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Old 11-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #76
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
...are you saying that the main idea behind Aikido training is to get more power?
In case I expressed this less clearly before, it's inherent in the nature of aikido to develop power and it requires power to do aikido, so power is a central concern of aikido--both how to develop it and how to manage it, both in oneself and in other people. To try to conduct aikido without power is like trying to run a car without gasoline. Or electricity (also a form of power).

Without power, everything else in aikido is appearance and image.

David

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

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #77
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
My experience as a bouncer makes me think that it is extremely possible to do aikido on people intent on harming me in a way that leaves them unharmed, yet somehow out of the building. Sankyo is pretty useful stuff, but I'm only bouncing drunks, tweakers, disaffected college students, and pissed off cage fighters.
I have no doubt that it's possible. I just woudn't depend on it, there are too many variables

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #78
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

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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
1 People see Ueshiba's power and are drawn to the art.
2 People deny that they seek power.
3 People at heart are really seeking power because they practice Aikido
That is circular reasoning.

That in itself is a fallacy, but I added a few counter-arguments. For some reason you just skipped them. You did respond on my counterargument that people in general do not know Ueshiba and have not seen any of his demonstrations. You tried to replace Ueshiba's name with that of others like Tissier. But the core of your premise is based on what you say about Ueshiba's power. It weakens your whole premise if you are willing to accept any other name.
It would then become something like "people are drawn to Aikido because of its great power". It seems to me that a lot of other martial arts look powerful or even more powerful - why would people choose in particular for Aikido if it is only about power?
My other arguments still stand and I am not going to repeat them here.

The problem with simplistic ideas is that they quickly turn into a circular reasoning. I think everyone is familiar with Freud's circular reasoning; every @ or # or 69 is about sex and that is just my qwerty keyboard.

Your notion that Ueshiba's power is the only thing that draws people to Aikido and that people who have other reasons are in denial is a similar kind of reasoning. Even if it was true, it would just be a tautology.

Tom
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:05 PM   #79
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Taoism is not a philosophy of exerting power - rather the opposite.
Taoism does not exclude anything. It encompasses everything in its time and place.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
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.
It includes everything that is part of nature. Sometimes struggle is necessary just to survive--even for such a mighty creature of nature as the whale.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
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.
Taoism includes everything. And the taoist fighting arts were created by taoist priests--not amateurs with an interest in taoism. And taoist martial arts are lethal.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
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.
But if one is not developing power, but spirituality...why copy the powerful martial side of the man, but discard his whole spiritual way? In fact, modern aikido and most in "the aikido community" have discarded both.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Ever considered that your thinking may be upside down?
Mochizuki Sensei once told me, "Always look at everything backward," and I've always considered that one of the most important things he told me. So I look at everything frontward as well as backward and I think it's a lack in thoroughness to look at things only frontward.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Your premise seems to start with people who want to become warrior, therefor need power...
There's where you misunderstand me. I don't say they need power because they want to become warriors. I say they simply need power even to live. Their bodies naturally acquire power as they live (unless they're pure couch potatoes) and when it comes to martial arts, there are naturally going to be very strong people involved, so the need for power only increases, even as the practice of martial arts increases power.

However, I do say that people are drawn to the martial arts power of aikido. Otherwise, why don't they go into yoga or become priests or spend hours each day in prayer? Typically, they don't. But they do spend a lot of time training in martial art techniques. So they must have been drawn to the power. Otherwise, they would be praying.

But you say that most people were attracted by the likes of Tissier and Seagal --neither of whom is known for prayer--so...they were drawn to power. And then aikido training and "the aikido community" teaches them to consciously "not want" power...which is to "not want" nature.

David

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

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:12 PM   #80
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Re: The Fear of Power

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I have no doubt that it's possible. I just woudn't depend on it, there are too many variables
What do you suggest I depend on when it is my job to control and remove violent people without injuring them? I seriously train in a serious school in a serious art that is perfect for what I do. Do I have other tools at my disposal when I'm working an event? Sure. I've got a radio, the rest of my crew, I usually carry a knife for cutting zipties, some of the other people carry tasers.... Mostly, I have me, my brain, and aikido. I've only bounced for a handful of years, and have only stopped a couple hundred fights, maybe, but so far, what I've got has been enough. Am I saying I'm invincible? Nope. Am I saying I've successfully used aikido to keep me and my bad folks safe? Yup. This shit works and I'm sticking with it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #81
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

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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.
So we ARE talking about physical power, you have adapted your premise. As has been stated before on this thread there is a limit to physical power. That kind of power will peak at the age of 30 - 40. Ueshiba stated that their was a limit to his physical power and in addition admitted that he had lost more than once because he tried to overpower the other with physical power or with technique. So human physical power is not at the heart of Aikido - Aikido is about something else.

Personally I derive a lot joy in discovering and applying that something else.

And I can reassure - it does not confuse my students.

Tom
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #82
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
1 People see Ueshiba's power and are drawn to the art.
2 People deny that they seek power.
3 People at heart are really seeking power because they practice Aikido
That is circular reasoning.
No, it's not circular reasoning. It is a description of the mental contradiction that "the aikido community" which has replaced true standards is inflicting on its students. This was never a problem in Morihei Ueshiba's day. People knew what they wanted and Morihei taught them how to get it, but few understood what he was saying. Much of what he said that was interpreted as religious and peaceful was really direct instruction on how to harness and refine human power. And it was not primarily "power over others," but "power within oneself."

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
That in itself is a fallacy, but I added a few counter-arguments. For some reason you just skipped them. You did respond on my counterargument that people in general do not know Ueshiba and have not seen any of his demonstrations. You tried to replace Ueshiba's name with that of others like Tissier.
No, you substituted Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. I elaborated on that and pointed out that neither of them is known for prayer or particular spirituality and both project quite a violent power in demonstration (and Seagal, in particular, in movies). So people who are drawn to aikido by seeing such people as that don't even have an image of an old guy in prayer to balance the images of throwing someone around. They come to aikido because they see someone throwing people around. And you say they're not coming to attain power? Why else would they come to such examples?

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
But the core of your premise is based on what you say about Ueshiba's power. It weakens your whole premise if you are willing to accept any other name.
I only recently became aware of people like Tissier, though I have known of Seagal for decades. My only examples of real aikido, however, were Ueshiba, Mochizuki, Shioda, Saito and a few others. All known for tremendous power.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
It would then become something like "people are drawn to Aikido because of its great power".
I say they are drawn by its image of power--sometimes expressed rather violently. And they see that before they know of its spiritual side at all.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
It seems to me that a lot of other martial arts look powerful or even more powerful - why would people choose in particular for Aikido if it is only about power?
I was first attracted to aikido after some experience in kyokushin karate with a direct student of Mas Oyama, where I had a bull-killer as an exemplar. I saw an article in East/West Journal called Aikido and the Mind of the West, which focused mostly on the spiritual interests of Morihei Ueshiba and the tactic of using the attacker's energy and efforts to throw him. It was another approach to power--a trickier kind of power that also valued protecting the attacker (while kyokushin focused on knocking him out if not killing him). I wanted something that would let me not harm the attacker, but I would have considered it a waste of time if it did not pretty well guarantee the ability to completely dominate a violent attacker. So power was a major factor.

Now, I think most people see it similarly in the beginning. 1) they see an effective fighting art, then 2) hear that it uses the other person's power, then 3) hear that it values protecting the attacker. But they really want that power of an effective fighting art, first.

All this is fine and natural for human beings. In my case, I wound up in yoseikan aikido, where the naturalness of seeking strength and power have always been understood. We were taught not to use strength in technique and not to achieve technique by force; however, development of strength was natural in the process of training because much of the practice involved strength-building exercises as well as relaxation and sensitivity exercises.

However, for many people, a fourth point arises and creates the problem I am addressing here: 4) "the aikido community" teaches students that desiring to become strong is, more or less, evil and they shouldn't do it.

Now, the student is still the same person, with the same natural motivations and the same point of origin, which can never be changed. So they have to bury the motivation to develop power and express a conscious disdain for power and its development, which sets up a basic contradiction in their thinking, which is entirely as bad as the quest of attaining power. To be untrue to oneself is quite the opposite of "masakatsu agatsu".

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Your notion that Ueshiba's power is the only thing that draws people to Aikido and that people who have other reasons are in denial is a similar kind of reasoning.
Sorry, Tom. You have circularized that reasoning, yourself. I did specify Ueshiba as the image of power, but there are many such images and I simply say that people are first drawn to the image of power in aikido demonstrations, regardless of who projects it. Of course, it's possible that some are drawn by the ribbon-dancing guy Henry Ellis loves so much...but I don't think that's a significant percentage.

David

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

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:37 PM   #83
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
What do you suggest I depend on when it is my job to control and remove violent people without injuring them? I seriously train in a serious school in a serious art that is perfect for what I do. Do I have other tools at my disposal when I'm working an event? Sure. I've got a radio, the rest of my crew, I usually carry a knife for cutting zipties, some of the other people carry tasers.... Mostly, I have me, my brain, and aikido. I've only bounced for a handful of years, and have only stopped a couple hundred fights, maybe, but so far, what I've got has been enough. Am I saying I'm invincible? Nope. Am I saying I've successfully used aikido to keep me and my bad folks safe? Yup. This shit works and I'm sticking with it.
Sounds pretty powerful. Would you keep it up if it didn't work?

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #84
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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So we ARE talking about physical power, you have adapted your premise.
???

Read the first post, Tom. I illustrate power with the crushing tail of the leviathan.

How could that be interpreted as anything but physical power?

I've been talking about physical power the whole time, along with whatever spillover emerges as intellectual and/or spiritual. People see aikido as a way to power. They join. They are then taught (in what has apparently become the mainstream of aikido today) that the desire for power is inherently evil. So, if they continue, they have to deny what is their real inner motive for training. I've said this same thing over and over.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
As has been stated before on this thread there is a limit to physical power. That kind of power will peak at the age of 30 - 40. Ueshiba stated that their was a limit to his physical power and in addition admitted that he had lost more than once because he tried to overpower the other with physical power or with technique. So human physical power is not at the heart of Aikido - Aikido is about something else.
It's not physical power that declines. It's muscular power that is limited. Internal Power is physical/mental power not based on muscle, but it is a body skill. It will not work with the mind alone. But that is the center of "power" as Ueshiba taught. And many "regular aikido" people's resistance to this idea is that IP/IS/aiki proponents are doing a bad thing by trying to attain this power--that Ueshiba sought and developed. These people are afraid of "power"--any kind of power--though it is natural and necessary to life and its development is a natural human drive.

Takemusu Aiki is spontaneous creation of technique based on the attacker's contact with the "budo body" of the IP/aiki practitioner.

This is the point I've been making from the beginning of this thread.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 11-10-2012 at 03:49 PM.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:17 PM   #85
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Re: The Fear of Power

David,

It seems to me like there is a tone of exclusivity to having power, that's why I asked "do you mean the main idea behind Aikido training is to get more power?". I didn't ask is having power a part of Aikido, or do some people who like Aikido like power. So you believe that the main motivation behind training in Aikido, for the vast majority of people who train in Aikido, is to gain more power?

I could make that same argument, and say that the main reason people train in Aikido is so that they can better sit in seiza.

Aikido is one of the few martial arts, and perhaps the only widely available martial art that does a lot of work from the seiza position. Everyone denies that this is why they are really training in Aikido, but why else train in this art that is all about seiza, it's because they want to sit more properly in seiza. They can see how well Ueshiba sat in seiza, Ueshiba was always talking about how important suwari waza is, and he looked so good sitting there. People pretend that this isn't the reason they train in Aikido, but otherwise why would they train in Aikido, the most seiza filled martial art. If they would simply supplement their Aikido training with some tea ceremony, they could get what they really want. Which is the reason they train in Aikido in the first place. Because Aikido is all about seiza.

That argument hits most of the main points you hit in your power argument. So is seiza the main reason people train in Aikido?

If people really want power, why train in Aikido at all? People who train in MMA, firearms and survival have much more civilian power, in terms of physical ability than any Aikido person who is not training in those things. Doctors, Lawyers, and politicians have much more social power than any Aikidoka who isn't one of those things. Members of the military have more military power than any Aikido person who is not in the military. Aikido is really pretty low on the list of things to give one power, if power is what you are seeking. It's really a much better way to learn how to sit more properly in seiza.

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:47 PM   #86
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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No, it's not circular reasoning. It is a description of the mental contradiction that "the aikido community" which has replaced true standards is inflicting on its students.
- No, this is a contradiction that you have contrived, it is not something that the "Aikido community" experiences. And you may not see this as a circular reasoning, but you are using a premise to prove an argument that proves your premise. That is invalid reasoning.

If your premise is that people are drawn to Aikido because they seek power - could you prove that by giving some figures ? In how many schools is this happening? How many Aikido styles? How many Aikido organisations?
Referring to one person's friend is not sufficient

Quote:
No, you substituted Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. I elaborated on that and pointed out that neither of them is known for prayer or particular spirituality and both project quite a violent power in demonstration (and Seagal, in particular, in movies). So people who are drawn to aikido by seeing such people as that don't even have an image of an old guy in prayer to balance the images of throwing someone around. They come to aikido because they see someone throwing people around. And you say they're not coming to attain power? Why else would they come to such examples?
-Now that is called cheating; I did not substitute Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. I mentioned their name as a counterargument to your premise on Ueshiba's power. You then went on substituting Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. With this kind of reasoning that you are expressing here, there is no real exchange of arguments possible.

If people are coming to Aikido with an image of Tissier or Seagal, would that not solve your issue? And therefor counter your argument? Or are they the people who are troubled with this contradiction?

Quote:
I only recently became aware of people like Tissier, though I have known of Seagal for decades. My only examples of real aikido, however, were Ueshiba, Mochizuki, Shioda, Saito and a few others. All known for tremendous power.
I have trained with students of Tissier since the eighties. Never went to any of his classes though.

Quote:
I say they are drawn by its image of power--sometimes expressed rather violently. And they see that before they know of its spiritual side at all.
Yes, but can you prove that? Why are they not drawn to Aikido for the beauty of it? I know I was.

Quote:
I was first attracted to aikido after some experience in kyokushin karate with a direct student of Mas Oyama, where I had a bull-killer as an exemplar. I saw an article in East/West Journal called Aikido and the Mind of the West, which focused mostly on the spiritual interests of Morihei Ueshiba and the tactic of using the attacker's energy and efforts to throw him. It was another approach to power--a trickier kind of power that also valued protecting the attacker (while kyokushin focused on knocking him out if not killing him). I wanted something that would let me not harm the attacker, but I would have considered it a waste of time if it did not pretty well guarantee the ability to completely dominate a violent attacker. So power was a major factor.
Well, here at least we have something in common. I studied as well with a direct student of Mas Oyama. He was also a direct student of Sawai - Mas Oyama's teacher. At the time my teacher taught Kyokushin karate and Sawai's Taikiken. Although influenced by both Budo I had a bigger interest in Taikiken.

Now, I think most people see it similarly in the beginning. 1) they see an effective fighting art, then 2) hear that it uses the other person's power, then 3) hear that it values protecting the attacker. But they really want that power of an effective fighting art, first.

Quote:
All this is fine and natural for human beings. In my case, I wound up in yoseikan aikido, where the naturalness of seeking strength and power have always been understood. We were taught not to use strength in technique and not to achieve technique by force; however, development of strength was natural in the process of training because much of the practice involved strength-building exercises as well as relaxation and sensitivity exercises.
I wound up practicing Shorinji Kempo - and I could say the same about it as you are saying about Yoseikan Budo. So your image of seeking power as a goal comes from this?

Quote:
However, for many people, a fourth point arises and creates the problem I am addressing here: 4) "the aikido community" teaches students that desiring to become strong is, more or less, evil and they shouldn't do it.
Again, who is teaching that to become strong is wrong? Which teachers, which schools. Surely you cannot mean all aikido schools and all aikido teachers!

More as a general point; strength, becoming strong, having power, exerting power and over powering someone have not only different meaning, but also a different philosophical history. Not just in daily life, but also in the history of martial arts.

Now, the student is still the same person, with the same natural motivations and the same point of origin, which can never be changed. So they have to bury the motivation to develop power and express a conscious disdain for power and its development, which sets up a basic contradiction in their thinking, which is entirely as bad as the quest of attaining power. To be untrue to oneself is quite the opposite of "masakatsu agatsu".

Quote:
Sorry, Tom. You have circularized that reasoning, yourself. I did specify Ueshiba as the image of power, but there are many such images and I simply say that people are first drawn to the image of power in aikido demonstrations, regardless of who projects it. Of course, it's possible that some are drawn by the ribbon-dancing guy Henry Ellis loves so much...but I don't think that's a significant percentage.
That is not much of a counter-argument. I gave a clear schema of how your circular reasoning works here. It is not my circular reasoning, it is yours. Even if you were to take away the image of Ueshiba's power, you still end up with the same kind of reasoning.
Tom
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #87
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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So you believe that the main motivation behind training in Aikido, for the vast majority of people who train in Aikido, is to gain more power?
Yes. I believe that that is naturally the original motivation for the vast majority of people who begin training in aikido and that it largely underlies all subsequently formed motivations. Further, I believe that they are taught that the natural desire to grow strong is somehow "evil" and that this peculiar teaching creates a conflict between their inner motivation and their consciously understood motivations, which consciously supplant their original motivation but cannot replace it at the deeper levels of their personalities. And this peculiarly instilled conflict of motivations weakens the character of aikido and creates a sort of duplicitous, dishonest element in the minds and characters of people so trained.

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I could make that same argument, and say that the main reason people train in Aikido is so that they can better sit in seize.
Sure, you could. It just wouldn't hold water and it wouldn't fly, either. You might get some people to subscribe to it, but only if they also have that crossed motivation and have adapted with that subtle inner dishonesty which both seeks something and denies seeking it at the same time.

If they wanted to sit in seize, they could learn cha no yu, shod or many other pursuits that don't involve throwing people around (or appearing to). Why did they choose the one pursuit that emphasizes throwing people around (or pretending to)? And why the one that gives black belts, which are internationally recognized as signs of power?

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Aikido is one of the few martial arts, and perhaps the only widely available martial art that does a lot of work from the seiza position. Everyone denies that this is why they are really training in Aikido, but why else train in this art that is all about seiza, it's because they want to sit more properly in seiza. They can see how well Ueshiba sat in seiza, Ueshiba was always talking about how important suwari waza is, and he looked so good sitting there. People pretend that this isn't the reason they train in Aikido, but otherwise why would they train in Aikido, the most seiza filled martial art. If they would simply supplement their Aikido training with some tea ceremony, they could get what they really want. Which is the reason they train in Aikido in the first place. Because Aikido is all about seiza.

That argument hits most of the main points you hit in your power argument. So is seiza the main reason people train in Aikido?
No. It's the throwing-around of other people in dynamic poses and, of course...those black belts!

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If people really want power, why train in Aikido at all?
Because real aikido, from the root--from Ueshiba and his uchi deshi (especially those from Ushigome)--is hellaciously powerful and it develops incredible power, much unlike the drivel that is churned out by most of the modern "aikido community" which is the main source of the myth that seeking power is inherently evil.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
People who train in MMA, firearms and survival have much more civilian power, in terms of physical ability than any Aikido person who is not training in those things.
Well...that's a shallow view of what aikido is, you know. What did Mochizuki tell Abe? "What do you think Aikido is? Do you think it involves only the twisting of hands?" He said, "We use kicking techniques or anything else. I even used artillery. Martial arts, guns and artillery are all aikido."

I, myself, have not used artillery. But I was uchi deshi to this man who was deputy governor of three provinces in Mongolia during WWII. That's the kind of power produced by aikido. Of course...the modern "aikido community" probably won't' give you much along those lines. So your impressions are understandable. But Kevin Levitt has used artillery, I'm pretty sure, so his perspective on aikido is probably different from yours. It's a principle that underlies all human conflict and power is at its root.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Doctors, Lawyers, and politicians have much more social power than any Aikidoka who isn't one of those things.
Is it wrong for them to have such power? Power simply is what it is and in any situation that calls for any given kind of power, it's better to have more than needed than less.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Members of the military have more military power than any Aikido person who is not in the military.
Not all of them. A new graduate of basic training, a cook, a clerk or a supply corporal probably doesn't have much physical training. They may have more authority within the military than any non-military person, but why is it that so many martial arts guys have trained the Navy SEALS? I think it really depends on the military man and on the martial artist.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Aikido is really pretty low on the list of things to give one power, if power is what you are seeking. It's really a much better way to learn how to sit more properly in seiza.
Again, Chris, they kind of aikido you have learned from the "aikido community" you're involved in has apparently been pretty low in capacity, so I can see how you might think that way. I can only tell you that my aikido has been MMA from 1976 on. It's more than twisting hands and stepping. It is an art of global power. Maybe I should have realized...well, some of the readers here do have a pretty deep perspective, so I'm sure my efforts are not entirely wasted.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:04 PM   #88
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Re: The Fear of Power

David,
Your argument is really getting hard to understand.
So, you believe that people who train with modern firearms are not more physically powerful, in a fight, then someone with something they learned in Aikido, even the super Aikido you know about? In China's boxer rebellion I think we already saw what happens to expert martial artists, many of whom I would assume had what you call "IP" when they face men trained with firearms.

It's not wrong for politicians to have social power, I never said it was wrong, you did. But I am saying, that if you're interested in social power, you should work on being a politician and not an Aikidoka. I was trying to express how limited the study of Aikido is compared to other pursuits of social power. If people doing Aikido were focused on getting social power, if that was their primary interest, they wouldn't be wasting time with Aikido. Obama never studied Aikido (not to my knowledge anyways) yet he is the president of a powerful country. If seeking power, there are many better ways then Aikido training.

I find that it would be far more likely that people training in Aikido might come to Aikido thinking that they are looking for power, when in fact they are trying to discover something else. That is why they choose an avenue of study that might seem powerful, yet really isn't. The good one's who stick around, figure out that they were never looking for power in the first place, they evolve, and hopefully add to the Aikido community.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I can only tell you that my aikido has been MMA from 1976 on. It's more than twisting hands and stepping. It is an art of global power.

David
If your art is global power, I think you've chosen unwisely. Not because power is wrong, not because I am scared of it, or fear it. Simply because there are better ways to get it.

I think I can see where the rest of this conversation is going...

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:05 PM   #89
James Sawers
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Re: The Fear of Power

Chris Hein wrote:
So you believe that the main motivation behind training in Aikido, for the vast majority of people who train in Aikido, is to gain more power?


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David Orange wrote: View Post
Yes. I believe that that is naturally the original motivation for the vast majority of people who begin training in aikido and that it largely underlies all subsequently formed motivations. Further, I believe that they are taught that the natural desire to grow strong is somehow "evil" and that this peculiar teaching creates a conflict between their inner motivation and their consciously understood motivations, which consciously supplant their original motivation but cannot replace it at the deeper levels of their personalities. And this peculiarly instilled conflict of motivations weakens the character of aikido and creates a sort of duplicitous, dishonest element in the minds and characters of people so trained. David
All arguments aside here, the above quote from David looks like a good thesis for a paper.....???
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #90
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote David:
No, it's not circular reasoning. It is a description of the mental contradiction that "the aikido community" which has replaced true standards is inflicting on its students.

Quote Tom- No, this is a contradiction that you have contrived, it is not something that the "Aikido community" experiences. And you may not see this as a circular reasoning, but you are using a premise to prove an argument that proves your premise. That is invalid reasoning.
No, it's not a contradiction that I contrived. I just haven't quoted the exact people who have been preaching this fallacy. But I've met it in teacher after teacher, both in person and online, most of them having no real skill, but lots of opinions. They want to wear the black belt and claim multiple degrees of it, and show "devastating" techniques in class that would only make a serious attacker laugh. Yet they are firm in claiming that "aikido is not about developing power". It's just a sort of hedge should they ever show up beaten up because they actually tried to use some of their stuff in an emergency. If they didn't really hope to attain power, they wouldn't have spent so much time in martial arts classes and they wouldn't show their naive students how nasty (and powerful) their beautiful techniques can actually be, if necessary. But they never fail to preach how bad it is to seek technique that will definitely be effective because seeking such things indicates a desire for power...which is bad. They are the ones who set up the Catch 22. I'm just pointing it out. I didn't make the circular reasoning: I'm illuminating it.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote Tom: If your premise is that people are drawn to Aikido because they seek power - could you prove that by giving some figures ? In how many schools is this happening? How many Aikido styles? How many Aikido organisations?
Referring to one person's friend is not sufficient
I can't tell you how many whales are left in the oceans, but I know it's far fewer than when Melville was writing. And of the aikido people who started because they wanted power...I can only guess.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote David
No, you substituted Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. I elaborated on that and pointed out that neither of them is known for prayer or particular spirituality and both project quite a violent power in demonstration (and Seagal, in particular, in movies). So people who are drawn to aikido by seeing such people as that don't even have an image of an old guy in prayer to balance the images of throwing someone around. They come to aikido because they see someone throwing people around. And you say they're not coming to attain power? Why else would they come to such examples?

Quote Tom-Now that is called cheating; I did not substitute Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. I mentioned their name as a counterargument to your premise on Ueshiba's power. You then went on substituting Tissier and Seagal for Ueshiba. With this kind of reasoning that you are expressing here, there is no real exchange of arguments possible.
I did originally say that people started because they saw Ueshiba's power and you pointed out that most people now haven't even heard of Ueshiba. Well, he was like my grandfather in martial arts (my teacher's teacher), so I can hardly imagine aikido people not holding him as the exemplar. But my point was, they saw a powerful demonstration of aikido from someone whom they were moved to emulate. You say it wasn't Ueshiba but Tissier or Seagal. Fine. The point is that they first saw power and their image of aikido was power. I don't insist that it had to be Ueshiba or anyone in particular, but that it was an impressive demonstration of aikido as a powerful martial art.

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote Tom: If people are coming to Aikido with an image of Tissier or Seagal, would that not solve your issue? And therefor counter your argument? Or are they the people who are troubled with this contradiction?
I hope I made this clear above. If people came to aikido with an image of Tissier or Seagal, they came thinking that aikido is very powerful. That was my point: they saw aikido as a way to become powerful, so they joined: they joined to become powerful.

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote David:
I only recently became aware of people like Tissier, though I have known of Seagal for decades. My only examples of real aikido, however, were Ueshiba, Mochizuki, Shioda, Saito and a few others. All known for tremendous power.

Quote Tom:
I have trained with students of Tissier since the eighties. Never went to any of his classes though.

Quote David:
I say they are drawn by its image of power--sometimes expressed rather violently. And they see that before they know of its spiritual side at all.

Quote Tom:
Yes, but can you prove that? Why are they not drawn to Aikido for the beauty of it? I know I was.
Well, what's beautiful about aikido? As Melville says in the quote in my original post, "...those motions derive their most appalling beauty from (strength). Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic." So I submit that the "beauty" that attracted you to aikido, the most important element was the power of the beauty--the strength expressed and bestowing the beauty and harmony of the movements.

That's why I went to the trouble to transcribe that rather lengthy passage from such an old book.

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote David:
I was first attracted to aikido after some experience in kyokushin karate with a direct student of Mas Oyama, where I had a bull-killer as an exemplar. I saw an article in East/West Journal called Aikido and the Mind of the West, which focused mostly on the spiritual interests of Morihei Ueshiba and the tactic of using the attacker's energy and efforts to throw him. It was another approach to power--a trickier kind of power that also valued protecting the attacker (while kyokushin focused on knocking him out if not killing him). I wanted something that would let me not harm the attacker, but I would have considered it a waste of time if it did not pretty well guarantee the ability to completely dominate a violent attacker. So power was a major factor.

Quote Tom: Well, here at least we have something in common. I studied as well with a direct student of Mas Oyama. He was also a direct student of Sawai - Mas Oyama's teacher. At the time my teacher taught Kyokushin karate and Sawai's Taikiken. Although influenced by both Budo I had a bigger interest in Taikiken.

Quote David: Now, I think most people see it similarly in the beginning. 1) they see an effective fighting art, then 2) hear that it uses the other person's power, then 3) hear that it values protecting the attacker. But they really want that power of an effective fighting art, first.

All this is fine and natural for human beings. In my case, I wound up in yoseikan aikido, where the naturalness of seeking strength and power have always been understood. We were taught not to use strength in technique and not to achieve technique by force; however, development of strength was natural in the process of training because much of the practice involved strength-building exercises as well as relaxation and sensitivity exercises.

Quote Tom: I wound up practicing Shorinji Kempo - and I could say the same about it as you are saying about Yoseikan Budo. So your image of seeking power as a goal comes from this?
Exactly. Who undertakes such a hard practice to become weaker? Who goes to a job to end up with less money? Who puts gas in the tank of their car only to find that it went to someone else's car instead? We train for a benefit. They say "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger." But that which takes our time and money and doesn't make us stronger...well, it makes us weaker. Who would pay for that? And why wear a black belt because we got progressively weaker over several years of practice?

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Quote David:
However, for many people, a fourth point arises and creates the problem I am addressing here: 4) "the aikido community" teaches students that desiring to become strong is, more or less, evil and they shouldn't do it.

Quote Tom:
Again, who is teaching that to become strong is wrong? Which teachers, which schools. Surely you cannot mean all aikido schools and all aikido teachers!
Well...who is objecting to my claim here? Read the posts on IP/Aiki. Who protests that there is something wrong with trying to gain power? There is a serious vein of this running through what Chris likes to call "the aikido community," which seems to be a body that can vote on what aikido should be, as American Christians have decided to make Jesus' teachings about the rich man entering Heaven actually mean "greed is good." I haven't named names just to be polite, but this is a response to (and a sort of a bait for) those who insist that we should not be trying to gain "power" from aikido training. They're the same ones who are confused about whether we should intend for an aikido technique to throw the uke. They are largely persuaded that it should happen almost accidentally. They post all over this forum...

Maybe my meaning is clearer now.

Thanks.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #91
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
David,
Your argument is really getting hard to understand.
Well, I'm sure it's getting clearer and clearer, but knowing your tendency to blind yourself to things that are right in front of you by kicking up clouds of dust inside your head, I'm not surprised that you're getting more confused.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
So, you believe that people who train with modern firearms are not more physically powerful, in a fight, then someone with something they learned in Aikido, even the super Aikido you know about?
Maybe. Maybe not. If they have trained only in firearms and not at all in h2h fighting, then no, they are not more physically powerful than someone trained in even fairly weak aikido. They only become powerful when they have their weapons in their hands. As long as it's in the holster (especially if the holster is not on their person), they remain as weak as their physical training. But even if they can get the weapon out, a skilled aikidoka has a chance to relieve them of the weapon before they can use it. I actually began my martial arts training at age nine with a manual on arresting techniques from the FBI Academy, which my father had attended the previous year. He brought home all these manuals, including the one on arresting techniques and another called Police Training Disarming Methods, which I'm looking at right now. It opens with this statement: "When a gun is drawn, anything can happen. It isn't necessarily the formidable weapon it may appear to be. Everything depends on who is holding the gun - and who is standing in front of it."

Remember, this is what the FBI was teaching its agents in 1963. In fact, this book is dated 1955--the year I was born. It is filled with page after page of methods of taking live weapons out of the hands of criminals. In the yoseikan hombu, with Mochizuki Sensei, we trained on taking rifles from attackers, including rifles with bayonets (jukendo), which was one of Ueshiba's favorite studies.

So what do you think?

In case you're still uncertain, Mochizuki Sensei relates a time when he was in China after WWII. Because of his work in Mongolia during the war, he had become a target for Mao Tse Tung and was once accosted by a man with a pistol. Now this was a wartime incident. The man was trying to force him to accompany him to another location and he pushed Sensei with the barrel of the pistol. Sensei grabbed the pistol and went to the floor, taking the other man down with him. He took the pistol and shot the man he'd taken it from. Then someone from outside the building began firing into it with a rifle. Sensei found a rifle nearby and returned fire, then escaped on horseback. This is a true wartime incident from a master of aikido. So you tell me what advantage the gun presented the man who faced the unarmed aikido master.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
In China's boxer rebellion I think we already saw what happens to expert martial artists, many of whom I would assume had what you call "IP" when they face men trained with firearms.
That was not aikido, pal.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
It's not wrong for politicians to have social power, I never said it was wrong, you did.
You'll have to quote that one. I'm not saying that any kind of power is wrong in itself. It's all in how you use it. We have to have police and they have to be strong, but they can misuse it. We've had Presidents who made grave misuse of our military and of their social power. Some politicians misuse their social power by refusing to do their constitutional duties--by doing nothing.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
But I am saying, that if you're interested in social power, you should work on being a politician and not an Aikidoka.
Well, again, this just shows how little you really understand aikido. Your approach to aikido really explains to me that wall hanging you have in your dojo (the one reading 'michi'). It's so poorly done, I'm amazed that you would display it. The Chinese and Japanese both revere calligraphy and believe that the quality of the brushwork directly expresses the development of one's martial as well as personal development. That's why the saying "bun bu ichi" or "literary and sword are one".

Mochizuki Sensei was a firm believer that budoka are ultimately social educators. We are charged from ancient generations with the responsibility to pass on the superior values they held, to present examples of them in our actions and in our words. And much of the essence of this was to never work against nature. We don't train to replace our natural nature, but to cultivate and refine the best there is in it. So it's not a question of whether I seek social power: it's a question of how responsibly I use the social power that was entrusted to me. And part of that means to stand up to the "aikido community" when they show how little they recall these ancient values, how lightly they take the responsibility to understand and pass on those values.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I find that it would be far more likely that people training in Aikido might come to Aikido thinking that they are looking for power, when in fact they are trying to discover something else. That is why they choose an avenue of study that might seem powerful, yet really isn't.
Maybe you're thinking of the people who come to your school?

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
The good one's who stick around, figure out that they were never looking for power in the first place, they evolve, and hopefully add to the Aikido community.
The good ones don't stick around. They go and find the good teachers, who understand aikido.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If your art is global power, I think you've chosen unwisely. Not because power is wrong, not because I am scared of it, or fear it. Simply because there are better ways to get it.
Well...you think that because you have such a shallow experience of the real art. That's understandable.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I think I can see where the rest of this conversation is going...
Yeah...as long as you remain in the conversation, I'm concerned that it can't get far at all--not very deep, anyway.

Best to you.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 11-11-2012, 12:26 AM   #92
Krystal Locke
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Re: The Fear of Power

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Sounds pretty powerful. Would you keep it up if it didn't work?
It depends on what you mean by "didn't work". Yes, I would probably still do aikido if it "didn't work" for me in a martial sense. I get a huge sense of community from my dojo, I get tremendous satisfaction in the having of a practice, and I like the way ukemi makes me sweat.

My reasons for doing aikido are very different from most people's reasons. The security work reason is distantly secondary to my primary reason for doing aikido. Sure, right now, aikido helps to put beans on the table and to keep me out of the hospital. However, the reason I took up the art in the first place is long in the past, and is far too personal for me to toss about here, but I can assure you it had virtually nothing to do with power. It was more about connection.

I do not deny my power, I work to increase my power, and I exercise my power frequently. I really like power and I am almost addicted to using it. I dont insist others cast themselves from my mold. We dont all take aikido for the same reasons, we dont all enjoy aikido in the same way, and I have plenty of room for that. I suppose that comes of having a really big mat.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:08 AM   #93
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Re: The Fear of Power

Hey David,
Are you not a fan of the Aiki=IP theory?

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Old 11-11-2012, 06:24 AM   #94
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Re: The Fear of Power

I started aikido because I wanted to do something interesting and challenging to keep myself fit. A friend suggested aikido and I liked it. My physical fitness has definitely improved from aikido practise.

I had never seen an impressive aikido demonstration when I started. I just had not been interested in martial arts between the ages of 15 and 40. I had never heard from O Sensei or Tissier and I didn't know Seagal was doing aikido. I had done some judo as a child and Japanese jiu-jitsu as a teenager. My first impression of aikido was that it was similar to jiu-jitsu, but while jiu-jitsu looked violent, aikido looked graceful. The dojo atmosphere and the gracefulness drew me, not power.

When I first saw aikido clips of Seagal and Tissier I didn't like them. They looked brutal to me, not like aikido. But in the mean time my opinion has changed. I learned that aikido is practised in many different ways and I've grown to appreciate that. When the opportunity arises I like to train in other lineages and styles. My 9 year old son started yoseikan aikido. Watching those classes is quite interesting, so now I train with the adult group sometimes. It's very diverse and practical. In my perception it is a bit closer to (Japanese) jiu-jitsu, but still it's clearly aikido.

Here on AikiWeb I became interested in internal training. They convinced me that O Sensei had great physical power and that he got it from internal training.
Still, one might ask why I would persue internal power if I'm not that interested in being strong.

I see it like this: being a dad, I sometimes play fight with my son. He's only 9 so I'm much stronger than him. The difference is big enough that I can take care of both our safety and I don't have to hurt him to "win".
As my opponent's strength approaches or surpasses mine, I might have to become more and more violent to have a chance of resolving the situation in a favourable way. Internal training could create a power differential and therefore potentially reduce violence.
Also, they convinced me that aikido techniques may not be very effective when your opponent knows how to fight. Aikido needs to be backed up by the body conditioning and movement resulting from internal training.
And I'm also curious of its effect. It's a long term experiment with my body.

But mostly, power is a means to me, not the goal.

P.S.: I don't see how the calligraphy in Chris's dojo has anything to do with this discussion. You may not care about my perception of you, but to be honest you lost some points there.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:57 AM   #95
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I started aikido because I wanted to do something interesting and challenging to keep myself fit. A friend suggested aikido and I liked it. My physical fitness has definitely improved from aikido practise.

I had never seen an impressive aikido demonstration when I started. I just had not been interested in martial arts between the ages of 15 and 40. I had never heard from O Sensei or Tissier and I didn't know Seagal was doing aikido. I had done some judo as a child and Japanese jiu-jitsu as a teenager. My first impression of aikido was that it was similar to jiu-jitsu, but while jiu-jitsu looked violent, aikido looked graceful. The dojo atmosphere and the gracefulness drew me, not power.

When I first saw aikido clips of Seagal and Tissier I didn't like them. They looked brutal to me, not like aikido. But in the mean time my opinion has changed. I learned that aikido is practised in many different ways and I've grown to appreciate that. When the opportunity arises I like to train in other lineages and styles. My 9 year old son started yoseikan aikido. Watching those classes is quite interesting, so now I train with the adult group sometimes. It's very diverse and practical. In my perception it is a bit closer to (Japanese) jiu-jitsu, but still it's clearly aikido.

Here on AikiWeb I became interested in internal training. They convinced me that O Sensei had great physical power and that he got it from internal training.
Still, one might ask why I would persue internal power if I'm not that interested in being strong.

I see it like this: being a dad, I sometimes play fight with my son. He's only 9 so I'm much stronger than him. The difference is big enough that I can take care of both our safety and I don't have to hurt him to "win".
As my opponent's strength approaches or surpasses mine, I might have to become more and more violent to have a chance of resolving the situation in a favourable way. Internal training could create a power differential and therefore potentially reduce violence.
Also, they convinced me that aikido techniques may not be very effective when your opponent knows how to fight. Aikido needs to be backed up by the body conditioning and movement resulting from internal training.
And I'm also curious of its effect. It's a long term experiment with my body.

But mostly, power is a means to me, not the goal.

P.S.: I don't see how the calligraphy in Chris's dojo has anything to do with this discussion. You may not care about my perception of you, but to be honest you lost some points there.
All good points.

In my experience people have given similar motivations as yours for starting with Aikido and over time as they became more experienced, saw their motivations change and develop. I do not recall anyone who said that he or she was looking for power.

Just to add to it; internal training is founded just as much on physical training as it is on mental /spiritual training. Both are a part of traditional Aikido - but it is a way, a michi, a do - it is not the goal of Aikido. Physical power alone will bring one to the foot of the mountain, not to the top.

Tom
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:30 AM   #96
David Orange
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Re: The Fear of Power

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
...the reason I took up the art in the first place is long in the past, and is far too personal for me to toss about here, but I can assure you it had virtually nothing to do with power. It was more about connection.
Well, as long as you know and understand why you are training. My point here is largely that people have either forgotten or have hidden from themselves the real reason they began training, that that reason was almost invariably to attain or increase their power (unless, as Tom mentions, the already have much power and want to somehow refine or tame it--which is a kind of power, as well). But if someone is claiming that power is bad, but they are unconsciously following an original motivation to gain more power, that can only result in alienation from oneself, which is opposite the purpose of aikido.

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
I do not deny my power, I work to increase my power, and I exercise my power frequently. I really like power and I am almost addicted to using it. I dont insist others cast themselves from my mold. We dont all take aikido for the same reasons, we dont all enjoy aikido in the same way, and I have plenty of room for that. I suppose that comes of having a really big mat.
It's good that you recognize and acknowledge this very natural human drive. For too many people, aikido's big mat is like a giant pillow top mattress, more suited to sleep than to work. To find someone who seriously seeks the power of aikido frightens them and disturbs their pleasant dreams. It's nice to find that some people are awake on the mat.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:37 AM   #97
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,549
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Re: The Fear of Power

I must be the simpleton of the bunch here... I train in Aikido because I enjoy it and I enjoy the fundamental contradictions contained therein. And I like to train with people who can stop me. So I try to learn what it is they're doing to stop this > 225 pound Norwegian who polishes swords all day and can usually crush folk at will... I have teachers in our org who can do that. I have seen it in guys like Dan, Mike, Toby, students of Ark and others. So I search them out.

To me the answer lies with me on the mat when I'm on my back wondering how the hell I ended up there. No more questions after that. Power? Aiki? IP? Um, sure, whatever. Haven't heard a really good explanation yet that satisfies my western sensibilities. Till then... I keep searching it out, whatever it is.

And some can transmit it a heck of a lot better than others. Shrug.

So how many angels can sit on the head of a pin?

Keith

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Old 11-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #98
BEleanor
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 11
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Re: The Fear of Power

I started aikido because I wanted to learn to fall. It looked like fun (and it was). It was about mastery, which is I guess a kind of power. Like, dancers, other artists, great athletes - they are into power as well. The power to create, and of self control. So yes, its about power, but not necessarily about power to hurt or even to control others. I tend to feel grateful to my ukes for being part of my technique, actually. Otherwise it would be about as much fun as a car crash.

I went through a long period of enjoying of controlling others and working with that, and I think most people do. I am looking for a different kind of mastery now, a power to be in balance and awake. Like sailing, maybe - one does not have power over the wind, exactly - not that I know, I get horribly sea sick. But car crash aikido is kind of a bore, I think.

Violence is just violence, but I am not much interested in it anymore.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:44 AM   #99
BEleanor
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 11
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Re: The Fear of Power

Oh, nearly forgot, also the power to protect, and to heal. Those are important to me, too.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #100
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Quote:
I can't tell you how many whales are left in the oceans, but I know it's far fewer than when Melville was writing. And of the aikido people who started because they wanted power...I can only guess.
Guessing is not the same as proving.

Quote:
Well, what's beautiful about aikido? As Melville says in the quote in my original post, "...those
motions derive their most appalling beauty from (strength). Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic." So I submit that the "beauty" that attracted you to aikido, the most important element was the power of the beauty--the strength expressed and bestowing the beauty and harmony of the movements.
I do not have any problem with Melville's description here. But I do object against the suggestion that beauty is the same as strength. Each expresses an other quality. Besides that - it is an invalid way of reasoning; pulling is not pushing, a horse is not a cow, taking a bath is not swimming.

Quote:
Exactly. Who undertakes such a hard practice to become weaker? Who goes to a job to end up with less money? Who puts gas in the tank of their car only to find that it went to someone else's car instead? We train for a benefit. They say "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger." But that which takes our time and money and doesn't make us stronger...well, it makes us weaker. Who would pay for that? And why wear a black belt because we got progressively weaker over several years of practice?
Your bringing it back to your basic premise,"people are drawn to Aikido because they want power". But none of these examples prove your point.

Quote:
Well...who is objecting to my claim here? Read the posts on IP/Aiki. Who protests that there is something wrong with trying to gain power?
There is no need to object to your claim. The burden of proof lies with you! And so far you have not succeeded !

Quote:
There is a serious vein of this running through what Chris likes to calln " the aikido community," which seems to be a body that can vote on what aikido should be, as AmericaChristians have decided to make Jesus' teachings about the rich man entering Heaven actually mean "greed is good." I haven't named names just to be polite, but this is a response to (and a sort of a bait for) those who insist that we should not be trying to gain "power" from aikido training. They're the same ones who are confused about whether we should intend for an aikido technique to throw the uke. They are largely persuaded that it should happen almost accidentally. They post all over this forum...
There is no need to name names and I can imagine why you see this as being impolite - but if you say something like "everyone is drawn to Aikido because of power and is in denial about it" than you have to prove this by mentioning examples of people that this apply to, for instance name organisations, groups or dojo.

Quote:
" the aikido community," which seems to be a body that can vote on what aikido should be, as AmericaChristians have decided to make Jesus' teachings about the rich man entering Heaven actually mean "greed is good." I haven't named names just to be polite, but this is a response to (and a sort of a bait for) those who insist that we should not be trying to gain "power" from aikido training.
On the one hand you do not want name names as you see this as impolite, on the other hand you have no problem with an insulting remark like this? And by no means is it any clearer who you are addressing here. For instance does the "Aikido community" include me? Or any of the other posters on this thread? Or do you let everyone decide for themselves? That would make it a "neat" way of insulting people.
Quote:
Maybe my meaning is clearer now.
O, it is clearer allright.
But I do not agree with it.
Tom
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