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Old 06-08-2017, 09:31 AM   #51
PeterR
 
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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Jim Redel wrote: View Post
For example, Leonard Cohen studied Zen with Joshu Sasaki. He once made a comment that I found very interesting. When asked about how he got interested in Zen, he said something to the effect ... "If I met Sasaki and he was teaching physics, I would have become a physics student."
Good story and at least from my perspective very relevant. I think those that keep on with this have maintained faith with their direct teachers rather than something more distant such as Ueshiba M.. If we do loose faith in our art the fault tends to be much closer to home.

Its clear to me that what I study is what I am being taught and I believe it is what I am looking for. Convoluted I know but I also take it on faith that it is Aikido.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:15 AM   #52
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

. "If I met Sasaki and he was teaching physics, I would have become a physics student."

I also love this quote. I understood it to say something very akin to what I found within my own life. The great teachers that have come to have huge impacts were such not because of what they taught but because of who they were. Underlying that fact, and underlying what I believe Cohen was getting at besides it's the teacher that counts, is the position that like Aikido, there's not just one Zen. Perhaps more than that, he'd add, and their shouldn't be.

David M. Valadez
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:30 PM   #53
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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not because of what they taught but because of who they were.
Yes, yes, but even more precisely - "because of the potential they represented". In Aikido, Tohei became a kind of hero when people realized ... "Hey, I could do that."

Jim Redel BHC Aikido
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:15 AM   #54
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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The great teachers that have come to have huge impacts were such not because of what they taught but because of who they were.
Don't really see why the "what" should be superseded by "who". Is it really the case that a great teacher of Aikido achieves his or her greatness by the sheer power of personality with little regard to their technical abilities?

Such setup sounds like cult to me.

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Old 06-09-2017, 08:56 AM   #55
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

Modern Man's problem is not victimization through cultic abuse. It is finding and having the humility and courage to get out of his or her own way so as to be mentorable.

David M. Valadez
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:38 AM   #56
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
Modern Man's problem is not victimization through cultic abuse. It is finding and having the humility and courage to get out of his or her own way so as to be mentorable.
This...without giving away our individuality or power. It is about the art not the teacher in that aspect. We can learn about the way without becoming a worshiper of the teacher.

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:27 PM   #57
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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Don't really see why the "what" should be superseded by "who". Is it really the case that a great teacher of Aikido achieves his or her greatness by the sheer power of personality with little regard to their technical abilities?

Such setup sounds like cult to me.
I believe you are misreading the intent of introducing the qualities of the teacher. Think of it this way ... you want to study a martial art in a small town, preferably Aikido. There are two schools - MMA and Aikido. One of the teachers (it's not important which) is a pillar of the community, the other is a total sleazebag. Where do you study?

Last edited by bothhandsclapping : 06-09-2017 at 12:30 PM.

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Old 06-09-2017, 01:11 PM   #58
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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I believe you are misreading the intent of introducing the qualities of the teacher. Think of it this way ... you want to study a martial art in a small town, preferably Aikido. There are two schools - MMA and Aikido. One of the teachers (it's not important which) is a pillar of the community, the other is a total sleazebag. Where do you study?
I'd train with the one who can deliver the goods. Can you imagine choosing a teacher who is a wonderful human being, but has no clue about martial arts?

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Old 06-09-2017, 01:55 PM   #59
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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I'd train with the one who can deliver the goods. Can you imagine choosing a teacher who is a wonderful human being, but has no clue about martial arts?
I may not need perfection in the human being but if I knew enough to make a judgement I would still steer clear of the sleaze bag. I can be pretty certain the truly sleazy would not be that good in imparting whatever skill he had. Not to mention not wanting to stew in the swamp.

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Old 06-09-2017, 02:42 PM   #60
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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I may not need perfection in the human being but if I knew enough to make a judgement I would still steer clear of the sleaze bag. I can be pretty certain the truly sleazy would not be that good in imparting whatever skill he had. Not to mention not wanting to stew in the swamp.
In a way it is a matter of degrees. I would not want to train for example with a raging psychopath and if this qualifies as "sleaze bag" we are on the same page. On the other hand Aikido the activity for me is not there to provide a nurturing social environment. If it does, that is fantastic but that is still just a bonus.

To put it anther way, do you think all Aikido giants were warm, compassionate, humble, non bigoted, non homophobic, loyal to their spouses, non drinking, not injuring their students, not supporting political extremists people, on or off the mat throughout their entire lives?

And if some of them were, does this diminish the martial art of Aikido? And if your teacher, or your teacher's teacher would take a moral stand and choose not to practice under such a person would you be doing Aikido today?

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Old 06-09-2017, 03:44 PM   #61
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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In a way it is a matter of degrees. I would not want to train for example with a raging psychopath and if this qualifies as "sleaze bag" we are on the same page.
OK, what about an instructor who hits on all the female students?
What about an instructor who intentionally throws female students harder than her male counterparts (of similar rank)?
What about an instructor who turns the other way as senior students take advantage of beginning students? (Unnecessarily painful nikyo, throws that are well beyond a beginning student's ukemi skills, etc.)

There is a whole spectrum of sleazebag long before raging psychopath. And so a potential student must naturally wonder - irrespective of the instructor's skill - will this be an inevitable part of the 'goods' that are being delivered? How could you not wonder?

Jim Redel BHC Aikido
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:04 PM   #62
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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OK, what about an instructor who hits on all the female students?
What about an instructor who intentionally throws female students harder than her male counterparts (of similar rank)?
What about an instructor who turns the other way as senior students take advantage of beginning students? (Unnecessarily painful nikyo, throws that are well beyond a beginning student's ukemi skills, etc.)

There is a whole spectrum of sleazebag long before raging psychopath. And so a potential student must naturally wonder - irrespective of the instructor's skill - will this be an inevitable part of the 'goods' that are being delivered? How could you not wonder?
Your question reminds me of a certain ritual Peter and friends have in "Family Guy". As to the inevitability and spectrum, have you applied your test to your own lineage, all the way up to, say, Sokaku Takeda ?

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Old 06-10-2017, 04:34 AM   #63
PeterR
 
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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In a way it is a matter of degrees. I would not want to train for example with a raging psychopath and if this qualifies as "sleaze bag" we are on the same page. On the other hand Aikido the activity for me is not there to provide a nurturing social environment. If it does, that is fantastic but that is still just a bonus.

To put it anther way, do you think all Aikido giants were warm, compassionate, humble, non bigoted, non homophobic, loyal to their spouses, non drinking, not injuring their students, not supporting political extremists people, on or off the mat throughout their entire lives?

And if some of them were, does this diminish the martial art of Aikido? And if your teacher, or your teacher's teacher would take a moral stand and choose not to practice under such a person would you be doing Aikido today?
I did say truly sleazy implying a level of extremity. Lack of moral perfection (what ever that is) makes some one interesting and it could be argued leads to their skill. Sheep make lousy teachers.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:11 AM   #64
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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I did say truly sleazy implying a level of extremity. Lack of moral perfection (what ever that is) makes some one interesting and it could be argued leads to their skill. Sheep make lousy teachers.
I look at this a bit differently. Teachers are humans with all human faults and weaknesses. Most of them are between the extremes of "sleez bags " and "saints" (otherwise they wouldn't be extremes).

As I see it, a student has the responsebility to make the learning happen regardless of the teacher , a bit like mining for gold - there are no guarantees that the process is effortless or indeed pleasant. The important thing that the gold is there.

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Old 06-10-2017, 11:09 AM   #65
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Re: Is the Aikidoka losing faith in their own martial art? I hope not.

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I look at this a bit differently. Teachers are humans with all human faults and weaknesses. Most of them are between the extremes of "sleez bags " and "saints" (otherwise they wouldn't be extremes).

As I see it, a student has the responsebility to make the learning happen regardless of the teacher , a bit like mining for gold - there are no guarantees that the process is effortless or indeed pleasant. The important thing that the gold is there.
Well said and I believe we might have made our way back to the original subject of this thread. Rather than a loss of faith in Aikido, might it really be that there is no longer a complete agreement of what the true gold is in Aikido training.

BTW: My two main Aikido teachers were Wade Ishimoto and Shizuo Imaizumi - a unique combination of original source Aikido (Imaizumi taught at the Hombu dojo in the 60's and 70's and continues to teach today) and real world application (Ishimoto was the 'martial arts guy' in the failed hostage rescue attempt in the desert of Iran in 1980.)

Last edited by bothhandsclapping : 06-10-2017 at 11:21 AM.

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