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Old 12-30-2003, 02:09 PM   #51
Jim23
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Especially if you have one lung.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 12-30-2003, 02:44 PM   #52
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Jim Halliday (Jim23) wrote:
Of course I understand about cultural/age differences. But in this day and age I don't think anyone with a rational mind would consider smoking to be a healthy habit, even though some might try to justify it for different reasons, as with most serious addictions.
I don't think that anybody in Japan would call it a healthy habit. Still, although attitudes are slowly changing, I would say that smoking is considered as a more or less minor vice by the average Japanese.

In any case, I think that my original point, that it is unreasonable to castigate an instructor for a personal habit unrelated to the subject of instruction, still stands.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-30-2003, 03:17 PM   #53
Jim23
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I really don't disagree with that statement, in spite of what I said before, and I do fully understand your argument.

I think it all boils down to our view of Aikido. Is it simply a fighting art? If it is, fine, argument accepted, case closed. But if it's more than that, shouldn't we also expect more from senior people than how to perform irimi-nage?

Jim23

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Old 12-30-2003, 09:44 PM   #54
Rich Stephens
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Sure, we expect more than perfect performance of waza. And yes, things like smoking and drinking when done to excess are linked by western medicing to having a shorter life. Of course despite massive tobacco and alcohol use, the incidence of cancer and heart disease in Japan is a mere fraction of western levels and they have the longest life expectancy on the planet so I can see why people there fail to get too worked up about the "health risks".

But overall, I guess I'm just not convinced that one of the things my Aikido sensei or the old masters should teach me is how to have the longest life possible. Therefore I don't make a quick and easy connection to smoking or drinking being in violation of their overall "lesson".

-Rich Stephens
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Old 12-30-2003, 10:46 PM   #55
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Rich Stephens wrote:
Of course despite massive tobacco and alcohol use, the incidence of cancer and heart disease in Japan is a mere fraction of western levels
Be careful with statistics - it's not a mere fraction and it is rising. The link with heart disease and obesity is clear and that's why the US beats Japan. I'm not sure but lung cancer may be more prevalent in Japan but in any case the decrease in smoking in the States is relatively recent and cancer shows up years later. You can't look at current smoking rates and compare them with lung cancer deaths.

World Health Statistics - Death Rates

US Japan

Heart Disease 215.8 123

Cancer (all types) 143 125

Respitory Disease 51.6 49.1

Ueshiba M. and Tomiki K. both died of cancer and neither smoked or drank all that much. It must have been the Aikido.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:22 AM   #56
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Ueshiba M. and Tomiki K. both died of cancer and neither smoked or drank all that much. It must have been the Aikido.
Do you know what kind? Last time that I looked into it stomach cancer outpaced lung cancer in Japan by around a three to one ratio, with the lung cancer rates being slightly lower than in the US.

Of course, it sometimes seems as if a disproportionately high number of Japanese die of cancer, but I think that much of that is because the rate of heart disease (which is the number one cause of death in the US) is so low.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-31-2003, 12:43 AM   #57
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
Do you know what kind? Last time that I looked into it stomach cancer outpaced lung cancer in Japan by around a three to one ratio, with the lung cancer rates being slightly lower than in the US.
I understand Ueshiba M. had liver cancer.

Tomiki K. died of colon cancer.

It's probably all those pickles.

Heart disease is the biggy and probably (I'm reaching) the reason Japan has a longer average lifespan. Heart disease tends to make itself felt in the early 50s for men and a little later for women. I was once told that if you can survive to 60 you will probably live to beyond 80. Obesity and hence heart disease is less of a problem here although that too is changing.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-31-2003, 01:07 AM   #58
Rich Stephens
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I reckon the longer you live, the more likely it'll be cancer that will get you. It used to be "natural causes" - now we have a name for most of them.

Anyway, any comments on the non-statistical issue: whether living in the way that western medicine tells us will possibly lead to the longest life is part of Aikido or not and should be expected of our sensei, Japanese or not?
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Old 12-31-2003, 01:30 AM   #59
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Rich Stephens wrote:
Anyway, any comments on the non-statistical issue: whether living in the way that western medicine tells us will possibly lead to the longest life is part of Aikido or not and should be expected of our sensei, Japanese or not?
I think both Chris and I already gave our opinion on that. See above.

But look at it this way.

In comes near puritanical non-smoker and looks with disdain on his potential teacher and says "he can't be a true Aikido teacher because he smokes". If that's not a case of presumption (coming in with a full cup) I don't know what is.

If on the other hand a heavy smoker starts doing Aikido and feels that he has to cut back to keep up then this is an example of self developement which is what Budo is all about. Not the perfection of others - that is rife with ego. Your sensei is a guide not an ideal - no man is perfect.

I personally am drawn to teachers that can physically do good Aikido. If your heavy smoking prevents that then I wont be your student - but it would not be the smoking itselft that sends me out the door.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:09 AM   #60
Jim23
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Just to make my opinion clear. I've trained under instructors (Aikido and other) that smoked, and I didn't quit their classes. But I do find it incongruous with principle that someone who claims to have found harmony in their life - or at the very least have become proficient in a physical "sport" - can't kick the addiction of cigarettes (or whatever).

Jim23

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Old 01-02-2004, 12:18 PM   #61
indomaresa
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I work where people smoke like multiple chimneys

This is seriously jeopardizing my goal of reaching 9th Dan

woe is meeeee

T_T

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 01-02-2004, 05:07 PM   #62
aikidoc
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I agree you need to be careful with statistics. Cigarette companies lied with statistics for years stating it was safe.

O'Sensei and many of the other Japanese may be suffering from the post war effects of radiation created when we atomic bombed them.

Liver cancer, etc. Stomach cancer could be from dietary sources or drinking. I know some of the uchideshi partied hard in the old days.
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Old 01-02-2004, 05:37 PM   #63
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
O'Sensei and many of the other Japanese may be suffering from the post war effects of radiation created when we atomic bombed them.
Well, he was on the other side of the country at the time, so I don't think that it is all that likely. AFAIK there is no unusual cancer rate in Japan attributable to the atomic bomb outside of that for those people who were in the actual vicinity when the bombs were dropped. It is fairly well established that residual radiation levels fell very quickly.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-04-2004, 11:42 AM   #64
Lyle Bogin
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A few years ago I was in Holland for the first All European Shaolin Martial Arts Competition. One of the younger "monks" invited me outside for some chi kung training (mediative breathing). He gave me a lecture about aborbing chi through the breath from my natural surroundings. When I half shut my eyes and started breathing, he lit a bootleg cig and offered me one.

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:36 PM   #65
Peter Malecek
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Back when I lived in Japan and trained at the Yoshinkan I remember that all of the Shihan smoked. We used to wonder if the real secret to aikido was buying the right brand of coffin nail.

Peter
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Old 01-05-2004, 07:15 AM   #66
Ghost Fox
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Although I agree that smoking is a terrible habit, I don't think it's fair to judge a teacher or anybody less "spiritual" or "enlighten" based upon the fact that they smoke. The truth is that life is a process, and you can only judge a persons development from one point in time to the next. I have trained with a Sensei that smokes, and he is 60+ years old and a great guy off and on the mat. He's charming, inspirational, and always willing to share his experiences. He told the class that before he started aikido he had an extremely violent temperament due to the traumas of serving in the war and would go out at night and get drunk and smoke and get into all kinds of trouble. Aikido for him gave him the direction to turn his life around and provided him with a way to leave the violence of the war behind as well as his need to get drunk and into fights at bars. If you see him through a narrow reference frame he might seem hypocritical for smoking on one hand while teaching the value of Aikido and meditation on the other hand. But measured through out 25+ years of practice, Aikido has helped him develop as a human being and rid himself of many of his vices.

In "modern" society it seems easy to target people who smokes or are overweight, or have other forms of visually verifiable conditioning. I wonder if it derives from some sort of fear we have to look at ourselves honestly, and that these people are an uncomfortable reminders of the diseases that we all carry inside. I don't know it just seems that illnesses of the spirit are okay as long as we don't have to look at them as a society or maybe this is just my own disease.

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Old 01-07-2004, 05:15 PM   #67
Jim23
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It's quite funny when you go away for a while and come back and see some of the posts here - fartenheimer.

Jim23

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Old 01-07-2004, 05:32 PM   #68
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Jim Halliday (Jim23) wrote:
I do find it incongruous with principle that someone who claims to have found harmony in their life - or at the very least have become proficient in a physical "sport" - can't kick the addiction of cigarettes (or whatever).

Jim23
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
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Old 01-07-2004, 08:08 PM   #69
Jim23
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Okidoke. Rooight.

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:21 AM   #70
Reuben Lee
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Well , my stand isn't a moral one. Its for health reasons.

Smoking causes cancer. Why do somethin taht kills you ?

But having said that, I don't hate the smokers. Just concerned for their well being.

Besides, smoking dosen't improve your stamina. Bad for training
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