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Old 12-31-2008, 11:09 AM   #76
Ellis Amdur
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

The only reason I brought up Terry was because the "train story" was brought up again, as the trump card in the discussion.
Ahh - I can't help it. My fingers are moving. I must write another anecdote . . .. I swear by all that is holy that this is true, and that Terry only figures into it because - - - well, you'll see.
I was riding on a train in Japan (see, I knew you wouldn't believe me!). It was the Sobu line - I was coming home from kick boxing practice (quelle horrible!!!), tired, oh so tired, hanging on a strap of the train. A muscular Japanese man got on the train, dressed in a camie jacket, his mouth in a snarl. He took a look at me, and without a word, slugged me in the stomach. I was in such good shape, then, that it didn't hurt. It's hard to be mad (well, harder) when you aren't hurt. I grabbed his forearm and told him, "If you try anything like that again, I'll have to hurt you." He struggled and cursed at me, and in the process, dropped a book he was carrying.
I thought of Terry. I thought of the train story. Compassion. Conflict resolution. And so, I let him go, bent my knees (I did keep my eyes on him), picked up his book and said, "You dropped this. Looks like a valuable book."
His eyes widened. He took the book, his face softened, and he said to me, "You are a good guy. Hey, let's say you and I go get a few drinks, and then grab some woman and rape her."

I will repeat. This story is absolutely true. I simply walked off the train at the next stop. Yet another occasion when I still wonder if the moral response should have been - - - well, I have another story about that in Dueling with Osensei.

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:18 AM   #77
C. David Henderson
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Nothing like the bloom of a new friendship, is there?
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:20 AM   #78
Buck
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Post Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
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...)
Ron,

I am sorry I rub you the wrong way, but this isn't a form for going into that.

Being human not everyone is going to like one another. I respect your right to disagree with passion and emotion on a topic or opinion with in reason and without intentional direct or indirect personal attacks. I respect the fact you admire Ellis and his opinions.

For that reason I am talking about the use of stories and the relationship they have with conflict resolution, and not about if Ellis's views via a story are the corrects views on conflict resolution or not. I am more concerned with the effects stories of conflict resolution (true or not, macho to superhuman) have on Aikido and conflict resolution. As we know stories of O'Sensei have shaped the way people see Aikido, both naively, skeptical, jadded, and more.

I am not putting down anyone, or judging those who look at Aikido differently then I do here. Yes, I do have my own personal opinion, though at this time I don't want to go into it at this point- trust me it wouldn't change the world if I did.

And FWIW, another thread has been started.

As I re-edit this I see Ellis has comment briefly reading it, it seem he has a sense of what I am talking about.

Last edited by Buck : 12-31-2008 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:21 AM   #79
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
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.
Peace man.

About the Dalai Lama, asking him about celibacy is so stupid I suspect he was just making fun of the interviewer with el cheapo zen koan.

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:25 AM   #80
Keith Larman
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Yet another occasion when I still wonder if the moral response should have been - - -
Tis a shame how the real world screws with our most cherished dogma.

Years ago in a graduate level ethics class there was a discussion about coming across a person raping the murdered body of a child. A "What would you do" kind of discussion. Lots of ideas were floated but when it came to me I had to be honest -- I'd probably try to beat the guy to death. I still remember the professor (from the religious studies department) starting to shake his head as I said it. He knew me. I pointed out that the discussion was about what you *would* do and not what you *should* do. I knew myself well enough to know that I'd likely not have the self-control to stop myself if I had witnessed something so horrible. But then as others tried to explain moral and categorical imperatives to me I quietly realized that maybe my answer to the *would* question was also the correct answer to the *should* question as well. That realization has never left me.

I must admit that discussion years ago forever destroyed my idealist view of myself and right action. I still don't know the "right" answer.

And I wonder if I *should* just hold him knowing he would likely have a chance to do it again...

Okay, flame away... Evil pagan in your midst.

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:49 AM   #81
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Ron,

I am sorry I rub you the wrong way, but this isn't a form for going into that.
I don't know you, so you don't rub me one way or the other...thankfully!

Quote:
Being human not everyone is going to like one another.
Like or dislike has nothing to do with it (as far as any personal level is concerned). Again, I don't know you...so it hasn't occurred to me to like or dislike you.

Quote:
I respect your right to disagree with passion and emotion on a topic or opinion with in reason and without intentional direct or indirect personal attacks. I respect the fact you admire Ellis and his opinions.
Ditto. I respect your opinions, what I most often take issue with is the manner in which those opinions are expressed. There are numerous times when it appears that your posts miss entirely the point of other posts, turn out to be insulting to other posters, are wordy or extremely confusing or unclear, and are ripe for mis-understanding. You have control over all of that...whether you exercise it or not.

Quote:
As we know stories of O'Sensei have shaped the way people see Aikido, both naively, skeptical, jadded, and more.
So please explain to me how inaccurately quoting a story in any way promotes the points you want to make? Please explain to me how it does anything but actually FOSTER the very things you say you wish to highlight and prevent?

Quote:
I am not putting down anyone, or judging those who look at Aikido differently then I do here. Yes, I do have my own personal opinion, though at this time I don't want to go into it at this point- trust me it wouldn't change the world if I did.
Hey don't take it personally...I see really awful writing, and I make suggestions for improving it. Toss it out with the trash if you like. But I can guarantee your reception on threads would be quite different if your writing improved. And I think your true meaning might come across as well.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:49 AM   #82
Ellis Amdur
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Actually, I do not really have a sense of what Buck is getting at - but that's fine.
Keith - I think the "would" and the "should" may be the same in the example you gave. And to those who might say, "how will that end the 'cycle' of violence?' a) I don't see moral equivalency here b) I don't think we ever will. Bad things and bad people must be stopped - and I am well aware that there are many times we don't know who is bad and how best to stop them.

And, also germane to the subject, I have published a series of three books on the de-escalation of mentally ill and emotionally disturbed individuals. There are two versions - one for families who live with such folk and the other for social services professionals, although most all of it is applicable to anyone. You cannot always stop those who are trying to hurt you without force, but here is the best information I know of how to do so. http://www.edgework.info/care-action.html
Titles are:
1. Lifelines in the Dark: Communication Strategies for Reaching the Person Behind the Symptoms
2. Centering: Standing with Strength and Grace in Crisis Situations
3. In the Eye of the Hurricane: Calming and De-escalation of Aggressive Individuals

(NOTE: The professional version of this last is about triple the size and will go by another name - Grace Under Fire. It comes out in January

They even have a few anecdotes.
Best

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:59 AM   #83
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Happy GNU Year Ellis, Buck and all!

I've hit my posting limit for 08.

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:04 PM   #84
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

While we are promoting books, I am currently reading Protecting the Gift (by Gavin de Becker), and it is a good complement on the subject.

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:40 PM   #85
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Keith - I think the "would" and the "should" may be the same in the example you gave. And to those who might say, "how will that end the 'cycle' of violence?' a) I don't see moral equivalency here b) I don't think we ever will. Bad things and bad people must be stopped - and I am well aware that there are many times we don't know who is bad and how best to stop them.
Yes, I think you are correct especially in the hypothetical I was given. Rarely is life so cut and dried and that's what makes things so difficult. Back at the time I was a single grad student and I realized that the *should* for me was easier to decide because I didn't have responsibilities outside of my individual life. Now with a wife and child the issue is even more difficult because I have to balance the likelihood of me being put away for doing what I think in such a case must be the correct action. And then feeling the conflict of protecting children like my very own. But not wanting to be taken away from my own child and family due to trying to protect someone else's...

We all find guidance somewhere. For some it would be the old holy books -- for some those are absolute truth, for others maybe convenient mythology. For some it is about looking inside for that innate sense of right and wrong. For some they look to their Aikido for guidance and while I think there are good lessons to be learned, well, the danger is relying too much on dogma instead of seeing the messy, screwy, grey-shaded world we live in. Or somewhat like Marx pointed out sometimes these things become our crutches that allow us to not bother questioning the more difficult problems we face.

One of my favorite Nietzsche quotes,

Quote:
Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
So to complete my philosopher name dropping I think the real problem for most of us is to avoid seeing the world through the rose-colored lenses. I think the best lesson in Aikido (as in many Japanese arts) is best summed up by Fudo Myo. Now there is an ideal to strive for.

Enough stream of consciousness deep thoughts for me for one day. On a more mundane note I've got a handle to wrap today and I wanted to show my daughter how it is done. Enough thoughts of bad things, time to focus on the good stuff for a while.

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Old 12-31-2008, 05:10 PM   #86
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
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
I did used the word catch rather then dodge bullets. There was a story where O'Sensei was to dodge bullets. Here is the link http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=48651

I am sure my use of the word "catch" instead of "dodge" really threw allot of people off. That is another point with the use of stories (anecdotes) create inaccuracies leading people to a host of misunderstandings- to be naive about Aikido conflict resolution.

What ever the personal opinion of what Aikido conflict resolution is, be it naive "soft" Aikidoka, or not, it can't be outside of the law. And stories that promote such action and will inspire others, which needs to be done more responsibly when told. As I said before, many other arts don't look fondly upon using martial arts skills in the manner as told in Ellis's story. I think a preface should have been given.

Last edited by Buck : 12-31-2008 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:35 PM   #87
Ellis Amdur
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

AH, now I get it. Buck, you believe in non-violence! Now it's clear! (I don't, particularly, believe in non-violence, fwiw).
And you also believe that if someone read my story of Terry grabbing a rapist by the throat intent on hurting the man who tried to maim someone dear to him, that they, naive and ijmpressionable, will, from that story alone, be moved to act in a similar manner when someone tries to rape and maim their loved ones, when they never would have dreamed of doing so before - or, to be fair, might have dreamed of it, but wouldn't have, due to the powerful influence of TrueAikido(TM) as exemplified by Terry's train story, now irrevocably undermined by Terry's back alley story.
Reminds of another story - I just cannot resist!!! Fingers - you must stop!
Someone complained to Nidai Doshu (in my presence) about people being hurt on the mat, during aikido practice. Doshu looked amused and said, "Well, it is a martial art. Maybe such people shouldn't do aikido."
Arrrggghhh! Another slew of impressionable people will now, under Doshu's influence (as channeled by me) start hurting people, whereas before, believing Doshu to be kind and benign and peaceful, would never have hurt someone.
Keep messing with me and I will tell more stories - like a guy who wrote a letter to a newspaper after flying to Japan next to the Dalai lama, and he sees the holy man chowing down on a large steak, and asks him, "Excuse me, but aren't you Buddhists vegetarian?" And the Dalai Lama replied, "Oh, that's only for really serious Buddhists."
(And as you read this, Buck, know that somewhere, an aikidoka vegetarian is off the wagon and on the hunt, as vulnerable cow all unaware that she is about to be ingested by an anecdotally influenced fruitarian).

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Old 12-31-2008, 07:49 PM   #88
C. David Henderson
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

You know, I understand a chinese finger trap or two helps with wayward fingers, but I would miss Ellis' stories. (And writing.)

Are we going to fight about conflict resolution?

Just asking.

DH
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:19 PM   #89
Keith Larman
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
...As I said before, many other arts don't look fondly upon using martial arts skills in the manner as told in Ellis's story. I think a preface should have been given.
Since when was Terry Dobson the second coming of Christ? You know, I discuss quite a few things including some awkward, difficult situations with my daughter when she asks and she's only 8. The one thing I tell her consistently is that no matter what she hears or is told by others (myself included) she can always use her own brain to think, understand, and decide for herself. And I remind her that no one is perfect, no one is infallible. But the one thing you always have is your ability to decide for yourself. The rarest ability IMHO is to have the strength of character to look deep. I fail on it myself but it should always be a goal. Didn't I mention Fudo Myoo already?

So... Good for you but honestly I see the world completely differently. I'm not at all interested in a "sanitized for your protection" world. And why should you if the stories you hear are only the ones that fit a predigested, packaged and hyped world view? Terry Dobson was a human being. O-sensei was a human being. And I've yet to meet the omniscient, omnibenevolent warrior sage stereotype in real life. The only ones who seem to try to be that warrior sage are usually puffed up deluded airbags more interested in supporting fragile egos.

Picking and choosing your "mytholody" may have a long history, but it still seems to me to be more like being fed a load of BS rather than, oh, learning, thinking, and deciding for yourself...

Give me the truth, warts and all. And let me decide for myself, thank you very much.

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Old 12-31-2008, 08:39 PM   #90
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
AH, now I get it. Buck, you believe in non-violence! Now it's clear! (I don't, particularly, believe in non-violence, fwiw).
Nope, not at all. I too think Aikido is a martial art. And as I said before I believe you are as only good as you train, so perfect practice makes perfect. I do believe in the law, and control, and using necessary force, and non-violence long before Aikido, it came from the teaching of my parents, school, religion, and society when I was a wee laddy on how to resolve conflicts. And that is why I believe in non-violence. With that said, being bully bait and getting the violence, like the Dalai Lama eating steak, yes, am anti-violence. Yes, I had to fight back. Yes, I used other skills then my "machismo" awesome martial arts skills..."cough". I realized that is the highest form of skill, not always applicable to every situation is that. I know police are trained in such skill, they just don't shoot first and ask questions later. I guess that is for real cops. I guess as far as your are concerned the use of violence and taking matter's into your own hands is for real Aikidokas. Like, you are right, by your standards then I am not a real Aikidoka.

What is wrong with Terry calling the police first, then going over there and say..hmmm chatting it up with the guy (now a rapist who threw a beer bottle etc.) until the police came. See what has happen now this rapist wasn't put in jail, he went free to rape again. I disagree with the choice of conflict resolution Terry made of grabbing the guy by the throat, I didn't know that was an Aikido technique, etc. and then letting him go.

I understand, your saying we all should act out of the heat of the moment violently, that is the way to do things. Yea, I know, it is hard to exercise self-control with all that Aikido training under your belt. Is this what you want from all those Aikidoka who you say have a, "...naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly 'soft' aikido." to do? To use violence? To assault someone who had done you wrong, because that is what real Aikidoka do? Really is that what Aikido is for? I am finding it hard to figure out who is really naive about resolving conflict.

Stories of those we decide to look up to, people we want to model ourselves in their likeness can be dangerous no matter how you look at resolving conflict.

Honestly, Terry was lucky he wasn't stabbed by the guy, or even shot at some point. I guess real Aikidokas take those chances?

Last edited by Buck : 12-31-2008 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:52 PM   #91
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

And FWIW, we are not talking about a person who is being raped, etc. We are taking about a boy friend whose girl friend was assaulted at another location then the boy friend. The boy friend and his friend gets wind of it and goes where the assault takes place finds the bad guy and teaches lesson. Once the lesson is administered the bad guy flees into the night.

That is all. I am not talking about a situation where a person is car-jacked, or victims of other violent crimes. I am not saying they shouldn't fight back. A person is only as good as their training. And as the saying goes, perfect practice makes perfect. Happy New Year 2009 !
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:05 PM   #92
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Ellis, when I think of conflict resolution and violence, I think of what is and has been happening in Israel and Palestine, in the last thousand or so years. Maybe...Christ was on to something, with turning the other cheek thingy. He, MLK, Gandhi, and others alike, I think had a real good handle on conflict resolution and violence concerning the story you told about Terry. I guess I am in good company.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:08 PM   #93
Ellis Amdur
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

I wouldn't know what an "aikidoka" is. I don't think such a thing exists. People practice aikido, a martial art, of some utility in certain circumstances. People also fantacize a lot about something they call aikido, based on poor English translations of the cryptic statements of a somewhat meglomaniacal shaman-like man, who imposed an ideology of sorts on his version of another martial art, and meld their own fantasies with those of their teachers and those whose views are congenial or stimulating that they read or hear somewhere - and state that this is AIKIDO.
What's interesting is how you fanticize about me as well. I never said that "taking violence in one's own hands is for real aikidoka." I never prescribe anything for aikidoka since I don't believe such an entity exists. And I never recommended anything in this thread, at least. I just told a couple of stories.
Seems to me, you may be the impressionable type of person you are so worried about - because I think you may be the only one who interpreted things as a) directed at how aikidoka should act b) directed at you.
For you say that by my standards, you are not a real aikidoka. Well, I don't think you are - because I don't think such a thing exists.
As for aikido, I believe that aikido is what Osensei said it was - and he was quite clear that a) he didn't care about good and evil, saying that they were irrelevent, b) that the conflict resolution he was concerned about was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, not helping people get along. And that is something I do not subscribe to in the least. Ueshiba interests me, but he is certainly not a model or exemplar of anything I would want to be, or model myself on.
(Terry, by the way, would disagree - but that would require another story, and that would be, as you say, a dangerous thing).
And finally - you say, yet again - "Stories of those we decide to look up to, people we want to model ourselves in their likeness can be dangerous no matter how you look at resolving conflict." In other words, "don't burst my bubble." OK, don't float it in my direction.
Ellis Amdur

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:09 PM   #94
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

And I don't agree with the president and his philosophy on conflict resolution.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:23 PM   #95
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Ellis, stories can be dangerous because they create naive notions of reality, if not properly prefaced. I am saying authors and story tellers have a responsibility to their readers in telling such stories as you do, for the reasons you do. My original concern was that the story you told was equally creating naive notions on the opposite end of the scale as those you criticized to be "soft." Is that fair, is that wise. Am sorry I popped your bubble.

I still think the greatest conflict resolution regarding this thread isn't going to be physical battery. That might not agree with you. But it has been my experience after a many sessions with the bully that a look can be the most effective way to resolve a conflict in many situations. In my case, a look from a bully was all it took for me and others to be intimidated. Well my Mom too. She had a look too. It resolved many conflicts for years between me and my siblings. Oh yea, and teachers, coaches, etc. too. Oh and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry and other films. He was goooood. He had an eye.

Last edited by Buck : 12-31-2008 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:27 PM   #96
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I wouldn't know what an "aikidoka" is.
Well now I'm really confused! And if you don't know what it is...how do you not think such a thing exists? Sorry...couldn't help myself.
Happy new year!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:33 AM   #97
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

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As for aikido, I believe that aikido is what Osensei said it was - and he was quite clear that a) he didn't care about good and evil, saying that they were irrelevent, b) that the conflict resolution he was concerned about was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, not helping people get along. And that is something I do not subscribe to in the least. Ueshiba interests me, but he is certainly not a model or exemplar of anything I would want to be, or model myself on.
Ellis, I agree here. In fact, I also have said before that I personally have no clue to what O'Sensei is saying with those types of thingies.I feel that misinterpretation of O'Sensei isn't a good thing. My models for conflict resolution don't come from O'Sensei, but Aikido does have a number of elements that parallel technically and philosophically i.e. working toward peace and not war, civility etc.

But for your last sentence that is the concern regarding Terry's behavior as well, and what I just talked about. Again, society -the law- tells how to handle things differently than Terry did in those situation. We shouldn't take the law into our own hands and we should be law abiding citizens. I think , well know, that is something that all Aikidoka/ Aikido people from the top of the ranks to the bottom of the ranks should do. And anything else is misleading, and irresponsible.

Ron, I hope you now can understand my point.

Last edited by Buck : 01-01-2009 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:25 PM   #98
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

No, I cannot, and I also cannot understand how amazingly difficult it is for you to understand others.

No matter, we tried...

Best,
Ron (it is better to have tried and failed...)

Happy GNU Year! (Ellis, your writing just keeps getting better! )

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #99
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Happy New Year Everyone,

Good Points Ellis... Your stories...Reminds me of a personal story....

In my final interview for LASO The last question my background investigator asked was...Mr Hazen with your Military Background what would you do in the following scenario. Carlos The Jackel ( The worlds worst terrorist at the time) was holding a hostage at gunpoint in front of you and you are drawing down on him. You tell him to give himself up and he holds up his gun hand in an act of surrender and says I give up... what would you do? "I would shoot him in the head and them walk over and put two in his chest. "
This shocked him and he changed his recommendation from "hire" to "no hire" right on the spot and then asked me to explain myself which I spent the next half hour doing. I said a man who hold his gun up in the air has not really surrendered and a trained terrorist may be waiting to see if I relax and then shoot blah blah blah...Then I just said "Honestly Detective This is the worlds worst terrorist responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and HE HAS A GUN IN HIS HAND!!!" What would you do...He said I would go with my training and arrest him...and I said Well my training is to shoot first. He changed his mind back to hire and said the training would take care of my desire to shoot. LOL

Explains (some) Aikido to me in a nutshell. LOL

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 01-01-2009 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:51 PM   #100
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Re: How truly refreshing - Tohei K. on conflict resolution

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
No, I cannot, and I also cannot understand how amazingly difficult it is for you to understand others.

No matter, we tried...

Best,
Ron (it is better to have tried and failed...)

Happy GNU Year! (Ellis, your writing just keeps getting better! )
No Ron, you amaze me, over and over again. I bet you don't even drink.
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