than others, but sometimes I don't make the choice about it for my opponent.

Hope this makes sense.

I think this "remove all ego" and all notions of winning cause issues and it can get lost in the interpretation of things. We need to come to peace with ourselves that it is okay to win that there is nothing wrong with winning....as long as we do it in the most ethical manner possible given all possible outcomes etc.

The "utopia" crowd I think has revised the meaning of this and has created a bastardization of the meaning that downplays the self and is willing to sacrifice the self for everything else. Self Sacrifice can be good, but I think in the right situations. Martially though, I think it is a stupid idea. I think it is one thing to give up your sandwich to a begger and go hungry for a while, vice giving up your sword if you are a warrior. Why practice a warrior art if you are going to preach the equivilant of giving up your sword? That logic escapes me.

Thanks for your reply, my comments are not directed at you personally, but I think this is a good topic of conversation to consider! thanks!

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

I guess it is in how you define winning.

It can be getting the highest amount of points in a game or athletic event. To me that is not relevant.

It can mean being right in an argument. To me, that too, is not relevant.

If it means surviving and thriving through a self-defense incident, that is totally relevant.

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 08-30-2012 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added comma for a pause.

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #15
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Salutations and a request for help :)

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post

Thanks for your reply, my comments are not directed at you personally, but I think this is a good topic of conversation to consider! thanks!
Not taking them personally. I think actually that we are on the same page. The concept I have in my head is just having trouble being expressed by me in print. I can't say I disagree with anything you have said in your recent post.

Let us say that if you practice aikido with an aggressive "intent to do harm" mind set you are less likely to be successful at making aikido work for you. If your intention is simply not to allow the other person to harm you and you simply allow him to break himself upon your technique... I suspect that things will be more likely to go well for you.

Even in the effort to overcome myself I do not consider myself as my enemy. I just consider myself as being in need of adjustment.
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