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Old 05-23-2007, 07:26 PM   #76
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: iwama note, censored?

Thanks for that post Carlos,

I wholeheartedly concur with your description of the situation. I look forward to bumping into you at the Spar when you come back.

Carl
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:20 PM   #77
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
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Re: iwama note, censored?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Mr Homma wrote his article as an individual who was once a deshi and so his view is a personal view. I think that it is very unlikely that any shihan will appear in this discussion forum and give the 'other' viewpoint, even a personal viewpoint. Moreover, the reasons for this are not so easy to condemn.

So, while I, too, am in favour of open discussion, I think we need to be clear about the cultural dimensions here. I have had many 'open' discussions at the Aikikai Hombu, meaning that I have discussed matters that were once taboo (for example, the 'international' education of the present Doshu's son and the violence of a particular shihan in his own dojo ). These 'open' discussions were behind closed doors and involved only certain people, but the fact that they actually took place constitutes a minor revolution.

I think the 'open' discussion you have in mind is a discussion where anyone can participate, such as here on Aikiweb. Such discussions can be very illuminating in many ways, but I have my doubts whether such discussions would solve the 'problem' of Iwama. They might help the deshi who go to Iwama to be more friendly to those on the other side of the wall--and this is a good thing. But the roots of the problem are more complex and lie elsewhere.

I think that what you have in mind is a typical 'win-win' situation, where everybody leaves the 'negotiaton encounter' feeling good about what has happened. You might think that this is so obviously desirable as to be beyond question. I disagree.

Earlier this evening, I had my seminar on 'Cross-cultural Negotiation'. I have seven students in my seminar: five Japanese and two Chinese. The text I am using is the latest edition of Negotiation, by Roy Lewicki & others. Lewicki uses the 'win-win' model, but all the students took issue with this negotiation model: it was too western, too 'American'. The Chinese students argued that negotiation was actually a form of warfare and all students agreed that honesty and openness were not necessarily conducive to successful negotiation. I was surprised, both at the strength of the opinions offered and at the unanimity.

Iwama is an issue involving Japanese. Of course, it also involves non-Japanese, since there are many generations of non-Japanese deshi who have trained in Iwama and these senior shihans are also actually part of the problem. That is, there is a historical dimension, formed when Morihiro Saito Shihan was still alive. But, given the vertical structure of aikido, the owners of the dojo and main opinion formers are Japanese and the problem will eventually be solved, if it is solved at all, by the Japanese themselves, sitting down together and working out some kind of solution.

Gaiatsu (outside pressure), however, has always been a potent force for change in Japan and there is no reason to doubt that it will be effective in aikido. The occasion of 'scandal' to pious believers has always been a potent source of change in the Catholic Church. So, I would think that several thousand letters,

1) addressed to the present Doshu, and with copies sent to Hiroshi Isoyama and Hitohiro Saito,
(2) expressing outrage at the scandal given to the aikido world by the existence of TWO separate dojos in Iwama--the place where O Sensei lived for much of his life and where there the Aiki shrine is located, which appear to have no amicable relations with one another,

might have some effect.

The point is that the lack of amicable relations between the two dojos is most obvious and is also the source of scandal. There would be no need to mention the deeper issues involved.

Best wishes,
Thank You. I understand. So, thank you. I was indeed pressing two cultures together and addressing issues in different nations all at once. So I can see how you took my points.
I am aware of many of the cultural differences and intricacies to which you speak.

I don't expect that a Japanese model of resolution look like an American or Western solution. Let me be clear about that. I am suggesting that we do not need to run our dojo that way or in that model and that is where the confusion of my post lies. I believe.
I also believe that it is a disgrace to have two dojo in any town that cannot put their heirarchies or politics to rest to operate in the name of Aikido. I am aware of that situation occuring in the United States often, and it has been the case in my life for 2 years since I opened my dojo.I believe the nitty gritty of my particulart conflict ( or Iwama) does not need to be shared, but amicability between dojos is a must.

I know that you are actively involved in bringing and maintaining respectabiity to Aikido organizations. I sincerely appreciate that and I appreciate the skill that is required in straddling two cultures ( at least two, to your credit).

I get the jist of the parable of your Chinese class and 'win-win' resolution models.I work with Latin Women who also have a very different way of looking at conflict ; I don't neccessarily believe in win-win.

I don't think that we should all, including shihan, bang this out on aikiweb together. I simply meant that if you weren't asking a rhetorical question that you might ask Homma Sensei since he was being public but speaking in a personal voice. It appeared to me that you have the means to do so. I believed that Homma Sensei might address you privately. Not here.

I advocate for openness in context. I know that complicit silence and rhetorical questions are dangerous when combined in our society. This is the society where I operate so please accept that in this case I mean here.

As for the letters. I couldn't agree with you more about sending our views to Hombu and the change that may inspire. I also think we can do more to speak up here in the states about our dojo domestically.

Anyways. I'm sure I missed something.Thank you for your thoughtful response. Please accept the respectful regard which I intended.

Thank you.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-23-2007 at 08:32 PM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:49 AM   #78
Mike Grant
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Re: iwama note, censored?

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
This is kind of off topic, but just in response to the guys who believe Takemusu people are the innocent ones. I have previoulsy trained as a visitor at 3 Iwama style dojos, while Saito sensei was still alive. The 3 teachers I've met didn't know eachother, but they had one thing in common, hatred of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the name of the second doshu mentioned in a very demeaning way by the instructors. The funny thing was that my technique was much better than their own students, even though I came from the lowly aikikai who got all the techniques wrong under the influence of that ingrateful Kisshomaru Ueshiba. So it seems to me that Takemusu aikido was and still initially based on hatred towards aikikai rather than differences in teaching.
What incredible modesty! Did you not think to offer these unfortunate people a few tips on where they were going wrong?
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:52 AM   #79
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: iwama note, censored?

Hello,

Many thanks for your post. I have a few thoughts in response.

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I don't expect that a Japanese model of resolution look like an American or Western solution. Let me be clear about that. I am suggesting that we do not need to run our dojo that way or in that model and that is where the confusion of my post lies. I believe.
I also believe that it is a disgrace to have two dojo in any town that cannot put their heirarchies or politics to rest to operate in the name of Aikido. I am aware of that situation occuring in the United States often, and it has been the case in my life for 2 years since I opened my dojo.I believe the nitty gritty of my particulart conflict ( or Iwama) does not need to be shared, but amicability between dojos is a must.
The above model of conflict resolution is not common here and I think that this is due to the vertically structured nature of training relationshps and general pedogogical relationships here. I think this is really a frame, in Bateson's or Goffman's sense of the term, that precedes and guides perceptions of conflict. If you seek enlightenment from a Master here (following the SHU-HA-RI model), it would be seen as foolish, and possibly offensive, to seek enlightenment from any other source. So there would be no point in even acknowledging the other dojo's existence.

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I don't think that we should all, including shihan, bang this out on aikiweb together. I simply meant that if you weren't asking a rhetorical question that you might ask Homma Sensei since he was being public but speaking in a personal voice. It appeared to me that you have the means to do so. I believed that Homma Sensei might address you privately. Not here.
I see no point in my asking Mr Homma in private, if his answer is not made public here. Actually, I think it would be inappropriate for me to contact Mr Homma privately, as a result of a question raised on a public website about an article he had written. I am not in such a position.
My question was indeed partly rhetorical, as was the question he himself raised in his article (what was the reason for the perceived gag on communications between the deshi of the two dojo).

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I advocate for openness in context. I know that complicit silence and rhetorical questions are dangerous when combined in our society. This is the society where I operate so please accept that in this case I mean here.
Point accepted, with the proviso that your society is not Japan, where Iwama is located, and that foreign deshi are not thought of as being an essential part of the dojo social structure. Sorry to sound harsh, but this the case.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:31 AM   #80
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: iwama note, censored?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello,

Many thanks for your post. I have a few thoughts in response.

The above model of conflict resolution is not common here and I think that this is due to the vertically structured nature of training relationshps and general pedogogical relationships here. I think this is really a frame, in Bateson's or Goffman's sense of the term, that precedes and guides perceptions of conflict. If you seek enlightenment from a Master here (following the SHU-HA-RI model), it would be seen as foolish, and possibly offensive, to seek enlightenment from any other source. So there would be no point in even acknowledging the other dojo's existence.

I see no point in my asking Mr Homma in private, if his answer is not made public here. Actually, I think it would be inappropriate for me to contact Mr Homma privately, as a result of a question raised on a public website about an article he had written. I am not in such a position.
My question was indeed partly rhetorical, as was the question he himself raised in his article (what was the reason for the perceived gag on communications between the deshi of the two dojo).

Point accepted, with the proviso that your society is not Japan, where Iwama is located, and that foreign deshi are not thought of as being an essential part of the dojo social structure. Sorry to sound harsh, but this the case.

Best wishes,
Hello to you also, Sir,

You don't sound harsh. Sounds to me like were on the same page. I am aware and have experienced the culture anomoly that you are describing. So, I don't fool myself about my place in that operation. I choose to operate differently in this country (america) and that is that exactly what I'm saying.

You previously made it clear that you didn't feel it would be appropriate to contact Homma Sensei privately and I accept your discernment.

For some of us, me in the first, the light is on and I wouldn't be seeking that type of relationship (shu ha ri) with an individual or a dojo, although I am aware that some dojo demand this relationship.

As an American, I would like to point out that a very large number of aikidoka are not Japanese in the slightest and the Aikikai is an International organization being supported by people of many cultures and customs. So that they don't see us as a part of the larger over all dojo body ( in the Aikikai as well as the older dojo ,in my viewpoint) can be an intolerable gap bridging on racist and certainly sexist . The Japanese don't tend to bend on this stuff. It may be too large a cultural gap at some point to expect us all to become japanese, and not to be met somewhere around the equator. Very un -Japanese, I realize.

Thanks for your great posts and your thoughtful points and counter-points. I learn from you. Thanks for hearing my thoughts and responding with yours.

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-24-2007 at 11:37 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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