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Old 05-23-2013, 02:27 PM   #126
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
Only the people that have the power to hurt are living in peace consciously. The others simply have no choice.
It is true, but just a dream, especially if you practice only aikido.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:18 PM   #127
RLW
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
It has been stated many times, by many people, that non-violence without the ability to defend oneself is just wishful thinking. I think that history would indicate that something else entirely is required for non-violence, or pacifism. The practitioners of Gandhi's satyagraha had no martial skills. They were ordinary people from various walks of life yet few would deny that they were peaceful warriors of the first order. The Freedom Riders of the 1960's had no fighting skills nor would they have used them if they had had them.

What is required to be non-violent is depth of character. What is required to be a pacifist is the ability to over come the fear of death. The followers of Gandhi and King walked unhesitatingly into situations in which they KNEW they would be beaten, perhaps killed, and they marched anyway; without the back-up of great destructive martial skill or weaponry of any kind other than their moral force.
From http://aikieast.blogspot.com/2009/09...-fighting.html

What George Ledyard sensei points out here are two very effective examples of non-violence that each had many realized goals, or morphed beyond dreams.

I don't understand pacifism as exactly equaling passive. If peace were on a spectrum, then, depending on the assault or injustice in question, it's possible that making a non-violent engagement does mean making a concious choice to move further away from peace; maybe for however long is neccesary to achieve a more secure position toward it, maybe for the rest of your suddenly truncated life. In any case what's going on is that, rather than physicaly attempting to effect an oppressive or threatening entity, you alter yourself, and then your relationship with said entity must change if it choses to remain fixated... hmmm, this is beginning to sound alot like another thing I practice.
Pacifism is relevant as a way to carry ourselves within or outside of conflict, or as ways to achieve civil rights or oust an occupying military, the latter or which *can not* be done without suffering many many casualties. For personal protection of course it does absolutely nothing when a club is descending on you or for stopping bullets or protecting you from automobile injuries or losing your job but Aikido won't do any of these things either.

There was some discussion here about Ledyard sensie's blog http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16795
There are counterarguments that certainly make me think, but I just like to bring up this whole point now when I hear the bit about pacifism and choice because it's a comment that gets around alot and I do think it's important for people to think about it.

-Richard
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:33 PM   #128
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
"Nobody can take away my strength because I do not use it."
O'sensei Morihei Ueshiba

The goal of taking up martial arts has always been clear to me: to be able to defend oneself and to develop every aspect of the human being, physical, mental, spiritual, esoteric simultaneously. Of course this has nothing to do with wanting to impose your will by using force, neither with having any fear of power.
Many people confuse the way aikido works without relying merely on brute force with teaching the absence of any power, but nothing could be further from the truth. We use power in aikido or else nobody would go flying around or be imobilized, but that doesn't mean that we use it the way body builders do.
In aikido our power comes by redirecting the attacker's power, by using the combination of our tai sabaki and ki power, by being able to make the transition from hard to soft, by using hard and soft at the same time or the combination of all the above acording to the attack one faces. So we are far from using mere brute violent strength against the attack, yet we have absolutely no problem with being powerful.
Aikido is a martial art and a martial artist is a warrior first and foremost. However he is also the preserver of peace. There is nothing non pacifistic about being a martial artist. On the contrary it gives the chance to be actively in peace instead of simply talking about it.
Most people nowadays are full of anxiety and stress, leading lives that get them further and further from being one with themselves and nature. Practicing aikido leads people to get in touch with their selves, with human nature and if they practice seriously it leads them to be calmer, more realised persons, with higher self esteem. So they become peacefull inside and that changes also the way they interact with others.
Even in a self defence situation, it is the martial artist that can react more peacefully. He will either use his martial arts perception to avoid getting in trouble or (if that is impossible) he will use his self defence techniques to defend himself while being in complete control of himself, not causing unnesessary damage, hurting his attackers only as much as is needed to save his own life. So even though he has unwillingly entered a fighting situation, the martial artist can be in peace with himself during the confrontation and restore peace to his environment by neutralising his attackers. A theoretically pacifistic person, with no martial arts training, facing the danger he could either lose his life or lose control of himself and save his life by seriously hurting or killing his attackers even if that could have been avoided.
There is no inconsistency in being an aikidoka and being a powerful one as long as that power comes by using the aikido principles to apply aikido tachniques.
There is no inconsistency in being an aikidoka and being a peaceful one. Only the people that have the power to hurt are living in peace consciously. The others simply have no choice.
Yes, I like your quote at the beginning. I also like this one:

"If all you think about is winning, you will in fact lose everything. Know that both you and your opponents are treading the same path. Envelop adversaries with love, entrust yourself to the natural flow of things, unify ki, body and mind, and efface the boundary between self and other. This opens unlimited possibilities.

Those who are enlightened to these principles are always victorious. Winning without contending is Masakatsu-Agatsu-Katsu-Hayabi. Masakatsu, - True Victory, is to unify self and other, to link yourself to the Divine, to yoke yourself to Divine Love, to become one with the universe itself. Masakatsu represents the masculine fire element of the left; Agatsu stands for the feminine water element on the right; Katsu-Hayabi is the perfect combination of both that creates the technique."

O-Sensei.

Peace.G.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #129
ryback
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
It is true, but just a dream, especially if you practice only aikido.
What is that even supposed to mean? Perhaps "practice only aikido" will turn out to mean something different for me than it does for you. The way i practice has a practical self defence application as well as esoteric and self discovery aspects which anyway are one and the same for any serious practitioner. There are many examples around us of aikidoists who have acomplished all that i mention in my previous post. Some of them are well known and other are independant basement dojos with no care for affiliations and rank, only practical aikido.
In my experience, people who cannot achieve the things i said in my post by applying aikido, are simply people who are not good in aikido, period. It is not the art's fault if they are too busy making theoretical excuses instead of trying to practice and get better...
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:54 PM   #130
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
In my experience, people who cannot achieve the things i said in my post by applying aikido, are simply people who are not good in aikido, period.
I do not know what are you talking about. Just try to perform any aikido technique without your partner cooperation.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:02 AM   #131
ryback
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
I do not know what are you talking about. Just try to perform any aikido technique without your partner cooperation.
I have, many times. Against very strong resisting people who were trying to prove something, against people who have a fighting sports background and even against aikidoists who were resisting using their kokyu as part of our training and it works every time.
I have also been on the receiving end of technique while i was resisting or trying my best to punch or kick real fast and ended up flat on my backside, so i also know how it feels when it works.
Aikido is a martial art and if one is training seriously it works.
So I think that I agree with you on that one: You obviously don't know what I'm talking about and unfortunatelly you are not the only one.
On the other hand there are a lot of aikidoists out there who know what they are doing and are able to understand my point, so there is still hope for the future of the art.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #132
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
You obviously don't know what I'm talking about and unfortunatelly you are not the only one.
Unfortunately, you did not understand my point. I haven't had in mind a pathology in dojo as dealing with 'very strong resisting people who were trying to prove something'. I am talking about a partner not willing to cooperate. It means, not moving if is not necessary. For example, in judo, you are able to perform techniques as many as you wish with a partner who is just standing and doing nothing. Obviously, you do not expect that a person is loosing his balance with every punch?

So, if you are saying that aikido is a martial art, there is still a misunderstanding among us. 'Martial' means war. Same with 'bu' from a two-syllable japanese word "budo". What does it mean: "Aikido is a martial art and if one is training seriously it works"? Do you hurt each other?
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:19 PM   #133
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
I am talking about a partner not willing to cooperate. It means, not moving if is not necessary. For example, in judo, you are able to perform techniques as many as you wish with a partner who is just standing and doing nothing.
I experienced this to be a very interisting, and what's more, a very usefull way of practice.

Quote:
'Martial' means war. Same with 'bu' from a two-syllable japanese word "budo". What does it mean: "Aikido is a martial art and if one is training seriously it works"? Do you hurt each other?
The old japanese budō also don't hurt their partner during training. It was importnant to not do the job of the maybe enemy at home while preparing for battle. ;-)
I think it's crucial whether you actually could hurt or not an opponent?

Last edited by akiy : 05-28-2013 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #134
iron horse
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Re: The Fear of Power

Interesting thread. Looks like the aiki bunnies have been safely locked in the closet for awhile. Now that people are beginning to recognise that power can be useful, how do you go about developing it?
How do you develop your Soft Power and how do you develop your Hard Power and do you or don't you distinguish.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #135
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I think it's crucial whether you actually could hurt or not an opponent?
You are right Carsten, definitely it is. My question about performing aikido techniques was a little tricky. I do not have problem with understanding Morihei Ueshiba's art. It is simply not about throwing people. All the techniques, he selected, serve absolutely different purpose. Today, in all the dojos, they are trying hard to adopt them for some kind of entertainment, I presume. Unfortunately, it doesn't work without partners' cooperation.

And, Morihei Ueshiba's art is a martial art. The best and most unique. It is about killing people in the blink of an eye. Practice supposed to be based on judo development for safety.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:56 PM   #136
graham christian
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Re: The Fear of Power

Once again seems all backwards to me. Training to handle someone completely in the blink of an eye without hurting them is ten times harder than training to hurt them in the blink of an eye. Thus twen times easier to hurt them too if needs be.

In my experience people actually scared to train this way. Very unmartial.

Peace.G.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:24 AM   #137
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Re: The Fear of Power

"In the blink of an eye" - it's just a phrase.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:57 AM   #138
ryback
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
Unfortunately, you did not understand my point. I haven't had in mind a pathology in dojo as dealing with 'very strong resisting people who were trying to prove something'. I am talking about a partner not willing to cooperate. It means, not moving if is not necessary. For example, in judo, you are able to perform techniques as many as you wish with a partner who is just standing and doing nothing. Obviously, you do not expect that a person is loosing his balance with every punch?

So, if you are saying that aikido is a martial art, there is still a misunderstanding among us. 'Martial' means war. Same with 'bu' from a two-syllable japanese word "budo". What does it mean: "Aikido is a martial art and if one is training seriously it works"? Do you hurt each other?
You don't have to really hurt your fellow practicioners in order for aikido to qualify as a true martial art. If that was the case, no samurai in feudal Japan would be left to fight or die in the battlefield. They would have killed each other off in the dojo.
Even in a real confrontation, hurting or not hurting your opponent can be a matter of choice if one is an advanced aikidoka, although sometimes your choices are limited by other factors during one fight. The aspect of any aikido technique that shows whether your aikido works or not is that of control. If one is able to control his opponent regardless of any attack, then his aikido works. He can kill him, hurt him bad, or even harmlessly imobilize him according to the situation, but taking control of the attack comes first.
As i have mentioned in my previous post I have applied techniques to people who didn't move because they wanted to prove something, and also to trained aikidoists who were using their experience to stay statical as part of our training. It is very important to be able to do any technique without your opponent surrendering his balance at your feet and as I said before it works. It works if one is trying to hit you without overextending his attack with every punch, it even works if one is simply trying to statically grab you and hold you there without giving you any direction.
After the tori has taken control by using a technique, then and only then the uke rolls or breakfalls in order to avoid his arm getting broken, his head getting injured or worse because during fast advanced practice it can get very dangerous.
Now if you are saying that there are dojos that practice a danceform where everybody is overextending their attack, the tori simply...caresses their wrist and the uke are flying acrobatically around the technique, you are absolutelly right, I completely agree with you on that one. My point was that there is nothing wrong with aikido as a true budo, only with the way these people are training. This is not aikido no matter what the inscriptions outside their schools have written on them.
So in order to avoid that, one does not need to stop practicing aikido or start a parallel training in another art. Simply train hard and seriously in a true aikido dojo.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:04 AM   #139
ryback
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Re: The Fear of Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Once again seems all backwards to me. Training to handle someone completely in the blink of an eye without hurting them is ten times harder than training to hurt them in the blink of an eye. Thus twen times easier to hurt them too if needs be.

In my experience people actually scared to train this way. Very unmartial.

Peace.G.
I agree 100% Graham. Controling a fast realistic attack without hurting the opponent is much more difficult than causing damage. So if you are forced to cause damage in a life or death situation then becomes easier. And if one is training like that, he also maintains the choice of hurting or not his attacker.
Yes it is very difficult to control without hurting and that's why aikido takes so long. But if you have this ability in any level you start to feel the real spirit of budo...And nothing compares to that.
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