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Old 05-17-2003, 04:39 PM   #101
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Jeff Rychwa (Jeff R.) wrote:
Aikido is about de-escalation, resolution, losing arrogant and self-absorbed perceptions.
Does thinking you know what Aikido is all about and summarizing it in a sentence count?

To me, this seems like a pretty narrow idea of harmony - it seems to smack of an easily upset temperament that prefers keeping things calm and quiet. My idea of Aiki harmony allows for a much messier universe, where turbulence sort of plays itself out... with a large, 'what goes around comes around' element to it. Not so much about dampening things as just being there and letting things happen, letting one's role emerge as it may. I don't see why this has to be about making everyone feel like they just had a warm enema while listening to Enya.

Oh, and in my lexicon of english useage, I don't see how perceptions can be arrogant or self-absorbed. Perceptions are just perceptions. Arrogance or self-absorption could definitely interfere with one's perceptions or ability to perceive, which is precisely what I was trying to discuss with our idealistic greenhorn. Then, somebody jumped in and tried to deescalate by imposing a host of judgements about arguments and apologies and everyone's emotional well-being...

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 05-17-2003 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-17-2003, 06:08 PM   #102
Jeff R.
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Does thinking you know what Aikido is all about and summarizing it in a sentence count?

To me, this seems like a pretty narrow idea of harmony - it seems to smack of an easily upset temperament that prefers keeping things calm and quiet. My idea of Aiki harmony allows for a much messier universe, where turbulence sort of plays itself out... with a large, 'what goes around comes around' element to it. Not so much about dampening things as just being there and letting things happen, letting one's role emerge as it may. I don't see why this has to be about making everyone feel like they just had a warm enema while listening to Enya.

Oh, and in my lexicon of english useage, I don't see how perceptions can be arrogant or self-absorbed. Perceptions are just perceptions. Arrogance or self-absorption could definitely interfere with one's perceptions or ability to perceive, which is precisely what I was trying to discuss with our idealistic greenhorn. Then, somebody jumped in and tried to deescalate by imposing a host of judgements about arguments and apologies and everyone's emotional well-being...
Kevin, I love you dearly.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-17-2003, 06:11 PM   #103
rpnp
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Smile hehe

Spread Love, Not Hate

Robert Parker

"All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts."

- James Allen
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Old 05-17-2003, 08:11 PM   #104
Michael Neal
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I want to throw up now
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Old 05-17-2003, 10:35 PM   #105
opherdonchin
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I can't tell if I'm annoyed or amused by Kevin and his partners in discussion, so I'll leave that be; the Israelis say: "why put your healthy head in a sick bed?" Still, one thing got my goat.
Quote:
Michael wrote:
Damien, Aikido is really nothing without the martial application.
What I want to know is, what do you mean by this Michael? I have a hard time making anything intelligible out of it. I have a couple of guesses, but rather than go into them, maybe you can clarify what you mean for me.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-18-2003, 06:03 AM   #106
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Not Michael but Aikido as Budo can not exist without martial application. More to the point if you wish to call Aikido budo (martial path) then by definition it must include martial application.

I suppose without it it certainly could be called something but it would be essentially meaningless in the historical and present definitions of the art.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:30 AM   #107
Kevin Wilbanks
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Is kyudo a budo? Iaido? If so, then what is meant by 'martial application' can be much narrower and more impractical than one would guess from the way you and others talk about it. I doubt anyone has used a 7 ft. long bow for combat or self-defense in ages, and iaido has become so stylized and meditative that the 'martial application' seems to be reduced to the point of relevent historical trivia.
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:38 AM   #108
Michael Neal
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What Peter said above is what I meant, if you are not practicing Aikido to be effective in martial situations then you are just doing a very inefficient form of exercise. There are plenty of places to learn religion, philosophy, and how to exercise. Aikido may include one or more of these elements for some people but it must also be martial in order to be Aikido.

At least this my understanding of Saotome Sensei's writings.
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Old 05-18-2003, 01:42 PM   #109
opherdonchin
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Well, I don't mean to start up another martial/spiritual I just wanted you to be clear about what you're saying. To me, it sounds very different to say, "I have a hard time understanding the value people find in the non-martial aspects of Aikido" rather than saying, "without the martial aspects, Aikido is nothing."

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-18-2003, 06:04 PM   #110
Michael Neal
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Opher, I did not say that I don't find any value in the non-martial aspects of Aikido.
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:21 PM   #111
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Kevin - martial application can include but does not equate with self defense in modern urban setting. It does mean being able to efficiently execute a technique with combat, choose your setting, in mind.

Kyudo does that, iaido even more so. Talk to a few people who've trained in Japan for a few years in either of the above and they will tell you the same thing. Neither is particularily zen in character (apparently a very common misconception) but seeks to obtain the unmoveable mind. The French have a word for it that I find much more descriptive of what is happening sang-froid (cold blood).

I will say that many Budo, and that includes some Aikido styles, vary the intensity of martial component and/or concentrate on only a few aspects of it. However, the point was that if you remove the martial aspect, what do you have?

In the case of Aikido it would no longer be Aikido which identifies itself as Budo.
Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Is kyudo a budo? Iaido? If so, then what is meant by 'martial application' can be much narrower and more impractical than one would guess from the way you and others talk about it. I doubt anyone has used a 7 ft. long bow for combat or self-defense in ages, and iaido has become so stylized and meditative that the 'martial application' seems to be reduced to the point of relevent historical trivia.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:39 PM   #112
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Michael wrote:
I did not say that I don't find any value in the non-martial aspects of Aikido.
Quote:
Peter wrote:
I will say that many Budo, and that includes some Aikido styles, vary the intensity of martial component and/or concentrate on only a few aspects of it. However, the point was that if you remove the martial aspect, what do you have?
I'm feeling like I still don't understand. Maybe the two of you should clarify what you mean by 'removing the martial aspect.' I guess I'd agree that if someone said they were practicing Aikido but there were no strikes and no grabs then I'd say the name was not really appropriate. On the other hand, if it looked like Aikido but the 'strikes are not strikes' and the techniques are not 'effective,' I'd be in less of a rush to quibble about the name.

I'm trying to figure out what my question is. Maybe it's this: what does it mean to take out the martial aspect, and what is it that gets lost of if you take it out?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:16 PM   #113
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Maybe this wont answer you either because I'm at the point where I'm not sure what you are asking.

However,

I think what defines martial is at least an examination of the various techniques for martial efficiency. Overly complex moves that require excessive cooperation from uke need to at least be understood as just that. They may even serve a training purpose but that has to be clear. If that doesn't occur than we move into the realm of dance and away from Budo.

Once again, Aikido identifies itself as Budo. The philosophical underpinnings are attached to that concept and will not stand alone in the Aikido context. The fact that many of the concepts don't need Budo to make sense doesn't change things.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:20 AM   #114
opherdonchin
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Peter, I'm not sure why you think that 'Budo' is an easier concept to understand than 'martial.'

****************

I was chewing on this topic while I did my dishes and this is what I came up with. I'd be obliged if Peter and Michael (or anyone else) were to tell me if it captured what they were getting at:

I would say that the lessons of Aikido are 'framed' in a martial context. That is, at the heart of the communication and teaching of Aikido is a situation in which one person attacks another. In this sense, the martial context is inherent in Aikido. You can't teach Aikido without it.

In addition, there is much inherent in the techniques of Aikido that can only be understood when this martial context is understood. For instance, lessons regarding awareness of options are harder to learn when you don't have a good intuitive understanding of when you could be hit and when you could hit your partner. In this way, learning 'martial awareness' can give valuable insight into whatever it is that Aikido is teaching. Similar insight might come from recognizing the 'martial wisdom' inherent in the techniques.

Of course, a focus on the martial aspects of Aikido might also be useful if you find yourself in a martial situation.

So, if this is what Peter and Michael mean, then I'm on board. On the other hand, if I've missed something, I'm very interested to know what it is.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:28 AM   #115
PeterR
 
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I think you are on board.

I don't think Budo is easier to understand than martial - I do think that they are one and the same or at least intimately interwoven.

Last edited by PeterR : 05-19-2003 at 12:30 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:53 AM   #116
opherdonchin
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Quote:
I don't think Budo is easier to understand than martial - I do think that they are one and the same or at least intimately interwoven.
That seems reasonable. The part I was objecting to was that to say, "Aikido needs to have a martial side because it is Budo" didn't really help me understand what you meant. In fact, I'm still not sure I undersand what you mean by that because, as I think Kevin was trying to say, Budo seems like such a big and confusing concept. I recognize that Aikido has a history in Budo and that many practitioners see their path in Budo as being connected to Aikido. I can't say that I know much more than that.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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