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Old 07-15-2003, 04:18 PM   #26
DaveForis
Dojo: UW-L Aikido Club
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Wow. What a lengthy thread!

I'll just be quick about my $.02.

How much attention should be given to waza/ukemi?

50/50

Why?

Balance. Is there a better reason?

Behind every flaw in technique is a flaw in the mind or spirit
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Old 07-15-2003, 05:16 PM   #27
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Quote:
David Yap wrote:
But don't ever tell me go for a special course in ukemi; O sensei will flip in his grave if there's one.
Why would you think this, David?

Charles
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:48 PM   #28
David Yap
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Why would you think this, David?

Charles
Sorry guys/gals for that sweeping statement. Allow me to clarify. I assume that ukemi is normally taught part and parcel in every class. My definition of special course is where specific instructions are given to "propective" uke to blend with the nage's moves thereby enabling the nage to complete his intention with success. This is also known as "choreography".

Now, wouldn't you think that O sensei will flip if everyone choreograph his aikido?

As a sempai, I would sometime allow a lesser experienced kohai to feel the flow of a technique by blending to his/her moves but I would inform them of what I was doing and their objective was to lead my mind into doing all that on their own.
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:33 PM   #29
Nacho
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Quote:
David Yap wrote:
My definition of special course is where specific instructions are given to "propective" uke to blend with the nage's moves thereby enabling the nage to complete his intention with success. This is also known as "choreography".
Ukemi is receiving the technique. If nage is not doing properly the tecnhique and you are perfoming good Ukemi you can counter his technique.. and if he do performs properly and he can enter with his technique your ukemi may help YOU to take care of your body.

That's not choreography I think.

And maybe you should train seriously with people qualified and you will discover that instead of choreography you should be able to adapt your ukemi to their technique so you can protect your teeth, your wrists, elbows, nose, and all your body.
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:05 AM   #30
David Yap
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Quote:
Ignacio Weinberg (Nacho) wrote:
And maybe you should train seriously with people qualified and you will discover that instead of choreography you should be able to adapt your ukemi to their technique so you can protect your teeth, your wrists, elbows, nose, and all your body.
Ignacio,

I believe that you have not been following my previous posts on this topic.

Keep searching ...

David
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:25 AM   #31
Charles Hill
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Quote:
David Yap wrote:
My definition of special course is where specific instructions are given to "propective" uke to blend with the nage's moves thereby enabling the nage to complete his intention with success. This is also known as "choreography".
That sounds like good basic Aikido to me. David, you mentioned above Saito, Tohei and Shioda Sensei. An interesting thing is that their students move just like they do. This extends to their ukemi, too. Just as one can tell a Saito Sensei student from a Tohei student by his/her technique, one can do it by watching or feeling their ukemi, as well. That is because the basic way of education in Aikido is choreography.

Shirata Rinjiro Shihan defined the word Aikido as, "Hand in hand, together we walk the path." I think that, extending this to the level of basic physical practice, this means that we work with a partner with a basic form doing what we can to succeed.

Charles
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:33 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
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Nice post Charles. Stevens Sensei says hello. He remembered your story...we both had a good laugh!

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:35 PM   #33
David Yap
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
That is because the basic way of education in Aikido is choreography.

Charles
Get real, Charles!! You're better off in dancing class. Maybe, Peking Opera House (Jackie Chan's alumini) will suit you better.

If you have not noticed, almost all aikido schools sell the art primarily as a martial art. At demonstrations,they show person(s) attacking and how a trained aikidoka can defused and control the attack. They project aikido as an art of self-defense. They suck you in and then tell you that Aikido was not meant to be a martial art. No wonder they say "Selling the American way is the best way" and they came out with diferrent soaps for different purposes - cause there will always be someone like you out there.

When confronted with a real-life attack, will you tell the attacker "Hey! you are doing this all wrongly. You are not to stab me here, you are supposed to step there when I do this"?

Grow up Charles.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:57 PM   #34
Charles Hill
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David,

You wrote that you had trained a bit in Saito Sensei's style. I would guess that means you are somewhat familiar with his paired weapons kata. The kata, as I'm sure you're well aware, are all made up of very specific moves done by both people engaged in the kata. Saito Sensei was very specific in how both sides were to move. (At least he was when I trained with him. Was he different with you?) The kata are all highly choreographed and it was the same with the taijutsu. If I I moved in a way that was different, I sure heard about it from the various Shihan I have trained with.

This was especially trying during my time at the Aikikai Honbu Dojo as each Shihan had different ideas as to how the forms should go (i.e. their choreography.) Okumura Shihan, now 9th dan and one of the most senior Shihan, talked occasionally in his classes about the concept of Shu, Ha, Ri. Put simply, shu means to copy the form, ha means to break away from the form, and ri means to intregrate the form.

Shu is the level we must practice at for a long time to truly learn the forms. This means we must copy our teachers AND the person they chose to take ukemi. This is choreography, meaning that everything we do is predecided. This has nothing to do with selling anything in America. This is the traditional way of education in Japan. The same thing happens in the art world. Students carefully copy the paintings of the masters to build up technical skill and to learn how to see the way the masters did. We do the same in Aikido.

Your post was a bit insulting towards me. Why? I have looked at my posts relating to you and found nothing insulting towards you. The few times that I was "confronted with a real-life attack," I was very happy that I have spent so many years practicing in a choreographed manner. It has taught me a lot.

Charles
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Old 07-16-2003, 10:00 PM   #35
Charles Hill
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Ron,

I'm so jealous you got to train with Stevens Sensei. Most people know him as a prolific author. I got to know him as a great teacher, Aikidoka, and human being.

Charles
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:37 AM   #36
David Yap
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
David,

Your post was a bit insulting towards me. Why? I have looked at my posts relating to you and found nothing insulting towards you. The few times that I was "confronted with a real-life attack," I was very happy that I have spent so many years practicing in a choreographed manner. It has taught me a lot.

Charles
Sorry Charles if you felt my post was insulting. Sometimes it will happen in e-Forum. You show the tip and one would treat it as a whole iceberg.

Anyway, again you got your perception wrong about Aiki-ken and Aiki-jo. These two weapon trainings are not real weapon jutsu (fighting with a weapon) per se. They are training aids to help you understand and feel your own center and to take your opponent's center - this is equivalent to the Tai Chi sword or Tai Chi fan kata. When you have two persons doing kumi ken or kumi jo, you need to extremely careful, harmonised and blended (Awase). Can you imagine what it's like to have skull (even your thumb)crushed by a bokken or a end of a jo sticked into your eye socket? You can't have students doing jiyu-waza with weapons - you are just waiting for the worst to happen. In your dojo, are the jiyu waza choreographed? In the Iwama-style that you practiced, don't they teach you the concept of leading the mind, don't they tell you "If the mountain don't come to Mahammed, Mahammed will go to the mountain"?

I can't even agree with your understanding of the concept of Shu Ha Ri. In my Confusius school of thoughts - Shu Ha Ri (or Shou Pau Li in mandarin) is not what you described. Shu is to embrace, to protect, to preserve (copying is just a small part); Ha is to break the code or to analyse, to solve; Ri is to discard (the unessentials), to go beyond techniques, to acquire other skills/knowledge. My definition of choreography does not seem to "harmonise" with yours. All the Shihans you mentioned have taught you to move according to the Triangle, Circle and Square doctrines of O Sensei. These 3 doctrines are the principles of self-defence. You have "choreographed" them well but if you know the rationale of these principles/doctrines then you wouldn't call them "choreographed" movements - they are fundamentals. If you don't mind me for being brunt - despite your training spell in Japan, I feel you are still sitting within the confine of 4 walls of a room or sitting at the bottom of a well. You need to elevate to see the whole picture. It is not entirely your fault, just that in orient, the transmission of knowledge is not a straight line as you may perceive. You have to think BIG picture.

Still searching ...

David
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Old 07-17-2003, 07:21 AM   #37
rachmass
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check out the link to Chiba Sensei's article on Shu Ha Ri:

http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives..._0301_tkc.html
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:40 AM   #38
Charles Hill
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Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Get real, Charles!! You're better off in dancing class. Maybe, Peking Opera House (Jackie Chan's alumini) will suit you better.

Grow up Charles.
David,

If this is the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest? You don't know me other than a couple of words written on a computer screen, yet you write the above and you claim to know that I am "sitting at the bottom of a well." I don't know much about you so that is why I have made no comments that pertain directly toward you.

In your last post you seem to concur that Saito Sensei's weapons kata are choreographed. Are they then not Aikido? You write of jiyu waza, but it doesn't make sense as the term "jiyu" is an antonym of choreographed in this usage. And no, I don't ever recall Saito Sensei mentioning Mohammed.

As you indicate, maybe we are having a problem with the word "choreographed." I'm taking it to mean that the movements are all prearranged. I don't know about the "transmission of knowledge" in Malaysia, but in Japan, that is how education is done.

As for shu, ha, ri, I don't know what it means in terms of Confucianism, but as Rachel's link indicates, Ha doesn't mean to break any code, it means to take apart, to destroy. At least this is how the various Shihan describe it. It is not my personal definition, it is their's. As for shu, you included the meaning of copying. This is what I wrote along with the caveat, "Put simply,"

I don't feel you were being blunt, I feel that you have shown your character by evaluating me based on very little.

Keep searching

Charles
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:42 PM   #39
David Yap
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
David,

You don't know me other than a couple of words written on a computer screen, yet you write the above and you claim to know that I am "sitting at the bottom of a well."
Thanks, Rachel, for directing us to Chiba sensei's article. In that article, Chiba sensei has mentioned about Mu-Shin (No mind), Sho-shin (Pure Heart/Pure Mind), Shu-Ha-Ri. I ageed wholeheartedly with Chiba sensei's writings. However, with respect to Chiba sensei or his translator, the article very briefly described some meanings of these concepts. He has explained the bunkai of the concepts but he did not dwell into their oyo. I suggest that you go down to local libraries or universities where there are facualties of Oriental Studies. Perhaps there, you may find the true origins and meanings of these concepts. If you are doubt, speak to the professors, get an independent view.

When I said that you are confined within the 4 walls of a room or sitting at the bottom of well and I suggested that you should elevate to see the whole picture - I was merely asking you to practise "Shoshin".

Once you have done a thorough research on these topics that were mentioned. I suggest that you read all your postings again. I guarantee that you will say "Gosh! Did I write those?". Like a bible or suptra, you read them over and over again but at different stages of your life, they have different meanings to you.

BTW, the methodology for the transmission of knowledge is similar across all cultures (I'm a Chinese born and bred in Malaysia), in the Orient (The Far East - China, Japan, Korea included)and where the teachings of Confucius is still preserved (Vietnam for one)- the methodology is coined "Shu-Ha-Ri".

Happy re-searching ...

David
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:21 PM   #40
Charles Hill
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Quote:
David Yap wrote:
- I was merely asking you to practise "Shoshin".
Why would you do that?

Charles
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:40 PM   #41
David Yap
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Why would you do that?

Charles
Goodbye, Charles.
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Old 07-18-2003, 06:25 AM   #42
Charles Hill
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David,

You have first insulted me and then attempted to give me advice all while not knowing much about me. Unlike you,I have (successfully, I believe) refrained from writing anything about you personally as I felt I didn't know enough about you. Now that I know a bit, let me try to explain what I have noticed. As you write that you are "searching" maybe my insights will help.

You indicated that you studied with various Aikikai style teachers for four years and then with an Iwama-ryu stylist for around a year. You called these styles "different routes" indicating that they were quite different. Even with only one year of practice, you wrote that you are an Iwama-ryu stylist. This would only be a guess, but as you started Aikido a bit later in life from the norm, I'd bet that you didn't practice daily.

You write as if you know Saito Sensei's weapons kata well, but with only one year of training, there is no way you understand them. Saito Sensei made his top American student, Bill Witt, do only the suburi for three years before teaching him the kata.

I have noticed that there is often a phenomenon that often occurs after someone has practiced for a few years. They think they know something about Aikido because it has been an active part of their lives for awhile. So they have a strong urge to teach others about it. The problem is that they can mouth some words, but they really really don't understand it deeply because they don't have the serious practice time in. At their dojo, this teaching doesn't work as everyone knows how little that person knows because they, too, have experienced this stage. And talking at their friends doesn't work, because people who don't practice Aikido often find the topic boring. Fortunately or unfortunately, e-forums become the place where they can teach everyone what they know. They can instruct others who are below them in knowledge easily as here there is no need to understand someone's comment or question before reaching for the keyboard to bestow their great wisdom.

Again, this is just what I have gathered about you from a few posts. If I'm mistaken, then it won't matter much. But if I got you pegged right, this could be an opportunity for you to really learn something.

Goodbye David,

Charles
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:54 AM   #43
Ron Tisdale
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Nicely done Charles. This is not a new thing...people are always on the podium, always right, and their ego excuses their bad behavior. Oh well.

I should have a review of the seminar shortly...draft is done, and I need permission to post from an instructor who helped us. You have to let me know if I've got anything wrong...I'm still learning this stuff. I've already made some corrections to my draft.

You are absolutely correct about Stevens Sensei...This was the forth time I've been able to train with him, and each time I peel another layer off the onion. The man is deep. His aikido is fantastic, and if I'm lucky, I'll be able to aid in helping people to know him for more than his writing. He really has a strong legacy to pass on in his (and Shirata Shihan's) aikido. I only hope people are afforded the opportunity to be exposed to it.

Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 07-18-2003 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:17 AM   #44
Charles Hill
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Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
You have to let me know if I've got anything wrong...I'm still learning this stuff.
Ron,

The thing about Stevens Sensei is that he always changes. He discouraged videotaping (always in a nice way) because he would say it'll be different tomorrow. That is why I'm eagerly awaiting your review so I can see what I have got wrong.

Charles
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Old 07-19-2003, 02:00 AM   #45
David Yap
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Wink

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
David,

You have first insulted me and then attempted to give me advice all while not knowing much about me. Unlike you,I have (successfully, I believe) refrained from writing anything about you personally as I felt I didn't know enough about you....

I have noticed that there is often a phenomenon that often occurs after someone has practiced for a few years. They think they know something about Aikido because it has been an active part of their lives for awhile. So they have a strong urge to teach others about it. The problem is that they can mouth some words, but they really really don't understand it deeply because they don't have the serious practice time in....

Again, this is just what I have gathered about you from a few posts. If I'm mistaken, then it won't matter much. But if I got you pegged right, this could be an opportunity for you to really learn something.

Goodbye David,

Charles
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Nicely done Charles. This is not a new thing...people are always on the podium, always right, and their ego excuses their bad behavior. Oh well. Ron Tisdale
Charles,

I do not know why you are upset? I thought all advices have been given and understood. That's nothing up there about ego. When I train in any martial art forms I train with an open-mind. Probably when I started martial arts 35 years ago, I trained with no-mind -- but what can you expect from a 11-year old. During my competitive years, my training was more myopic -- everything was "Yes, sensei!" or "Oss, sensei" as what you would term "choreographed" or what I would term as "obedience".

As an open-minded martial artist (a geisha) I never claimed I was a Iwama-stylist or a Aikikai stylist. FYI, Aikikai has no specific style. I was saying from my experience in Aikido training, Iwama-ryu offers a better methodology for the transmission of knowledge. What I have offered to you was for you to think on your alone and not let someone else influent your thinking. I didn't insist that I was right -- I merely told you to do some research on the subjects on your own to get them right (for yourself). When we talk about Shu-Ha-Ri, Rachel was quick to direct us to Chiba sensei' article. Research is also the Ha stage -- as pathologist would cut-up a body or an organ for analysis, a chemist would break up a compound to determine the element structure, a re-engineering process may including breaking up a Nasa space rocket by a Japanese space engineer , etc. -- breaking = analyse. Research does not meaning reading just one or two articles. My re-search of martial arts is a continuing process.

From the postings, you have assumed that I have a --ve mindset to your answers when I did not even say or implied, "Charles, you are dead wrong on all counts". I merely said that our definitions of "choreography" did not harmonised. I suggested that you practise Soshin, that is to empty your mind of the +ve and --ve (both yours and mine) and re-think the subject matter holistically. Picture youself trapped in a maze and you wish you can levitate above the maze and see the route out of it -- you are only interested in the end result. Now, replace yourself with the subject matter and what result do you expect to find at the end. Soshin is about knowing the consequences of the action(s) (more yours than others).

From your postings, I perceive that you've meant that for ALL intents and purposes Aikido is "choreography". In my postings (without drawing the big picture), I was trying to tell you that for SOME intents and purposes Aikido is indeed choreography (e.g. Kumi Jo, Kumi Ken, Kata). That is the difference. Doing things right and not knowing why they are right are two separate matters. Aikido like most Japanese art forms are enshrined (not sure whether I put it rightly?) in Zen Buddhism -- emphasis is placed on knowing the end results.

Do you get my picture now, Grasshopper ?

Quote:
Charles wrote:
Why would you do that?
Charles
Quote:
David wrote:
Goodbye, Charles
I've assumed that you know Soshin and the concept of Shu-Ha-Ri. Goodbye means you've already known the answers. My thread is closed.

For Ron and those who have been following the trail of these postings, I hope you are able to see the shortcoming of Shu-Ha-Ri (that is exhibited here). Shu-Ha-Ri is also about intuitiveness (two mind). In general, we are innate to think with one mind. In the oriental concept, before the teacher accepts a student, he would determine whether the prospective student has a mind or not. At the Shu stage (after acceptance) the teacher would continue to assess whether that student has acquired that "second" mind. The actual teaching/training began after that. It is very individual. O sensei only trained a short period with Takeda (spelling?) of Daito-ryu. Mochizuki shihan (10th dan) also trained a short period (2-3 years) with O sensei and so did a few other high-ranking shihans who had prior trainings in other martial arts (they already had the two mind). Hence learning the Shu-Ha-Ri way is a long process; if you don't persevere physically and mentally, you don't arrive. Sometime, it is a question of whether one has it or not. The process can be life long, life is short, time is valuable -- there are other things that have higher priority than Aikido (your family for one, keeping your job to pay for the Aikido fee, etc.). If there is a methodology that can expedite my understanding and perfection of one art -- I will definitely embrace it without hesitation.

I was not being arrogant when I suggested that you ask your teachers about the principles and fundaments of Aikido. I am just being realistic. I am not about to depart with some of my hard-earned money with a Shodan/Nidan or even higher ranking instructor who he/she himself/herself is time freeze in a Sho stage and cannot even take me beyond that stage. The reason they got themselves that far in rank might be due to the fact that they are great choreographers. In some dojo, the instructor will tell you this when you sign up - "In this dojo, there is only one way -- My Way or it is that way -- the way to the door". They have no knowledge of sports science and they have no knowledge of first aid. The warming up starts with exercises that put undue stress to your heart, to your joints and to your back. Why? Because they're done that way by the shihan in Hombu dojo. By the way, do you know at what age did the shihan commence training? I don't know and I don't care, I care that you'll do as told. This is obedience without understanding -- the one mind at work. And you thought training in martial arts is to help you live longer and healthier life?

Humbly searching…

David

Last edited by David Yap : 07-19-2003 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 07-19-2003, 09:28 AM   #46
Charles Hill
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David,

Due to the length and (IMHO) the lack of inner logic in your last post, I see that I may have hit a nerve. I'm going to take that as my being correct in my assessment of you.

As for you not claiming you're an Iwama stylist, in post#23, you say that you had to empty your cup of the styles you had done before, TKD and Iwama. On another thread, you wrote that you have done Iwama Ryu only three months and only practiced the suburi. I bet it didn't take long to empty you cup of it. You also wrote in another post that you started Aikido in '94, not '93. That gives you a grand total of three and a half years of Aikido plus the couple of months you have been training after a five year break in which you practiced "armchair Aikido." Of course I don't know you, but it seems to me that it is going to take 10 years of actual practice to undo the damage those five years inflicted.

As for me being upset, you are correct, I am. I'm upset that a number of people here write demeaning and insulting things about/to other people from the relative anonymity that an e-forum provides. My basic opinion is that you, David, have no deep understanding of the things that you write and that some of it is just wrong. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to learn you hold a bokken at the wrong end. But that opinion has nothing to do with the sharing of good useful information and insightful experiences that an e-forum requires to have meaning. I think you have done that to some degree, but your arrogance and various attempts to show some authority in the martial arts make it clear that you, personally, have not benefitted from the knowledge that you have gotten from various books and have written here.

You have communicated that you will not post here anymore(twice.) I, however, will continue to post if I feel I have something to offer.

Charles
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Old 07-19-2003, 10:43 AM   #47
Ron Tisdale
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Cough....The only thing I see is...Oh never mind. Shouldn't waste my breath.

RT

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-19-2003, 11:41 AM   #48
Nacho
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Tongue Forums

bla bla bla bla bla, bla, bla bla. blabla?? bla!....mm bla bla (#!^@#%@#%##!!!)
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Old 07-19-2003, 04:12 PM   #49
Pretoriano
 
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Post yuca

Yes, get some truth from Mr Yap

Definetively you give more credit to protocolar settings to whatever substance hes trying to share, an excuse to say that was insulting! I just dont get it1 it out performs my standarised way of trainning... hes insulting nobody here as I can see. He can put his personal history in the way he prefers thats irrelevant, what counts is what he can add to the colective pot.

"He discouraged videotaping (always in a nice way) because he would say it'll be different tomorrow." Hill

Wrong! got that picture thats a summatory from.. to today... review, make the adjustements and then make another one, valuable tool btw.
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Old 07-19-2003, 06:14 PM   #50
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: yuca

Quote:
Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano) wrote:
"He discouraged videotaping (always in a nice way) because he would say it'll be different tomorrow." Hill

Wrong!
Hi Manuel,

I'm sorry but I had some difficulty in understanding your post. I am interested in understanding what you mean, especially the above quote.

I, too,think that videotaping is a valuable tool. During the time I was at John Stevens' dojo at Tohoku Fukushi College, the college students used some of the club's money to buy a video camera to tape embu and things like that.

As soon as I saw the camera, I got it into my greedy little head to tape Stevens Sensei so I could have an easier time to learn all the difficult forms. Sensei would smile, kind of shake his head, and say ok, but he would always warn me that what he was doing today, he'd be doing differently tomorrow.

I would also race over to my notebook after each class and write down all the techniques and everything I learned. Stevens Sensei would watch me and then laugh, saying something like that he used to do that until he got smart.

Anyway, sorry I couldn't understand your post, could you explain a little more?

Charles
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