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Old 02-11-2013, 05:32 AM   #76
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?

Agree, violence is all local. It depends on where you stand...and walk. I think the important thing is that we are mindful about it. That is, our own reality may not be what is really going on and we need to be aware of the dissonance that our own reality brings us. It may neither be as peaceful or violent as we imagine or experience it. I think this is what budo is about. Not about judging, but about growing and understanding...awareness.

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Old 02-11-2013, 10:28 AM   #77
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,199
Re: Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?

Filipe Messias wrote: View Post
My point with all this "bla,bla,bla" is that we´re mainly discussing "violence" as we know it from our civilized, organized, supervized with police and courts... the places where we usually carry on with our lives.
We're all discussing it from wherever we carry on our lives, and whatever our life experience has shown us. Even with the best of intentions, it's hard to speak knowledgeably about situations that you've never experienced; those who do speak about such experiences are usually blowhards and not knowledgeable. If there's a lesson there, perhaps it's that we need to be cautious about making broad assertions and sweeping generalizations about the nature of violence, current trends, "kids today" etc.

With that said, I would cautiously offer the very broad and sweeping generalization that it's always easier to destroy than it is to build, and it's always easier to disrupt peace than it is to create it. An American politician (really more properly called a statesman), Sam Rayburn, once said that any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one. And acts of building, mending, and making peace tend to be subtle and much more easily overlooked than acts of destruction and disruption. So no, I don't think we live in a world that's becoming more violent. We live in a world where violence has always been cheap and easy to come by, compared to peace -- as it has always been. We live in a world where the work of civilizing the young is challenging and takes patience and persistence -- as it has always done. We live in a world where uncivilized people, grown to adulthood and empowered with adult privileges, can wreak havoc -- as it always was. But we also live in a world where the tools of civilizing -- reading, writing, exchanging ideas -- are more easily come by than at any time in the past. Those who would build rather than break, the lonely voices of peace, are perhaps less lonely than in the past (or at least less alone). This doesn't make the work of civilizing any easier -- it is still just as hard and must be accomplished one person at a time. But we have some better tools and at least we can know that it is happening in many different places.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #78
Michael Neal
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 601
Re: Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?

I avoid violence whenever possible, always have. That includes avoiding places and people that are more risky and backing down even if I am confident I would prevail. Not worth it.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 04-01-2013 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:24 PM   #79
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Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 291
Re: Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?

On the initial post, I agree, it seems that, with some judicious use of common sense, it is possible to avoid nearly all of the confrontations which drive violence. However, that is, as I've recently discussed with other martial-artsy folks, sort of the "duel mentality," as contrasted with the "Predator vs. Prey" mentality. The former is a simple one to avoid through the use of one's own behavior modification, but the latter might just jump out and grab you (literally) with no warning.

I tender to you that the best way to survive the latter is to spend long hours in the dojo as uke, getting whomped by friends and fellow students, so that the ukemi is polished to an unconscious sheen, the fall reactions are fluidly flexibly ready and available at need without one having to consciously reach for them.

It might be a very good thing to be sitting minding one's own business, and the next moment find oneself coming up out of a roll with a split on the side of one's scalp -- rather than still being IN said chair with a cracked skull. I think that one's survivability in a real "bad guy" situation, where they don't want to humble you, but to really hurt you, goes up geometrically with an increase in the time one spends on the receiving side of practice.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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