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Old 06-12-2006, 02:03 PM   #51
billybob
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Grant,

It warms my heart to hear someone who is putting himself in harm's way so that I can be safe - ask the questions you are asking. I think you need no training from me, sir.

In extreme situations, the entire universe becomes our foe; at such critical times, unity of mind and technique is essential - do not let your heart waver!"- OSensei.

To me this means - get up when you fall down. If your heart despairs from what you see or do, remember who you are.

david
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:03 PM   #52
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Neil wrote:

Quote:
I'm betting that today's US soldier's also place spiritual values on their tanks, rifles, planes, etc, as well...even tho it isn't expressed that way.
No they don't. My M4 carbine that is loaded with all the latest technology, lasers, and night vision sites etc is a tool that I use to do my job. My job is based on the missions that my "higher" command issues to me to do. I would make decisions based on that mission about the proper way to employ that weapon. I have a great deal of training that allows me to make decisions about what constitutes a lawful and ethical order.

My orders from the military come from civilians that are placed in there position by the President of the United States, who is in all effect (debatable I know), elected by the people of the United States.

Not sure where spirituality fits in to that equation.

I certainly have my own beliefs (spiritual, ethics, and values), that I must reconcile with the above. No doubt that in order to maintain good order and discipline we must appeal to these things as both a military and a society.

However, that is a distinct difference from the Military serving a spiritual function.

Now the leaders and popular opinion that may send us to war may be based on a underlying belief system or "religion", (I'd argue that capitalism to a degree is a spiritual value actually Neil), or something along those lines.

So, if you want to affect change, it should not be directed at the military, but at society at large as that is the driving force behind the "tool" of the military. We really don't make our own decisions on a Macro level.

(this is why I said I tend not to focus on the whole Gestalt of the thing).
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:42 PM   #53
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Respectfuly disagree.

We didn't surrender to the jihadism, we defeated a government who was opposing the sovereign spanish people's will and manipulating/hiding info about the bombings.

Jun,
Sorry for cooperating to the thread hijack, but i felt the need of pointing that as a spanish citizen (with celtic ancestors, btw).
I really don't think this is a hijack. How can aiki be relevant outside the dojo unless we think practically about how it may be used, or perhaps has been used, to reach happier reults from very bad beginnings?

All due respect to Demetrio, my Celtic and Iberian cousin could not be worthy of the name, without defending his own. Gonzalez and Moreno on my mother's side. We've been in Florida since before it was ceded by the Spanish Crown.

Was the Spanish election an exercise of aiki, though, or not? It may be as you say, and the adjustment needed to be made. But it did not play that way outside of Spain. Certainly, it was not perceived as you say in the Souq. The Moorish conflict with Christian Spain is not an idle cultural memory any more than mention of the Crusades (which made me just cringe in my seat.) Such references where they are made available to the enemy will be and have been exploited. Very poor aiki on both points, in my view, like sticking your elbow up in ikkyo, you might as well shout, "Come and get it!".

I despise politics. But then maybe I have never yet seen politics practiced with aiki, at least, not outside of a setting of war. There, I can think of a few examples.

The collective acceptance of occupation by the Japanese people at the end of WWII was preeminently aiki. The model of approach used by McArthur was aiki too. He made the emperor the price of empire. They explicitly chose the emperor as the one unspoken but absolute condition of otherwise complete surrender.

McArthur used the Yamato Damashii cult itself, the very engine of the Japanese war effort, to sever the connection between emperor and the imperial ambitions of the Japanese political regime, without severing the ties of sovereignty felt between the people and their emperor. Hirohito deserves much credit here as well. The result is a worthy tribute to both sides.

How else can aiki be applied at small or large scales in the context of the present conflict? Let's not get into personality bashing (and certinaly not any detestable politics). Can we look at given issues, small scale or large scale, and see if we have anything useful and practial to offer from a perspecitve of aiki that will aid in a happier result?

If the enemy will not go away, then wishing it were so is not aiki. Analogizing principles or techniques is the way we expand our repertoire anyway.

Any takers?

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:26 PM   #54
Neil Mick
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
No they don't. My M4 carbine that is loaded with all the latest technology, lasers, and night vision sites etc is a tool that I use to do my job. My job is based on the missions that my "higher" command issues to me to do. I would make decisions based on that mission about the proper way to employ that weapon. I have a great deal of training that allows me to make decisions about what constitutes a lawful and ethical order.

My orders from the military come from civilians that are placed in there position by the President of the United States, who is in all effect (debatable I know), elected by the people of the United States.

Not sure where spirituality fits in to that equation.
For weapons and tools: think about the Japanese concept of kami. Now (as I understand it), kami inhabit all things, even have personalities.

Of course, the West doesn't believe in kami: but we do have an analogue...we imbue our cars, our tanks, our weapons with personalities.

What were the names of the weapons that fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Fat Man and Little Boy.

Why are cars mostly given female names, and people talk about their cars as if they were people?

Now, please: go on and tell me that soldiers don't call their tanks names; don't engage in fanciful imaginings of machines, having personalities.

But, OK: you might well say that this is not proof of a belief in the spiritual, and I say that it is. If you look at how we, as individuals and as a culture, fetish'ize, anthropomorphize, and advertise cars and trace these beliefs to their roots in our collective and individual psyche's, then I think we'd agree that yes, there is a spirtuality inherent in the way ppl treat their cars.

And if their cars, why not tanks?

Taking an oath is the same thing...look at what you are doing, as an oathtaker. Think about the symbolic underpinnings of taking an oath. What pictures come to mind? Arthur and Medieval knights? A court of law? Standing next to a flag?

I mean, if there were no symbol or spirituality inherent, then why bother with the whole "raise your hand: repeat after me" nonsense? Why not just sign a piece of paper? A verbal oath does nothing concrete, save reinforce the seriousness of the job.

Now, about the spirituality inherent in an organization...just look to their motto's. Is not the Army (police force, etc) referred to as a "brotherhood?" Are there not fraternal organizations inherent in the Army, police, colleges and some High Schools?

I mean, be honest, Kevin: even the Boy Scouts admits to a spirituality, in its undertakings. They don't ship kids out to the woods, just to get some fresh air.

Quote:
Now the leaders and popular opinion that may send us to war may be based on a underlying belief system or "religion", (I'd argue that capitalism to a degree is a spiritual value actually Neil), or something along those lines.
Absolutely: capitalism is a spiritual value!

Quote:
So, if you want to affect change, it should not be directed at the military, but at society at large as that is the driving force behind the "tool" of the military. We really don't make our own decisions on a Macro level.
I disagree. The Pentagon does a number of things totally on its own. Also, a large part of why the Vietnam War ended was due to the increasing rumblings within the Army itself.

But, I do agree on the efficacy of directing cries for change at society, rather than the military.

When protestors disobey orders to disperse and, say: blockade recruiting sites, they aren't trying to affect change through the military, they are trying to reach out to society, rather than through the military.

Quote:
(this is why I said I tend not to focus on the whole Gestalt of the thing).
IMHO: your loss.
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:38 PM   #55
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
My orders from the military come from civilians that are placed in there position by the President of the United States, who is in all effect (debatable I know), elected by the people of the United States.

Not sure where spirituality fits in to that equation.
Well Kevin, your debatably elected President and by default your Commader in Chief, has openly talked about his taking oders from a 'higher source' or words to that effect. His intensely 'personal spirituality' has a bearing on his deeds/actions. Badly chosen words like 'crusade' slip from his lips, showing his leanings, there by reminding us of his questionable suitability for the head man's job.
Just bringing it up as you said you were unsure.

regards,

Mark

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Old 06-12-2006, 06:00 PM   #56
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Person A tells Person B to shoot someone. Person B does and and justifies it with 'I was just taking orders.'.

Any other sphere and A and B might be in trouble.

Last edited by statisticool : 06-12-2006 at 06:09 PM.

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Old 06-12-2006, 06:57 PM   #57
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
The collective acceptance of occupation by the Japanese people at the end of WWII was preeminently aiki. The model of approach used by McArthur was aiki too. He made the emperor the price of empire. They explicitly chose the emperor as the one unspoken but absolute condition of otherwise complete surrender.

McArthur used the Yamato Damashii cult itself, the very engine of the Japanese war effort, to sever the connection between emperor and the imperial ambitions of the Japanese political regime, without severing the ties of sovereignty felt between the people and their emperor. Hirohito deserves much credit here as well. The result is a worthy tribute to both sides.

How else can aiki be applied at small or large scales in the context of the present conflict? Let's not get into personality bashing (and certinaly not any detestable politics). Can we look at given issues, small scale or large scale, and see if we have anything useful and practial to offer from a perspecitve of aiki that will aid in a happier result?

If the enemy will not go away, then wishing it were so is not aiki. Analogizing principles or techniques is the way we expand our repertoire anyway.

Any takers?

Cordially,
Erick Mead
The post second world war saw both Japan and Germany rebuilt into productive peaceful countries, with much credit needing to be paid to the US for the many $$'s that it took and for the leadership in Mc Arthur and Marshall. Aiki in action? yes I would say, but in the case of Japan, only after the double atemi blows dealt by little Little Boy and Fat Man. An Aikido teacher may admonish the student for being 'too forceful', but remember it was WWII aikido, and the 'softer style was yet to come.

As O Sensei got older and 'perhaps' wiser? his aikido became 'softer' but no less powerful. As the priciples of aikido were in him, they also expanded. His early martial ability and effectiveness is accepted. And through this the priciples were developed.
I think but am not entirely sure, that many MA Masters tend to move towards the deeper and more subtle levels that the arts inherently posess - surely this is logical and it's why they are called art's.

Perhaps the seeds of the transformation of global 'hard style' to global 'soft style' are sown in a worldwider cyber dojo 'right here'.

It must be our responsibility as aikidoka to translate the principles of aikido to the wider world. It's not going to happen on it's own.

I practice with the 5 priciples of practicing ki aikido in the dojo.

1. Extending your mind
2. Know your partners mind
3. Respect your partners ki
4. Put yourself in your partners place
5. Perform with confidence.

They are pretty straightforward and the non aikido world can easily understand them if you substute 'will' or 'intent' ( or any other suitable word ) for the untranslatable 'ki'. The corporate world is already working in an aiki way, they already practice the principles in the best run companies.
An example of corporate aikido:
VW and Ford were competitors in a fierce marketplace, but they shared their resources to build a common vehicle. They still competed with each other but they both benefitted through lower costs.

I personally believe through my own experience, and the fact that I am a commited secularist, these priciples are as close to 'truth' as I am going to get.

By practicing these priciples in the dojo, we can achieve improvement as human beings, albeit slow and hard won, and also have alot of fun in the process.

IMO These priciples can be applied to all human interaction, micro and macro. We are pest placed to put these principles into our own lives, then, and only then can we go out with our candle into the world.

We as akidoka are not the warriors we like to think we are, if we don't aspire to be one of the ones 'fighting' for "the loving protection of all things" that O Sensei said aikido was for.

Something to mull over maybe?

regards,

Mark

p.s. I still reserve the right to have a good moan about things though

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:06 PM   #58
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Re: trying to call a skunk a cat, I mean, talking about war and bombs as if they are compatible with aikido techniques, the page

http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html

shows

Quote:
O Sensei: The ultimate goal of Aiki is creation of heaven on earth. In any case, the entire world must be in harmony. Then we do not have a need for atomic and hydrogen bombs. It can be a comfortable and pleasant world.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:07 AM   #59
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

I am going to give advice; this is not my opinion.

Honor the warrior, detest the war.

This way those of us who served, those who fought, were injured, killed in battle, those noncombatants and civilians upon whom horrors are visited - are not disrespected.

David
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:35 AM   #60
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
So, if you want to affect change, it should not be directed at the military, but at society at large as that is the driving force behind the "tool" of the military. We really don't make our own decisions on a Macro level.(this is why I said I tend not to focus on the whole Gestalt of the thing).
Ah, IMHO, here we get closer to the truth as I see it. Quit looking at the symptom, war, and start looking at the cause. The military does not start wars, it fights them. Society is the collective minds of the majority of the individuals. Fear and pain in the mind of the individual effects society. Change the mind, not others, but our own. The mind is the tool of change.

When I served, I did what I was told and what I was trained to do. It saved my life and those with me. Too much thought caused hesitation and death.

We can all think and express idealistic views from our relative safety because some one is standing guard and watching our backs. Domo arigato.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:53 AM   #61
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Re: trying to call a skunk a cat, I mean, talking about war and bombs as if they are compatible with aikido techniques, the page

http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html

shows
Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
The ultimate goal of Aiki is creation of heaven on earth. In any case, the entire world must be in harmony. Then we do not have a need for atomic and hydrogen bombs. It can be a comfortable and pleasant world.
Please note the stated condition:

"Heaven on earth"/"entire world... in harmony" --- "THEN" we do not need atomic weapons.

Still working on the harmonious preconditions, I am afraid.

The moral case of the only use of atomic weapons vice worse casualties, to both sides, (by an order of magnitude, at least) by invasion of Japan, and the noted use of Aiki (on both sides) in reaching the ultimate surrender of the Japanese without further bloodshed are all very instructive cases.

The Cuban Missile crisis may also be a case in point. It was very much Aiki for Kennedy to choose tenkan and respond only to the first telegram, but it only worked because of the full commitment to the irimi before, which prompted it.

The (send a message) economic model of sanctions agasint Iraq, Iran and North Korea and the related (send a message) military model of Vietnam represent the opposite (and demonstrably failed) alternative. They were tentative negotiating tools. Aiki may be (rigorous) negotiation, but it can never be tentative; the atemi is always implied and ready to be actualized.

Either one enters (irimi) with everything, and/or performs tenkan completely, or no technique can be effective because you will never reach the center of the conflict, but remain entirely on its periphery.

The difference is simply that in irimi I bring the center to my opponent, and in tenkan he brings the center to me. Either way I commit entirely to becoming the center.

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #62
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

My grandfather served in as a Marine in WWII. He always said that when you fight in a war, you fight because your friends (fellow Marines) die if you did not. He never mentioned personal glory or country, but he talked about honor and courage. He knew many of the Marines that beached Normandy and these Marines knew they would die as soon as the doors from their amphibeous vehicle opened, but they did it anyway.

Why is that story relevant? Irregardless of the stated purpose of war, it is ugly and violent and terrible. Then there are those that fight with courage and honor, and those warriors are beacons of light that inspire others to be more than they are. Budo is the way of the warrior, aikido is training that warrior to be a symbol for others to emulate. Courage is the reason why we need budo in war; courage is the bane of terror.

Courage is that little voice that tells you to do something in the presence of knowledge that contradicts your survival instincts. Bravery is the little voice that tells you to do something that you are confident you can accomplish. Honor is the little voice that tells you the manner in which you set about accomplishing a goal.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:33 PM   #63
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Jon wrote:

Quote:
My grandfather served in as a Marine in WWII. He always said that when you fight in a war, you fight because your friends (fellow Marines) die if you did not. He never mentioned personal glory or country, but he talked about honor and courage.
That is true. I serve these days for no other reason, but really very selfish reasons, for myself and my family, to provide for them. I would fight not for them, but for myself and for the soldiers I serve with.

God knows I am not fighting for the self involved that drive huge SUVs, smoking cigarettes, while talking on the cell phone and drinking a Starbucks...all at the same time..that think they have "real problems" because their Realtor got too much money when they sold there house for a huge profit.

The people I serve with are good, honest, and caring people. I owe them to be the best officer I can be, and to do my job which is making sure they are trained properly and have what they need to do there jobs! It really is that simple.

Lynn, thanks for your comments....they are at the core of the issue!

By the way, you haven't lived until you have physically carried an 80 year old veteran down the steps of the sea wall on Omaha beach, Sector DOG, in the Verville draw, to the same place he landed 60 years ago and had not been back since then. He was the one of the few survivors from his platoon. I did this two years ago on 6 JUN 04 at 0600 in the morning.

It was the single most humbling and spiritual experience I have ever had in my whole life.

If you cannot appreciate and respect what these fine gentlemen did for each other and the cause then there honestly is something wrong with you!

It is not about the killing or violence of war, but about compassion and courage.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:51 PM   #64
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
My grandfather served in as a Marine in WWII. He always said that when you fight in a war, you fight because your friends (fellow Marines) die if you did not. He never mentioned personal glory or country, but he talked about honor and courage
....
Budo is the way of the warrior, aikido is training that warrior to be a symbol for others to emulate. Courage is the reason why we need budo in war; courage is the bane of terror.
The end of Black Hawk Down expressed much of your grandfather's same sentiment about why men fight. If only we could bottle it for civilian consumption. The British response to the attempt at terror during the Blitz was remarkable -- precisely because it was unremarkable -- the vast majority simply carried on as though rubble of the last night's bombing were nothing more than an inconvenient rain. If we could muster that courage collectively, terrorists efforts would be fruitless and soon abandoned. A very deep tenkan-tenkai.

Unfortunately, two things, one most un-aiki-like, intervene in the generla applicaiton of this scenario.

First, there is the inevitable application of the political syllogism:

1) Something must be done.
2) This is something.
3) Therefore, this must be done.

Second, the applicability of strategems or techniques depend on range and effect of weapons at different scales. Change the weapon OR change the scale, and the stratagem must change to fit. The center of the conflict thus changes and the technique must change with it to remain aiki.

Bottom line -- terrorists (short of WMD's) cannot kill enough of us by old-fashioned bombing campaigns to do significant social or economic harm unless we ourselves contribute to it by our reactions, which they count upon, and we have obliged under the rubric of the political syllogism.

All things being equal -- an Aiki response to simple bombing terror would be to mourn the slain and honor them by going on with life as though we had not noticed the reason why they died, as the British did in WWII. Of course, they were waiting for a really BIG irimi.

The most disconcerting thing to do to an unarmed attacker is to stand there placidly waiting for him -- let him miss you through proper maai --- then stand placidly again, waiting to see what he wants to do now... Tenkan, once again.

Of course, he might have a knife. The issue of unstable and technogically savvy regimes is what ups the ante, and the mere hint that WMD's are on the table does not make the foregoing response a good strategy. Even with two swordsmen the calculus is vastly different. To rely solely on taijutsu and maai as evasion against a swordsman will get you killed. Run fast away or irimi like hell because you have no other choice, but you cannot just stand there. Running away is not surrender. It is irimi -- along the other leg of a Great Circle route. Remember -- we can do aikido on BIG Circles.

Libya, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, all posed some of these same problems. The fact that different solutions have been used in attempting to address each one is remarkable. Whether it is Aiki remains to be seen, since we are not yet privy to all of the concerns driving each of the different specific stratagems or techniques being employed.

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 06-13-2006, 03:47 PM   #65
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
By the way, you haven't lived until you have physically carried an 80 year old veteran down the steps of the sea wall on Omaha beach, Sector DOG, in the Verville draw, to the same place he landed 60 years ago and had not been back since then. He was the one of the few survivors from his platoon. I did this two years ago on 6 JUN 04 at 0600 in the morning.

It was the single most humbling and spiritual experience I have ever had in my whole life.

If you cannot appreciate and respect what these fine gentlemen did for each other and the cause then there honestly is something wrong with you!

It is not about the killing or violence of war, but about compassion and courage.
Good post Kevin,

I can't imagine that there are many alive that do not resepct the people who gave their lives in the last global conflict. They did not perish in vain. The world is a better place for their sacrifice.

Life is so precious yet so tenuous, some of us are so fortunate to live the lives we do. Many live free lives with our families and friends, working, practicing aikido, and generally having a pretty decent time. There are many in the world who are not nearly so fortunate. The more evenly balanced that this becomes, the less conflict there will be.

I look forward to the time when the dominant military force is a 'global peace keeping army'. I hesitate to suggest under the command of the UN as that body in itself is not as effective as it should be, if not them thenb we need to create something that is. We must move beyond 1 State having the ability to invade another country for it's own reasons, even if it does have some support from others.
All 'invasions' need to have massive global backing, and the raison d'etre needs to be to contain any 'rouges' inside their own borders.

I may be an old hippy at heart, but I accept the use of 'violence' in times of war, but as Erick mentions in his post for aiki to be present, the irimi-atemi or the tenkan and lead must be swift, powerful and effective. The 'body' of the military are the men like Kevin and others on these fora, they are better trained and equiped than any other soldiers in history. They are good men doing a tough job. The 'mind' of the military are the generals and politicians. It is here that the change has to take place. If this 'student' came into the dojo most teachers would immediately come to the conclusion that their body is in good shape but the mind could do with some 'training'.

In the current conflict, 'intelligence' was the dominant justifier for invasion. This has since been seen and accepted as unsound.
The invasion was swift and hard, but harmony has not been achieved 'yet'. Lack of forward planning, some bad decisions in the immediate aftermath, and we are left with a conflict that has 'gone to ground' and both sides seem to be digging in for the long term.
Not good aiki, the 'body' is still engaged in the tussle but the mind is a bit 'confused' not quite knowing how to overcome the opponent.

This is an interesting thread, aikido and its relevancy in global warfare, now we are really talking

regards

Mark

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Old 06-13-2006, 03:58 PM   #66
Neil Mick
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
We can all think and express idealistic views from our relative safety because some one is standing guard and watching our backs. Domo arigato.
Yes, we can all think and express idealistic views about the military, as well. We can reverently pause and bow our heads for the security that we are granted, and ignore all of the rest of the actions of the US military, inside and out of the US.

Sometimes, those backs protecting us are turned around, the soldiers used to threaten us internally, as well. Is this the fault of the military? No, of course not (it is, as Kevin pointed out, merely a tool): but it is disingenuous to hallow an institution while ignoring its excesses.

And while I'm no expert on the subject, I believe that expressing one's views sometimes takes as much courage, as putting on a uniform and taking orders for one's country. Sure, people have died for protecting our freedoms, but people have also died for speaking truth to power.

Perhaps the bravest folks are those already in uniform, speaking truth to power. Consider this film:

Sir. No Sir

Last edited by Neil Mick : 06-13-2006 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 06-13-2006, 03:59 PM   #67
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
The end of Black Hawk Down expressed much of your grandfather's same sentiment about why men fight. If only we could bottle it for civilian consumption. The British response to the attempt at terror during the Blitz was remarkable -- precisely because it was unremarkable -- the vast majority simply carried on as though rubble of the last night's bombing were nothing more than an inconvenient rain. If we could muster that courage collectively, terrorists efforts would be fruitless and soon abandoned. A very deep tenkan-tenkai.
My dad and his family lived in central London during the Blitz. He used to tell me about having to go down into the Underground train stations to sleep on the platforms, no knowing each morning whether they would find their house still standing. He told me about a guy who abjectly refused to go down there as he was of a mind that said "stuff the gerry, I'm sleeping in my own bed!". One night the house next door was flattened leaving him still in his bed, but missing one of the walls!
They did live through awfull times, but I do envy them the sense of 'community' that they felt with each other. It still remains with those still alive today.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-13-2006, 04:17 PM   #68
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Yes, we can all think and express idealistic views about the military, as well. We can reverently pause and bow our heads for the security that we are granted, and ignore all of the rest of the actions of the US military, inside and out of the US.

And while I'm no expert on the subject, I believe that expressing one's views sometimes takes as much courage, as putting on a uniform and taking orders for one's country. Sure, people have died for protecting our freedoms, but people have also died for speaking truth to power.
Liberty lives upon the edge of a knife. In every way you can construe that phrase.

Law will not protect you, though law is why you fight. Speech will not protect you, though speech is why you fight. Love will not protect those you love, though love of them is why you fight.

Aiki demands that we remain poised there on that narrow edge -- precisely to be free -- free of the attack so that we may fight, and free to preserve that for which we fight.

Cordially
Erick Mead
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:01 PM   #69
Neil Mick
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Liberty lives upon the edge of a knife. In every way you can construe that phrase.

Law will not protect you, though law is why you fight. Speech will not protect you, though speech is why you fight. Love will not protect those you love, though love of them is why you fight.

Aiki demands that we remain poised there on that narrow edge -- precisely to be free -- free of the attack so that we may fight, and free to preserve that for which we fight.

Cordially
Erick Mead
Good response. I might differ on the small points; but in the main...kudos, Erick.
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:15 PM   #70
Neil Mick
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

As a (possibly) final thought...

Yesterday during warmups, I asked my (Middle School) students to define what is a warrior (this thread-topic got me thinking along those lines).

"Someone who is very strong, and powerful!" one answered.

"Good," I said. "Anyone else?"

"Someone who is never afraid."

"But, isn't fear something everyone feels, now and again? Maybe it's about not letting fear rule his actions?" I suggested. Oh yeah, they muttered thoughtfully.

"A warrior is someone who acts on his own and never puts on a uniform," my problem-child chirped brightly.

"But," I countered, "what about a warrior who joins the Army? Is he no longer a warrior, just because he puts on a uniform?" Thoughtful noddings of heads, in response.

"I'd like you to consider this definition: 'a warrior is someone who gets things done... someone who acts with integrity.'

Now, let's act like warriors at the end of class, and let's all put the mats away together and make sure our gi's are properly hung, instead of lying about the floor."

After warmups, we had our last class for the season. They tested, bowed out, and (for once, diverging from the usual chaotic silliness) put away the mats and hung their gi's in record time.

Last edited by Neil Mick : 06-14-2006 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:03 PM   #71
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Neil wrote:

Quote:
I believe that expressing one's views sometimes takes as much courage, as putting on a uniform and taking orders for one's country. Sure, people have died for protecting our freedoms, but people have also died for speaking truth to power.
I agree. I tend to have much more respect for people along these lines than i do for any other. If I had to say I joined the military to defend anything, it would be to defend these people and the ideals that they represent. MLK, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, and others.

(yea I know Ghandi was not an American! I may be an infantryman, but I still have some culture!)
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:06 PM   #72
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Kevin,

Thanks for that one. I hold those 'silly' ideas about freedom too. Maybe we're all hippies. Not so bad a thing.

Not bad for an infantryman, ay Neil?

david
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:34 PM   #73
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
It is not about the killing or violence of war, but about compassion and courage.
A problem is that all sides involved think in this manner (glorify war) so the killing continues.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-14-2006, 06:36 PM   #74
Neil Mick
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Neil wrote:
I agree. I tend to have much more respect for people along these lines than i do for any other. If I had to say I joined the military to defend anything, it would be to defend these people and the ideals that they represent. MLK, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, and others.

(yea I know Ghandi was not an American! I may be an infantryman, but I still have some culture!)

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Kevin,

Thanks for that one. I hold those 'silly' ideas about freedom too. Maybe we're all hippies. Not so bad a thing.

Not bad for an infantryman, ay Neil?

david
Ok, stop it. All this blending is makin' me dizzy.

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Old 06-14-2006, 08:33 PM   #75
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
Kevin,

Thanks for that one. I hold those 'silly' ideas about freedom too. Maybe we're all hippies. Not so bad a thing.
On Earth Day this year our dojo did a demonstration we had practiced for, aikido with several weapons techniques, iaijutsu, kendo, naginata-do. etc.

My thirteen year-old son asked me , "Dad? Earth Day? Is that that thing with the hippies? "

I replied, "Yes."
"But we're the hippies with swords."

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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