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Old 11-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #51
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
You don't need any "power" if you can do that. I think Ueshiba realized this. But even if he didn't it's still the path I'm trying to work towards.
That would explain why Ueshiba spent untold hours training hard with powerful fighters and working alone in his garden, doing hours of suburi and spear thrusting. It explains why his muscles were so....what's that word?...powerful?

Afraid that one gets nowhere, Chris.

But it calls to mind something I noticed in your photograph recently: the kanji wall-hanging at the head of your dojo. Where did you get that?

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #52
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Brian Beach wrote: View Post
I may be over simplifying this but I think everyone is talking about Masakatsu Agatsu. We are learning to control ourselves. Through this control of ourselves we can control others. e.x. you can't throw someone if you have bad posture, first you correct your posture then worry about throwing. Put in the negative you can't control others if you can't control yourself.
Well, but let's say you can control yourself beautifully...but you have no strength?

I remember discussing violence with some aikido students once and a guy proffered: "Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose."

However, deep reds and blacks are the colors of facts.

Make no mistake, when it comes down to red and black, budo is intended to produce people who can stop the violence. We can be philosophical and say, "That means stop the violence within our own hearts." And that, too, is true, on an abstract level, but if you have to run while saying it because you can't stop the other person who is being seriously violent...it's not budo. And aikido is budo. It develops power, and not unconsciously or unintentionally or accidentally. And if you deny the need to develop power in aikido, then what you're doing is not aikido.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #53
Chris Li
 
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Aikido has grown way beyond Ueshiba. If you're interested only in Ueshiba that is fine, but the Aikido community has grown and changed in the last 50 years or so. What you are saying is analogous to every painter trying to copy and continue what, say, Matisse did. Matisse was great, and showed us lot's of things, but he's not the end of painting. Proving what Ueshiba said or didn't say doesn't change anything. Aikido is not a Koryu, it is a living system.

Frankly I have no idea if what you think Ueshiba was getting at was right wrong or indifferent. I'll let you and the historians hash that one out. But the Aikido community outside of the internet, that I speak with, doesn't sound like the picture you are painting (pun intended).
And yet, you cited Ueshiba yourself in the very post that we are discussing:

Quote:
I guess that initially "Power" is the motivator for training. Ueshiba seems mystical and powerful. This small man could defeat huge, powerful, younger martial artists. Then, as you start to get some "power" yourself, you test yourself outside of the Dojo, and you meet other very "powerful" people, you start to realize that power isn't really the goal, and never was.
None of the people that I'm working with are trying to duplicate Ueshiba in the manner you're discussing above - you must have us confused with somebody else.

On the other hand, that the thoughts and the methodology of the founder of the art are relevant to those training in that art (especially when direct students of the founder are still alive) seems, to me, to be a no brainer.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:23 PM   #54
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Basically; because it is one path. The central theme of Taoisme, Shinto, Boeddhisme, Confucianism is about your true self and its connection with reality, the world, the universe. One way of finding that true self and that connection is through meditation, but there are other ways as well; from going on a pilgrimage to practicing the arts. One of those arts is Budo or in this case more in particular Aikido.

How could this possibly disturb you so much?
I didn't perceive Carsten to be disturbed in that. You realize, of course, that the taoist fighting arts are seriously deadly and make no bones about their purpose? They're not like aikido in that regard, but more like serious ken-jutsu. Once unleashed, serious damage is bound to happen.

People need to understand that once a human being decides on a course of serious violence, it requires serious strength to stop him or her, and make no mistake: it requires extreme power to stop such a person without injuring them. So aikido gives us a better philosophical and spiritual base than say bagua or xing yi. But without serious power behind it, that philosophy amounts to BS. And the seriously powerful bagua or xing yi artist always has the choice to destroy or to show mercy, so it might be better, for practical purposes, to study xing yi. In any case, saying we show mercy to someone is a joke if we don't have the capacity to destroy them, and most aikido people I've met talking about being merciful to an attacker...they're just jokers, to tell the truth.

Now, speaking of philosophy and spirituality, Morihei Ueshiba also spent countless hours in prayer, but I don't hear much about that from aikido people. I once posted a thread here called "The Power of Prayer," I think it was. It's been a few years ago, I guess. No one responded at all, if I recall correctly. But if an aikido person uses Ueshiba's statements on power to show that there is no need for power, why do they follow his art of "making people do what you want them to do," but they don't follow his practice of praying for hours each day? I submit that it can only be that, subconsciously at the very least, they do have a great desire for power. At the same time, the have a conscious belief that power is wrong. So they and their aikido become seriously conflicted, but rather than work it out in physical struggle, they form organizations and build up that kind of power, expressed mainly in deciding which rituals will be used and who will get or be denied rank.

FWIW

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #55
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think that we (in the generic sense) have been laying out an increasingly detailed argument (with more to come) for the Ueshiba connection.
More to come? The waiting is painful! However, I know it takes a lot of effort to bring that material to light, so I won't rush you...but...please hurry!



Thanks!

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:37 PM   #56
Cady Goldfield
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Re: The Fear of Power

Power is not always an aggressive negative. That's how so many people interpret it -- as something completely "yang/yo." It is not. Power is simply a tool. When you know what the power of aiki is, then there is nothing to fear. It's all in how you choose to use it. Aiki can be a gentle power to deflect violence; it is not violence itself.

I see the point as being this: that having the tool -- power -- means having more choices than not having the tool.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #57
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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I gotta admit than when I first saw the title of David's post, "The Fear of Power", I thought it was (uncharitably) stupid. Now after seeing the various posts, I find myself agreeing, in most part, with David. Other posters, for whatever reason, seem to not want to understand what David means by "power". They keep skirting around the fact that whatever you do requires "power", even if it is picking up my latte, right now (I wouldn't recommend it!).
Yes, James, I'm pointing at that and specifically saying that aikido is an art of power. And then I'm saying that what's being taught these days produces people who are (knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously) seeking power while also having to deny that they are seeking it. Yet they are constantly expressing a need for power by criticizing those who frankly, consciously and unashamedly admit that they are seeking to develop power in aikido.

To Moshe Feldenkrais, one of most important problems for a human being was "crossed motivation," or trying to fulfill multiple aims at once--especially when those aims are in conflict. To him, direct and single-minded action was pure in both mind and body. But when one is attempting to perform an action while also having a separate intention, the main action will be seriously weakened and will likely fail.

Another of his most important concerns was compulsion, or feeling a serious need to do a given thing that's not really necessary. Some people get this way about training, some about bowing or using Japanese words or phrases. A person acting from compulsion will become increasingly uncomfortable, to the point of sickness, the longer he/she refrains from enacting the compulsion.

In aikido, many people train and speak compulsively but also with crossed motivations of wanting power yet having to deny that they want it. And this may be the source of their fear of power. I think we all, and the art of aikido, will be better off when everyone acknowledges the natural function and need of power and connects it more to grace and harmony (as with the tail of the whale) than to political (organizational and intellectual) control of others.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #58
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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(to Chris Li)
I have no better Idea of what Ueshiba thought, then you do.
Sounds oddly like "You have no better idea of what Ueshiba thought than I do."

I think Chris Li has an unusually clear understanding of Morihei Ueshiba's ideas and his insights are always well above average, not only because of his translation work, but because of the wide range of top level aikido teachers he has met and trained with.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:57 PM   #59
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Well, but let's say you can control yourself beautifully...but you have no strength?

I remember discussing violence with some aikido students once and a guy proffered: "Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose."

However, deep reds and blacks are the colors of facts.

Make no mistake, when it comes down to red and black, budo is intended to produce people who can stop the violence. We can be philosophical and say, "That means stop the violence within our own hearts." And that, too, is true, on an abstract level, but if you have to run while saying it because you can't stop the other person who is being seriously violent...it's not budo. And aikido is budo. It develops power, and not unconsciously or unintentionally or accidentally. And if you deny the need to develop power in aikido, then what you're doing is not aikido.

Best wishes.

David
I didn't mean it in an aiki bunny sort of way. You can't hit or throw unless you are in the proper position, you can't get in the proper position unless you are in control of yourself. Everyday you train you gain more control of your own actions. That is power. You control your own structure so you can affect his.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #60
gregstec
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
you don't need cheese for a ham sandwich. a bit of lettuce, butter, pickles and onions with a bit of humus would be fine. for a ham and cheese sandwich, then yes, you do need the cheese. have you consider some kimchee with black forest?

*sorry for side track. please resume the discussion on the nature of power and us human nature. *
Just had some home made kimchee mixed in with potato salad - very interesting taste and very good as well

Greg
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #61
Cady Goldfield
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Just had some home made kimchee mixed in with potato salad - very interesting taste and very good as well

Greg
Try mixing a cup of kimchee into your sphagetti sauce. Yum. Oops. I just contributed to off-topica.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #62
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Try mixing a cup of kimchee into your sphagetti sauce. Yum. Oops. I just contributed to off-topica.
Oh, I have done that as well as other things like mixing in with mashed potatoes, topping on hamburgers, and in scrambled eggs - every thread needs a little intermission every once in a while

Greg
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:21 PM   #63
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Aikido has grown way beyond Ueshiba.
What?

How do you define "beyond"?

Usually, it means "surpassed," but aikido certainly has never again attained the heights that Ueshiba expressed, much less surpassed him.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If you're interested only in Ueshiba that is fine, but the Aikido community has grown and changed in the last 50 years or so. What you are saying is analogous to every painter trying to copy and continue what, say, Matisse did. Matisse was great, and showed us lot's of things, but he's not the end of painting. Proving what Ueshiba said or didn't say doesn't change anything. Aikido is not a Koryu, it is a living system.
The main way I see "the aikido community's" having grown since Morihei is in numbers, certainly not in quality. What I advocate (and I think Chris Li and the IP seekers will concur) is not to mimic Morihei, as you imply with the comment about Matisse. We're not saying to copy and continue what Matisse did unless you simply mean "create original and powerful works of art." In fact, it's the general aikido community that continues to do the same 3,000 techniques (actually about fifteen variations each of about fifteen main techniques) over and over with no "live" quality and uke falling down no mater what happens. So, if that's what you mean by "grown," I'm afraid that's another serious fallacy.

What Ueshiba said was intended to free us of the need to "do aikido" within that limited number of set techniques and the unreal relationship between uke and nage. Takemusu Aiki is the spontaneous generation of technique based on the use's response to contacting someone with a "budo body." That's both doing what Ueshiba did and doing something he never did, rather than always looking like you're doing what he did...yet with something noticeably lacking.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Frankly I have no idea if what you think Ueshiba was getting at was right wrong or indifferent. I'll let you and the historians hash that one out. But the Aikido community outside of the internet, that I speak with, doesn't sound like the picture you are painting (pun intended).
It's sort of like having a "physics community" that has its own version of physics, though, isn't it? Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #64
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
All well and good for the individual human, but not to apply to the art that came down from Ueshiba. Aikido is powerful and much of its grace comes from its power. Those who denigrate power out-and-out, then try to neuter aikido by teaching that it should have no power...to be kind, they're on a seriously mistaken path.
Wait, are you saying that the main idea behind Aikido training is to get more power?

If you are saying that, then I can say unequivocally, we have night and day ideas about Aikido. I don't think that is what Ueshiba was saying, and even if he was, which I absolutely do not think he was, I don't think that is what today's Aikido community is about.

I believe Aikido is about learning how our "power" fits together, ideally in a mutually beneficial way.

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Old 11-09-2012, 10:13 PM   #65
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Re: The Fear of Power

Whoa,
I just went back and see that I missed a lot of what was said, there was an explosion of posts I didn't see.

After reading those posts, I resign from this conversation.

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Old 11-09-2012, 10:31 PM   #66
Janet Rosen
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Just had some home made kimchee mixed in with potato salad - very interesting taste and very good as well

Greg
Sez this kimchee maker: the best sandwich I ever had was after coming home from dojo the other night craving protein, sweet, savory and spicy:
peanutbutter, a thin layer of orange marmalade, a nice layer of my latest kimchee.
MDH sez in over 35 yrs he never saw me look so happy over a meal!
(sorry, Chris, for contributing to thread drift....)

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:03 PM   #67
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Wait, are you saying that the main idea behind Aikido training is to get more power?

If you are saying that, then I can say unequivocally, we have night and day ideas about Aikido.
To put it politely....yes.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I don't think that is what Ueshiba was saying,
You haven't read the translations, have you? Do you know anyone who knew him? You couldn't get near him without being very strong, in the first place, and if you hung out with him, you had to get much stronger to keep up. It's a kind of dumb question, frankly, Chris. It's like saying, "You mean the Army is about fighting?" Read what he said. Look what he did. What were all those hours of solo suburi and spear thrusting about? He didn't have ribbons on his bokken or yari. Those were weapons for him. What do you think he was doing?

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
and even if he was, which I absolutely do not think he was, I don't think that is what today's Aikido community is about.
Will someone someday read this thread and be so obtuse as to say "What did David Orange mean when he wrote this? Was he really saying that aikido was about developing power?" Of course not. No one will care what I said. But I'm saying it as plain as day and you don't understand it? All I'm saying is what Ueshiba said. He sought and developed great power and those who followed him in aikido also developed great power--though none, apparently, as great as he did--only those who followed his teacher, Takeda Sokaku, reached his level.

And as for "today's aikido community...." well, you just don't get out much, do you? Much of my point here is that today's aikido community has lost the way.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I believe Aikido is about learning how our "power" fits together, ideally in a mutually beneficial way.
And some believe it's a ribbon dance. And some believe it's a place where, when you get good enough, you get to wear a skirt. But you admit that it still, at base, is a way to develop "power". You're so afraid of the word itself that you have to put it in quotes. Why is it so difficult to deal with natural facts? It's like saying, "Today's tigers don't eat meat anymore." But you only pretend to go into the cage with them....that should tell you something.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:07 PM   #68
James Sawers
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Yes, James, I'm pointing at that and specifically saying that aikido is an art of power. And then I'm saying that what's being taught these days produces people who are (knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously) seeking power while also having to deny that they are seeking it. Yet they are constantly expressing a need for power by criticizing those who frankly, consciously and unashamedly admit that they are seeking to develop power in aikido.

To Moshe Feldenkrais, one of most important problems for a human being was "crossed motivation," or trying to fulfill multiple aims at once--especially when those aims are in conflict. To him, direct and single-minded action was pure in both mind and body. But when one is attempting to perform an action while also having a separate intention, the main action will be seriously weakened and will likely fail.

Another of his most important concerns was compulsion, or feeling a serious need to do a given thing that's not really necessary. Some people get this way about training, some about bowing or using Japanese words or phrases. A person acting from compulsion will become increasingly uncomfortable, to the point of sickness, the longer he/she refrains from enacting the compulsion.

In aikido, many people train and speak compulsively but also with crossed motivations of wanting power yet having to deny that they want it. And this may be the source of their fear of power. I think we all, and the art of aikido, will be better off when everyone acknowledges the natural function and need of power and connects it more to grace and harmony (as with the tail of the whale) than to political (organizational and intellectual) control of others.

David
I have only limited experience with Moshe Feldenkrais, but I'ved used some of his exercises and found them helpful.

I remember when I was in school many years ago, some psychologist (Adler, I believe), thought that the drive to/for power was a basic human need. Don't know if that theory is still current, but if so....

Anyway, to me, doing aikido effectively, using IP or not, involves the use of "power". It's just silly to think otherwise.....What else are you using?

In good practice......Jim.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:58 AM   #69
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Not exactly, Tom. Those words are in the first paragraph, but are not posited as the purpose of aikido. I state "It's portrayed as a devastating martial art that requires no strength, yet the founder was absolutely powerful, almost beyond human limits, we would think. So people sign on with this, yet they have to deny that they're seeking "power"--especially "power over others." But....you fling people around like rag dolls. Or...you pretend to?"

What I refer to here is not the purpose, but the popular image of aikido. People see Ueshiba's power and are drawn to the art, but they then have to deny that they're seeking power, especially "power over others." But at base, they have to deny that they're seeing power when most, at heart, are really seeking power over others. Aikido is no more about having power over others than the whale seeks power over others: it doesn't have to seek what it has. Aikido has power. Training in aikido is to develop one's own personal power. It's a natural pursuit, inherent in the human heart.

I hope that makes it clearer.

David
But those words are part of your premise, which basically consists of circular reasoning.

Besides that I do not think that people are drawn to Aikido because of Ueshiba's power. Most people that start with Aikido have never seen demonstrations of O Sensei - it is usually the more experienced aikidoka that know a bit more about him or have seen him on film. Recent polls have shown that Ueshiba is not even among the most welknown Aikido teachers - people are more familiar with names as Tissier or Seagall. People have various reasons to practice Aikido - "seeking power over others" is not one that I have ever heard of. Throwing people and being thrown is just part of the art of Aikido. From this you cannot conclude that people are looking for power.

Tom
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:34 AM   #70
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Re: The Fear of Power

Well, maybe I can't help but come back, my level of attachment is high! HA!

Saying that the main Idea behind Aikido is "power" is like saying the main idea behind studying Judo is winning randori matches. That is part of the practice yes, so is losing randori, so is learning humility, so is social interaction, so is a great principle of yielding.

Ueshiba, liked power, so do I. I lift heavy weights, train and compete in sport martial arts, own and train with modern weapons. But if anyone said my life, and my practice are about gaining more power, I would say that they are crazy.

I respect power, and I respect humility. To say that one excludes the other is fool hardy. To say that the practice of Aikido is "about power" is no less an oversimplification then saying Aikido is "about siting in seiza". It's a part of the practice yes, maybe even a very big part, but there is so much more to it. Saying "my study of Aikido is about power" might be a little more on track.

I had a really bad reaction to this thread because it was right in my face. I came to Aikido looking for power. I had a bad life, and wanted to stop having one via the ability to physically dominate others. My first Aikido teacher (Patrick Cassidy) saw straight through this, and began to show me another way to live, through Aikido. Aikido helped to take me off of a never ending path of "need power" to a path of learning how to be pleased right where I am at this moment. If you'd like to talk about power, I would say that is it.

This doesn't mean you become a pacifist and let people walk all over you. It simply means that power is far from the goal.

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Old 11-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #71
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I didn't perceive Carsten to be disturbed in that. You realize, of course, that the taoist fighting arts are seriously deadly and make no bones about their purpose? They're not like aikido in that regard, but more like serious ken-jutsu. Once unleashed, serious damage is bound to happen.

People need to understand that once a human being decides on a course of serious violence, it requires serious strength to stop him or her, and make no mistake: it requires extreme power to stop such a person without injuring them. So aikido gives us a better philosophical and spiritual base than say bagua or xing yi. But without serious power behind it, that philosophy amounts to BS. And the seriously powerful bagua or xing yi artist always has the choice to destroy or to show mercy, so it might be better, for practical purposes, to study xing yi. In any case, saying we show mercy to someone is a joke if we don't have the capacity to destroy them, and most aikido people I've met talking about being merciful to an attacker...they're just jokers, to tell the truth.

Now, speaking of philosophy and spirituality, Morihei Ueshiba also spent countless hours in prayer, but I don't hear much about that from aikido people. I once posted a thread here called "The Power of Prayer," I think it was. It's been a few years ago, I guess. No one responded at all, if I recall correctly. But if an aikido person uses Ueshiba's statements on power to show that there is no need for power, why do they follow his art of "making people do what you want them to do," but they don't follow his practice of praying for hours each day? I submit that it can only be that, subconsciously at the very least, they do have a great desire for power. At the same time, the have a conscious belief that power is wrong. So they and their aikido become seriously conflicted, but rather than work it out in physical struggle, they form organizations and build up that kind of power, expressed mainly in deciding which rituals will be used and who will get or be denied rank.

FWIW

David
Taoism is not a philosophy of exerting power - rather the opposite. It explains how nature / the universe operates and we as human beings can be one with it. This does not include exerting power or a sense of struggle. Going with the flow is the active principle. That means often being on the right place on the right time. Which we could see as a martial art strategy.
That could very well lead to a martial art that is seriously deadly, but it is not the basis of Taoist philosophy.

Norito is part of my Aikido practice. I think it deepens my understanding and helps me connect with nature / the universe / kami sama. But I do not think that it is for everyone, Ueshiba himself pointed out that it was not necessary to do this in his way, as he assumed that everyone would experience this kind of spirituality in his own way or in his own religion. It is really not a fair statement to use this now as a proof that people have a great desire for power. Praying or not praying proves nothing.

Ever considered that your thinking may be upside down? Your premise seems to start with people who want to become warrior, therefor need power, therefor need to realize that "once a human being decides on a course of serious violence, it requires serious strength to stop him or her". What about people who are already a warrior, who have crossed the line of violence, who are all too well aware of their own violent potentials. What has Aikido has to offer them? More power?
Or grace, peace of mind, a sense of being connected with nature and the community?
That is after all what Shinto is about, Buddhism, Taoism is about, even the Oomoto kyo is about. That is what O Sensei was talking about.

Tom
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:12 PM   #72
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

David,
It just struck me that you might be thinking about a particular Chinese or Japanese word or kanji when you are talking about "power" and that this has a particular relevance in your training?
Tom
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:59 PM   #73
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
But those words are part of your premise, which basically consists of circular reasoning.

Besides that I do not think that people are drawn to Aikido because of Ueshiba's power. Most people that start with Aikido have never seen demonstrations of O Sensei - it is usually the more experienced aikidoka that know a bit more about him or have seen him on film. Recent polls have shown that Ueshiba is not even among the most welknown Aikido teachers - people are more familiar with names as Tissier or Seagall. People have various reasons to practice Aikido - "seeking power over others" is not one that I have ever heard of. Throwing people and being thrown is just part of the art of Aikido. From this you cannot conclude that people are looking for power.

Tom
I'm not reasoning circularly. I'm looking at all the people I've known in aikido and all I've heard about. I can understand people not being drawn to power if they didn't get their impressions of aikido from Ueshiba, but if they got them from Tissier or Seagal??? Surely you're not saying they saw that and thought that aikido was any kind of peaceful art?

Years ago, I was training on a kata with one of my students and someone passing by shouted, "Stop trying to hurt that guy!"

I think most people, seeing aikido by Tissier or Seagal would, with no other experience, think that aikido is extremely violent. Surely, few untrained people could take Tissier's technique without injury.

So...if they see Tissier or Seagal as their first glimpse of aikido and decide, from that, to join...??? What is their motivation?

More than almost anyone I can think of, except perhaps Gozo Shioda, those two project a feeling of "power over others."

But if I'm wrong, what are people seeing there that motivates them to join aikido?

I am sure it is the allure of power, and it is only after they get involved that they are indoctrinated with the idea that they are not seeking power, which immediately begins corrupting their practice with conflicted motivations and more than a trace of hypocrisy.

What do you think I'm missing?

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:10 PM   #74
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Saying that the main Idea behind Aikido is "power" is like saying the main idea behind studying Judo is winning randori matches.
How so? They're unrelated ideas. However, it is probably true that most people's original motivation for judo training is to win matches. It certainly is not to be beaten up in real life.

Don't forget Ueshiba's original motivation was to become strong so that no one could beat him as they had beaten his father over his political views.

To try to rationalize anything else out of that is just denial of reality.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Ueshiba, liked power, so do I. I lift heavy weights, train and compete in sport martial arts, own and train with modern weapons. But if anyone said my life, and my practice are about gaining more power, I would say that they are crazy.
And, as I've said, this is because your training has indoctrinated you with a compulsion to consciously deny what you actually seek.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I respect power, and I respect humility. To say that one excludes the other is fool hardy.
I think you were the one who said it, so...

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I had a really bad reaction to this thread because it was right in my face. I came to Aikido looking for power.
Excellent. That was my original point. Why have we had to go through all your paragraphs denying it, just to get to that point? Well...because you now deny it, but it remains in your heart, though you intellectually deny it. If you lift weights and think that aikido techniques are based on carrying a bladed weapon, you own and train with modern weapons, etc., you are training for power.

And what is wrong with that?

What is wrong with the fact that aikido is an art of developing tremendous personal power? It doesn't take a saint to tell you to be careful with power and that power is not the end purpose of life. But if we deny the basic nature of aikido, it only damages the art.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I had a bad life, and wanted to stop having one via the ability to physically dominate others.
So you wanted "power over others," as I said is the common motivation of people who begin training. Why do so many people need to deny that basic truth?

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #75
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
David,
It just struck me that you might be thinking about a particular Chinese or Japanese word or kanji when you are talking about "power" and that this has a particular relevance in your training?
Tom
No. I'm talking about physical human power. It's a necessary part of life and it's a necessary part of aikido. What I'm criticizing is people who are drawn to the power but have to deny that fact. And this confuses their practice and, if they teach, confuses their students. And if they present this to the world, it confuses potential students. That is, if they appear to have power. If they appear to be weak and then say that aikido is not about power, it just confirms people's image that aikido is weak.

If someone is already strong and comes to aikido to learn to be smooth and graceful, well, they already have power and they're not trying to lose it. They're simply trying to refine it.

It is only with those who deny the nature of power in aikido that I have any disagreement.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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