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Old 12-22-2003, 03:44 PM   #1
John Boswell
 
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Disgust Respect: A Lost Art

After reading various threads both here on Web and other sites, it occurs to me that there is a serious lack of due Respect in the world... or at least in the world of Aikido. Now, this flies totally in the face of "Free Speech", which I am all for to an extent, but even free speech has its limits.

But consider: You go to a web site where anyone can post ideas and thoughts freely to share and discuss with others their points of view. GREAT! But now... we have points of view that go CRASHING into the faces of high ranking sensei... well respected authorities... doctors, priests, leaders of their field! And we can do nothing but watch as these individuals are attacked despite being RIGHT?

Personally, when a person under the age of say... 30, comes along and begins telling others how they are wrong and will not be talked down to, then I gotta think that Respect is dying, Humility is forgotten and Honor is a word with no meaning WHATSOEVER.

There is something to be said for knowing your own place in this world. As for those who don't know their place... I have a few choice words for them in addition to very specific directions on where those people can go.

Well... that's about it. I've vented as nicely as I can. The proper audience probably won't get the whole point of this post. I hope one or two of you will appreciate it for what it is.

Domo!!

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Old 12-22-2003, 04:25 PM   #2
Eric Joyce
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I agree John. I have seen that as well. Thats the thing about freedom of speech...sometimes you have to take good with the bad. I just wish more people were respectful and if they didn't agree with you, that they would have a little tact and made their disagreements with a little bit of class. Oh well, dare to dream I guess. Have a great holiday John.

Eric Joyce
Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu
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Old 12-22-2003, 04:39 PM   #3
John Boswell
 
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Thanks for chiming in, Eric!

Have a Merry Christmas!

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Old 12-22-2003, 04:54 PM   #4
vanstretch
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freedom of speech, yeah. but what about freedom of thought?
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Old 12-22-2003, 09:52 PM   #5
Josh Bisker
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, and Renshinkan London
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Re: Respect: A Lost Art

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Domo!!
please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but if i might contribute something - i remember a japanese language student telling me that to use "domo" by itself is the linguistic equivalent of a tossed down "thanks," and suitable really for only extremely familiar and informal situations; he told me that "domo arigato" or even "arigato" is generally a more appropriate expression whenever one is aiming to convey respect or apprection.

it is something not everyone knows, and people quite frequently commit breaches of linguistic etiquette without knowing at all that they are doing so. i have found, however, that almost everyone i have encountered with this difficulty has been happy to improve themselves after being shown that the chance exists for them to do so. i have often found that people are more resentful towards changing this practice when they are told that they have been doing something wrong. In this case, in fact, they have not been doing anything wrong anyway; there is simply something that they could be doing "more right." The same, i imagine, goes for keiko, where an instructor who guides his students towards an ideal might develope them more easily and successfully than one who would badger them. In my experience training, the same has been true for my technique: it feels much more smooth and successful when i aim to lead my uke than when i try to push or pull him. In reflecting on my training, I wonder if respect is implicit in the action of leading, and if so, then what is contained within the essence of forcefulness? These are things i consider when i think of respectfulness in aikido; that some people might be unaware of others' expectations, and that the realigning of those perceptions and expectations is a process that requires respect, gentleness, and understanding.

Again, please excuse my lack of experience and years; i submit my commentary and criticism to you with humble apprciation.

Arigato Gozaimas
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:16 AM   #6
shihonage
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I don't see people like Mr. Peter Goldsbury and Mr. George S. Ledyard ever be a subject of continuous and seemingly "blatant" attacks, nor do I see them getting particularly worked up about something that was said on an Internet forum.

That's probably because the things they say (or rather, type) here are actually on the subject, and they actually make sense.
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Old 12-23-2003, 07:14 AM   #7
Tim Griffiths
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Re: Respect: A Lost Art

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
...we have points of view that go CRASHING into the faces of high ranking sensei... well respected authorities... doctors, priests, leaders of their field!...

Personally, when a person under the age of say... 30, comes along and begins telling others how they are wrong...
OK, so you admitted it was a vent/rant, but still...

I'm sure there are a lot of high-ranking sensei I've never heard of (e.g. pretty much all Tomiki sensei - sorry!). For all I know this list is littered with them. If someone makes a comment that I don't understand, or that seems at odds with what I do understand, I'll want to query it. I don't know them, or their rank and experience, all I know is what they write and how they response to me. Which is, incidently, why Pete G and George don't get much abuse - they write carefully and politely.

Now, I'm a reasonably polite guy, and haven't intentionaly insulted anyone here that I recall. But others have a more 'brusque' manner, and I'm sure they don't know any better who's who.

As for your comment about people over the age of 30...no, I won't even start.

By the way, I myself have many views that would go CRASHING into the faces of many priests, rabbi's, mullahs, yogi and lama's. As, I suspect, do you.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 12-23-2003, 10:23 AM   #8
Qatana
 
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"Which is, incidently, why Pete G and George don't get much abuse - they write carefully and politely"

Also, probably they are not in quite as "reactive" a space as a Sensei who may be extremely experienced with teaching Aikido to his own very respectful students but almost No practical experience of the day-to-day incidental (and generally unintentional) cruelty of normal "American"interaction....if you spend your Entire Life in the dojo there is not much opportunity for varied social interaction.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 12-23-2003, 10:32 AM   #9
AsimHanif
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John, while I do agree with your basic premise of respect, I personally find it difficult to equate knowledge with age. I have known many people over the age of 30 (older even) who are not necessarily wise. More to your point though, being in an aikido system for many years does not necessarily make a person an authority OR an authority to all. Aikido knowledge will be based largely on personal experiences and I don't feel it can be dictated to all. In other words one size does not fit all.

Also I have noticed on this site and at seminars how certain instructors seem to have a superiority complex, although it may be subtle and guised in false humility. These are the instructors who speak of many, many years of experience yet don't have enough experience to take their aikido "off the mat". We all know that in aikido, the energy we put out has to go somewhere. Respect should be incumbent upon all regardless of so called rank. I too find that Mr. Goldsbury and Mr. Ledyard are recieved well here. I may not always agree with them but their posts are always respectful of others views and non authoritarian.

Lastly, I want to challenge my aikido as I challenge my faith. I am not afraid to ask the hard questions because I will not be shackled to dogma. And if the answers conflict with what has been traditionally the norm, then I have to ask "why is that?" The way I see it, this is really the first generation of aikidoka to ask the uneasy questions and challenge the status quo. I see nothing wrong with this as long as it is done respectfully. We have to keep aikido moving forward.
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:37 PM   #10
John Boswell
 
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Thank you for your words, Asim. You bring up many fine points which I would like to address. (*Before I start, its been a long day and my temper is warmed up. If I get snotty, I'll be back to apologize. From this point on I'll be address the thoughts you make and debating them, but nothing said is intended personally.)

1) Age does matter. Growing up, if I talked back to an elder... I was reminded in no uncertain terms that that was NOT good behaviour, was rude and would apologize. If that person is wrong, there is a correct way to address that while still giving them respect. However, if they are both older AND wiser... double attention should be paid when they are speaking to you as there is much to be learned. Anyone not willing to learn is in an obstienant frame of mind imho. As far as rank goes, I understand your point. The same could be said for styles and points of origin. It still does not excuse rude behaviour. There is such thing as HEALTHY debate... there is also name calling, back stabbing and peddy childishness.

2) Arrogant Sensei here and there is a point but that is not what I'm talking about. Sensei Goldsbury and Ledyard ARE well respected here. I agree and hold them in the highest regard despite knowing them ONLY by the internet (websites). They are not who I see being abused here. The ones I see being treated poorly are other sensei who are themselves Yondan and higher. Yet they are spoken to on these boards as a common person walking down the street... and in my humble opinion, they are anything but common.

3) I agree with your last point of asking the hard questions. I do this myself and like you said... it can be done with tact and respect. Not everyone on aikiweb does that, however. THIS is why I bring up this point on respect.

Thank you for posting. Hope I was as respectful to you as you were in yours. Have a happy holiday and look forward to future dialogue!

Last edited by John Boswell : 12-23-2003 at 03:41 PM.

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Old 12-23-2003, 04:20 PM   #11
AsimHanif
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John, your points are all well taken here also (as usual).

Hopefully you can clear something up for me...

Are you saying that these Sensei (in question) are not common and the rest of us are? This is not meant to sound harsh or like I'm trying to argue. I am really just trying to find out how/if you make the distinction. To me people are people regardless of rank and these high ranking people with years of experience should be teaching that they are not better than anyone else although they may have a great deal to impart to those of us willing to listen.

I do agree with regards to our elders. I will make more of an effort for someone who has spent many more years on this earth than me. They've earned it. I grew up with those same lessons you mentioned. But it is also true that I should give those who are not as advanced in years the same respect. I guess I'm looking at this as giving more respect to all instead of giving less to some.

Sorry for being so long winded again.
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Old 12-23-2003, 04:40 PM   #12
Erik
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I think this is needed. From

http://www.aikidofaq.com/aikidol/whine.html

Feel free to change aikido-l to aikiweb, or not, if you so desire.

(this is a standard message posted infrequently when the need arises)

Dear whiner,

You have whined about Aikido-L - quality of posts, quantity of posts, content of posts, character of posters, etc. You have threatened to unscubscribe.

You're not the first and you're not gonna be the last to do so. The world is full of whiners, not unlike a duck with warm shit. You follow the fine tradition of bitching without contributing and we follow the fine traditions of putting up with your crap and ignoring you. The List has existed in its original form, feel and content for years. If we didn't like it the way it is, we wouldn't have it that way. If you wanna make your own list, that's fine. If you wanna make your own newsgroup, that's fine too. But if you're gonna pollute *this* List with messages against pollution, you're pissing against the wind.

Don't whine! Shut up!
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Old 12-23-2003, 07:47 PM   #13
Don_Modesto
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An apology from one, naughty

Last week I received an email message from our host, and my friend, Jun Akiyama, who suggested I had made what he called "personal attacks" against a member of this board. I expected further communication from him on this (it hasn't developed) and so refrained from posting further on the issue in the several threads which have popped up to debate it. Developments in the meanwhile have been instructive. Many of the points I would have made concerning the issue have been made very well by others, thank you, and I've quite enjoyed many of the posts on both sides of the issue. I would like to summarize my take on things and, as my title promises, apologize.

In my response to Jun's email, I included a quotation from a recent reading in the Spring ‘03 issue of Monumenta Nipponica concerning standards of discourse and a psuedo-scholarly area of study called Nihonjinron. The citation quite expressed my own sentiments on such matters. I termed it "serendipitous" that I should find such a thing so pertinent to recent developments here, an unfortunate choice of words, however, for issues of accuracy and the protocols of inquiry interest me generally and indeed explain my interest in a brand of research (or other purported experts) embracing neither. Reviewing two books on this Nihonjinron, in his "Identity, Nihonjinron, and Academic (Dis)honesty," Ian Reader writes,

"There are times…when I found myself wondering whether academic analysis and argument alone can ever be adequate as a means of dealing with some of the things purveyed by this genre. Is there not…a place also for ridicule and sarcasm here? At the very least this would provide us with a little satisfaction while our attempts at academic arguments are being ignored."

If I am guilty of this self-same impulse, I am certainly now well placed to answer Mr. Reader's question: No, there is no place. Ridicule and sarcasm distract. And this will be my segue to the promised apology.

I imagine it was to my post among others that board members referred when complaining of the rough treatment meted out to Reverend Furuya. The tone of my post was unfortunately such as to distract from its contents. To my immense gratification, prior to the unfortunate demise of the controversial Kamiza thread, several prominent members of these fora, Messrs. Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, Ron Tisdale, and Fred Little, in varying degrees of enthusiasm, posted in support of the kind of frank inquiry occurring there and supported continuing the thread. Mr. Little's post honored me with the sincerest flattery of taking of the spirit of my comments and expressing it in his own magisterial eloquence and learning. All four, including Mr. Little on all other occasions I've read his posts, are notable for their restraint and unflagging courtesy. I realize that it is with justice that any of them could question my admiration for themselves in what Nietzsche calls the voice of disappointment: "I listened for an echo, but all I heard was applause."

So, gentleman, please accept my apologies for the unrestrained tone of contempt I allowed into my own posts and also for the result of it which was to distract attention from the valid points nevertheless made.

For those who might not recall, my complaints in the original offending post were three (if it was my posts offending—one problem with such delicate sensibilities in intercourse is knowing who we are talking about when making our impersonal complaints):

1) A false imputation of racism directed at fellow board members;

2) Dismissive refusal to respect facts contradicting own posts;

3) What measure of sincerity was to be gleaned from 1 and 2 above.

As the argument is rightly made that none may look into another's heart, I will dispense with the issue of sincerity here as I intemperately did not before. From ROKKYU to ROKUDAN, in any case, we already know that to dismiss the difficult issue similarly from our consciousness as individuals (or, perhaps, preceptors) is certainly to bite off more then we can eschew. I leave all to their own consciences.

Respect was the pivot of many of the posts ensuing from the Kamiza thread. Frankly, I am flabbergasted at the selective application of this demand by the assembled and appalled even concerning someone of position, accomplishment, and rank. In précis: One post commented unfavorably on the suitability of an instructor's physical condition; he replied by insinuating racism. How this qualifies as polite discourse, I can't tell.

Many posters also testified to the value and lessons of the lately retired sensei. I am surprised at the lacking concern for the reliability of his pronouncements unsupported by reference other than, "I am that I am." There are protocols of accuracy serving the same function for technical discourse that scrubbing down serves for surgery, namely, an inviolable hygiene of thought not well served by the specious invocation of rank and privilege. We might productively recall that "shihan" translates as "exemplar", not "exemption."

In any case, if any members here feel the loss that I would should any of the gentlemen above similarly depart from these fora, I offer a suggestion. On this and the other boards/lists below, there are search functions. If you are truly interested in those who "share little bits of information", I suggest you go to the boards below and search on the names below that (as well as the four above). This will provide you with many hours of fruitful exciting reading.

Happy Holidays.

-------------------Venues-------------------

e-Budo

http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/index.php?

Aikido Journal

http://143.207.8.139/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi

Bugei

http://www.swordforumbugei.com/phpBB2/

Iaido-L

http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/archives/iaido-l.html

Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences

http://ejmas.com/

Furyu

http://www.furyu.com/index.html

Koryu

http://koryu.com/index.html

--Names which of themselves incline me to read a post--

Karl Friday

William Bodiford

Stanley Pranin (Aikido Journal)

Ellis Amdur

Meik Skoss (Koryu)

Diane Skoss (Koryu)

George Ledyard

Dennis Hooker

Toby Threadgil

Tony Alvarez

Szczepan (gird your loins if posts here have offended you—the unpronounceable one suffers fools gleefully)

Jun Akiyama (Aikiweb)

Nathan Scott

Neil Yamamoto

Joseph Svinth (ejmas.com)

Ubaldo Alcantara (better deceased than some still breathing)

Dan Hardin

Wayne Muromoto (Furyu)

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 12-23-2003, 09:42 PM   #14
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: An apology from one, naughty

Quote:
Don J. Modesto (Don_Modesto) wrote:
I am flabbergasted at the selective application of this demand by the assembled and appalled even concerning someone of position, accomplishment, and rank
Don,

Would you be so kind as to bring this down a notch. I am a bit too filled with holiday spirit to grasp the simple meaning. I would so much like to get what you are saying here. Thanks...

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 12-23-2003, 11:20 PM   #15
shihonage
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Re: Re: An apology from one, naughty

Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
Don,

Would you be so kind as to bring this down a notch. I am a bit too filled with holiday spirit to grasp the simple meaning. I would so much like to get what you are saying here. Thanks...
Just use the button below !

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Old 12-23-2003, 11:45 PM   #16
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
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Re: Re: Re: An apology from one, naughty

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
Just use the button below !

Great! Very Creative. Now, how long did that take you to do? Really?

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:32 AM   #17
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Re: Re: Re: Re: An apology from one, naughty

Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
Great! Very Creative. Now, how long did that take you to do? Really?
About 15 minutes.

Great art takes great sacrifices.
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:48 AM   #18
shihonage
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^^^^^^

Correction:

My post was posted at "Today 09:20 PM".

Minus 8:50 PM in the picture, it makes it 30 minutes exactly.
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Old 12-24-2003, 07:28 AM   #19
indomaresa
Dojo: Aiki Kenkyukai
Location: Indonesia
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Re: An apology from one, naughty

Maybe I can help summarize Mr. Modesto's not so modest reply;

============================================

Last week I received an email message from our host, and my friend, Jun Akiyama, who suggested I had made what he called "personal attacks" against a member of this board. I expected further communication from him on this (it hasn't developed) and so refrained from posting further on the issue in the several threads which have popped up to debate it. Developments in the meanwhile have been instructive. Many of the points I would have made concerning the issue have been made very well by others, thank you, and I've quite enjoyed many of the posts on both sides of the issue. I would like to summarize my take on things and, as my title promises, apologize.

Translation:

Jun emailed me, he said I'm a bad boy. So I stopped posting for a while.

============================================

In my response to Jun's email, I included a quotation from a recent reading in the Spring ‘03 issue of Monumenta Nipponica concerning standards of discourse and a psuedo-scholarly area of study called Nihonjinron. The citation quite expressed my own sentiments on such matters. I termed it "serendipitous" that I should find such a thing so pertinent to recent developments here, an unfortunate choice of words, however, for issues of accuracy and the protocols of inquiry interest me generally and indeed explain my interest in a brand of research (or other purported experts) embracing neither. Reviewing two books on this Nihonjinron, in his "Identity, Nihonjinron, and Academic (Dis)honesty," Ian Reader writes,

Translation:

I answered Jun's email, attaching reading materials that will support my innocence.

=============================================

"There are times…when I found myself wondering whether academic analysis and argument alone can ever be adequate as a means of dealing with some of the things purveyed by this genre. Is there not…a place also for ridicule and sarcasm here? At the very least this would provide us with a little satisfaction while our attempts at academic arguments are being ignored."

If I am guilty of this self-same impulse, I am certainly now well placed to answer Mr. Reader's question: No, there is no place. Ridicule and sarcasm distract. And this will be my segue to the promised apology.

Translation:

I've been thinking, MAYBE I FORGOT my manners.

============================================

I imagine it was to my post among others that board members referred when complaining of the rough treatment meted out to Reverend Furuya. The tone of my post was unfortunately such as to distract from its contents. To my immense gratification, prior to the unfortunate demise of the controversial Kamiza thread, several prominent members of these fora, Messrs. Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, Ron Tisdale, and Fred Little, in varying degrees of enthusiasm, posted in support of the kind of frank inquiry occurring there and supported continuing the thread. Mr. Little's post honored me with the sincerest flattery of taking of the spirit of my comments and expressing it in his own magisterial eloquence and learning. All four, including Mr. Little on all other occasions I've read his posts, are notable for their restraint and unflagging courtesy. I realize that it is with justice that any of them could question my admiration for themselves in what Nietzsche calls the voice of disappointment: "I listened for an echo, but all I heard was applause."

Translation:

I realized that the person everybody's angry about is probably me. But some really OK people backed me up, so I'm not 100% wrong.

=============================================

So, gentleman, please accept my apologies for the unrestrained tone of contempt I allowed into my own posts and also for the result of it which was to distract attention from the valid points nevertheless made.

Translation:

I'm sorry.

=============================================

For those who might not recall, my complaints in the original offending post were three (if it was my posts offending—one problem with such delicate sensibilities in intercourse is knowing who we are talking about when making our impersonal complaints):

1) A false imputation of racism directed at fellow board members;

2) Dismissive refusal to respect facts contradicting own posts;

3) What measure of sincerity was to be gleaned from 1 and 2 above.

As the argument is rightly made that none may look into another's heart, I will dispense with the issue of sincerity here as I intemperately did not before. From ROKKYU to ROKUDAN, in any case, we already know that to dismiss the difficult issue similarly from our consciousness as individuals (or, perhaps, preceptors) is certainly to bite off more then we can eschew. I leave all to their own consciences.

Translation:

(Insert various flowery unrelated defensive comments here)

=============================================

Respect was the pivot of many of the posts ensuing from the Kamiza thread. Frankly, I am flabbergasted at the selective application of this demand by the assembled and appalled even concerning someone of position, accomplishment, and rank. In précis: One post commented unfavorably on the suitability of an instructor's physical condition; he replied by insinuating racism. How this qualifies as polite discourse, I can't tell.

Many posters also testified to the value and lessons of the lately retired sensei. I am surprised at the lacking concern for the reliability of his pronouncements unsupported by reference other than, "I am that I am." There are protocols of accuracy serving the same function for technical discourse that scrubbing down serves for surgery, namely, an inviolable hygiene of thought not well served by the specious invocation of rank and privilege. We might productively recall that "shihan" translates as "exemplar", not "exemption."

Translation:

People demands respect, how do I do that? The guy I pummeled on the forum didn't show proof of his aikido knowledge and status. Shouldn't we at least doubt him? I did.

==============================================

In any case, if any members here feel the loss that I would should any of the gentlemen above similarly depart from these fora, I offer a suggestion. On this and the other boards/lists below, there are search functions. If you are truly interested in those who "share little bits of information", I suggest you go to the boards below and search on the names below that (as well as the four above). This will provide you with many hours of fruitful exciting reading.

Translation:

If any of you are angry and complaining that I deprive them of knowledge, look at all these links for diversion and don't be angry at me.

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 12-24-2003, 09:10 AM   #20
Thalib
 
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Man... Maresa

You're never this funny in real life...

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
--------
http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/
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Old 12-24-2003, 09:48 AM   #21
JasonB
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(M. Sumardi, you are my hero for the day.)

I may not be the most authoritative person on Aikido, but let me speak with authority on the topic of forums.

J. Boswell, the points that you have made are remarkable for the fact that the same comments have been repeated on public forums as far back as I can remember.

My first exposure to the concept of the public forum goes back to the old dial-up BBS days. Since that time my interests have changed many times, I have grown a little older and I have been a regular member of many forums. In that time, though I have changed, the nature of forums has never changed. There have always been trolls, flamers, lurkers, subject authorities, hot-heads, egotists, conciliators, wise-guys, anonymous liers, adolescents, philosophers and many other easily labeled personalities. The posts are sometimes so predictable that you start to suspect that there are really only a couple of dozen people who have ever joined forums and they just change their names a lot.

Likewise, it has been my experience that there are certain "topics" that arise with such regularity that you could cut and paste them from any forum. John, your post is a classic. I believe that I first encountered this post within a month of joining my first BBS (a creative writing forum)back in 1993. I also remember the post arose under almost identical circumstances. Try this experiment, go to any forum for any topic, select a figure who is considered a respected aurthority on that topic, subject him to relentless criticism and observe this effect:

1. The longest remaining members of the forum will rise up in indignation.

2. Someone will create a post decrying a general lack of respect for authority.

My comments are not meant to discount the value of John's point. In fact, I believe that John's comments are right in line with the conflict that arises within all communities. A good forum is one that grows into a community and within all communities there is a heirarchy that grows. People are elevated to positions of status within the heirarchy by the members of the community. All communities differ in their criteria in doing this. Struggles always ensue when an individual fails to percieve the status of a member of a community and subjects that person to scrutiny that may be considered beneath their position.

These are just observations. Here's my opinion. I believe that John is an anachronism in the online age. The free exchange of thoughts, ideas and knowledge over wide geographic areas has changed the nature of learning. The ultimately anonymous nature of this exchange of ideas makes personal status a very abstract concept. Though we may build up an internal perception of a community revolving around this forum, in fact, that perception is a personal one. We are all little more than strangers who have spent a lot of time talking, in a room without lights, about a single topic. Any perception that you have about the room or the people in it is a personal one and you should not expect any one else to share your views.

I submit that under these conditions, most of the old values concerning status and respect go out the window. When someone walks into our darkened room they become another voice in the room. Do not expect to bring your outside status into the room with you. This is a choice that you make when you enter. The respect that you receive will be dependant on the value of your statements. The value of your statements will be determined by each individual who receives them.

I also will make one more claim. Any truely wise and learned person will, above all, understand the value of dissenting views. The difference between gentle suggestion and harsh criticism is only perceived when ego is applied. The value of critism is only diminished when one's ego will not allow one to see the point beneath the words. Any person who goes online to engage in an exchange of ideas in a public forum should check their egos at the door. I do not see your followers, your tall buildings or your empires. They do not exist to me. Your words are no more valuable than mine until I judge them to be so. If I judge your words to have value then I have made a personal assesment. I have no right to demand any other person to share my opinion of your thoughts. Many people choose not to contribute to forums because they cannot accept the loss of status that they have become accustomed to in their personal life.

I do, however, agree that this makes the issue of BASIC respect all the more important. How much respect do you afford to strangers? Do you project a minnimum amount of respect until you determine the person deserves more or do you hold strangers in the highest respect until they prove that they do not deserve it? How much tolerance do you display before lowering your respect for another person? How do you express your sense of respect?
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Old 12-24-2003, 09:52 AM   #22
John Boswell
 
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Quote:
Man... Maresa

You're never this funny in real life...
I dunno if you're right or wrong on that point... but that's funny as hell!

Hehe! Laughing WITH you...!

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Old 12-24-2003, 10:04 AM   #23
John Boswell
 
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Jason Breitzman,

That is one of the better and more well thought out posts I've read (on ANY subject) in an extreamly long time.

You are correct.

Everything falls down to your last paragraph and the questions therein. MY mistake was assuming that this being an Aiki website, more respect would be accorded everyone than is clearly evident.

Oops. My bad...

I very much like your analogy of "voices in a dark room." I'll consider that more in the future on this and other boards.

This is pretty good! Think I learned something today. Hope you don't mind if I copy/paste your post on other threads... I really liked it.

Merry Christmas to you and all!

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Old 12-24-2003, 10:18 AM   #24
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Just a thought. I've always liked the statement that the way you treat others speaks volumes about you as a person and says nothing about the other person. The ego issue is very important and needs to be checked at the door. However, whose ego is it? The person demonstrating little respect for the ideas of others is IMHO the one with the bigger ego problem-you're wrong and I'm going to show your how stupid you are and how smart I am. The other ego is going to get damaged in such an onslaught unless you have some pretty thick skin and especially if the "person" and not the "idea or thought" is attacked.

Good thread John. See you next year.
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:25 PM   #25
Ron Tisdale
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Hi Don and others,

Well, I find it intereting in a thread about 'respect' that someone (Maresa Sumardi) has chosen to render their sarcastic interpretation of your words. If they have a gripe, why don't they come right out and say it? Why don't they approach your comments as if you at least are trying to be honest, and address their disbelief of your intent in a forthright manner?

I believe that post goes right to the heart of the problem here. A severe lack of directness, a need to be overly clever, and a false respect for authority (anyone who has done any debating knows that this is NOT a valid tactic).

I get as bad as anyone here from time to time, and for that I appologize. But really folks...if you set yourself up as an authority, and then are not carefull to frame your words with accuracy, you will be called on it.

AS to Don's qualifications to object when facts are in issue, I can assure you he does not need to appeal to the likes of me. His words, for those who care to really read them, stand pretty much on their own. He deserves as much respect as anyone else here...someone who supposes they are capable of 'rendering' his words for him, should check out some of the friendship demonstration tapes...Don has been around these parts longer than most of us, and in better company too.

Ron Tisdale (no disrespect intended...but really now)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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