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Old 08-30-2012, 07:26 AM   #1
Quentin Cooke
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Aikido Stories

I am a director for Aiki Extensions, the international group based the USA, that seeks to take aiki principles off the mat and make a difference in some very difficult situations and to communities at large.

Too cut a long story short, recently I had the privilege to meet Bob Frager Sensei,(one of the founders of aikido in the USA), who suggested that I should try and put together a book of aikido stories about how students have used what they learn on the mat to get a positive outcome, when perhaps they least expected it and so affirmed the value of what they have learnt through aikido. I am sure that you will have had students over the years tell you such tales and may well have experienced a few yourself. I want to put together a collection, as I am absolutely sure that it will prove very inspirational and motivational for any aikido student. It's the sort of thing that any club might like to own and would make a great gift. Because it is such an attractive proposition, it will be a great fund raiser for Aiki Extensions, which will help them support some great charitable projects that have huge benefit for the recipients.

A quick perusal of this site has found a few gems, and so I have decided to start mining. If you have a tale yourself or know someone that does can you email me at q.cooke@ntlworld.com. Firstly i'd love to hear your tale, but secondly I can send you a poster detailing the sort of thing we are after and if you could talk about this in your dojo and hang the poster, I would be most grateful.

I can tell you that I have already had a good few submissions, which was incredibly profound and very moving, so I absolutely know that we have an opportunity to create a seminal work here , that can only do good for our art. What's more it's the gift that keeps on giving. I'm hoping for many volumes over the years, which will not only raise some money for Aiki Extensions , which will help it grow the great work that it does, but will showcase why we do what we do. This should benefit aikido as a whole.

I thank you in anticipation of your help.

Quentin Cooke
Aikido for Daily Life
Director of Aiki Extensions
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:00 AM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido Stories

So let me understand, you are going to mine aikiweb for stories that your organization will use to raise money to create an archive or knowledge base.

Aikweb seems to already do that...for free for the most part.

I'd think before I came on someone elses website solicting knowledge to raise money that I'd at least get a little gold star next to my name that designated me as a contributor to that website.

Aikiweb has served the community well for many years and I would hope that those that benefit from it, especially monetarily would contribute to the cause. Doesn't matter to me if you are a for profit or a non-profit.

Just calling it like I see it.

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:08 AM   #3
sorokod
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Re: Aikido Stories

Wham! Atemi!

-- david
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
Quentin Cooke wrote: View Post
Too cut a long story short, recently I had the privilege to meet Bob Frager Sensei,(one of the founders of aikido in the USA)
He's an old timer, for sure, but how did he get to be "one of the founders of aikido in the USA"? The way that I count the numbers, Aikido was well established in the USA by the time he even met Ueshiba in '64.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-30-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
James Sawers
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Re: Aikido Stories

This was posted on AikiWeb in 2005:

Quote:
AikiWeb System wrote: View Post
Posted 2005-01-20 14:55:41 by

Robert Frager sensei of California has been promoted to 7th dan by Aikikai hombu dojo. One of the aikido "pioneers" in California, Frager sensei trained at Aikikai hombu dojo in the early 1960's. Frager sensei founded the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology back in 1975. Congratulations to Frager sensei!

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Old 08-30-2012, 12:06 PM   #6
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
This was posted on AikiWeb in 2005:
Oh, I know who he is, but a "pioneer" and a "founder" seem a little different to me, FWIW...

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quentin,
would you mind to post links to the stuff you find in this thread? That way, we could all benefit from it.
Thanks!

Nicholas
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
James Sawers
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Oh, I know who he is, but a "pioneer" and a "founder" seem a little different to me, FWIW...

Best,

Chris
Yes, my point exactly........
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
Quentin Cooke
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Re: Aikido Stories

Whoah, well I guess it's nice to know that my message was picked up, but this is not quite the response I was hoping for. So let me try and respond to the various points made. Firstly I agree that Aikiweb does a great job and it is a wonderful source of information. It is also a place where people have posted the kind of stories that I am seeking, but it seems to me that once told those tales pass into the mists of time and are lost. If I'm wrong here and they are held in meaningful way that everyone can access, then please do tell me. As it's been pointed out, I'm not a regular contributor or visitor, so I'm quite happy to be educated.

All this being said, I bet there are many people out there who have tales to tell and have never posted them here. Maybe they will now, or maybe they will help me in my search, either way the number of times that I have contributed comments seems totally irrelevant. One of the wonders of Aikiweb is that it reaches such a large part of the aikido community, and I feel no shame and absolutely no regrets in reaching out as I have. If people don't want to support this project then there is absolutely nothing I can do about it and if they think that I am proffering a begging bowl then there is nothing I can do about that either. However, I think most people will see this as a worthy project. Furthermore it will result in a wonderful book, that will be of of real interest to many, but not only that, in supporting this project, aikidoka will help support some wonderful projects with aikido at their heart, where many people who are a lot less fortunate than most of us, will benefit. If that's not good for aikido as a whole then I don't know what is. I'm not asking anyone to pay for the production of the book, that will be a cost I will subsidise. I'm not guaranteed to make a profit, so if it goes pear shaped then only I will lose out. If it goes brilliantly then I wont be the one to benefit, so I really dont see how this can offend anyone.

It also seems a little off the point to be picking me up on whether Frager sensei is a pioneer or founder. It's not really the point of my post, allbeit that I bow to Chris Li's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of aikido.

Let me just finish by saying that the stories that I have gathered so far, have been incredibly inspiring and none of them were posted here, so it proves my point that Aikiweb is not the repository for everything that happens in the aikido world. It is my belief that there are far more people who will support the idea of this book than not, so whilst I respect everyone's right to tell there stories in their own way and even to think that I am wrong to ask, at least have the courtesy to respect my motives and integrity!
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
Quentin Cooke
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Quentin,
would you mind to post links to the stuff you find in this thread? That way, we could all benefit from it.
Thanks!

Nicholas
Hi Nicholas, I'm happy to do this, but I'm really not sure what you mean, which just goes to show that I am a comparative beginner here. If you could explain, then I will do my best to comply.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:17 PM   #11
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
Quentin Cooke wrote: View Post
It also seems a little off the point to be picking me up on whether Frager sensei is a pioneer or founder. It's not really the point of my post, allbeit that I bow to Chris Li's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of aikido.
No worries, I just found the phrasing a little odd - it doesn't really matter.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
Graham Farquhar
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
Quentin Cooke wrote: View Post
Whoah, well I guess it's nice to know that my message was picked up, but this is not quite the response I was hoping for. So let me try and respond to the various points made. Firstly I agree that Aikiweb does a great job and it is a wonderful source of information. It is also a place where people have posted the kind of stories that I am seeking, but it seems to me that once told those tales pass into the mists of time and are lost. If I'm wrong here and they are held in meaningful way that everyone can access, then please do tell me. As it's been pointed out, I'm not a regular contributor or visitor, so I'm quite happy to be educated.

All this being said, I bet there are many people out there who have tales to tell and have never posted them here. Maybe they will now, or maybe they will help me in my search, either way the number of times that I have contributed comments seems totally irrelevant. One of the wonders of Aikiweb is that it reaches such a large part of the aikido community, and I feel no shame and absolutely no regrets in reaching out as I have. If people don't want to support this project then there is absolutely nothing I can do about it and if they think that I am proffering a begging bowl then there is nothing I can do about that either. However, I think most people will see this as a worthy project. Furthermore it will result in a wonderful book, that will be of of real interest to many, but not only that, in supporting this project, aikidoka will help support some wonderful projects with aikido at their heart, where many people who are a lot less fortunate than most of us, will benefit. If that's not good for aikido as a whole then I don't know what is. I'm not asking anyone to pay for the production of the book, that will be a cost I will subsidise. I'm not guaranteed to make a profit, so if it goes pear shaped then only I will lose out. If it goes brilliantly then I wont be the one to benefit, so I really dont see how this can offend anyone.

It also seems a little off the point to be picking me up on whether Frager sensei is a pioneer or founder. It's not really the point of my post, allbeit that I bow to Chris Li's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of aikido.

Let me just finish by saying that the stories that I have gathered so far, have been incredibly inspiring and none of them were posted here, so it proves my point that Aikiweb is not the repository for everything that happens in the aikido world. It is my belief that there are far more people who will support the idea of this book than not, so whilst I respect everyone's right to tell there stories in their own way and even to think that I am wrong to ask, at least have the courtesy to respect my motives and integrity!
Nice post!
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:37 AM   #13
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quote:
Quentin Cooke wrote: View Post
Whoah, well I guess it's nice to know that my message was picked up, but this is not quite the response I was hoping for. So let me try and respond to the various points made. Firstly I agree that Aikiweb does a great job and it is a wonderful source of information. It is also a place where people have posted the kind of stories that I am seeking, but it seems to me that once told those tales pass into the mists of time and are lost. If I'm wrong here and they are held in meaningful way that everyone can access, then please do tell me. As it's been pointed out, I'm not a regular contributor or visitor, so I'm quite happy to be educated.

All this being said, I bet there are many people out there who have tales to tell and have never posted them here. Maybe they will now, or maybe they will help me in my search, either way the number of times that I have contributed comments seems totally irrelevant. One of the wonders of Aikiweb is that it reaches such a large part of the aikido community, and I feel no shame and absolutely no regrets in reaching out as I have. If people don't want to support this project then there is absolutely nothing I can do about it and if they think that I am proffering a begging bowl then there is nothing I can do about that either. However, I think most people will see this as a worthy project. Furthermore it will result in a wonderful book, that will be of of real interest to many, but not only that, in supporting this project, aikidoka will help support some wonderful projects with aikido at their heart, where many people who are a lot less fortunate than most of us, will benefit. If that's not good for aikido as a whole then I don't know what is. I'm not asking anyone to pay for the production of the book, that will be a cost I will subsidise. I'm not guaranteed to make a profit, so if it goes pear shaped then only I will lose out. If it goes brilliantly then I wont be the one to benefit, so I really dont see how this can offend anyone.

It also seems a little off the point to be picking me up on whether Frager sensei is a pioneer or founder. It's not really the point of my post, allbeit that I bow to Chris Li's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of aikido.

Let me just finish by saying that the stories that I have gathered so far, have been incredibly inspiring and none of them were posted here, so it proves my point that Aikiweb is not the repository for everything that happens in the aikido world. It is my belief that there are far more people who will support the idea of this book than not, so whilst I respect everyone's right to tell there stories in their own way and even to think that I am wrong to ask, at least have the courtesy to respect my motives and integrity!
Hi Quentin,
nice post. What I meant was that, if you did find stories that where published somewhere here, you could post a hyperlink to them in this thread (the link behind the little number in the upper right corner, I believe), and that could make a kind of inventory. Because, as you say, stuff does get forgotten that should be remembered.

However, if that was not your intention in the first place, of course there is no point.

BTW it may be worth looking for a thread from sb (I do not remember the name - but it is the name that two high ranking US teachers have, one from Florida formerly ASU I believe, the one I mean a body worker from the Mid-West ... Paul something?), who had a very similar project a couple of years back.

Aiki extensions, as far as I remember, often meets with hostility here. So its good to remind this community that it is not the centre of the aikido world, and that its widespread cynicism is not necessarily representative. Good luck with your projects.

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 09-02-2012 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #14
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Aikido Stories

Quentin - one thing I (and maybe others) am still not clear on was a line in your initial post:
Quote:
A quick perusal of this site has found a few gems, and so I have decided to start mining.
The way that reads is that you "decided" to simply glean stories that are on Aikiweb and put them in your work. And "mining" usually implies "digging up material out of the ground and making it your own." Hence primitive people, who regard the earth as a deity, liken mining to be a kind of rape. In many cultures, miners, in particular those who mine iron ore (which is red like mother-earth's blood), are an out-caste, seen as violating mother earth. People with beliefs such as these are often viewed as primitive, particularly by the colonialists who see such huge benefits for the world were that raw ore turned to better use.

Perhaps it was a mere omission on your part, but you did not mention proper rituals that a miner must follow, so that the primitive natives are not offended. LIke the ritual of copyright, which still applies even on a public forum. The question being, do you intend to mine, as you say, or are you going to request that people allow you to use their writing.

You may think this is obvious, but ask Stanley Pranin. HIs copyright material - films of Osensei and other teachers - were copied without "right" by many people and distributed because a) it was for the benefit of everyone that such films were distributed more widely b) why pay money when you can get it for free? And now with YouTube, I'm often surprised that he can still survive economically.

Not necessarily that you should pay contributors to your prospective work. Rather, it is rather jarring to read a statement from a representative of an organization that has a mission to bring the social dimension of "aiki" to a larger world and for that statement to so cavalierly ignore the sensibilities of the "aite" you are attempting to engage.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-02-2012, 07:39 AM   #15
Quentin Cooke
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Re: Aikido Stories

Hi Ellis,

Thank you very much for pointing this out. I would like to re-assure everyone that I would never dream of taking a story from here or indeed anywhere else on the web and using it for this project, without asking for permission first and fully explaining how it would be used. My use of the word 'mining' was perhaps unfortunate, as I certainly did not mean anything else other than Aikiweb seemed to be an appropriate place to search for stories.

Thank you for again for taking the time out to point this out.

Quentin

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Quentin - one thing I (and maybe others) am still not clear on was a line in your initial post:

The way that reads is that you "decided" to simply glean stories that are on Aikiweb and put them in your work. And "mining" usually implies "digging up material out of the ground and making it your own." Hence primitive people, who regard the earth as a deity, liken mining to be a kind of rape. In many cultures, miners, in particular those who mine iron ore (which is red like mother-earth's blood), are an out-caste, seen as violating mother earth. People with beliefs such as these are often viewed as primitive, particularly by the colonialists who see such huge benefits for the world were that raw ore turned to better use.

Perhaps it was a mere omission on your part, but you did not mention proper rituals that a miner must follow, so that the primitive natives are not offended. LIke the ritual of copyright, which still applies even on a public forum. The question being, do you intend to mine, as you say, or are you going to request that people allow you to use their writing.

You may think this is obvious, but ask Stanley Pranin. HIs copyright material - films of Osensei and other teachers - were copied without "right" by many people and distributed because a) it was for the benefit of everyone that such films were distributed more widely b) why pay money when you can get it for free? And now with YouTube, I'm often surprised that he can still survive economically.

Not necessarily that you should pay contributors to your prospective work. Rather, it is rather jarring to read a statement from a representative of an organization that has a mission to bring the social dimension of "aiki" to a larger world and for that statement to so cavalierly ignore the sensibilities of the "aite" you are attempting to engage.

Ellis Amdur
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:50 AM   #16
Quentin Cooke
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Re: Aikido Stories

Thanks Nicholas,

I appreciate the support and your ideas, which I will follow up on. If I do find suitable material already posted, I might flag one to serve as an example of the sort of thing that I am after, (but only after contacting the poster and asking for permission to do so), but thereafter, I would simply ask if we could use the story.

I am a little saddened to hear that Aiki Extensions does not get too much support here. Of course I am biased, but I know all the people who are involved very well and all give their time for free to promote aikido and many do incredible work, that makes a real difference to some very disadvantaged groups. I have never met anyone in AE who is interested in the politics of aikido and our energy is in fact spent in building bridges amongst the aikido community as a whole, by celebrating what we share rather than seeking to point out the differences.

Ah well, everyone travels their own road and sees what they see, which includes me of course. For my part, AE has introduced me to some truly inspiring people and I love the bridge building aspect, which I will always seek to encourage.

Regards

Quentin

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi Quentin,
nice post. What I meant was that, if you did find stories that where published somewhere here, you could post a hyperlink to them in this thread (the link behind the little number in the upper right corner, I believe), and that could make a kind of inventory. Because, as you say, stuff does get forgotten that should be remembered.

However, if that was not your intention in the first place, of course there is no point.

BTW it may be worth looking for a thread from sb (I do not remember the name - but it is the name that two high ranking US teachers have, one from Florida formerly ASU I believe, the one I mean a body worker from the Mid-West ... Paul something?), who had a very similar project a couple of years back.

Aiki extensions, as far as I remember, often meets with hostility here. So its good to remind this community that it is not the centre of the aikido world, and that its widespread cynicism is not necessarily representative. Good luck with your projects.
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