Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-12-2008, 08:17 PM   #76
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

I totally agree that Dan and I do not share that goal.

We can debate altruism and self sacrifice satisfying some psychological selfish need(s) but the point is that there are some goals which are not attainable - world peace, happily ever after, a truly free lunch, etc...

I'm all in for a discussion of "in favor of something more refined". My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?

I believe that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students.

I believe that the reason that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students was that he had better training than he was providing in general - probably because he wasn't allowed too.

I believe that Dan can provide a lot closer if not better training than what Osensei provided too that end in general. And further that while some aikido senseis have attained some level of aiki power, that they are certainly not producing students as powerful as quickly as Dan is.

I believe that if I am totally wrong and that "protecting your attacker" is truly impossible in all situations - then training with Dan seems to best prepare me for "plan b".

I am reminded of a story about some aikido man who was really attacked by several people. He was throwing one guy at a wall while preparing to deal with the next guy and he realized the first "uke" was about to split his head open on the corner of the brick wall... So he swatted the guy as he passed (and moved into position for the next uke) so that the guy ended up smashing his shoulder on the corner of the brick wall and not opening up his head... This might not be "without harm" but it is a lot closer to "without harm" than it would be to "maximum damage" (the other extreme which many arts teach as primary).

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 07-12-2008 at 08:31 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 11:05 PM   #77
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?

I believe that O Sensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students.
Or sufficient refinement makes such power irrelevant. To quote a certain legal case -- "zero" is not just another integer. And 90 degrees is not not just another angle.

It occurred to me at a certain point ( during one of my spells of training largely by myself) that too little had been done to take O Sensei's ideas and their expressions VERY seriously, and to unbundle them IN OUR TERMS rather than the three ways that seemed to dominate:

1) Reverently repeating or dwelling on them in a context that is not Western and therefore difficult to understand from the inside -- even for those who have a fair amount of depth in the culture.

2) Those who have tried to communicate that depth seem only to have interpreted it at the level of analogy or metaphor in Western ideas, meaning that no further extension of the ideas could be made in exclusively Western terms.

3) An unfortunate tendency toward ignoring supposed quasi-religious ramblings of a doddering old man as irrelevant to the attainment of power in practice.

The more I delve into this set of questions the more I am confirmed in my initial intuition that there really was something original with O Sensei in his expression of AIKI -- and so original that it called for becoming michi -- not merely another school of battle. I think that many of his students came at it from the power differential side, and while gaining immense expressions of power they attained highly varying degrees of appreciation the essence of a dense, intricate and compact idea, which made this art worthy of study as michi, and justifying its innate appeal across cultural boundaries..

Juji and nonresistant action -- as concrete concepts -- follow from and occur within consistent application of in-yo energy . Those concepts have real honest-to-God concrete physical meanings and the deeper I go into them the more those concepts get mutually reinforced across seemingly unrelated conceptual boundaries.

The things that most effectively generate power are intimately related to those that deny engagement with power. Ethically speaking, if NO POWER is required to contest power, one can be less tempted to add power (and resulting increased likelihood of unnecessary damage or death).

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2008, 11:06 PM   #78
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I totally agree that Dan and I do not share that goal.
Clear enough.

Quote:
We can debate altruism and self sacrifice satisfying some psychological selfish need(s) but the point is that there are some goals which are not attainable - world peace, happily ever after, a truly free lunch, etc...
Unnecessary. I just wanted to retain the distinction between a realistically approachable goal and one which is inherently rhetorical. World peace is actually approachable, just very slowly. But controlling violence without harm is always going to contain a wildcard. That's why I would avoid betting on it.

Quote:
I'm all in for a discussion of "in favor of something more refined". My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?
Let's table that for now. I'm willing to come back to it -- but only if we can completely clean our plates. It's an interesting discussion, but if it's tainted by any interpersonal nonsense it will go South fast.

Quote:
I believe that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students.
Sure. Mozart could apparently do some super-cool stuff too. But those who want to do be the best musician they can be are probably not best off shooting for the super-cool stuff. Even though it's floating around in the mix -- if it becomes the be all end all then serious problems arise. To give one small example:

If 'controlling violence without harm' is the goal, then a situation could arise in which anything bearing the appearance of harm is labeled as 'bad' in a politically correct manner. This could very easily lead to a passive-aggressive dynamic which stifles the real training necessary to approach the stated goal.

Quote:
I believe that the reason that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students was that he had better training than he was providing in general - probably because he wasn't allowed too.
Clarifying question: what do you believe to be the source of his constraints? Obvious guesses: Deguchi or Takeda. Or . . . ?

Quote:
I believe that Dan can provide a lot closer if not better training than what Osensei provided too that end in general.
Even if it is true -- man Rob! -- don't say that. Dan himself alluded to a distinction between omote and ura. If Dan is a better teacher than O Sensei, than AikiWeb is *not* the place to trumpet the news. Try this:

'Because of his many years training in Daito Ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Dan is nearly as qualified as any US- based Aikido Shihan to instruct students in the fundamentals common to both arts. Because of his eclectic approach to training, some students may even be more able to connect with those fundamentals through his explanations than through traditional Japanese explanations.'

Quote:
And further that while some aikido senseis have attained some level of aiki power, that they are certainly not producing students as powerful as quickly as Dan is.
Dunno. But MMA also produces powerful students quickly, or so I hear. My point is that in order to tout power as a critical component of the aiki tool-chain, you need to establish some more basic logic. Otherwise it just comes across as the kind of chest-beating those interested in 'controlling violence without harm' abhor anyway.

Quote:
I believe that if I am totally wrong and that "protecting your attacker" is truly impossible in all situations - then training with Dan seems to best prepare me for "plan b".
Why hedge? Why not decide what you actually believe and go for that? I ask only because you seem to be flirting with upsetting a lot of applecarts, and it seems to me that if you want to do that you should be 100% committed to it. If you want to lead a revolution, you can't do it as a dilettante. It's fine for most people to be agnostic, but not the clergy.

Quote:
I am reminded of a story about some aikido man who was really attacked by several people. He was throwing one guy at a wall while preparing to deal with the next guy and he realized the first "uke" was about to split his head open on the corner of the brick wall... So he swatted the guy as he passed (and moved into position for the next uke) so that the guy ended up smashing his shoulder on the corner of the brick wall and not opening up his head...
And I am reminded of the story of the person who handed the knife back to his attacker and was killed with it. The devil can quote scripture too.

Quote:
This might not be "without harm" but it is a lot closer to "without harm" than it would be to "maximum damage" (the other extreme which many arts teach as primary).
Let's 'throw away the pieces' of those polarized extremes and try to consider what is actually possible and reasonable. I don't have the slightest problem with audacious aspirations and extraordinary goals. I would simply rather spend time trying to break the three minute mile than the one second mile. See what I mean?

Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 12:28 AM   #79
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

I want to be clear that I approach these discussions as a pleasant past time between working. I'm not writing a book, nor have any intentions or pretense that these casual comments are definitive, declarative or express the entire sum of my goals in training.
To that end, my comments about the aiki power having the greater "potential" of stopping violence without harm are just that-the greater "potential" and that’s about it. There are so many different levels of violence; from drunken behavior where men can get decked from out of the blue, completely unrelated to their own behavior, to being stabbed from someone in a brawl, to an untrained drunk to a predator jumping you to some training in a suburban Dojo. I don't equate the seriously tame shenanigans I have seen called “martial arts” to even the pressure from high school wrestling, or Judo or BJJ or finally MMA. There are just so many levels of violence that the idea of trying to capture it in a singular statement of "stopping violence without harming the attacker" seems moronic to make, much less try to emulate. I have stated many times I found Ueshiba’s goal fabulous and his means of changing the expression of waza in the finishing of the attack from DR’s seizing and breakfalls to the more safer roll-away just great. But without aiki power it’s just pissing into the wind. A hobbyist’s pipe dream. I also wonder if Ueshiba had ever fully embraced his own statement. He had a ferocious temper and he hurt people in demo’s.

Anyway, a more serious discussion could be had about what more intense levels of training MMA style and with weapons does for YOUR preparedness in dealing with violence. An even further and perhaps more realistic model would be to learn verbal skills and be able to read, address, recognize threat, be non-responsive to it, while being able to be cognizant and calmly functioning to de-escalate it. That may be a "required training" of a different order.

As for Aiki power (internal power), it is the best way to express action with the body in virtually any fighting style known. Train the mind body first, the expression or art specific "action / tactic / strategy, come later. All that said, finding the ways and means to train the mind /body connection and to develop internal power, and then to learn to develop internal skill "in use” all happen before you should learn or try to fight with it. Your levels of "fighting” may lead to an ability to "not-fight" many people and handle their force expeditiously enough to be considered handling them without harm, but, I'd never-the-less hesitate to make it a declarative statement any time soon. There are hard men that could hand the best teachers in the world the fight of their lives. Hubris is bitch.

We don't have to discuss the fighting method, in order to discuss internal training. They can be joined or totally separate topics all together. Preparing people and showing ways to train internal power doesn't equate with training in any one style or eclectic pursuit. There are those who train with me who do not want to or care to learn about fighting, others want to do classical kata, others want to do MMA and can and do go out to various gyms as well as train here. I still find it surprising to see people just not getting those distinctions in training and goals. There are many people now training this way all over the country. Their goals are not all the same-not even close.

As one Aikido Shihan (a deshi of Ueshiba's) said in an interview with Stan Prainin. "After seeing what passes for aikido these days, I fear the only peaceful resolution they will ever see is that when they are lying flat on their backs at the feet of their attacker. Is this really any type of serious training?"
I couldn't have said it any better.

If Peter Goldsbury's statement about the omote and Ura of Aikido from West to East proves to be true (And I do not think it is quite as simplistic as it sounds to many readers-lets not assume all Japanese teachers have any clue about the Ura) then it helps explain that Aikido teachers view of modern aikido.
Having felt some of the highest ranked Japanese and American teachers of various arts-I wouldn't be betting on some Japanese magic bullet anytime soon. Maybe some "got it" more than others, but I for one am going to be extremely skeptical about the depths as well as the ability to teach it, or any notion of being willing to be tested by others who may have various levels of understanding themselves.
I light of the recent displays and aikidoka getting out there and felling men with power, The Aikikai expressing a new level of restraint and Japanese control over teaching may be a smart move. It may be the only chance they have left to be taken seriously. As the men in aikido now training in internal Aiki get out and test more and more teachers for their skills- the smart teachers not training this way just may want to stay home.
As the Aikido guys who are now training in Aiki…do continue to advance, they may become the best hope Aikido™ has seen since the days of the founder, for attaining anything close to his goals.

Last edited by DH : 07-13-2008 at 12:40 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 12:46 AM   #80
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Dan,

Thank you for a clear and coherent reply. I do not pretend to have specific knowledge of every particular you mention. Nevertheless -- skipping the politics because they are not mine to worry about -- what you say seems to represent a robust and reasonable position. I *believe* you have clarified that you do *not* believe the universal goal of 'controlling violence without harm' is attainable, or at least *worth hanging one's hopes on*. Your word was 'moronic', if I parsed the context correctly. I do not repeat this sarcastically, but to provide 'potential' closure to the discussion.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 12:50 AM   #81
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Rob wrote
Quote:
I'm all in for a discussion of "in favor of something more refined". My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?
Chhi'mèd wrote
Quote:
Let's table that for now. I'm willing to come back to it -- but only if we can completely clean our plates. It's an interesting discussion, but if it's tainted by any interpersonal nonsense it will go South fast
.

Come back to it right now. This hasn't reached a level of discussion yet. The information, observations and training experiences have all been one sided. Now, when directly asked-you hedge and again offer nothing to the discussion. I see you talking about ...talking about the topic as an inquiry.
Is that all you have to offer, or as far as you wish to go? No problems if it is, but it means I'm done here.

Last edited by DH : 07-13-2008 at 12:53 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 01:36 AM   #82
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Come back to it right now.
Okay, Dan. In fairness that was the first completely topical post Rob had addressed to me in some time, and I was hoping to see it would stay that way.

Quote:
This hasn't reached a level of discussion yet. The information, observations and training experiences have all been one sided. Now, when directly asked-you hedge and again offer nothing to the discussion. I see you talking about ...talking about the topic as an inquiry.
I'm not hedging. I was waiting for the dust to settle to see if we had a reasonable signal-to-noise ratio. Ron mentioned the issue earlier.

Quote:
Is that all you have to offer, or as far as you wish to go? No problems if it is, but it means I'm done here.
Stay or go as you like. I asked you questions about your posted examples earlier that would have led to this discussion, and you declined to answer them. A straightforward discussion does not have to be a problem, so it was unclear whether you wanted to talk about such things. However, I appreciate the fairness of your request that I put something forward -- so I will give it a shot, in good faith.

Since if we talk about martial arts directly, every manner of complexity will immediately rear its head again, let me approach this tangentially. Hopefully you will be able to see that this approach, although tangential, is entirely relevant to the topic.

I mentioned earlier to Rob that I work with horses. Now, I am not some kind of horse whisperer or anything like that, but I do handle animals that have no other experience of human contact. As such, they represent a fairly good example of unsocialized behavior. That makes them an okay control group for some kinds of observations.

One thing that can be particularly difficult before a horse is well-trained to accept it, is lifting and trimming his feet. Apart from all the psychological issues, when you pick up a horse's foot, he has to either take all weight off of it or else make you part of his balance system. Unless he is completely comfortable with allowing you to have the foot, he is quite likely to opt for the latter.

Now, if a horse *has* decided to put a significant fraction of his weight on you while you are working with him -- well, that's a lot of weight. So a reasonable amount of strength is required just to hold the foot up while working on it. Of course, if you know how to skillfully let the weight rest on your leg, you can minimize the amount of brute strength required. Still, at least for someone like me, it's quite a leg workout. So there is a basic strength and trained strength skill requirement to even get in the game.

However, above and beyond that, is the question of how the horse responds to what you are doing. Quite often, if he is nervous or anxious, or just plain pissy, he will do some dancing around and jerking on the leg. I want to make clear here that I am not a professional farrier. Those guys are often incredibly strong and incredibly skilled. I can't speak for what they do and how they do it. I'm just talking about how this intersect with my limited experience.

There is a complex dynamic surrounding how I respond to his spastic mounting aggression. I will enumerate some but not all of the possibilities:

1) He jerks his leg away, and I can't do anything about it because he is too strong for me.

2) He tries to jerk his leg away, but I meet that jerk in such a way that he slightly pulls himself forward (assuming it's a front leg -- reverse everything for a rear leg). He supplies the force which pulls himself forward, I simply provide a 'base' for him to pull off of. Because he shifts his weight forward, he now depends on me to support his leg. He therefore puts weight on the leg again. I receive the weight and give him support. He recognizes that I am 'on his side' and he relaxes. This cycle may repeat many times, very rapidly. If I did not recognize what was happening, I might feel that I was just 'calming him down'.

3) Like 2) except that he overcorrects. Instead of just putting his weight back into my hands/leg, he pushes forward. I meet this push and he is then slightly pushed backward. He reacts to this by surging forward. I react to the forward surge by pushing upward. He rises up, pulls back against the rope tying him, and I push myself back off of him and away to safety. He calms down on his own.

4) He kicks me, and I don't avoid it in time.

It is worth noting that all of these are possibilities, although 4) tends to require that I make a mistake. 1-3, however, are not fully determined by what I do. They are situational, and not under my control -- at least not entirely. 2) might correspond to controlling violence without harm (to a minor degree). 3) is the entirely possible result of attempting 2), when things just don't line up right. If instead of a horse, he were a person -- 3) might look like him falling on the ground, perhaps violently. Or it might look like me being pushed away from him. Or, who knows -- we are not talking about techniques.

That is a simple example of a dynamic in which physical aggression might or might not be subverted depending on a combination of skill and circumstance -- and in which a baseline awareness, strength, and physical aptitude is required. The same dynamic can be seen in many physical encounters between two human beings. This is not usually the case when trimming toenails. Usually with my two-year-old, he will *twist* to get away from foot holds. This usually results in him thrashing in various ways. I usually choose to yield so as to spare the torque on his legs and hips -- even though it sometimes results in a messy situation.

I realize that this has not been the most explicit *possible* description. However, I think there is enough information there to balance out the offering. Frankly, I don't have a clear memory of having read anything even that explicit on AikiWeb before -- despite uke having the wrong number of legs. If you would like to discuss the relationship between this and people 'rocketing' up when grabbing your wrists, I would be happy to hear your description of that process.

Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 07:12 AM   #83
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Well I think we are all getting along fabulously.

First in terms of Ericks comments. I do not intend to throw away what I have learned about avoiding other people's power. I have said Saotome sensei's ability to move around attackers is impressive and I would love to copy that better.

When I took my yondan test I hadn't slept in over 3 days due to work and some issues with my son's health. So I believe I was legally insane. I could perform everything required of me for the test well enough because pretty much all of that stuff was burned in to the point that I think I can do most of it pretty much unconsciously. The end of the test was for 3 other under ranked sandans to attack me in multipl attack. This was a defining moment for me. If I were a bit more awake I could have avoided their power a lot better. I realized that no amount of my excessive training was going to burn in "avoidance" training to the point I could do it well whem my mind gets really tired and foggy.

At that moment I decided I had better find some other way of dealing with people who do get past my primary defense (movement from attacks such that I am facing them and they are not facing me).

Ikeda sensei actually makes this kind of distinction sometimes. He talks about the difference of driving a dump truck vs. a Honda Civic. Against many aikido people I can be quite a dump truck. Against MMA type people - not so much - being a civic was the best plan.

The point here is that when someone closes the distance and I'm now having to deal with them, if I have a clear power differential my chance increases of doing something that causes minial harm (which can be no harm - and CAN BE maximum damage) actually doesn't cause harm.

I understand that I cannot make some gaurantee - but you do become the mind that you train. If you deal with more and more violent attacks and you handle them well AND as peacefully as you can manage while staying safe your chance of that really happening goes up. I don't think Dan would find anything moronic with that. In fact I think he'll help me. I will also continue looking to Gleason sensei as well as other aikido teachers for ideas.

There are some aikido shihan that I have high hopes for in the future. But mainly I think Dan addressed that point in general very well.

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 08:02 AM   #84
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
If Peter Goldsbury's statement about the omote and Ura of Aikido from West to East proves to be true (And I do not think it is quite as simplistic as it sounds to many readers-lets not assume all Japanese teachers have any clue about the Ura) then it helps explain that Aikido teachers view of modern aikido.
To be fair to Prof. Goldsbury , the ura he is speaking of is getting behind the layers of tatemae in the history of the art and its development, which is demonstrably messier and less haloed than it has come down. That observation does not diminish or even relate, really, to the revelatory aspects of O Sensei's development of the art (to the extent that one believes what he reported, which is not itself necessary for this discussion). Mark Murray (I think) took that out of context, but explicitly, to make an analogy to the ura/omote aspects of that history by way of comment on these topics -- which is not what was said by Prof. Goldsbury.

The antidote to omote/ura -- tatemae/honne forms of cognitive dissonance is to look carefully at the thing in itself -- by yourself -- and not merely rely on what other people have to say about it, or what they believe about it, however honestly their belief may be held.

Dan, like it or not, to the extent you continue to honor your bounds in not discussing the ura aspects of DTR that have been communicated to you, you perpetuate tatemae in that regard -- which is quite alien to our native ways of thinking. Something you criticize as evidence of a defense mechanism against perceived decadence in aikido circles -- is part of the same cultural package that you have yourself been given and now reflect. They may both be parts of a received wisdom -- which it is is the Western cultural custom to question, pester and challenge from all angles. One cannot be honest to both traditions at the same time -- in the same terms. If the terms are better Westernized then the problem does not arise, because native context in both aspects is strictly maintained without conflict between them. Tatemae is respected and critical challenge is also observed.

Which is what we are discussing. Letting the attack maintain its context while the target does likewise, with (ideally) zero conflict between them, while yet producing new things that neither of them explicitly contemplated. That means that neither of them achieves a predetermined result decided by either one of them unilaterally. Something new is created between them while each retains its essential integrity -- ubuya. Whoever chooses to violate the essential independence of the mutual creation -- is liable to be destroyed by it -- figuratively, structurally, or even actually.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 12:52 PM   #85
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Juji and nonresistant action -- as concrete concepts -- follow from and occur within consistent application of in-yo energy . Those concepts have real honest-to-God concrete physical meanings and the deeper I go into them the more those concepts get mutually reinforced across seemingly unrelated conceptual boundaries.
.
Erick, I would be careful not to overly-fixate on specific angles or quantitative constraints. If you think about my horse trimming example, it should be obvious that physical strength has to be applied -- at least statically; and that when action occurs, those forces may well rise. To the extent damage is to be minimized one has to be aware of how much energy the relevant structures can absorb. However, that need not be zero -- and in practice it cannot be. If I jump in the air, I load and unload my body; and dynamic interactions between two bodies are not going to magically lose those normal static and dynamic analyses. This isn't the place to argue those details -- but since I was asked to provide an example, I hope it can prove useful in some way. Just think it through and see what you come up with. I appreciate your clean-room approach, but it doesn't have to be reactionary to be clean.

Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 01:38 PM   #86
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Erick,

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Dan, like it or not, to the extent you continue to honor your bounds in not discussing the ura aspects of DTR that have been communicated to you, you perpetuate tatemae in that regard -- which is quite alien to our native ways of thinking. Something you criticize as evidence of a defense mechanism against perceived decadence in aikido circles -- is part of the same cultural package that you have yourself been given and now reflect. They may both be parts of a received wisdom -- which it is is the Western cultural custom to question, pester and challenge from all angles. One cannot be honest to both traditions at the same time -- in the same terms. If the terms are better Westernized then the problem does not arise, because native context in both aspects is strictly maintained without conflict between them. Tatemae is respected and critical challenge is also observed.
As you know, I tend to disagree with your physical analyses. However, credit where credit is due: I appreciate the concise and cogent formulation of this issue. I do not think I agree entirely, but this might be because I misunderstand the foreign cultural issues. It seems to me that whenever and wherever knowledge is gained and passed through personal transmission then some of these questions arise. Even though the split described is not so elaborately formalized in Western society, it is not unknown. Personal confidence, trust, and loyalty are all bound up in that area to some extent. There is also a budding Western scientific approach to understanding the importance of associative context even in understanding apparently objective scientific information ( (http://www.americanscientist.org/boo...harry-collins). The upshot is that there is a real phenomenon of 'interactional expertise'. Both 'interactional expertise' and hard knowledge of the underlying math and science are required. In the case of physical methods, one could add physical performance into that mixture. Strangely, the interactional expertise is *required* to fully understand a difficult topic -- because open areas of knowledge cannot be fully encapsulated in their specialized formulas -- so manipulating the tokens of those formulas cannot in itself reproduce the state-of-the-art. Stranger still, 'interactional expertise' can be had independent of the underlying expertise. Although this is obviously second class, it is far better than 'popular science' -- which lacks both interactional expertise and correct knowledge of the underlying particulars, and substitutes instead 'received wisdom' distilled by the real experts.

Quote:
Which is what we are discussing. Letting the attack maintain its context while the target does likewise, with (ideally) zero conflict between them, while yet producing new things that neither of them explicitly contemplated. That means that neither of them achieves a predetermined result decided by either one of them unilaterally. Something new is created between them while each retains its essential integrity -- ubuya. Whoever chooses to violate the essential independence of the mutual creation -- is liable to be destroyed by it -- figuratively, structurally, or even actually.
Again, when you speak at a high level, I tend to agree with you. Just to expand the scope of the discussion (and to satisfy the request that I contribute something novel), let me point out that this idea of 'ubuya' is not necessarily unique. I cannot unpack what Ueshiba might have meant for it, but there is a pair of Tibetan terms which seem quite relevant. These are:

+ Dzu-kyé: birthplace/insipience/miraculous or spontaneous birth/self-birth
+ Srol-jèd: innovation

As technical terms, these reflect two sides of the coin in terms of how the physical elements come together and recombine. Here we are not talking about 'alchemy' in a gross sense -- but about the physical manifestation of intangible tactile vectors. I mention this to forestall any complaints about my use of the word 'element'. What arises spontaneously in physical interaction is dependent on what contributed to that interaction -- but this dependence is unconditioned and creative. I still hesitate to comment on Ueshiba's terminology, but in terms of *your* investigation, this is why I would tend to avoid treating 'resistance' as a physical parameter. What should not be resisted is the creative result of the particular combination resulting from the interaction of two seemingly-distinct systems. That natural, spontaneous result, might well seem 'resistant' (Ueshiba 'resisting' pushes on many occasions, for example) -- or even 'harmful'. But from this perspective, the real 'harm' or 'resistance' is in *asserting one's will by attempting to control the interaction beyond what is unilaterally possible*. Instead one must *allow* the result to occur. Obviously the more skilled one is, the more one's own cooperation can be honed to encourage a favorable outcome. Although it is undoubtedly tangential, you might want to look into cellular automata (as in Conway's game of Life) for an entirely decoupled conceptual framework.

Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 02:10 PM   #87
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
Erick,
let me point out that this idea of 'ubuya' is not necessarily unique. I cannot unpack what Ueshiba might have meant for it, but there is a pair of Tibetan terms which seem quite relevant. These are:

+ Dzu-kyé: birthplace/insipience/miraculous or spontaneous birth/self-birth
+ Srol-jèd: innovation

Chhi'mèd
This sounds like Takemusubi Aiki to me.

"The budo that embodies the feeling of universal compassion is based on the creative energy of the universe[takemusubi]. All the others are nothing more than arts of destruction. In the beginning I called it takemusubi aiki; later I decided to call it shobu aiki, the budo that creates wisdom, judgement, the mind of a sage.
The true victory of shobu aiki is to strike down and destroy the mind of doubt and conflict within yourself. It is to realize and carry out the destiny you have received from divine providence. Reardless of how this may be philosophically explained, unless it is actually put into practice, you are no different from anyone else. Through the practice pf aikido, this power and ability is added unto you."- O-Sensei


Exerpted from The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, authored by Bill Gleason.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 07-13-2008 at 02:12 PM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 03:32 PM   #88
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

I don't see the correlation between the horse example too clearly. I don't think many people weight themselves as naturally as a horse would. Also, when people come into contact with internal skills they tend to start feeling as if they are lifting themselves off the ground and/or getting crushed. They start losing choice in what would be their normal/natural reactions. This makes attackers much more predictable in general. It also cancles out a lot of the x-factors becuase it ceases to matter if they wind up pushing or pulling on your body in just about every way. Fewer x-factors result in fewer worry points and therefore more time to think and choose right in the moment.

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:00 PM   #89
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
United_States
Offline
Do symbol Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
Erick, I would be careful not to overly-fixate on specific angles or quantitative constraints.
No worries there. All quantities are transient (zero or non-zero) as are all normal angles/timing/spacing -- but all transients are recurring. The point is to choose action in synch with these transients, and not others.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:37 PM   #90
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I don't see the correlation between the horse example too clearly. I don't think many people weight themselves as naturally as a horse would. Also, when people come into contact with internal skills they tend to start feeling as if they are lifting themselves off the ground and/or getting crushed. They start losing choice in what would be their normal/natural reactions. This makes attackers much more predictable in general. It also cancles out a lot of the x-factors becuase it ceases to matter if they wind up pushing or pulling on your body in just about every way. Fewer x-factors result in fewer worry points and therefore more time to think and choose right in the moment.
Rob, no problem if you don't see it. You're right that people and horses have different structural configurations. I certainly cannot lift a horse off the ground (although I did mention the case in which he lifts himself up). Are you saying that 'internal skills' wouldn't help with horses -- or that someone more skilled than I am (most people) would actually lift them up in the air, etc.? I could have just said, "He magically either loses the urge to fight or blows up," but I didn't think that would be a very interesting post.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

Last edited by clwk : 07-13-2008 at 09:49 PM. Reason: missing words found
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:42 PM   #91
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
This sounds like Takemusubi Aiki to me.
That thought has occurred to me too. I leave that to others to think about though, because I try to be extremely careful with comparative religion. There are so many mistakes that can be made, it is often safer to leave things distinct. That seems the most respectful course. However, as someone who spent a fair few years of physical practice looking into what Takemusu Aiki might mean -- I think they almost certainly reflect closely-related concepts. The main problem is that these kind of terms cannot be completely extricated from the systems that make them meaningful -- even when they may describe similar states and experiences.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 09:45 PM   #92
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
No worries there. All quantities are transient (zero or non-zero) as are all normal angles/timing/spacing -- but all transients are recurring. The point is to choose action in synch with these transients, and not others.
Erick, the Zen Buddhism reference was not from the perspective of being a practitioner -- so I don't think I am up for solving any koans. If that statement contained content I was supposed to be able to extract, could you put it a little more clearly -- perhaps with a concrete example? I'm glad you are not as fixated on particular angles and (lack of) quantities as it sounded -- but I won't pretend to have any idea what you are saying, either.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 10:05 PM   #93
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
That thought has occurred to me too.
Regards,
Chhi'mèd
Glad to hear it.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 07-13-2008 at 10:10 PM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2008, 10:31 PM   #94
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
That thought has occurred to me too. I leave that to others to think about though, because I try to be extremely careful with comparative religion. There are so many mistakes that can be made, it is often safer to leave things distinct. That seems the most respectful course. However, as someone who spent a fair few years of physical practice looking into what Takemusu Aiki might mean -- I think they almost certainly reflect closely-related concepts. The main problem is that these kind of terms cannot be completely extricated from the systems that make them meaningful -- even when they may describe similar states and experiences.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
I ran out of time.

You bring up comparative religion which didn't occur to me slightly, and which my high school education couldn't support remotely. But it does move into spiritual, so I will be glad to talk about it in that thread column.
Thanks

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 12:28 AM   #95
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
You bring up comparative religion which didn't occur to me slightly, and which my high school education couldn't support remotely.
Sorry for the misunderstanding: I didn't mean to imply anything about your comment. It was just my way of saying I cannot comment on both systems in the same breath; and since I don't practice Aikido anymore, wouldn't presume to if I could. But the reflections are interesting.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 08:43 AM   #96
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Chhi'mèd Künzang wrote: View Post
Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
All quantities are transient (zero or non-zero) as are all normal angles/timing/spacing -- but all transients are recurring. The point is to choose action in synch with these transients, and not others.
... I don't think I am up for solving any koans. If that statement contained content I was supposed to be able to extract, could you put it a little more clearly -- perhaps with a concrete example? I'm glad you are not as fixated on particular angles and (lack of) quantities as it sounded -- but I won't pretend to have any idea what you are saying, either.
OK. Zero is a concept -- not a state occupied by any real material object. It is a central tendency only approached, and passed through, by varying degrees of positive or negative error -- therefore establishing oscillations -- waveforms -- in-yo ho. Similarly, a normal (i.e.-- 90 degree) angle (whether of angular rotation, or offset in frequency of event) similarly is only occupied transiently, with varying degrees of positive and negative error around the central tendency -- which central tendency at the normal angle represents the applied vector's zero contribution to the magnitude of the normal vector - with maximal rotation/precession of the resultant.

One could just as easily orient action to maximum or minimum or another aspect of the waveform. But 90 degrees is a quantity that has interesting qualities -- orienting to zero, and maximal non-zero results (e.g. -- resonance) that are both subtle, powerful and exploitable -- a happy combination for any strategic posture.

That clearer?

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-14-2008 at 08:47 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 09:09 AM   #97
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
That clearer?
Yes. It sounds like you are more-or-less describing a 'return to balance' approach. Here is a serious question -- to which I imagine you have an an answer since this approach derives from your experience flying helicopters. The naïve strategy of simple corrections is not actually very good for complex control of unstable systems -- as far as I can tell. Actual control strategies are complex and not entirely intuitive. If one uses a strategy of oscillating around a particular set of angles, etc. -- doesn't that actually make one predictable, as well as prone to falling into unproductive rhythms? Even if one managed to optimize the training environment to make that strategy successful, might it not be subject to manipulation by an equally-skilled opponent who did *not* subject himself to those constraints? This would be especially true if this hypothetical opponent exploited his knowledge of those constraints to take advantage of their inherent weakness (because it is possible to navigate through the space to find local configurations which fail for the one so constrained). For example, we could construct a turn-taking game using graph paper in which we each got to push a pebble around by applying forces to it. I haven't actually analyzed this game, but I suspect that any control strategy you care to supply based around simple deterministic rules (like 'try to push normal to velocity', for example) can be defeated by something more sophisticated. I suspect this will only become more true the more elaborate and closely approximating real bodies the model becomes.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

Last edited by clwk : 07-14-2008 at 09:16 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #98
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Regarding the "horse" example. I assume it is a hyperbolic example of dealing with something very strong and the amount of predictablity.

I know that when I push onto Dan, I can get the feeling that I am being lifted up or crushed based pretty much on where he is putting his intention(s). I've witnessed that happen with many other people.

I have no idea if a horse pushed into Dan if the horse would feel lifted up or crushed down! It would be an interesting experiment to try to set up. But IF horses reacted to that kind of intention the way all of the humans I've so far seen reacted, then we could stay with the horse analogy. If not, then the analogy is really not too related. (As there are not too many horse attacks I'm aware of!)

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 01:25 PM   #99
clwk
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 138
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Rob,

It wasn't meant to be hyperbolic. It is a real-life example of the kind of intense physical aggression I sometimes deal with on a day-to-day basis. I don't get in a lot of fights, but 'horse attacks', even if not pre-meditated, maliciously-motivated, or seriously murderous are not *that* uncommon -- if you work with horses.

I think we should leave the example of Dan-as-hypothetical out of it. If he wants to add something about his training, he can -- but we will only get into problems if we keep using him as an example without his participation.

Dan asked (well, he kind of commanded, but whatever) that I address the 'something more' beyond simple power differential that contributes to being able to *sometimes* 'control violence without harm'. My example was meant to provide a technical analysis of that skillset. As you are well aware, I am sure, such a body skill has applicability above and beyond 'technique'. Technique may be a vehicle for developing, refining, and delivering the skill though. That is why I used the horse example. People vary in their body types and training too -- even if not as much as horses and people vary. Any truly fundamental 'body skill' should have some applicability into *whatever* live body one contacts -- whether it be man, woman, child, dog, cat, horse, karate, taiji, aikido, etc. If the skill in question *does not* apply, I would suggest that indicates it is more a 'technique' depending on highly-specific parameters -- which is not a problem either.

Of course you may not be familiar with horses in particular, but I had hoped you could see the relationship. I would expect that anyone with a solid technical understanding of the skills I mean *would* immediately recognize what I was describing -- even if my description was lacking in some ways. I already basically said that there is a close relationship between this and (my interpretation of) Dan's report of people 'rocketing' to their feet when they grab his wrists. Dan has so far declined to comment on that, but you are welcome to attempt an analysis if you like. I do not mind whether your analysis agrees with mine -- or alternately diverges from it. We can discuss your view of how things work more if you are willing to share it. I *am* curious as to how you view the 'rocket' phenomenon on the basis of your training with Dan. Presumably you have experienced it firsthand, and he has given you personal instruction in its function -- so you should be quite qualified to explain the mechanics.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #100
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Controlling Violence Without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]

Well, I can say this.

I can also hold my intention such that people pushing on me fell lifted up or crushed down. BUT - it takes longer for me to get myself all set up to do that (whereas Dan has it all the time).

Also, I can only maintain it for a short amount of time before I start falling apart somewhere - normally because I don't continue to manage enough mental intentions after a while.

I have had several doubting thomas's push onto me and get the uplifting feeling and/or the crushed feeling. I have no idea if a horse pushed on me if the horse would feel the same type of lift or crush.

Kinethetic preception of some mental intention from human to human seems a lot more likely than from human to horse - but it *may* work well. You have some experience with with Mike Sigman, what is your take on the human to horse lift or crush?

My belief is that Dan has a lot more additives to what I am doing. His body is well trained to kind of automatically manage the forces I'm working so hard to manage myself. He adds breath management and his transferred power increases for instance. I can't add that very well myself yet. But I assume there are other things too which gives him the abilty to create more of a rocket effect than I could manage myself.

I have wrestled him, and been no inch puched in the ribs up and off of him. He was holding back (or would be dead) but I can tell you I rocketed up and away from that. That was awesomely terrible.

I'm not sure if I'm helping with this last story but it seems a bit related as well.

Rob
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Daito Ryu's Aiki DH Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 65 02-25-2008 08:51 AM
So, what are your thoughts on violence and Aikido? Dennis Hooker General 86 05-01-2003 06:19 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:04 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2018 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2018 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate