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Old 12-30-2008, 03:56 PM   #51
GeneC
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
It goes without saying!! They or people under the "influence" certainly won't worry about your concerns!! That's certainly been my experience........Tony PS Merry Crimbo to everyone and lets hope for a much better New Year.....
So, it seems, all over the world, folks get "under the influence" before doing something really drastic.



p.s...that was my New Years hope for the last 30 years( that next year be a little better than last year).

Last edited by GeneC : 12-30-2008 at 03:58 PM.

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Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:22 PM   #52
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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I'll stick to your original analogy, why tie only one arm behind your back, why not both? And the feet, why not tie them as well?

One could claim that quadriplegic people are actually practicing Aikido by just living, but not very convincingly.
Show me that quadriplegic person practicing aikido, David, and we will ask that person. That way you may be relieved not to be burdened with concern about that person's practice or second-guess his or her motives.

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Old 12-30-2008, 08:08 PM   #53
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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As for my second anecdote,Terry never regretted for an instant trying to commit bodily harm on a man who tried first to sexually assault and then smash in the head - someone he loved. And as she was someone dear to me as well, I still regret not being able to catch that person when he broke and ran.

Whether this tells what aikido is or not? Hmmm - to me, it's just a martial art with some interesting technical attributes and oft-times misunderstood ideology. If it really offered directions on how to live, then it's exemplars would be more exemplary.
I agree the ideology is misunderstood, and not just by the soft, by also by the hard. I often think that people get lost in the ideology and forgot the prevailing ideology of the society they live in.

I don't see Terry as a hero, or a well-balance individual acting as they should. He lost control, and committed assault and battery. Becoming a criminal himself. Other martial arts look down upon such actions and use of the art. I really don't like such stories of well recognized Aikidoka like this. For many reasons and some I already talked about. I think if you want to get to the heart of it, stories of average common unknown Aikido are far more relatable, powerful and not misleading.

Do people have a misleading perception of their abilities, yes, we all do in what ever choice we make with our Aikido; soft, hard, or what ever. It isn't just Aikido. The remedy is having to save yourself from harm, be it from a batter, raped, jumped, car-jacked etc. On the ideological side, it is important to see those idolized and worshipped for deeds and thought, as human, as fallible.

I just got done watching the worse show, it fallible and glorifies killing another person, with cuteness and humor. We have enough shows and games that trivialize death with Role Playing Games. Just as many shows romantize the "tough guy" thing so many movies do. More people live in delusion of their abilities than not, look at any 20 something year old males in the most popular martial art.

If disillusion amoung the populace is going to change, it has to change from those from the top, from the popular and the most admired. And from those who tell their stories.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:17 PM   #54
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

I guess what I want to hear is from the voices of those who used Aikido that were able to prevent themselves or loved ones from being harmed. It can be from verbal to the physical. I know I have been in a situation where I had a choice, not all situation are the same, I could have been physical, I wasn't, I was verbal and it worked. I resolved the conflict along the lines of Aikido philosophy. But as I said, not all situations are the same. Physical action in some situations are required where words ain't going to do a thing.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:10 AM   #55
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Show me that quadriplegic person practicing aikido, David, and we will ask that person. That way you may be relieved not to be burdened with concern about that person's practice or second-guess his or her motives.
I am not burdened or concerned and so, do not expect any relief. Not sure what you mean by "motives". Here is humoristic take on your "one arm tied behind my back" analogy: King Arthur and the Black Knight.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:18 AM   #56
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Philip,
You are the one saying we need heroes to tell us what to do. To me, Ellis doesn't tell us stories about Terry Dobson to teach us about what a proper aikidoka should behave, but on the contrary to provoke thought and discussion and to burst a few bubbles of delusion.

The myth of the permanently serene sage, dealing the proper word or the proper ikkyo at the right time, always in the spirit of love, is a frightening caricature.

I don't believe in heroes, and I dont think our conscience can necessarily feel safe because "one has resolved a conflict along the lines of aikido philosophy". This philosophy is not prescriptive beyond a few basic recommendations. Past that, aikido only gives us an opportunity to see the world and ourselves with a bit more honesty, and hopefully influence our behaviour in a more mature and thus efficient way. It implies facing ugly sides of us, some of them would love to remain hidden behind a very tempting holier-than-thou attitude.

Last edited by aikilouis : 12-31-2008 at 02:21 AM.

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Old 12-31-2008, 04:34 AM   #57
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I am not burdened or concerned and so, do not expect any relief. Not sure what you mean by "motives". Here is humoristic take on your "one arm tied behind my back" analogy: King Arthur and the Black Knight.
"Merely a flesh wound!"

In that case: Hard Stylists versus the Aiki-Bunny.

Yes, that's right: you know what it is.

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Old 12-31-2008, 04:42 AM   #58
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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To me, Ellis doesn't tell us stories about Terry Dobson to teach us about what a proper aikidoka should behave, but on the contrary to provoke thought and discussion and to burst a few bubbles of delusion.
Whether true or not, we don't have to speculate about what Ellis meant. He's right here; we can ask him.

Speculating is one of the great sources of delusion.

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Old 12-31-2008, 04:49 AM   #59
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Come on, he is a master of the thought-provoking anecdote, and his various writings on Terry Dobson were always meant to bear testimony on their friendship and how a great practitioner of aikido Mr Dobson was, not as attempts to put him on a pedestal.

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Old 12-31-2008, 04:56 AM   #60
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Come on, he is a master of the thought-provoking anecdote, and his various writings on Terry Dobson were always meant to bear testimony on their friendship and how a great practitioner of aikido Mr Dobson was, not as attempts to put him on a pedestal.
You should ask Ellis if he enjoys the pedestal you've put him on.

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Old 12-31-2008, 07:51 AM   #61
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Show me that quadriplegic person practicing aikido, David, and we will ask that person. That way you may be relieved not to be burdened with concern about that person's practice or second-guess his or her motives.
Well, you could ask *this* person...

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=293

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-31-2008, 07:54 AM   #62
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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You should ask Ellis if he enjoys the pedestal you've put him on.
Believe me, if you've ever met him, you would *know* Ellis don't need no stinkin' pedestal.

Best,
Ron (man is he TALL...I remember being asked to strike yokomen, and looking around for a foot stool...)

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Old 12-31-2008, 08:14 AM   #63
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Well, you could ask *this* person...

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=293

Best,
Ron
Excellent! Let's wait for David to check in with his opinion about this fellow's practice

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:00 AM   #64
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Excellent! Let's wait for David to check in with his opinion about this fellow's practice
I did not say anything about what a handicapped person is capable of achieving. I did say that handicapping oneself on purpose, as you suggested, is is silly.

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:12 AM   #65
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Come on, he is a master of the thought-provoking anecdote, and his various writings on Terry Dobson were always meant to bear testimony on their friendship and how a great practitioner of aikido Mr Dobson was, not as attempts to put him on a pedestal.
Not to criticize anyone individual who does tell stories like the one in the thread, but it does put someone on a pedestal, intentionally or not. That is why I think such stories should be prefaced, because it is human to read such a story as written and not walk away with admiration if you see that violence solves a problem.

What if Terry was a woman, how do we expect women to act in such a situation. Do we encourage her to act as Terry did, to go over there and man-handle some guy? And honestly, Terry didn't feel his girl friend had the abilities to protect herself, and needed to rough up the guy. If Terry was a woman, we wouldn't expect woman to retaliate on someone else behalf for an assault- threatening words, gestures, and throwing a beer bottle.

We can look at Terry's action in a more common way out side of Aikido. His actions where about old fashion chivalry and a hot temper who choose to act in a violent manner to intimidate. Yea, you can throw in some male ego too-not that is a bad thing.

If you hold to Aikido philosophy, or even those of some religions, many society. Even though I understand Ellis's point. Terry's actions are violent and not acceptable. They didn't resolve anything other then stuff within Terry and his girlfriend, i.e. they felt better as a result. It wasn't the best way to resolve a conflict by greater standards.

Repeated stories of the same person will often make them bigger than life. They often don't capture the reality of what is being told. They also don't provide complete context of the events told by the story, they are usually one sided and come from the bias view point of the story teller. They often mislead the reader into misconceptions etc. Stories then are for the most part not accurate accounts of realities or facts, and shouldn't be seen as such. Because stories can be very misleading and untruthful.

Stories are wonderful things, we use them to inspire, teach, persuade, entertain, tell history, provoke thought, etc. But, they also and do create fantasy and don't accurately show reality. We can say stories like those of O'Sensei catching bullets created allot of misconception leading to the unrealistic views of Aikido and the abilities of Aikidoka and conflict resolution. That is my point, I am not wanting to criticize, but rather point out the effects of stories and how they affect readers. That is why they should be prefaced.

To add, think about all the stories that where once believed as fact, to be later discoved the author used a writer's (artistic) license, wasn't Oprah fooled as many sometime ago by someone who wrote a book as a true story and it wasn't.

Last edited by Buck : 12-31-2008 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:22 AM   #66
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Even though I understand Ellis's point.
Hmmm, I'm not so sure you DO understand his point.

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They also don't provide complete context of the events told by the story, they are usually one sided and come from the bias view point of the story teller. They often mislead the reader into misconceptions etc.
Actually, the story that Ellis told was obviously used to ADD context to the thread and other posts. Of course, it is up to the reader to interpret what they read ACCURATELY. Which seems to be something that is often ignored. I see people reading all kinds of things into what they read...and shake my head.

Quote:
Stories then are for the most part not accurate accounts of realities or facts, and shouldn't be seen as such. Because stories can be very misleading and untruthful.
Again, common sense here...I wonder why it even needs saying?

Quote:
We can say stories like those of O'Sensei catching bullets created allot of misconception leading to the unrealistic views of Aikido and the abilities ...
See, this is an excellent example. THERE ARE NO STORIES OF UESHIBA CATCHING BULLETS. You just made that up...having read something somewhere, and having forgotten what you read (if indeed you got it when you read it), you just popped off with something not accurate to even the story that was told.

Which leads me to think the problem here isn't with Ellis...

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:29 AM   #67
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Hmmm, I'm not so sure you DO understand his point.
That is the thing Ron, I am not addressing his point. I am addressing the use of stories to persuade people in terms of conflict resolution, and how people see those stories for means of conflict resolution. Stories that inspired the "soft" Aikidoka, and the "hard" Aikidoka. I am talking about stories related to Aikido and how they effect people's views.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:45 AM   #68
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I did not say anything about what a handicapped person is capable of achieving. I did say that handicapping oneself on purpose, as you suggested, is is silly.
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I'll stick to your original analogy, why tie only one arm behind your back, why not both? And the feet, why not tie them as well?

One could claim that quadriplegic people are actually practicing Aikido by just living, but not very convincingly.
Emphasis added by me---but I'll concede that that was not your point, and I'll add that you missed my point as well.

Whether the person is in a wheelchair because he was paralyzed in a car accident (circumstance), or because he does not know he can walk (delusion or ignorance), or whether he consciously chooses to sit there (delusion or enlightened choice), who am I to criticize his practice or question what value he obtains from it?

As for why someone might make a choice to handicap himself, that is also not necessarily for me to question either. I, for instance, choose to be bound by laws. I choose to be bound by marriage. I choose to be bound by parental responsibilities. I choose to be bound by contracts I enter. ... I figure that handicapping myself in these ways benefits me, my family, society, ... But they're my choices. Will you question them?

I heard an interesting anecdote about an exchange with the Dali Lama. A lay person questions him, "Why are you celibate?" His response: "I am celibate for the same reason that you are not." I suspect that the answer points to an error in the question...

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:14 AM   #69
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
That is the thing Ron, I am not addressing his point. I am addressing the use of stories to persuade people in terms of conflict resolution, and how people see those stories for means of conflict resolution. Stories that inspired the "soft" Aikidoka, and the "hard" Aikidoka. I am talking about stories related to Aikido and how they effect people's views.
In that case, why not start a new thread and don't mention Ellis at all?

Why not at least use REAL events as your examples?

Best,
Ron (inquiring minds, and all that...)

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:23 AM   #70
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

In the mental experiment you suggested, you choose to train with your arm tied behind your back. I was not questioning every human being with every possible handicap, I was/am questioning you in that setup.

As to the Dalai Lama story, its cute, sounds deep without saying much. Works nicely with substitutions too:

"Why are you XXXX?" (where XXXX is any human activity done by choice)
"I am XXXX for the same reason that you are not."

so:

"I am vegetarian for the same reason that you are not."
"I am republican for the same reason that you are not."
"I am democrat for the same reason that you are not."
"I am communist for the same reason that you are not."

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #71
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Hi David, not taking sides, but I am currious about something.

Why did people originally practice waza from seiza? One answer might be...people found themselves *handicapped* by society's requirement to sit in seiza, so they found a method to practice fighting under that handicap.

Why do we practice two hands grabbing one? Well, sometimes people do that, which places you at a disadvantage, a *handicap* of sorts.

Why do we practice against multiple attackers? Or unarmed against armed?

Why are any of those methods or scenarios different from say, simulating losing the use of one arm?

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:52 AM   #72
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Ron, perhaps I am wrong, but Joe's approach seems to extend beyond a method of training to life outside the dojo, so to speak.

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:55 AM   #73
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Ah, perhaps that's where the mis-understanding is.

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:04 AM   #74
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
In the mental experiment you suggested, you choose to train with your arm tied behind your back. I was not questioning every human being with every possible handicap, I was/am questioning you in that setup.
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David Soroko wrote: View Post
Not hindrance but challenge, and I do like the "one hand analogy", it captures something interesting. Aikido, as I understand it, is a physical discipline at its most basic level (it can be more, but you can not take the basics away). Intentionally handicapping yourself makes no sense.
Emphasis mine, again. I'm sorry; I thought you caught the abstraction when you correctly called it an analogy.

If you'd like to make it a concrete example, I'm good with that. Let's say that I was training for the circumstance that my arm was incapacitated in a knife fight. Let's say that I have a student with an amputation, and I want to understand his circumstances so I can maximize his practice.

Is it still a silly way to practice?

When you don't know the full picture about why a person does what he does, and you draw conclusions, you make an error. But the error was not necessarily drawing the wrong conclusion; it was seeing the difference in the first place.

So, what is the point in a so-called "hard stylist" looking for error in a so-called "aiki-bunny's" interpretation of aikido? Seeing the difference and holding to one side or the other, one's view of the world becomes skewed. For instance, you may read a neutral statement about making an arrest and interpret it as supporting your view.

Quote:
As to the Dalai Lama story, its cute, sounds deep without saying much. Works nicely with substitutions too:

"Why are you XXXX?" (where XXXX is any human activity done by choice)
"I am XXXX for the same reason that you are not."

so:

"I am vegetarian for the same reason that you are not."
"I am republican for the same reason that you are not."
"I am democrat for the same reason that you are not."
"I am communist for the same reason that you are not."
I agree that certain types of substitutions work. And I'm glad it's so easy to understand! So, tell me, what is the reason he speaks of?

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:07 AM   #75
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

As an aside, I'm not oblivious to the possibility that I'm coming off like an ass. I'm zen-poisoned as well as an aikido fan. Bear with me as I try to reason through my thoughts with you.

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