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Old 08-22-2014, 07:32 AM   #76
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Soi if you were outside in a bar or somewhere else other than a dojo and somebody implied you were useless at Aikido would you see this criticism as a direct insult?Would you then go outside, put your dukes up and teach this upstart a sharp lesson?
Knowing Katherine as I think I do from this forum, I'd consider that extremely unlikely. Katherine has always struck me as an intelligent person with a sense of proportion and appropriate conduct. Someone like that surely understands the elementary fact of two radically different contexts, the dojo and "somewhere else other than a dojo", and the difference in what constitutes appropriate (and legal) conduct in the one vs. the other.

That is a long-winded way of saying that in the US, at least, getting into a fight in a bar is illegal, not to mention stupid, and Katherine isn't a stupid person.

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
I have been thrown around by many a shihan in my day , but Ii have never been thrown around by any guy who tried to prove he/she was a big man.As I stated clearly its not the fact that the Nidan got tossed around.I am being critical and condemning the seniors behaviour and his motives for doing what he did.
Given the story as stated, I don't think it's unreasonable to criticize the extent of the reaction, or even the motives. I would not say that any reaction at all is unjustifiable. I think when you step out of your role and presume to instruct your practice partner, you'd better be pretty sure of your grounds for doing so, and very sure that what you're saying is correct (that they're actually doing something wrong and that the fault isn't just with your lack of understanding). And, if you should be wrong about any of that, you probably do have some kind of lesson coming.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:32 AM   #77
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Katherine,
Soi if you were outside in a bar or somewhere else other than a dojo and somebody implied you were useless at Aikido would you see this criticism as a direct insult?Would you then go outside, put your dukes up and teach this upstart a sharp lesson?I have been thrown around by many a shihan in my day , but Ii have never been thrown around by any guy who tried to prove he/she was a big man.As I stated clearly its not the fact that the Nidan got tossed around.I am being critical and condemning the seniors behaviour and his motives for doing what he did.
So if you think someone treating you badly trying to prove his point is possibly ' good' learning experience what would you consider to be a bad learning experience?
I think I qualified my original response by noting that this took place in a class setting. Yes, of course, the real world is different.

On the other hand, I wouldn't particularly recommend that the nidan carry his behavior out into the real world, either.

There are lots of bad learning experiences out there. Certainly getting injured qualifies, and that didn't happen in this case. However, as noted above, I also don't think the nidan's previous teachers were doing him any favors by allowing him to believe that insulting strangers is acceptable or wise.

Katherine
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:18 PM   #78
Dan Rubin
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

Quote:
Phil Van Treese wrote: View Post
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has…. Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.
It seems to me that Phil is not asserting that his behavior toward the student he sarcastically described as an "extremely high ranking nidan" was proper, he's asserting that aikido's lessons are unlikely to overcome a student's basic nature, and he offers himself as an example.

While he refers to aikido's lessons, he doesn't specify whether his encounter with the nidan was in aikido or judo. Suppose, for discussion purposes, that the encounter was in judo. Would that change one's opinion of his behavior?

Last edited by Dan Rubin : 08-22-2014 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:51 PM   #79
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
It seems to me that Phil is not asserting that his behavior toward the student he sarcastically described as an "extremely high ranking nidan" was proper, he's asserting that aikido's lessons are unlikely to overcome a student's basic nature, and he offers himself as an example.

While he refers to aikido's lessons, he doesn't specify whether his encounter with the nidan was in aikido or judo. Suppose, for discussion purposes, that the encounter was in judo. Would that change one's opinion of his behavior?
Dear Dan,
No.Whether it was Aikido /Judo or whatever is irrelevant.Taking liberties with a person who is technically inferior to prove a point imo is abuse.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #80
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dan,
No.Whether it was Aikido /Judo or whatever is irrelevant.Taking liberties with a person who is technically inferior to prove a point imo is abuse.Cheers, Joe.
Have to agree Joe. Aikido training, if nothing else, has taught me the truth that is expressed by the old adage: Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me.

Ron

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Old 08-22-2014, 09:41 PM   #81
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Alas, you are not. If only every mind worked like mine does Thank you again for the correction, Janet.

It does provide another chance to practice mindfulness and in my case...emphasis mine.. I would like to let correction pass just as I would like to let praise pass."Asking myself is it useful or is it not?" I am still human and some get stuck in the craw. Yet I continue to be mindful and watch and see how I react.
So thank you for the opportunity to train in dally life.
Mary, my writing on aikiweb is a form of practice for me too, as it happens, striving to communicate very precisely and neutrally, so thank you for responding with equanimity.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #82
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

I walk to work and home each work day, and while walking along the sidewalk, crossing the street, going up the parking lot, I "wargame" with myself on the ukemi necessary if such-&0-such weird event occurred, how I'd roll/fall to get away from the problem.

Weirdest one I ever came up with was a smallish satellite falling out of orbit coming from directly overhead, but with my not knowing the angle of trajectory.... knotty problem, that.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #83
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

With regard to my response to Phil Van Treese's post: In aikido practice, uke puts himself/herself at nage's mercy, but in judo practice there are two nages, each attempting to throw the other, in a contest. (And, now that I think about it, if Phil was describing an aikido seminar, didn't he have to take turns as uke for half of that 15 minute drubbing?)

Phil responded to his rude nidan partner with anger, and that was not a proper response (and he agrees), but as for the physical punishment he imposed on the nidan, I think it sounds more extreme to an aikido ear than to a judo ear.

We can learn or not learn many things from aikido, as we can from any activity in our daily lives, whether the activity "teaches" those things or not. The many things we learn or not learn may not be consistent with each other. Hopefully, we do the best we can.
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:21 PM   #84
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
With regard to my response to Phil Van Treese's post: In aikido practice, uke puts himself/herself at nage's mercy, but in judo practice there are two nages, each attempting to throw the other, in a contest. (And, now that I think about it, if Phil was describing an aikido seminar, didn't he have to take turns as uke for half of that 15 minute drubbing?)

Phil responded to his rude nidan partner with anger, and that was not a proper response (and he agrees), but as for the physical punishment he imposed on the nidan, I think it sounds more extreme to an aikido ear than to a judo ear.

We can learn or not learn many things from aikido, as we can from any activity in our daily lives, whether the activity "teaches" those things or not. The many things we learn or not learn may not be consistent with each other. Hopefully, we do the best we can.
Dear Dan,
As far as I can tell Phil posted his blog about the nidan on the 21-8-2014.As far as I can tell Phil has not posted any other blogs concerning his encounter with the nidan.If I am correct here regarding the blogs from Phil, how do you know Phil feels that his response was not a proper/correct response ?You seem to be saying Phil is a bit contrite for being angry and drubbing the nidan
i see know evidence or any sign of Phil feeling contrite / sorry for his behaviour.Pray tell me how you arrive at the conclusion he has express regret?As I stated I see no more blogs from Phil herein these pages.If there is a blog where Phil admits he was acting badly , please tell me where I can read the blog. Phil as far as I can tell has maintained a deafening silence about the incident.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #85
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Phil Van Treese wrote: View Post
Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation.... Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have.... Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.
Joe

I took this to mean, not that Phil is contrite, but that he agrees there was "a better way" and a "peaceful way" to handle the situation with the nidan, and so I concluded that he agrees that his behavior was improper. You're quite right, thinking there's a better way and thinking one's behavior was improper are two different things. I don't know Phil and I apologize to him if I misinterpreted his post.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:32 AM   #86
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
... if someone was angry while throwing me I might bow out.
In everyday life you can't bow out.

If I get it rigth and you actually don't practice with angry or agressive partners I think you miss an interesting and most instructive part of keiko. In my experience it's not what I like a lot, but from what I learn a lot.

That said:

Why do you think it to be improper to make a partner experience the answer to a "question" he raised? Isn't exactly this the "language" we are using during keiko?
Sure, you can give uke only a smile and leave him alone, not giving any feedback through your technique. That may feel nice. Maybe. But you pay the price that your practice is hollow and neither you nor your partner is learning anything.

I think it to be very important to develop a personality and spirituality that don't has to react to every emotional challenge, like beining questioned, in everyday life. I think this is crucial.
But - practicing a budō means actually reacting to a challenge in a certain way. Meditation etc. is a way to learn to smile, to just observe, to not be affected, to neither act out, nor to suppress. budō is a way to engage, it's a certain way to act. Using one's body, in aikidō. Or one's sword, when doing ken jutsu.

So, with that in mind, the questions you raised are kind of unfamiliar to me:

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
So how did the nidan like this experience? Do you think he will be will be back?
We are talking about a nidan, i.e. an advanced student. If he is not able to deal with experiences he doesn't like it is his turn to learn to.
It is his committement. If he doesn't come back, he doesn't come back. If he doesn't continue to practice aikidō, he simply will do something else. It is his decision. It is not tori's task to make someone come back to the dōjō.

Quote:
Does he think you are good now?
He had to realize that his assumption and his judgdement where wrong. To learn to balance one's view of a situation and "reality", seems to me a very basic but nevertheless important aspect of learning a budō.
It is not important, whether this nidan thinks, Phil is good or not. But it is important for him to realize, that he obviousely is better than he thought. Just that.

Quote:
Were you teaching the seminar? How did that happen if you were not teaching?...I think the instructor would have ended it.
Ok, when this is, what teachers in your context do, you are completely right! And at the same time this would change the view on the other questions you raised. So I think, your thoughts are completely meaningfull and consistent in your context!

In my context a teacher simply would not interfere. The only exception would be if there is the danger that someone get's hurt.
So tori and aite are expected to solve their problems on their own. Best you can have is sensei scolding you by shaking his head ...
But solving your problems, your prejudices, your emotions, your personal conflicts during keiko is part of what is to be learned. At least in my context.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:15 PM   #87
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
If I get it rigth and you actually don't practice with angry or agressive partners I think you miss an interesting and most instructive part of keiko. In my experience it's not what I like a lot, but from what I learn a lot.
There's a world of difference between angry and aggressive. I wouldn't hesitate to practice with an aggressive partner; an angry one(?), most likely not unless I knew and trusted him/her in a way that only can be built up over time.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Why do you think it to be improper to make a partner experience the answer to a "question" he raised?
In the case under discussion there was a verbal exchange, so why do you put the word question in quotes? A physical response to a verbal taunt is evidence of a lack of control and a nage who lacks control is a potential safety concern. I would expect that kind of display from a beginner and put a stop to it if it occurred in one of my classes. As an instructor I would hold someone with decades of experience to a higher standard when it comes to behavior on the mat.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Isn't exactly this the "language" we are using during keiko?
Anger motivated technique? No.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Sure, you can give uke only a smile and leave him alone, not giving any feedback through your technique.
There is more teaching in that example than spending 15 minutes abusing your partner. All you teach him/her with the latter is that it's ok to physically act out when angered. That's how bullies beget more bullies. Do you think that the nidan will hesitate to behave the same way some time in the future when he finds himself in the same position as Phil? Perhaps, perhaps not, but I think the chances are more likely in the affirmative.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I think it to be very important to develop a personality and spirituality that don't has to react to every emotional challenge, like beining questioned, in everyday life. I think this is crucial.
But - practicing a budō means actually reacting to a challenge in a certain way. Meditation etc. is a way to learn to smile, to just observe, to not be affected, to neither act out, nor to suppress. budō is a way to engage, it's a certain way to act. Using one's body, in aikidō. Or one's sword, when doing ken jutsu.
Aikido is a holistic practice in that it polishes both the body and spirit of the student. I don't think using the "well it's budo" rationale to excuse abusive behavior is valid. The incident described doesn't rise to the level of engagement. It was simply an act of pulling rank on a junior and lashing out in anger.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
But solving your problems, your prejudices, your emotions, your personal conflicts during keiko is part of what is to be learned. At least in my context.
I guess we have to chalk up our differences in this aspect of training to cultural variations. My thought here is that when you enter my dojo you leave your problems, prejudices, negative emotions and personal conflicts at the door.

As always Carsten it's a pleasure to be able to read one of your reasoned responses, even though we are on opposite sides of this issue.

Ron

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Old 08-25-2014, 11:57 PM   #88
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
As always Carsten it's a pleasure to be able to read one of your reasoned responses, even though we are on opposite sides of this issue.
Thank you. The same to you! (correct for lat.: dito?)
And thank you - and also to Mary - to allways trigger my personal points and stepping into my blind spots ...
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #89
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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There is more teaching in that example than spending 15 minutes abusing your partner. All you teach him/her with the latter is that it's ok to physically act out when angered.
I disagree. I think you teach the individual that it's not wise to say stupid things that deliberately provoke a fallible human being. In the future, this lesson could prevent this individual -- who clearly was suffering from considerable arrogance -- from making this mistake with someone who did not exercise any restraint.

You've characterized the response as "15 minutes abusing your partner", and that's met with general consensus in this thread. I don't agree with the response, and yet I think we should remember that the response was modulated -- not as much as you or I or many people might have liked, sure, but it was also not an act of uncontrolled anger and aggression. Had it been, it would have ended much sooner than 15 minutes, and uke would have gone to the hospital. Instead uke took 15 minutes of ukemi that was more rigorous than he would have liked. I'm not making an "at least he didn't break the guy's neck" argument here. I'm just saying that some of your statements have drifted into the absolute, and that's not supported by what we know of this situation, and maybe a bit of perspective is needed.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:06 PM   #90
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I disagree. I think you teach the individual that it's not wise to say stupid things that deliberately provoke a fallible human being. In the future, this lesson could prevent this individual -- who clearly was suffering from considerable arrogance -- from making this mistake with someone who did not exercise any restraint.

You've characterized the response as "15 minutes abusing your partner", and that's met with general consensus in this thread. I don't agree with the response, and yet I think we should remember that the response was modulated -- not as much as you or I or many people might have liked, sure, but it was also not an act of uncontrolled anger and aggression. Had it been, it would have ended much sooner than 15 minutes, and uke would have gone to the hospital. Instead uke took 15 minutes of ukemi that was more rigorous than he would have liked. I'm not making an "at least he didn't break the guy's neck" argument here. I'm just saying that some of your statements have drifted into the absolute, and that's not supported by what we know of this situation, and maybe a bit of perspective is needed.
Well, and this was just his relatively quick characterization of it. For all we know uke had the time of his life and was thinking, "now this is what I'm talking about!" Maybe not, but maybe. Teachable moments can't always be made clear with words, particularly when the author self-effacingly put his frustration into the forefront of the context provided. I was bounced around the mat for the entire (Shodokan) randori portion of keiko once (I took turns being uke and "nage" with the same basic result being that I remained the receiver the whole time). It was fun and informative. Different context and feelings on all parties involved, almost certainly, but still the same basic exercise.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:48 PM   #91
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
...this individual -- who clearly was suffering from considerable arrogance...
Phil wrote: "I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing." Emphasis added

Now perhaps the attitude was in the ear of the person listening and not coming out of the mouth of the person speaking. Not having been there, I don't know; but then neither does anyone else. Phil admits that "Unfortunately, I am very confrontational..." So it's possible that his uke could have meant his remarks to be heard in an entirely different manner than Phil interpreted them. In any event it isn't entirely obvious that Phil's uke "...was suffering from considerable arrogance..."

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'm just saying that some of your statements have drifted into the absolute, and that's not supported by what we know of this situation, and maybe a bit of perspective is needed.
Yeah, I can do that sometimes when I'm on a roll. A blind spot, as Carsten mentioned earlier. Doesn't hurt to have someone step into it as a reminder to occasionally adjust the rear view mirror.

Ron

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Old 08-26-2014, 06:44 PM   #92
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Phil wrote: "I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing." Emphasis added
And there's some emphasis from me. Based on that, I stand by what I wrote. Feel free to disagree as to the degree of arrogance exemplified by those words.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:34 PM   #93
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

I'm imagine Phil there has read over the variety of replies and is shaking his head saying "none of you got what I was saying". Seriously, without some clarification from Phil this is one gigantic Rohrschach ink blot for everyone, what they want to say or what they'd love to respond to. I mean, really, folks, is this going anywhere?

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Old 08-26-2014, 10:42 PM   #94
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I'm imagine Phil there has read over the variety of replies and is shaking his head saying "none of you got what I was saying". Seriously, without some clarification from Phil this is one gigantic Rohrschach ink blot for everyone, what they want to say or what they'd love to respond to. I mean, really, folks, is this going anywhere?
Yep.

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Old 08-27-2014, 06:16 AM   #95
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I'm imagine Phil there has read over the variety of replies and is shaking his head saying "none of you got what I was saying". Seriously, without some clarification from Phil this is one gigantic Rohrschach ink blot for everyone, what they want to say or what they'd love to respond to. I mean, really, folks, is this going anywhere?
This is a discussion forum. If someone puts something on here I think it is meant for discussion. Otherwise...there would be a lot of blank space.

If he is shaking his head... he could give some clarification, otherwise... we can discuss it. It is an interesting subject. I am surprised at the differences of opinion.

When someone posts an experience it gives us all an idea of something real that happened. Like Mary M has stated before it is like touching an elephant blindfolded. Yet the discussions help me think and re-examine my ideas.

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Old 08-27-2014, 11:31 AM   #96
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

Post deleted on second thought. Read next post instead. Pot meet kettle...

Last edited by Keith Larman : 08-27-2014 at 11:34 AM.

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Old 08-27-2014, 11:33 AM   #97
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

At this point I'm reminded of my father telling me that "If you don't have anything of value to offer the least you can do is shut up and walk away. The very least."

Thanks, Dad.

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Old 08-27-2014, 12:53 PM   #98
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
At this point I'm reminded of my father telling me that "If you don't have anything of value to offer the least you can do is shut up and walk away. The very least."

Thanks, Dad.
why are you still here, dude? don't you have to go and shake down some tree somewhere?

my aikido leans heavy toward irimi. so if i forgot my keys, like Mary, then i would be kicking down the door. that would entering as in part of breaking and entering. i am always focus on the maai and deai to the closest coffee and donuts. i found that blending didn't work. only entering and consuming worked.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:06 PM   #99
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

Thank you for your responses everyone. I enjoy reading the diverse opinions and mindsets.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:44 PM   #100
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Re: Daily Applications of Aikido

Probably the most often I use the lessons of Aikido in daily life is when I can't do something, I know that I'm going to have to work at it to be able to do it.

Last edited by Currawong : 08-31-2014 at 04:47 PM.
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