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Old 05-30-2006, 08:24 PM   #1
Guilty Spark
 
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Aikido, the military and fighting

Hey guys. Glad I was referred to this site, looks great.

Probably a bit heavy for a first post but I've been waiting to find a forum like this for a while.

I've been learning and studying aikido for a while now and I'm having a blast.
Aside from going to class and doing all that stuff I've been doing a lot of reading on the spiritual aspect of aikido. Art of peace and what not.
The whole love thy enemy get, rid of your ego, respect everyone all life is sacred stuff is really clicking for me. I've implemented this stuff in my life, How I deal with people at work and at home and how I approach challenges etc..

Here is my spiritual issue however.

I'm a soldier and I'm heading overseas in a few months for my third tour. I'm having a problem trying to understand how I can practice 'the art of peace' while in that environment. The main idea (open to argument I'm sure) of Aikido is to take someone who is trying to hurt you and disarm them without harm coming to you OR them. Unfortunately some of the people I will deal with won't give me that option. If I for example don't shoot to kill then I am putting my life in danger and those around me, military and civilian. Seconds will mean the difference between life and death. I can't see a way to avoid hurting people in this situation, these guys are not going to give me many options.
Now I don't have a problem against it. It's my job and while I won't enjoy having to hurt someone, I won't hesitate to do it for an instant. I'm just trying to figure out how I can apply aikido principals to the environment I am in and the job I will be doing.

The military seems like an odd environment for aikido due to the training, conditioning, aggression and personalities the army often attracts, especially in the combat arms. That said the few aikidoists I've spoke with in the military seem to really have their stuff together. Their self control professionalism and respect seem to rub off on those around them, I just need some advice on how I can start along that path.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:40 PM   #2
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

In my mind, practicality must aim toward idealism, but idealism must yield to practicality. Use your wits and your senses and do your best, beyond that, I can't give any specific advice because, for one thing, I'm not in the military. However, it sounds as if you're already pretty well along that path you described.
Gambatte, Okiotsukete, Ogenkide,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:20 PM   #3
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
The whole love thy enemy get, rid of your ego, respect everyone all life is sacred stuff is really clicking for me. I've implemented this stuff in my life, How I deal with people at work and at home and how I approach challenges etc.
Welcome, Grant. I hope members here will offer you their many facets of expereince on your very pointed, important and timely question.

Let me begin, not in my words, but in O-Sensei's:

"Realizing in your heart that
life and death looms before you
You might wish to withdraw
But the enemy will not let you."

And,

"Thinking that I am in front of him
The enemy raises his sword to attack
But, lo, I am already standing behind him."
Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
Here is my spiritual issue however.

I'm a soldier and I'm heading overseas in a few months for my third tour. I'm having a problem trying to understand how I can practice 'the art of peace' while in that environment.
Aikido is not about peace unless it is also about war. I firmly believe that none can make peace who cannot also make war. I am personally saddened only that the first go round of the Gulf War (which was my turn) did not ensure that you were not called upon to do it now.
Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
The main idea (open to argument I'm sure) of Aikido is to take someone who is trying to hurt you and disarm them without harm coming to you OR them. Unfortunately some of the people I will deal with won't give me that option. If I for example don't shoot to kill then I am putting my life in danger and those around me, military and civilian. Seconds will mean the difference between life and death. I can't see a way to avoid hurting people in this situation, these guys are not going to give me many options.
Aikido is training in a way of thinking about conflict, not of force on force, but of victory without directly opposing your force to that of the enemy. It is the practical methods and principles that Sun Tzu described as "Supreme art in war is to defeat the enemy without fighting." He did not say it was the only way, or even necessarily an available way in all circumstances.

One cannot compel an enemy to give up the error of bringing conflict to you. You can minimize the scope of response, and dissipate his tactical effort by appropriate use of aiki. This way of thinking works in hand -to- hand, blade weapons, and in small arms also. The techniques of aiki are training your body, but also you mind and heart. They teach you to look for (and occasionally even find) a response that more likely to destroy the enemy's attack, without destroying the enemy.

Aikido is a strategic paradigm. That is not to say it is of use only to armchair officers and planners. Strategy is the art of choice among available tactics. Aikido techniques school you in reacting to the enemies' strategic choices in ways that minimize your input of energy/effort/or planning, which are all precious commodities in short supply in a hot contact situation.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
Now I don't have a problem against it. It's my job and while I won't enjoy having to hurt someone, I won't hesitate to do it for an instant. I'm just trying to figure out how I can apply aikido principals to the environment I am in and the job I will be doing.
My first teacher Dennis Hooker Sensei has said before, (and here recently) that he has his aiki of war and his aiki of peace. It was too good a quote not to steal.

It has been told that, in hearing that a number of people survived the sinking of the Titanic, someone remarked that "God was with those that were rescued." Someone else overhearing this, said in reponse, "God was with those who were drowning also." The point being that our view is not God's view. Our wars are not God's wars, and our peace is not His peace.

If an attacker dies in a violent encounter, and the survivor used aikido techniques to save himself or others, it does not mean that the aikido failed because the attacker died. All measures are finite and some results are not avoidable. Take no blame for the results of necessary acts. If you choose always among the tactics available to you, those choices that reduce the necessity of escalation, that provide space for an enemy to end rather than reignite conflict, you have done all that honor and duty require.

What those choices may be in the immediate need you will not have the luxury of knowing in advance. Aikido training will help you learn to make the choices ultimately given to you, immediately, intuitively, and in ways that guide you to the channels of de-escalation, when you must respond directly to threatened or feared aggression.
Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
The military seems like an odd environment for aikido due to the training, conditioning, aggression and personalities the army often attracts, especially in the combat arms. That said the few aikidoists I've spoke with in the military seem to really have their stuff together. Their self control professionalism and respect seem to rub off on those around them, I just need some advice on how I can start along that path.
I never found it odd. You shouldn't either. There are good groups practicing in Iraq. I know of a good Marine who routinely trains young Marines in aikido at Camp Lejeune, and was there recently or is there now. A good dojo mate of mine is shipping out for a National Guard tour in Iraq also, he trains in aikido and iaijutsu.

My own Gulf War deployment experience (Navy) made me value my jo and bokken. (Hint: never try ukemi on non-skid.) It is remarkable to me how much the mere motions of the basic kata I knew at the time, played out in variations, have added depth to my practice. it is good, calming and a good stress reducer, especially when you have NOT been able to set eyes (or outgoing rounds) on the enemies setting munitions against you.

Keep practicing!

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:39 AM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Hey Grant, looks like you found us!

As you probably already know, I am in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer. I work at the largest U.S Training area in Europe. I spend most of my time directly training or influencing troops to go "down range". In additon, from time to time I too deploy to various locations.

In my personal life I practice and follow the tenants and philosophies of buddhism, I am a vegetarian on top of that...and pretty much try and follow a path of peace or non-violence.

As you already know, it is a complicated and conflicted life we can lead as soldiers. It can be hard at times to reconcile our personal beliefs with those of our country, citizens, and institutions. It has been a hard road for me at times to make sure I am doing the right things.

I look forward to discussing my experiences with you. I hope they will be of help. I cannot recall the particular books, articles or essays...but the Dali Lama has been an inspiration for me in his writings and has helped guide me in my path. His writings showed me that the world is not necessarily "black or white".

I would recommend reading some of his things.

In a small space I will tell you this. This is how I see it for me right now....I try and train and influence the people I am around as best I can by setting a good example. I don't preach, criticize, or lecture...I simply try and "be the change I want to see in the world". (Ghandi) We need good soldiers in the world that understand peace as well.

I train my soldiers to have the best skills they can. I train them in combatives, I try and help them understand ethics and our Army Values, which are not in conflict with my values BTW. I hope that when the time comes that they will make the best decision they can make, and hopefully make it in a caring and compassionate way...as best they can.

Look at SGT Alvin York as well, a U.S Soldier, but a conscientious objector who made some tough decisions and went on to do great things.

I think guys like you and I make some of the best soldiers because we take the time to really understand peace.

I am happy to talk off line with you as well if you have topics of a more personal nature. PM me if you'd like!
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:42 AM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Oh also this, I am not sure how it works in the Canadian Army...but if you can, go discuss it with your Chaplain...he might have some insights and be of help as well.
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:54 AM   #6
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Soldiers all over the globe put their life in danger to protect the life of civilians of legitimate nations. Sometimes, circumstances dictate you to kill, sometimes it dictate you save lives. What are we but only a servant to our nation and political masters. Kill if you must, but take no joy at such action only that you are duty bound to carry the action on the bequest of your oath. Do what you must but do it justly, honourably and with compassion even against the bitterest of enemies.

<Esoteric mode off>

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:19 AM   #7
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Wow, that is the most serious question anyone has ever posted in this forum.

Good luck and please share your wisdom upon your safe return.
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Old 05-31-2006, 08:53 AM   #8
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Used to train the DND provos at 15 Wing in Moose Jaw before they headed out to Haiti back in the 90's.

One piece of advice from one of my Shihan many years ago (paraphrased):

"Ai means harmony. When someone is attacking you with a gun, defending yourself with a knife is not harmonious. If they have a .38 you should have a .45."

Basically, don't take a knife to a gunfight.

Harmony is about fitting in with your environment and those around you. You try and elevate those around you if you can. It's called "hearts and minds". You do the best you can under the circumstances by fitting in to the situation. But, don't place yourself and your buddies into harm's way just because you want to be "nice". You have a job to do and you have to do that first. That will keep you and your buddies safe. You can't be of any good to anyone if you and your buddies are dead or grieviously wounded.

By seeming naive and kind, you just make yourself a target for those who want a soft target and to do maximum damage. BE PROFESSIONAL. That means being fair, equitable, alert, and careful.

You don't have to be a Rambo but you aren't there to be nice. People don't appreciate nice as much as they appreciate fair, especially in a war zone. You are there to provide stability and a chance for the locals to pull themselves out of the mire. You aren't there to do everything for them, no matter how desperate their case may seem.

Remember the parable of the scorpion and the fox trying to cross the river. You aren't there to change the nature of the people but to allow them the choice to determine their own destiny.

Rock
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:08 AM   #9
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

IMHO (from an old Army recon/fo/S2 grunt), get out of your head (internal mental obsessing does not lend itself to good external awareness), let your training speak for itself and just do what the situation dictates, keep you eyes open, your head down, cover each other's back, and leave no one behind.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:44 AM   #10
Guilty Spark
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Thank you for the great replies. This was exactly what I was looking for and more than I expected!

I feel many people falsely give aikido a bad rep. Without taking the time to truly learn about it or ask questions they hear someone talking about how it's 'not really fighting' or non-violent and pass judgment. By the sounds of it many people translate this into aikido being about running away or not hitting someone back. It's not a real martial art because it's not practiced in UFC or in some kind of cage fight.

I think many people take the aggressive/violent path because they don't know any better or society expects them too. It's easy to hurt someone, especially when they've hurt you first.
Before studying aikido I've been in at least three situations with the military where according to our rules of engagement I could have used lethal force. I choose not to because I was able to defuse the situation without hurting anyone. I was disappointed that some of my younger peers couldn't understand why I didn't shoot. "If you were allowed to shoot why didn't you! I would have!". I don't think (hope) this is a case of them wanting to hurt someone so much as it is a case of conditioning (Such as the movie jar head where the marines go crazy because they've completed all the training DON'T have anyone to fight) and because they haven't learned that it's beneficial to use just as much force as required.

In the military or law enforcement (and I'm doing a lot of assuming here) if you get into an altercation with someone and you use your martial arts training to break someones legs and arms, chances are your going to put yourself in hot water regardless of the situation. Especially so due to cameras and the media being everywhere. It's easy to start the footage at the point where you throw someone to the ground and hit them to keep them there, NOT the previous five minutes of said guy throwing rocks at you and trying to hit you in the head with a steel club.

Maybe in the case of soldiers (especially) it can be considered tough love? While your not looking to hurt or injure someone you may have to in order to protect the masses. Practicing the aikido way in this situation means you don't hurt people because you want to but because that person has given you no other option.

I'm confident if required I will do whats needed of me to protect my peers, civilians around me and accomplish the mission. I'm also confident that if someone chooses to do something that requires me injuring or killing them to stop them I'll do it with no malice or hate for them- which to me is what aikido is about. Anyone can comfort a dying friend, it takes someone special to comfort a dying enemy I guess.

That almost seems too simple, I should have thought of that before


Again, thank you again for the replies, it's still given me a lot to think about and some very good new perspectives.

Grant

Last edited by Guilty Spark : 05-31-2006 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:24 PM   #11
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Grant wrote:

Quote:
I think many people take the aggressive/violent path because they don't know any better or society expects them too. It's easy to hurt someone, especially when they've hurt you first.
In my experiences people take the violent path when they have fear. Fear is typically bred out of ignorance and inexperience. When you have deep understanding and the proper training, it reduces fear and allows you to have options.


Quote:
I choose not to because I was able to defuse the situation without hurting anyone. I was disappointed that some of my younger peers couldn't understand why I didn't shoot.
Why we have NCOs and Officers is because younger soldiers have not developed the maturity, wisdom, or knowledge to make proper decisions. One of the reasons I am so adamant about our combatives training in the Army is that I feel it plays an important part in helping soldiers deal with physical and mental conflict directly.


Quote:
I'm confident if required I will do whats needed of me to protect my peers, civilians around me and accomplish the mission. I'm also confident that if someone chooses to do something that requires me injuring or killing them to stop them I'll do it with no malice or hate for them
I am glad to hear that. Do make sure that whatever you do, that you go into it with a clear mind and heart. When you are down range and "hot" it is not the time to get philosophical and think. Do all that on your own time and before deploying. If you are conflicted and not thinking straight you are a danger to yourself and your troops!

Set the example, have a clear mind and heart, be honest, and do the right things...and it will work out in the long run!
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:52 PM   #12
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

I think the "don't think too much" point is a great one.

At a seminar one of our shihan was talking about the role of the military. He compared it to the role of a doctor. At times a doctor will have to go in with a knife and cut away a part of your body, a tumor for example, so that you as a whole are healthier. In this way a violent act is an act of compassion.

Personally, my belief is that aikido attempts to do the "least possible" harm to an attacker. Least possible sometimes being just moving out of the way, and at others as much as killing an attacker.

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Old 05-31-2006, 03:54 PM   #13
DudSan
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Jeff Sodeman wrote:
Personally, my belief is that aikido attempts to do the "least possible" harm to an attacker. Least possible sometimes being just moving out of the way, and at others as much as killing an attacker.
Agree. If you donīt want to do absolutely any harm to an enemy, just donīt resist and let him killing you. It would be so unnatural an absolutely non violent martial art, as an art absolutely intended to kill. Every extreme is bad. Ueshiba said 'We must remember that Aikido is BUDO. And we must be strong to defeat evil in World, I think were his words'. Hey, a Nikyo can break a wrist, and a Shiho Nage on the paviment.... Ouch.

Anyway, a martial art doesnīt work only in Self Defense situations. It works in the whole life. So, if one learn to be better thanx to Aikido, is a good inversion I think. This is good for everybody, soldiers included.

And, finally: some day everybody gets licensed from the Army, due to age. Will he rely, when being a civilian, in lethal force (Combatives) only for SD? In war a soldier must 'Kill or get killed', but civilian life is not the same thing. You kill a man, you go to jail. So, for this future life when you wonīt have the sad chance to kill your oppponent (this is bad for everybody: for him and for you) you will love Aikido because you will have practised beforehand an art that can be Defensive into the range of action that Law prescribes for civilians, and that can be effective for your body even when you become aged.

My two cents
Dud San
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

I've never seen a contradiction between my Army and Aikido. We seek to deter hostility by being strong. We always strive for the minimum use of force to resolve a conflict. If we capture the enemy, we protect him from harm.

Best of luck to you.

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Old 05-31-2006, 04:39 PM   #15
statisticool
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

By blending both you might be able to provide a more aiki solution to replace destruction and conflict

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:28 PM   #16
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

In his book, Aikido Shugyo, Gozo Shioda wrote that when he was call for duty in Shanghai during WWII, his aikido sensei i.e., Morihei Ueshiba said, "Gozo, go in peace, you will not be harmed, I have make sure of that".

Not related to this topic, but it sure brought warm fuzzy feeling to me each time I reread that paragraph.

Boon.

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Old 06-04-2006, 11:55 AM   #17
jeff.
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

hey grant

i'm not a soldier, but from what i can grasp of it _in search of the warrior spirit_ by richard strozzi-heckler sensei might be of use to you. its (basically) about teaching aikido to green berrets, and deals with a lot of the issues i figure you're thinking about. but if i'm wrong, you still might enjoy it!

jeff.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:09 PM   #18
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
The military seems like an odd environment for aikido due to the training, conditioning, aggression and personalities the army often attracts, especially in the combat arms. That said the few aikidoists I've spoke with in the military seem to really have their stuff together. Their self control professionalism and respect seem to rub off on those around them, I just need some advice on how I can start along that path.
I will have some real faith in humanity's chance of surviving and thriving to a more peacefull world, when all an army trains all of its people using the principles and practice of Aikido.

There is no reason why the central 'paradigm' of a modern well trained army could not be built on the core priciples of aikido.
They do not need to be immersed in the 'traditional' elements of dress and ettiquette, but it should be a central part of their combat training.
I respect the position of people like Kevin who are part of the military and doing their best to 'spread the aikido word', through practical application.

I dont think for one minute that aikido should be 'the' only basis for training, it should be a part of many effective techniques, and it doesn't really matter what the names are. Effective combat techniques are many.

The top brass of the military have to be the ones to bring about this change, so I'm not expecting anything soon.

Am I just an idealistic old hippy, or do you guy's think their might be some cause for optimism in the long term?

How close are we to an army being run in this 'enlightened' way?

Just a thought,

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:11 PM   #19
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Jeff Miller wrote:
hey grant

i'm not a soldier, but from what i can grasp of it _in search of the warrior spirit_ by richard strozzi-heckler sensei might be of use to you. its (basically) about teaching aikido to green berrets, and deals with a lot of the issues i figure you're thinking about. but if i'm wrong, you still might enjoy it!

jeff.
I second that, an essential book for anyone remotely interested in aikido and the warrior/soldier mind.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:41 PM   #20
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Good book.

Ideally the military would use the principles of aikido. Directly, they are not ready for it, but the U.S. Army is transforming in a major way, so I think we are moving in the right direction versus the wrong one.

One thing you have to remember on a macroscopic level, the military is a small, specific part of a machine called the United States. So if you look at it that way, it would require society at large to adopt the principles of aikido. The military is but a tactical application of our voters and governments "KI" for lack of a better analogy.

We are however getting much more skillful at laws of conflict and escalation of force. Our combatives program is also a step in the right direction.

Will you ever see traditional aikido being practiced or adopted in the Army in our lifetime? Likely not, it would require a huge shift in values and philosophy in the U.S. as a whole IMO. Will we see the military get much more skillfull in the art of war. Absolutely. From Civil Affairs to soldiers dealing with people...we are getting better at the close fight.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:25 AM   #21
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Good book.

Ideally the military would use the principles of aikido. Directly, they are not ready for it, but the U.S. Army is transforming in a major way, so I think we are moving in the right direction versus the wrong one.

One thing you have to remember on a macroscopic level, the military is a small, specific part of a machine called the United States. So if you look at it that way, it would require society at large to adopt the principles of aikido. The military is but a tactical application of our voters and governments "KI" for lack of a better analogy.

We are however getting much more skillful at laws of conflict and escalation of force. Our combatives program is also a step in the right direction.

Will you ever see traditional aikido being practiced or adopted in the Army in our lifetime? Likely not, it would require a huge shift in values and philosophy in the U.S. as a whole IMO. Will we see the military get much more skillfull in the art of war. Absolutely. From Civil Affairs to soldiers dealing with people...we are getting better at the close fight.
Thanks for addressing the questions I posed Kevin. I agree that society at large would need to adopt the priciples of aikido for it really to take effect in the military. One can always dream...

I'm glad as an insider you see the US military moving towards rather than away from the priciples we are talking about. There is a view from the 'outside' however that says 'not before time too'.
Senior British military officials have gone on record here as saying the US is way too 'heavy handed' in their foriegn dealings. Their view is born of a long history of overseas 'skirmishes' inherent in running a global empire. That the Brits tend to use a 'soft' approach, trying to win over the hearts and minds of the local population has been fairly well documented. Some of this strategy comes from the SAS tactics of infiltration and subversion. (I'm not an expert, just an watcher of documentaries )
This could be seen as a parallel to the hard/soft styles in aikido, they both work towards the same ends, but sometimes more blood gets spilled in the former.

This is not an attack on you or the military, if anything, as you say the military is a reflection of society as a whole. It just highlights different emphasis.

It's not really the right section to air my partisan views, but I am trying to see the big picture in relation to 'aikido priciples'.
The US is like a big, strong aikidoka, they find it hard 'not' to use muscle, after all why not use what you've got?
When one nation tries to 'force' its point of view on another, aiki is not present.
We see/hear the verbal jabbing, thrusting and feinting of the 'diplomats' on the news every day. Military conflict often has this ritual dance before the 'real' fight starts.
The US stance in relation to Iran is interesting, if they don't manage to work it out diplomatically ( I hope they do ) we are all going to get knocked about in the ensuing dogfight. I realise that the top brass do not want to lay down their option to 'punch the other guy squarely in the face' if they don't do as required. But that in itself only makes for clenching of fists and hunkering down on the part of the 'other'.

I realise that global politics are far more complex than us small fry can comprehend. But people are people, if they feel they are under threat, they will respond in quite predictable patterns.
Aikido practice demands that we break free of those patterns, to relax when faced with tension, to not push when being pushed etc.

Trying to break an 'ideology' with force is like trying to smash up water with a sledgehammer, there has to be a less messy and more productive approach.

I'll stop now before I get carried away

regards,

Mark
p.s. anyone wanting to highlight the shortcomings of the UK's military in retaliation will only be met with agreement,

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:33 AM   #22
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Good comments Mark!

I really cannot comment on the current administrations policies or choices we have made. I have my own opinions, but it is not my place to voice them here.

Anyway, macroscopic or microscopic, I tend to view things from a Karmic standpoint. You reap what you sow. Not being judgemental, but I think it is up to every person to think about his/her actions and figure out the connection between those actions and how they relate to the cause and effect of our miitary action.

If we want to make change in the world, we must all "be the change that we want to see". To me it is really that simple. It is more basic than getting out and voting, lobbying, or sending a few dollars to "save the victims of _____" We cannot absolve ourselves of personal responsibilty of the small choices we make each day! If we want to see things change, we must do the small things.

One way is taking our lessons learned from aikido out into the world.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:32 AM   #23
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Thanks for addressing the questions I posed Kevin. I agree that society at large would need to adopt the priciples of aikido for it really to take effect in the military. One can always dream...
I'm glad as an insider you see the US military moving towards rather than away from the priciples we are talking about.
I see the U.S. Military as more of a "warrior" force now, rather than a mere "soldier" force. That is the difference between the voluntary acceptance of vocation and the conscript. In addition the American tradition has always been a citizen-soldier model. That's why we make such poor imperialists. The tropps ultimately want to leave where they are sent. The Brits of Empire seemed all too comfortable wherever they landed. Other peoples who have a legitmate historical assumption of imperialist ambition, do not understand this. After we are done in Iraq they might differ in their opinions.

What if you stand between the snarling wolves and the infant nation to give its space to grow so as to defend itself ? How much force should we withhold against the wolves? And human wolves have not even the excuse of hunger.

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
When one nation tries to 'force' its point of view on another, aiki is not present.
I agree. But there are many uses of force, some honorable, some not. The late Hussein regime indulged and was invested in dishonorable forms of force, agasint its neighbors and its own poulation. We are not trygin to upend Jordan, and have even made terms with Qaddafi, who has decided ot take the (more) honorable road. That is the present effort with Iran, with the outcome as yet undetermined.

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
The US stance in relation to Iran is interesting, if they don't manage to work it out diplomatically ( I hope they do ) we are all going to get knocked about in the ensuing dogfight. I realise that the top brass do not want to lay down their option to 'punch the other guy squarely in the face' if they don't do as required. But that in itself only makes for clenching of fists and hunkering down on the part of the 'other'.
Aiki is defninitely being practiced with Iran. They are being given the means for everything they legitimately they say they want, with the sole exception of the illegitimate ability to do other nations great harm. Their response will now determine their true intent.

Cordially
Erick Mead
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:19 PM   #24
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
...with the sole exception of the illegitimate ability to do other nations great harm. Their response will now determine their true intent.
Erick,

Why do you consider illegitimate for Iran to have the ability do do great harm. There's a lot of countries who have this ability. What makes these other countries different?

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Old 06-09-2006, 03:36 PM   #25
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido, the military and fighting

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Erick,
Why do you consider illegitimate for Iran to have the ability do do great harm. There's a lot of countries who have this ability. What makes these other countries different?
A few things. Iran has no good record of refrianing from the use of nuclear arms, and a well-documented record of pursuing that regime's objectives through covert support of violent terror against civilian populations. It has a specific record of disregarding even the most basic norms of interational relations in the sanctity of foreign representatives, an episode in which its current president personally participated. He has visions of himself "surrounded by a holy fire." Not comforting rhetoric to my ears in this context. Nuclear arms are primarily weapons of terror that work without having to be being employed. That's one reason why MAD worked.

Iran's government cannot be trusted with them.

Unlike, say -- Russia, China, France, U.K., to a lesser extent, India and Pakistan (with several asterisks) and -- so they say -- Israel, and maybe even Japan.

Oh . -- and the U.S.

The Tokyo firebombing killed more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. These are the only use of nuclear arms in hostile action. The bombs used in Japan killed about 103,000. The U.S. War Department casualty estimates, based on figure sfrom Iwojim Luzon and Okinawa placed the likely number of American servicemen dead from invasion of Japan at 100,000 per month and easily a million to take just Kyushu and Honshu. The ratio of American to Japanese casualties in those same battles averaged around 1:3, meaning that native Japanese deaths could very likely be several million more. Truman based his choice to bomb on that calculus.

What similar moral dilemma and crisis of total war does the Iranian regime face that justify development of such weapons -- apart from attempts to maintain power over growing internal dissent by appeals to chest-beating nationalism?

The Iranian people deserve a better government. That government does not deserve nuclear weapons.

Cordially,
Erick Mead



Cordially,
Erick Mead

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-09-2006 at 03:41 PM.
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