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Old 06-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #26
hughrbeyer
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Absolutely, wouldn't miss it, Marc. Let me know dates.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #27
BAP
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

We all come from different perspectives and approaches to our "aikido". The problem I have is when people want and claim the best of both worlds. There is the world of perfect harmony, balance, peace, cooperation, and brotherhood. All of which are fine and you can tailor your aikido practice toward those goals. More power to you and I do believe you can have a very rewarding aikido practice and experience based on that approach. You also can focus on the self-defense or "budo" aspect of the art focused on taking proper decisive action against an opponent who is actively trying to overcome you with physical force.

There can in some instances where both these approaches can be combined but that does take a great deal of effort and frankly there are not many who can really ever achieve a practical application and balance of both those simultaneously. The problem I see are the one's who focus the most on peace and harmony yet asset their style allows them to effectively deal with a serious aggressor. That very likely can be a formula for at a minimum a painful reality check.

Blair Presson
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #28
RonRagusa
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Quote:
Blair Presson wrote: View Post
There can in some instances where both these approaches can be combined but that does take a great deal of effort and frankly there are not many who can really ever achieve a practical application and balance of both those simultaneously.
How can one practice Aikido and not achieve a harmonious balance between your two "approaches", since they both grow naturally from the practice of a single art?

Ron

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Old 06-09-2013, 04:01 PM   #29
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

I think defining what is harmonious is as difficult as defining what is Aiki.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #30
RonRagusa
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I think defining what is harmonious is as difficult as defining what is Aiki.
Harmonious as "in accord".

Ron

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Old 06-09-2013, 08:13 PM   #31
hughrbeyer
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Blair Presson wrote: View Post
There can in some instances where both these approaches can be combined but that does take a great deal of effort and frankly there are not many who can really ever achieve a practical application and balance of both those simultaneously. The problem I see are the one's who focus the most on peace and harmony yet asset their style allows them to effectively deal with a serious aggressor. That very likely can be a formula for at a minimum a painful reality check.
Agreed. But the name of one of those few was Ueshiba. So we're sort of stuck with the task of trying to reconcile them ourselves, if we're serious about practicing his art.

He left us clues in his life and words--simultaneously the art that kills on first contact, and the art of peace. Omit the first, and you have vapor. Omit the second, and you have thuggery. Engage both and you might at least be on the path.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:54 AM   #32
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
How can one practice Aikido and not achieve a harmonious balance between your two "approaches", since they both grow naturally from the practice of a single art?
I understand that you practice Ki-Aikido? (Or an offshoot of it?)
In the Ki-Aikido that is taught in Germany and follows Yoshigasaki dōshu (his nomenclature) the waza are explicetly designed to not harm the attacker. (For example kote gaeshi was transformed into kote oroshi, other techniques underwent a comparable process aswell.) In the Ki-Aikido of Yoshigasaki dōshu this goes so far that there is even no kuzushi, because breaking balance could cause bad feelings.

In this way of practice the peacefullnes, whatever that means in detail, is direct part of what you practice and do, it is part of the waza itself.

In the (aikikai) aikidō I did for more then ten years with french teachers, waza were and are explitely designed to harm the attacker. The techniques clearly had and have hat potential and it was part of the teaching.
During my very first seminar, nearly 20 years ago now, I learned that everything starts with atemi to the larynx of uke by tori. And that the waza develop from uke's reaction to tori's atemi. Same with other situations: tori does atemi, intending to knock out uke. If this works, no more aikidō technique is needed.

In this way of practice the peacefulness, whatever that means in detail, is not part of the waza itself but has to be added by tori due to his personal development. ( I want to make clear that all teachers I worked with until now where very spiritual, peacefull and humble persons.)

So different ways of practice, different ways of understanding one's practice.
A lot of things that you or Mary seem to find self-evident when practicing AIKIDO have never been a part or an issue of my practice.
What grows naturally from practice seems to differ depending to the understanding of one's practice.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #33
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I understand that you practice Ki-Aikido? (Or an offshoot of it?)
No and no. While Maruyama sensei was originally affiliated with KI society he split with Tohei not too long after I started studying. His Aikido is uniquely his own and as of a decade or so ago (the last time I saw him) bore little resemblance to Ki-Aikido.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
In the Ki-Aikido that is taught in Germany and follows Yoshigasaki dōshu (his nomenclature) the waza are explicetly designed to not harm the attacker. (For example kote gaeshi was transformed into kote oroshi, other techniques underwent a comparable process aswell.) In the Ki-Aikido of Yoshigasaki dōshu this goes so far that there is even no kuzushi, because breaking balance could cause bad feelings.
Sensei never espoused these views and neither do I.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
In this way of practice the peacefullnes, whatever that means in detail, is direct part of what you practice and do, it is part of the waza itself.
Again, I can't relate to this since it's not part of my experience as a member of Kokikai or as an independent practitioner. Our choice not to harm, or do as little harm as is necessary, to the attacker is a matter of choice, not built into the waza. I have written about this in more detail here.

Ron

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Old 06-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #34
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

By practicing a Budo we naturally should come to an attitude, that deprecates fighting ore harming people.
But I think there are some issues, that shouldn't be mixed
One is, how Aikido should be trained on the mat.

From my teacher I heard all the years: "on the mat, we don't fight". The way of aiki or non-resistance can't be learned in a setting, in which a spirit of fighting is predominant.
But I never heard anything about love, harmony or peace in any of his classes.

Another issue is the "victory over the enemy in ouerselfes", but this has nothing to do with harming an opponent or not, but it also concernes the state of not-fighting.
The statements about world peace and things like that, come from O Sensei's religious side, but I think they often were missunderstood.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:07 AM   #35
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Our choice not to harm, or do as little harm as is necessary, to the attacker ...
Ok, so even while my assumption was wrong - thank you for putting that right - this sentence seems to show that the outcome is the same:

Although the waza in your aikido are not designed to not hurt, nevertheless "not to harm or to do as little harm as is necessary" seems to be an aim that is inherent to your aikidō?

This is not the case in my practice. I have never heard that aikidō is about "not to harm, or do as little harm as is necessary, to the attacker" in my context. This has never been part of the teaching of aikidō in my biography. The aikidō I learned is simply not concerned with the physical health of an attacker.

While it is very concerned about how to deal with uke as someone who lays his physicall health in tori's hands and allows him to use his body as a feedback. So the intention of practice on the tatami is to help each other grow.
But uke is not an attacker.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #36
Gary David
 
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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............Our choice not to harm, or do as little harm as is necessary, to the attacker is a matter of choice, not built into the waza. I have written about this in more detail here.

Ron
Ron
In this life time I have been in very few fights......none in the last 40 years, but it is very clear to me that against a determined (and worst yet a skilled) opponent the choice to not harm is really not available..... Your choice is how to get out of the situation with as little harm to your self as possible. Maybe the choice of tools ( weapons) can effectively result in more or less damage to you or to the attacker.....but in the moment you just deal and check the results later.

Your choice of tools and how you choose to use them may effect less damage and the targets you choose may also......but you have to train that into the body/mind. As for myself these days I always target the body, I expect to have to fight the attackers weapons....his hand and feet....before I can physically enter...if I do.

And in the end I would never set myself up before hand, in the moment, by saying to myself I choose not to harm this person........
Gary
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #37
Marc Abrams
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Ok, so even while my assumption was wrong - thank you for putting that right - this sentence seems to show that the outcome is the same:

Although the waza in your aikido are not designed to not hurt, nevertheless "not to harm or to do as little harm as is necessary" seems to be an aim that is inherent to your aikidō?

This is not the case in my practice. I have never heard that aikidō is about "not to harm, or do as little harm as is necessary, to the attacker" in my context. This has never been part of the teaching of aikidō in my biography. The aikidō I learned is simply not concerned with the physical health of an attacker.

While it is very concerned about how to deal with uke as someone who lays his physicall health in tori's hands and allows him to use his body as a feedback. So the intention of practice on the tatami is to help each other grow.
But uke is not an attacker.
Carsten:

We seem to have similar experiences and beliefs in regards to our Aikido experiences. Preconceived ideas as to what we seek to do, or what our waza can do, can be potentially dangerous if the conditions of a conflict dictate far different outcomes. The breadth of outcomes contained within the depth of our waza can hopefully enable us to be able to utilize what is necessary, based upon the immediate situation at hand.

The true beauty of Aikido (to me) is contained in your statement " So the intention of practice on the tatami is to help each other grow. " That is precisely why I study and teach Aikido. Whereas we may never know if our teachings enable a person to be able to successfully defend him/herself, we can see the how Aikido has enabled us and our students to grow as people. To me, it is this growth than enables us to create a more connected, loving community - which does make us safer. I believe that the authenticity in what I try to teach, helps to create an atmosphere that enables real and positive changes to occur in the lives of my students (and myself).

Cordially,

Marc Abrams
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #38
RonRagusa
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Although the waza in your aikido are not designed to not hurt, nevertheless "not to harm or to do as little harm as is necessary" seems to be an aim that is inherent to your aikidō?
No Carsten, it's not an aim or goal, it's a choice. "not to harm or to do as little harm as is necessary", runs the full gamut of responses to an attack, up to and including the use of lethal force if necessary.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
This is not the case in my practice. I have never heard that aikidō is about "not to harm, or do as little harm as is necessary, to the attacker" in my context. This has never been part of the teaching of aikidō in my biography. The aikidō I learned is simply not concerned with the physical health of an attacker.
Well different strokes for different folks and all that...

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
While it is very concerned about how to deal with uke as someone who lays his physicall health in tori's hands and allows him to use his body as a feedback. So the intention of practice on the tatami is to help each other grow.
But uke is not an attacker.
Yes, practice on the mat is to foster the growth of all parties. And I agree, on the mat uke is not an attacker.

Ron

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Old 06-10-2013, 10:28 AM   #39
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
...but it is very clear to me that against a determined (and worst yet a skilled) opponent the choice to not harm is really not available.....
Gary -

Please refer to my response to Carsten as regarding the range of response options that are included in "not to harm or to do as little harm as is necessary".

Ron

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Old 06-10-2013, 10:41 AM   #40
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Your choice of tools and how you choose to use them may effect less damage and the targets you choose may also......but you have to train that into the body/mind. As for myself these days I always target the body, I expect to have to fight the attackers weapons....his hand and feet....before I can physically enter...if I do.
I see Aikido as a subset of a much the larger collection of ideas, strategies and tactics that comprise "self-defense". Therefore, Aikido for self-defense is not a priority for me. Mary delved very deeply into self-defense in the fifteen years she spent teaching it and as a result we have both come away with a greater appreciation for the options available to us in the unlikely chance that we are ever assaulted.

The study she undertook has freed us from having to rely on Aikido as a primary tool for defending ourselves and enabled us to train with other goals in mind.

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And in the end I would never set myself up before hand, in the moment, by saying to myself I choose not to harm this person........
Can't disagree with that sentiment.

Ron

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:01 PM   #41
phitruong
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

i think it's not so much as protecting our attacker(s), but more so in protecting ourselves. protecting the after trauma, post action if you will, of hurting/maiming/killing another human being. protecting our moral compass, for those who have them, from the after action.

question, if one doesn't embrace one's darkside, the anger, the rage, the fear, the hopelessness, and so on, then wouldn't that makes one incomplete? sort of yin yang, in yo, hi ho kinda of thing? just wondering. personally, i liked my darkside; other bugger is alot of fun.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:57 AM   #42
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Preconceived ideas as to what we seek to do, or what our waza can do, can be potentially dangerous if the conditions of a conflict dictate far different outcomes.
But its just an idea.

The idea of being able to harm or to kill people as a basis for the practicing of Aikido does not neccessarily find an expression in the "real" skills that somebody has.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:17 AM   #43
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Exploring what one is willing to do to defend oneself is essental. The time to do it is in quiet meditation not during a conflict situation.

During conflict it is so important to have mind and body co-ordinated and to be able to trust the ideas that surface from our inner selves.

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Old 06-11-2013, 09:40 AM   #44
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

Quote:
Markus Rohde wrote: View Post
But its just an idea.

The idea of being able to harm or to kill people as a basis for the practicing of Aikido does not neccessarily find an expression in the "real" skills that somebody has.
Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Exploring what one is willing to do to defend oneself is essental. The time to do it is in quiet meditation not during a conflict situation.

During conflict it is so important to have mind and body co-ordinated and to be able to trust the ideas that surface from our inner selves.
Folks
I think that we are talking around the same ideas.....the question is what are you willing to program into your "tool" set that will be available in the moment to be used dependent upon the situation, with the situations differing and utilizing different tools (responses and respond levels)?

I think that the problems we get into here is, as the old song goes...."....what to leave in and what to leave out...." Many here preclude the use of some responses and tools, never train them or program them in. If you need a rope and didn't provide for one it is not there if needed.

Having said that everyone is free to train at whatever level they choose and to include what they choose.

Gary
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:13 AM   #45
MRoh
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Having said that everyone is free to train at whatever level they choose and to include what they choose.
I agree.
But I doubt that an Idea of what techniques can do is crucial for what is programmed in.

In the main, the way of training aikido doesn't differ so much from dojo to dojo, most people don't practice in a real "martial" way, but there are many which talk about the martial aspects of aikido and the "deadly" potential of there techniques.
If I look behind, I see classical training like everywhere else, no special-forces drills ore something, that would burn in another "program".
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:00 PM   #46
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

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Markus Rohde wrote: View Post
I agree.
But I doubt that an Idea of what techniques can do is crucial for what is programmed in.
It is my understanding that technique is the bottom rung of the ladder....and even it has rungs within the rungs. Technique is visible and results can be seen easily. The same can't be said about principles of movement, of internal strength and of Aiki...which are little known, little taught and little explored...and then only by a few to an effective level.

Quote:
In the main, the way of training aikido doesn't differ so much from dojo to dojo, most people don't practice in a real "martial" way......
If they did would there be more than 4 or 5 still training after a while?

Quote:
but there are many which talk about the martial aspects of aikido and the "deadly" potential of there techniques.
Again as I have been taught technique is just the beginning and most of us never get by that or get pulled back to it.....

Quote:
If I look behind, I see classical training like everywhere else, no special-forces drills ore something, that would burn in another "program".
Again only the few will go out looking for more, to add to, fine other keys to understanding...... it is what it is.....

Gary
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:45 PM   #47
JP3
 
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Re: 105) Aikido- Martial Arts Hidden Within: June 2013

We really should tell new students something about it, or maybe put one of those dangerous substances warnings on the first uniform/gi a new students obtains, buys, or is given, or place some sort of disclaimer at the bottom of their waiver they sign at the beginning of the first class.

How about:

DANGER: Aikido techniques look very pretty, flowy and sometimes "fake." Do not assume this is the actual truth. A change in hand position, body movement, grasp, or even the intensity of the technique's performance can lead to intense pain, joint disruption/destruction, lifelong maiming, and death.

...hmm...

Then again, let's just keep talking about it in class, just saying "When you get to this point, you ... Could ... just go over here instead..."

*collective gasp of student body **

I forgot to mention that I agree with Marc's original post, if that wasn't clear from the above.

The discussion of "fear" was enlightening, too, and I also agree witht he analogy of the concept of awareness being fear-linked. I always look both ways, sometimes twice.

Last edited by JP3 : 06-15-2013 at 07:47 PM.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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