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Old 03-12-2002, 06:01 PM   #26
bcole23
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BTW, sorry to anyone out there that might just happen to practice at a karate dojo named CobraKai. It was a reference to Miyagisan's wonderful movies.
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Old 03-12-2002, 06:03 PM   #27
Andy
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Re: Innitiative or sucker punch?

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Anyway, how many sensei's have instructed a lesson and told you how to kill or injure with Aikido? None ... as least not in my experience.
Sounds like you need to get out more, child.
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:27 PM   #28
Dean H.
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WHY OH WHY do people think that taking the initiative is DESTROYING people

You're illiciting a response so you can control the situation. This lets you resolve the confrontation in your way. Whether the response that you illicit is an apology, they walk away, they react to an atemi which gives you an opening to peacefully take them to the ground in a harmoniously painful way, or even they are throwing a flurry of punches and kicks and you DO something, it's still taking the initiative.

Initiative != destroying someone. I thought Aikidoka had more control than that..
________________________________________
Thank you Brandon for answering the rhetorical question: no, Aikido is not about destroying or pummelling people; it is, at least, about harmony, respect, control, and initiative, among other things, as far as I can tell.

One thing more to possibly consider: non-violence is proven to be viable. Gandhi helped his nation gain independence with non-violence and Martin Luther King, Jr. practically demanded civil rights through non-violence. Both of these men, in my opinion, positively thrived on initiative, took more than their shares of abuse, and made tremendous, positive differences in the lives of millions.

Aikido, I think, gives us a great insight to the nature of attacks and our possible responses to those attacks. As you said, living the good life can be a great initiative. In an unavoidable confrontation, however, most of us will try to survive, and it is in these trying times that our characters will be revealed.

Thank you,
Dean
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Old 03-12-2002, 09:02 PM   #29
Arianah
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From The Shambhala Guide to Aikido by John Stevens; page 28:
"There is an interesting story regarding the noncompetitive, defensive nature of Aikido. After the war, Morihei refused to let any matches to be held in the Hombu Dojo, but once, for some reason, he relented and let Koichi Tohei, one of his top disciples, square off against a professional wrestler from South America. Usually such challengers rush right in and attack, but the wrestler held back. After some minutes of stalemate, the impatient Tohei moved in and forced the issue, managing to get the wrestler down and pin him. Morihei, however, was quite displeased: ‘There is no need to throw someone who is not attacking you!' It seems that the wrestler had first visited the Kodokan Judo headquarters. There he was advised by the Judo people, ‘Don't attack an Aikido man first; if you do, he will be sure to throw you.'"

Sarah
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Old 03-13-2002, 08:14 AM   #30
Bruce Baker
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Ai symbol Innitiative, or mugged response

I see there are those of you who are having hard time taking the lesser path of gentleness verses the manly kick ass path of the hormonally driven young adult?

Remember, the more notch's you have on your six gun, or the greater your notoriety as a bad ass, the greater the chance your life will be filled with combat and trial, or even chances of you being murdered? That is the fact of perpetuating undue violence.

I know. Many of the Bad ASS bully's I had to put up with in teen age years are dead or in jail. Others, later in life, backed down when they actually realized it was easier to have a friend, or leave me alone. Then others, such as muggers, theives, and other assorted swelled heads were dealt with according to the particular situation. This is before I knew what Aikido was.

Maybe, Aikido's strength is the ability to take stock of the offender, and be able to apply the correct cure that you have within your heart, be it darkness or light? In any case, if you survive the situation that makes you say that you must give the first strike, with out other options, then you had better not be emotionally attached to the solution.

Isn't that what we continually try to teach when we do Aikido? To react without thinking, without emotion, for betterment of humankind?

I understand that there will situations that put you in a bad light for backing down to loud mouthed, overinflated, foul smelling and foul talking bullies? But if you are alive, and they are not because they cannot learn to live within the system of American society in ten or twenty years, who is the victor then?

I know the world is a myriad of laws made with good intentions that does not always work, but if you are going to learn to live within this world, then you must learn to survive within the context of your own terms that allow you continue existence ... hopefully Aikido will help.

Besides, if you have the instinctual training, then you won't have to illicit a response from an attacker, because they wouldn't be an attacker if the response wasn't already in motion, would it? Which, again, makes it an ambiguous question and without thinking you would respond.
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Old 03-13-2002, 08:40 AM   #31
Bruce Baker
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illicit respopnse from attacker

Final thoughts.

Get out more child? Thanks!!

I do try to be a child as I click half a century!

You will never hear a good, that is GOOD sensei advocate violence. What you will get is a warning of just what certain techniques are capable of causing injury. Does that clarify it? If not, then you had better get to a law library because in advocating the violence, the instructor is liable to share the penalties for student, although morally, each teacher does share a portion of this morality.

Maybe after your have been to instruction, or seminars of fifty to one hundred different teachers, you too will be a child at heart with a little more knowledge than you have now.

You should be very happy ... you have illicited a response, now what are you going to do? Whine and respond, or find out what I am talking about by getting out in the big wide world and doing it?
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Old 03-13-2002, 08:53 AM   #32
Greg Jennings
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In short, there is a vast difference between initiating violence and initiating a technique.

In daily life, is it not rather obvious that it's better to be pro-active rather than reactive? Would you not rather head off disharmony rather let it happen?

Anyone here that believes that the Founder didn't initiate techniques has never seen films of him.

Best,

Greg Jennings
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Old 03-13-2002, 09:27 AM   #33
bcole23
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How many times are we going to hear this..

"Since you are taking the initiative, you're not doing Aikido cuz you're hitting/killing someone."

Really "listen" to what we're saying. Trust me, I've listened to what you are saying and agree with you, but you're misinterpreting what initiative is all about if you believe the above paraphrased quote.

Stop your mind and open it to new interpretations and meanings. You may find a truth or two.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:41 PM   #34
Bruce Baker
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Taking the innitiative

Just a note for those who are smaller, and less physical in presence than myself.

Although I am no longer 5foot 10 inches tall, like I was until my twenties, I still maintained a presence that got me out of dozens of muggings, holdups, fights, and other real world situations. Why? Did I take the innitiative, or was it something else? You got me, but out of dozens of episodes of being almost mugged and robbed, before I was twenty, I only gave up money once.

Somehow, someway, around thirtyfive, the world started to change. Less forcefull, less violence aimed at me, only now an then were there occasions of verbal abuse or violence overcome by my wife's voice in my head,"... remember you promised ... people don't bounce anymore!" Maybe being a hundred pounds heavier, and mistaken for a professional wrestler by the Vince McMahon deters the lesser determined criminals?

The real world? Maybe the insults and disbelief I see in many scripts is from those of you who do not practice awareness.

I don't mean looking around for the landmarks of the day, but being able to spot the wolf pack, or the hunters who are seeking the mark, the patsy, the easy target for a little fun?

Once you can spot these people without looking, and they see you, it is like two animals of equal abilities who know a confrontation will kill one of them, so they back away from it.

If I talk about the love of the Universe, it is because I have known the darkness of it too! Although I did not become anyone famous, or get drawn into it, I understand it, non the less.

Be carefull not to become the black hearted preditor. You will not appreciate the other path of life until many of your friends, relatives, and even enemys are dead from the pursueing the black hearted preditor path. Most of the Bad Asses of my day are dead, or in jail, or just getting out of jail.

If you laugh at what I know about the real world, go ahead ... I rather like the sound of children laughing, better than the silence of dead.

But that is life in the real world, isn't it.
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Old 03-13-2002, 07:06 PM   #35
bcole23
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So you've taken the initiative.

Now the original poll had an attacker. That means someone attacking you. Again, I reiterate that initiative is not violence.

*goes to webster*

Main Entry: 2initiative
Function: noun
Date: 1793
1 : an introductory step <took the initiative in attempting to settle the issue>
2 : energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action : ENTERPRISE <showed great initiative>
3 a : the right to initiate legislative action b : a procedure enabling a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and secure its submission to the electorate or to the legislature for approval -- compare REFERENDUM 1
- on one's own initiative : at one's own discretion : independently of outside influence or control

Talking of all the deep ways that initiative affects our lives is outside the scope of the poll.

Quote:
Do you think taking the initiative to elicit a response from your attacker fits within the philosophy of aikido?
This assumes that there is an attacker. So the meaning of the poll is in the context that a person is in a confrontation.

SO> In a confrontation, is it ok to take the initiative? My answer is yes.
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Old 03-14-2002, 04:30 AM   #36
Robert E
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Is it against the philosophy of Aikido to have an attacker?
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:29 AM   #37
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert E
Is it against the philosophy of Aikido to have an attacker?
How about the person who is in disharmony with the universe.

or

The person provinding yang ki/energy.

or

The person who the universe provided to test my Aikido.

or

The person who didn't get enough love as a child.

or

The person who doesn't subscribe to the philosophy or Aikido.

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Old 03-14-2002, 07:52 AM   #38
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert E
Is it against the philosophy of Aikido to have an attacker?
Don't get me wrong about the above post. I'm one of those blind idealist who wants to belive in the Aikido philosphy. Sometimes I even succeed and treat the guy yelling at me with all the compassion and sympathy I can muster. These a usually low risk situations. I really want to belive in the whole harmony with the universe, living shrine for the divine, and I work towards it every day.

But walking down Brooklyn streets late at night and seeing a "wolf pack" in front of me is a different story (for now). Either I cross the street in a nonchalant way (if possible) or I try to flank to their outside. All the while at the ready and visualizing possible scenarios, and to be honest most of them are quite bloody (mines as well as theirs). Maybe one day I will be good enough in aikido to visulaize a more peaceful solution and not see the "wolf pack" as possible attackers.

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Old 03-14-2002, 10:26 AM   #39
jimvance
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost Fox
How about the person who is in disharmony with the universe.
That person is the universe. Chaos theorists would have a good discussion whether or not the universe exists within any sort of harmony. I for one think it is mandatory to have an attacker for Aikido even to exist. That's like saying you would like to practice conflict resolution without setting up a conflict.

Jim Vance
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Old 03-15-2002, 08:01 AM   #40
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimvance

That person is the universe. Chaos theorists would have a good discussion whether or not the universe exists within any sort of harmony. I for one think it is mandatory to have an attacker for Aikido even to exist. That's like saying you would like to practice conflict resolution without setting up a conflict.

Jim Vance
With regard to the chaos theorist, I personally subscribe to the camp that theorizes that the universe is always in harmony. Even the most chaotic event can be described through equations and statistical probabilities. We just currently don't have the computer power or insight to discern all the patterns.

Maybe Robert is trying to say that by seeing the other person as the attacker we set up a dichotomy of attacker vs. defender as oppose to seeing it as a synchronistic event. I know that I tell other Aikidokas not to see the uke as an attacker. When you see the uke as an attacker emotions start to get involved (like anger at being attacked) and we begin to set up an us vs. them mentality. I see uke as an event in which they try to place their energy/matter in a space where my energy/matter currently occupies. And as only one thing can occupy a space at any given time and I need a vessel to exist in this plane of existence I need to move in "harmony" with the approaching energy mass. In a perfect closed system my movement would be intrinsic to the event, like the instances effects of gravity on a ball that has been dropped from a building. The higher the building (How committed is uke.) the greater the energy generated by ball when it hits the ground (Nage's response.), the system is returned to a state of equilibrium.

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Old 03-15-2002, 10:05 AM   #41
Mr. P
 
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Disgust

First, I'd like to say I don't like to see Aïkido as a way to re-establish harmony. I prefer to see it as a way to maintain balance.

Rather than blocking uke's strikes in order to control him (you're kinky sex addicted, aren't you ?), why not guiding his fists in a way you prefer, to feel his Ki, to "swallow" his strength, etc. ?!
I think that, if you begin to block, you do play his game. When two torrents meet, what does happen, then ? It makes a more powerful torrent (with also many splashes , but it's another part of the story ) !!
Instead, what does happen when a torrent meet a peaceful lake ? It's simply absorbed by the lake and nothing happens. The torrent keeps flowing out, the lake is still peaceful and life goes on !!

Moreover, why imagining someone hits you ? Are you paranoïd, or what ? I think we must be prepared (I should say awared). If you're afraid of being hurt, you'll act in order not to be hurt. I don't think I would be happy if you immobilize me because I begin scratching my head too quickly for you !!
If you are so nervous, you ought to get an eye on one of that site's articles (especially those speaking about calmness)...

Mr. P

Never pay attention to someone using smileys...
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Old 03-15-2002, 07:45 PM   #42
Chuck Clark
 
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Interesting discussion with lots of semantic "hair-splitting', etc.

Here's my take on it...

As the question was about "taking" the initiative (other common words are lead or sente) it seems simple to me.

How can you "take" something unless the other person has it? (if they don't have it, there's no need for aikido) As soon as there is an intention to make an aggressive movement, etc. in the other person there is energy that can be felt by those that are trained well and sensitive to it. Joining or blending with that energy is aikido. Taking that person's structural integrity away from them (kuzushi) and keeping it by continuing connection and fitting (tsukuri) the technique defines itself through the dynamic subconscious attempts of uke to regain posture, balance, and control.

During any encounter the classic roles of uke and tori may switch back and forth more than a few times. One of the most important principles of aikido is "instant victory".

You may not like that word, victory, but it is paradoxical. We do not train to be the loser. At some point by understanding this paradox we transcend ideas of winning and losing and both parties may be winners if the right decisions are made.

Thanks for the good discussion. I'm really interested in how others feel about this subject.

Regards,

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 03-15-2002 at 07:47 PM.

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Old 03-18-2002, 06:04 AM   #43
Robert E
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I realize I'm far out on deap philosophical water here...

My line of reasoning is something like this:
At a certain point in time the person (or persons) in front (or back) of you stops being just a pearson and becomes an attacker (in your mind that is). I don't think this is a question of just semantics.

Should we try, through practice, to push this transition forward in time and eventually stop it from happening at all?

Further more I don't like the concept that at a certain time a conflict is inevitable. I believe that you always have a choice. A choice to attack, a choice to defend your self etc. By practicing we simply get more posible choices.

/Robert
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Old 03-18-2002, 08:44 AM   #44
Chuck Clark
 
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Consider this element of Ueshiba's aikido principles...

Kobo itchi or "Attack and defense are the same thing"

Regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-19-2002, 08:39 AM   #45
Mr. P
 
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Good remarks !! I've never seen the things in that way !

Indeed, Uke and Tori symbolize two faces of a same token. They can't be separated : neither Uke nor Tori can't pratice alone ; it's useless and ridiculous ! What happens in a dojo is the symbol of real life. So, it may be logical to assume that, in a fight (but also in real life), Uke and Tori switch each other all the time, Uke becoming Tori, Tori becoming Uke...

So, if the attacker seems not to be wise enough, and stop the fight before being badly hurt (or humiliated ), we could try a strike to make him notice, his way he does is a bad way . But this is like holding a two-edged sword . It's a game we can lose.

You disturbed my way of looking at the things and I don't know how to think any more ...

Mr. P

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Old 03-25-2002, 07:16 AM   #46
Bruce Baker
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illicit a response?

It bothered me that O'Sensei had said something on this subject in an interview so I found the exact quote:

"In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the priniciple of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker, Thue, there is no opponent in aikido. The victory in aikido is "masakatsu agatsu" (correct victory, self victory) since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength."

I would take that to mean, if the rock is falling, you get out of the way or get crushed in accordance to what is happening. No emotion, no attachedment. You do what is to be done to resolve the situation, balancing violence with harmony that allows violence to destroy itself? From that, there is continuous victory with the self, and with the nature of what is?

That's enough, my head hurts from this deep stuff ...
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Old 03-25-2002, 10:22 AM   #47
erikmenzel
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Sometimes there is a real difference between what we think to see and what really happened.

At a lesson at our club, sensei applied ikkyo on me. I know and sensei knows that I (uke) started the chain of events. Yet everybody who saw it argued that sensei started.

Just an observation.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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