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Old 12-02-2010, 11:31 AM   #76
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Graham Christian had put up these exact same videos, but the setting was in a formal Japanese Dojo, and Graham was a 6-10 dan the first several responses would have been, "thank you sensei for putting up this profound work".
Actually, I think people would have been critical regardless. Look at the responses to many of the Demos at the All Japan Aikido demos. There were 8th Dan Shihan who came up for heavy criticism because of the complete "wishful thinking" aspect of what they did.

Quote:
Then likely someone would have come along and said, "this is crap, it's all cooperative". To which someone (one of the 6-10th dans followers likely) would have retorted with something like, "you don't know what you're talking about, this stuff has to be felt to be understood". This would go on and on.
Well, sure. That's the nature of the give and take on the forums. I think it is productive, overall. I have a hard time when things get personalized... it should be about the Aikido. The idea that someone is somehow a better person because his or her technique is good or is in some way falling short as a person if you think his Aikido isn't up to par, is really mistaken thinking.

On the other hand, I think there is far too much "It's all ok." thinking in Aikido. I certainly do not expect everyone to be in agreement on much of anything, but I think that the back and forth can help people really get clear in their minds what it is they want from their Aikido. And, very occasionally, perhaps, folks can see a different side of things through these exchanges.

But I do think it is important, as I have said, for the future of the art, that people have some idea what works and what doesn't, what is aiki and what is not, that they develop a "trained eye" for what is good Aikido and what isn't.

In this case, I think I understand Graham better through the exchange. He handled himself in a very classy manner. I found the details of his training history helpful in reassessing what he is doing. Maybe he got something out of my contribution, I don't know. But I think being able to stand in the center of the storm and hold your own is an absolute requirement of Aikido as some sort of transformational practice. I look at the on-line give and take as just another form of practice.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:10 PM   #77
mathewjgano
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
...I look at the on-line give and take as just another form of practice.
As usual, I really enjoyed reading your perspective, but this bit rings very personally true. I find that when I view the different opinions being expressed as part of a process, they don't bug me like they used to.
That said, I do think it's hard not to get personal on some level...particularly when we're expressing personal opinions and displaying personal examples. The person is very key to these exchanges because in addressing an opinion or example of practice we're addressing the people expressing them. My opinion is that it isn't so bad to get personal, as long as we respect the fact that we're always including a variety of assumptions...that is to say: to treat our opinions as opinions and not as facts, no matter how convinced we might be about them.
Take care,
Matt
P.S. Sorry to all if I'm detracting from the topic(s) too much...I've got some serious cabin fever right now, and frankly am loving the forum for the mental stimulation I'm getting from it.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-02-2010 at 01:14 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:48 PM   #78
Russ Q
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Hi Russ, now this did make me smile, I have just finished responding to what George said and then as I return to the page I see this. Good Ki.
G.
Cheers Graham, good training to you!

Russ
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:31 AM   #79
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Kotodama practice is the Shinto equivalent of pranayama practice. Just because your experience with it seemed meaningless, that doesn't mean the practice itself isn't valid, just that your kotodama teacher was (apparently) less gifted than your pranayama teacher.

Katherine
But I never said my experience with ki was meaningless. Why is it so difficult to make onself understood? I am saying that ki is something so terrible, so high, and so powerful, that I find that when people mistake it for "aaa-eee-iii-ooo-uuu", they're making it a wrong. And I am saying that most of the times when we see a cheap aikido or an aikido that has forfaited any budo (as George most rightly pointed out), we find the abused explanation "we train with our ki" as a far too convenient explanation.
I hope this clarifies - if not, probably that's my fault: I can't explain my point clearly enough - probably due also to the fact English is not my native language I guess.

Speaking of ki is like speaking of angels and gods: i can say an angel spoke to me, but one thing is an angel and another one hearing voices :-)

ps:
Pranayama teacher? Why we always assume one needs a teacher? I found it an assumption that is, in its deep root, "counterki".
There is only _one_ teacher, and only _one_ master: it's the same one, everywhere, and it attends every dojo. Only, it speaks with so low a voice, that it's rarely heard :-)
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:28 AM   #80
Fred Little
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Kotodama practice is the Shinto equivalent of pranayama practice. Just because your experience with it seemed meaningless, that doesn't mean the practice itself isn't valid, just that your kotodama teacher was (apparently) less gifted than your pranayama teacher.

Katherine
Katherine,

Your assertion of identity between pranayama practice and kototama practice is really quite astonishing. Would you care to offer some support for the assertion?

Regards,

Fred Little

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Old 12-03-2010, 11:07 AM   #81
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
Katherine,

Your assertion of identity between pranayama practice and kototama practice is really quite astonishing. Would you care to offer some support for the assertion?

Regards,

Fred Little
Why is it so astonishing? Both seek (roughly) to focus and channel the energy of the universe (be it ki or prana) through the individual. They are similar practices aimed at similar goals, and therefore perform equivalent functions within their respective systems.

(And note that "equivalent" was the word I used, not "identical.")

Katherine
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:11 AM   #82
kewms
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
But I never said my experience with ki was meaningless. Why is it so difficult to make onself understood? I am saying that ki is something so terrible, so high, and so powerful, that I find that when people mistake it for "aaa-eee-iii-ooo-uuu", they're making it a wrong. And I am saying that most of the times when we see a cheap aikido or an aikido that has forfaited any budo (as George most rightly pointed out), we find the abused explanation "we train with our ki" as a far too convenient explanation.
I agree that the explanation is often misused. But not always. The same exercises can be either very powerful or completely pointless, and it's not always possible to tell from the outside.

Katherine
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:11 PM   #83
Fred Little
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Why is it so astonishing? Both seek (roughly) to focus and channel the energy of the universe (be it ki or prana) through the individual. They are similar practices aimed at similar goals, and therefore perform equivalent functions within their respective systems.

(And note that "equivalent" was the word I used, not "identical.")

Katherine
You're compounding the original assertion but offering no basis for the original unfounded claim of "equivalence" beyond additional generic assertions that are equally unfounded.

In order to make the argument, you would need -- at a minimum -- to establish the similarities of each practice, establish the commonality of the goals of the respective practices, establish the equivalency of the respective systems, and establish the equivalent functions.

I would argue that in the absence of an evidentiary basis, the assertions are sterling examples of Orientalism, fallacies of precisely the kind that Said sought to debunk in his work of the same name. Admittedly, they would fall into the Orientophile, rather than Orientophobe, pigeonhole, but the broader point stands.

In a number of critical respects, pranayama and kototama are striking different practices with markedly different goals: the former emphasizing breath in itself as a primary tool, the latter emphasizing vocalization as a primary tool, the former aiming toward an ultimately impersonal realization which is not wed to a particular national or political order, the latter aiming toward the development of individual power to be wielded for unabashedly nationalist purposes in the service of the Imperial Household of Japan; the former embedded within the comparatively ordered complexity of Vedic or Indic micro and macro cosmology, the latter arguably little more than a crude and debased knock-off of the former grafted onto the primitive, amoral, and chaotic cosmology of Japan, and so forth.

In this context, while it's certainly accurate to point out that you used the word "equivalent" and not "identical," to the extent that you've established an equivalence, it's too loose to be terribly useful except to the extent that it achieves through connotation what would be immediately dismissed if attempted through denotation, as you yourself hasten to show.

Best regards,

FL

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Old 12-03-2010, 01:13 PM   #84
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Isn't the commonality in that both are working with the intrinsic energy in the human body?

And regarding just that:: Why the need to have some sort of a cosmic link with the universe in that discussion? (i.e. channeling the energy of the 'universe') What is wrong with considering It is the energy..._in_ the human body that is being discussed? That is profound enough. Taking anything beyond that as fact is....problematic for a host of reasons. I do not feel it fair that it always be presented in this way, and that's why I mention it.

My honest best answer to that is: Choice. Certainly the 'origin' of that energy is a problem; but the context of this or that specific answer, or religious backdrop....is another conversation. Completely. I believe this question is the same question as "Where do we come from?". And a Great Question, at that.
Frankly; both of those practices are a 'bridge' of sort between elements of the bodyskill and the specific religious cosmologies themselves. They are practices coming from a religious context and that is reflected in many ways..and in their requirements and respective conclusions reached.

Stepping onto, and past that 'bridge', launching from the bodyskill..to...the 'other'...is a leap of faith and that should be made clear, about that path, from the get go.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:23 PM   #85
kewms
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
Frankly; both of those practices are a 'bridge' of sort between elements of the bodyskill and the specific religious cosmologies themselves. They are practices coming from a religious context and that is reflected in many ways..and in their requirements and respective conclusions reached.
Precisely. They are equivalent practices in that they serve similar purposes within their respective contexts. I am well aware of the many and vast differences between the Vedic and Shinto world views, but they simply aren't relevant to the point which I was trying to make: if you concede that pranayama is a valid practice within *its* context, then you shouldn't dismiss kotodama practice quite so easily as the person to whom I was responding did.

To use perhaps a less inflammatory example, Spanish tapas and Chinese dim sum are entirely different: they don't taste the same, they don't use the same ingredients, they aren't prepared in the same way. And yet they are "equivalent" because they serve similar functions within their respective cultures.

(Note also that I take no position on the validity -- or lack thereof -- of either the Vedic or the Shinto world view, relative either to each other or to the objective world.)

Katherine
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:46 PM   #86
mickeygelum
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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I wish some of you pompous asses would take two seconds to look at your own practice before openly attacking another practitioner. The hypocrisy of our community seems to know no bounds.
True statement, I concur, Chris.

Train well,

Mickey

Last edited by mickeygelum : 12-03-2010 at 02:47 PM. Reason: I would have gotten banned again if I said that...
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:01 PM   #87
Fred Little
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Precisely. They are equivalent practices in that they serve similar purposes within their respective contexts. I am well aware of the many and vast differences between the Vedic and Shinto world views, but they simply aren't relevant to the point which I was trying to make: if you concede that pranayama is a valid practice within *its* context, then you shouldn't dismiss kotodama practice quite so easily as the person to whom I was responding did.

To use perhaps a less inflammatory example, Spanish tapas and Chinese dim sum are entirely different: they don't taste the same, they don't use the same ingredients, they aren't prepared in the same way. And yet they are "equivalent" because they serve similar functions within their respective cultures.

(Note also that I take no position on the validity -- or lack thereof -- of either the Vedic or the Shinto world view, relative either to each other or to the objective world.)

Katherine
Certainly, we can agree that food is a good thing and good food is a better thing: Recognizing how dangerous as it is to push any analogy too far, I still remain concerned that at this level of analysis, Cheez-Whiz and Ritz Crackers are equivalent to freshly shaved parmesan and thin slices of baguette with a hint of extra virgin olive oil. But there are obvious and critical distinctions of age, texture, type, and taste which this assertion of equivalence elides, and the failure to make such distinctions can be more than enough to result in one losing an appetite for the offering, seeking sustenance elsewhere, and warning others off the sort of establishment where one is likely to get the former when ordering a bit of cheese, having had an unfortunate experience with just such a place. And by the same token, if the raclette somewhere else was initially engaging but ultimately a bit harder on the system than desirable and one has sworn off it as well, this too is worth knowing beyond any possible comparison between raclette and Cheez-Whiz.


Regards,

FL

Last edited by Fred Little : 12-03-2010 at 04:06 PM. Reason: extension of analogy

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Old 12-04-2010, 04:48 AM   #88
sakumeikan
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Why is it so astonishing? Both seek (roughly) to focus and channel the energy of the universe (be it ki or prana) through the individual. They are similar practices aimed at similar goals, and therefore perform equivalent functions within their respective systems.

(And note that "equivalent" was the word I used, not "identical.")

Katherine
Dear Katherine,
Perhaps you would care to elaborate on the similarity/links between the study of Kotodama theory and Prana yama training?
Kotodama theory is the concept that words have esoteric meaning eg Sutras /Mantras or basic Japanese alphabet sounds.
Prana yama is the practice of specific breathing techniques.
I appreciate that both may have some value as as training aid but I do not see a direct connection.
Yours Sincerely joe.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:52 PM   #89
kewms
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Katherine,
Perhaps you would care to elaborate on the similarity/links between the study of Kotodama theory and Prana yama training?
Kotodama theory is the concept that words have esoteric meaning eg Sutras /Mantras or basic Japanese alphabet sounds.
Prana yama is the practice of specific breathing techniques.
I appreciate that both may have some value as as training aid but I do not see a direct connection.
Yours Sincerely joe.
To the best of my knowledge, the best English language sources on kotodama and aikido are William Gleason's books: The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido and Aikido and Words of Power. I studied with Gleason Sensei for many years, but don't pretend to match his expertise on the subject. As I understand it, though, the kotodama tie sound/vibration, breath, and energy flow together. Each kotodama syllable is associated with a specific breath and a specific type (both direction and quality) of energy flow. These in turn have various connections to aikido technique.

In prana yama, as I understand it, the breathing techniques are likewise a means for directing the flow of energy. As yoga is not a martial practice (or at least the yoga I've encountered is not), however, there is less emphasis on external "sources" or "targets" for the energy thus controlled, and therefore less need for the directional characteristics of the kotodama. On the other hand, yoga seems to have a more complete set of tools for understanding what all that energy does to the practitioner's own body.

Katherine
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #90
Rafael Martinez
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

[quote=George S. Ledyard;269174]

... it is "faux" martial arts, and therefore not Budo in any way I understand the term.

I came to aikido with 15 years of budo behind me and have been studying aikido for 12 years now. It was apparent from day one that most if the aikido being taught is exactly that, a "faux" art. I continued to train in it because I saw value in the ukemi and in some of the training movements. Having come from other arts I am able to use aiki principles to enhance my other arts. My own efforts to introduce martial efficacy have been met with resistance so I have redirected my efforts to teaching a mixed martial arts class that centers around aikido. This will address the martial dilemma to an extent. But those of us who train in this fashion are a very small minority. For the most part aikido remains in the fantasy realm of budo and is moving in a direction that should more properly be called a martially inspired exercise or dance. Any one interested in learning how to fight should not train in aikido. My own sensei has stated this on several occasions, and I agree with this. But it does have great value as one ages, allowing one to continue training where this is not possible in most other arts.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:20 AM   #91
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Great post! George.

purely, side note. Always interesting to see another perspective on something like the initial reaction to Angier's class. Always a good idea to be at the front of the room if possible (which I recall being in that class).

My only commentary on this thread really has nothing to do with the videos, only with the idea that it's good G is at least attempting to engage with the Aikido community outside his small group. Organizations have problems but so there can be issues with being independent as well, and thinking in isolation without challenge is one of them. It's a different sort of challenge to engage those that have as much experience or more in the art you practice than it is to be challenged by beginners or someone from a different art, and worth engaging in.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,
Thanks for your response. You know, the good stuff looks fake... It even feels fake in that your mind is telling you that shouldn't have worked, even as you are headed to the floor.

At the first Aiki Expo, I met a friend in the hallway who had just walked out of Angier Sensei's class in disgust. He said it was terrible, the ukes were just tanking and the whole thing was fake. Well, I had actually trained several times with Angier Sensei before then. I told him to get his ass back into that class, go to the front row, and not leave until he had felt it, then he could tell me it was fake. I met him again later and he thanked me for saving him from making a big fool out of himself.

As I said, there's a bunch of stuff out there that's as close to magic as anything I am likely to experience. It's magic because I don't understand it and don't know how to even go about thinking about it.

Yet, at this point, I am better than I ever thought I would be. I am doing stuff on the mat that I used to think only the 8th Dans did. But it's no big deal... it's explainable and teachable. I can get a brown belt to do most of these things if you gave me 20 minutes to half an hour. So what was, at least, magical is now commonplace and other things I have encountered have taken the place of what I once thought was unattainable.

So, ok. I'm not going to be the one who says you can't do what you think you can. If you had better training than most of us did, which in the Aikido world wouldn't have been hard, and you were lucky enough to have found a teacher who really had the goods as some of these folks I encountered at the Expos clearly do, then I think there is every likelihood you could be that good. No way of knowing... not without heading for the UK and trying it out. My perception could be quite wrong. I have seen a number of things that looked phony that I know for a fact weren't, so I have learned not to invest too heavily in my own opinions on these things. If you were closer I'd simply come play and we'd see.

So, we can leave it at that... I can't see it, but you say you've got it. I suppose you are in a better position to know about that than I. So no further argument is necessary or desirable.

Someday, you and I will have met and one or the other will have learned something, possibly both. Someday I will have met Sczepan and he can find out whether I can do what I say I can... he doesn't see it when he looks at my stuff either.... I swear, before I die, I am going to figure out how to stick someone to a wall like Vlad and Okamoto Sensei can do... It's all part of the process for all of us who are really training. If we put ourselves in the way of knowledge it will come, maybe not in a comfortable manner, but it will come.

So good luck in your efforts. I applaud the fact that you didn't get all defensive and belligerent when you got rained on. That's quite a bit more than many of the bad asses here can manage. So I'll reserve my own final judgment and keep watching your stuff. Maybe I am simply missing something that I will better understand after more time messing with this stuff.

But I still say, lose the hats. There's no way anyone will take you seriously with those hats...

- George

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Old 12-06-2010, 11:17 AM   #92
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
HA, This thread is awesome!

The attacks on this fellows (Graham Christian) Aikido are insanity. If Graham Christian had put up these exact same videos, but the setting was in a formal Japanese Dojo, and Graham was a 6-10 dan the first several responses would have been, "thank you sensei for putting up this profound work". Then likely someone would have come along and said, "this is crap, it's all cooperative". To which someone (one of the 6-10th dans followers likely) would have retorted with something like, "you don't know what you're talking about, this stuff has to be felt to be understood". This would go on and on.

I wish some of you pompous asses would take two seconds to look at your own practice before openly attacking another practitioner. The hypocrisy of our community seems to know no bounds.
First, I'm surprised Jun let this go by. It's one thing to criticize in a discussion about how aikido is being done and whether or not it's personally defined as "aikido", but calling people "pompous asses"?

I have a very good idea of the kind of people that George Ledyard has trained with. I'd wager that he's also viewed quite a lot of video content, read books, etc. Would you care to compare your background, Chris, with George's? Care to offer your views on the thread topic?

Or let's substitute Marc Abrams ...

From Saotome to Ikeda to Imaizumi to Ushiro to Kaizen to a whole host of quality teachers/respected men, these people have put in the time to actually have informed opinions. Yes, criticism can be harsh at times. Who in their budo career hasn't gotten that from their teacher? But, I'd have an extremely hard time believing that George or Marc had any bad intent behind their words.

And even if you try to say that you didn't include them, it's still rather rude to apply "pompous asses" to the other people. Do you know them? Know their bona fides? If they are new students, they're certainly entitled to make mistakes. We all have been there. It's the seniors who are there to correct them, not call them "pompous asses". And if they've been around awhile, you want to compare bona fides with them so that you can assert your view that they are "pompous asses"? In front of the whole world?

I've heard (but haven't met) about one of your teachers. He has a very good reputation and I have yet to see him call someone a pompous ass online. I even wouldn't believe it if someone said he did. I'd have to say, show me. He's a stand up guy. Very respected.

What I'm trying to say is that I think you were a bit rude here. If that's who you want to be ... you're certainly welcome to become that kind of person. But, when you find doors closing, don't be surprised. Someone recently told me that in budo, it's *all* about the relationships. It was an extremely important and great piece of advice. Something worth thinking about ...

Mark
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:44 PM   #93
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Rafael Martinez wrote: View Post
Having come from other arts I am able to use aiki principles to enhance my other arts. My own efforts to introduce martial efficacy have been met with resistance so I have redirected my efforts to teaching a mixed martial arts class that centers around aikido. This will address the martial dilemma to an extent. But those of us who train in this fashion are a very small minority.
Not so sure that we're that small of a minority. I think many whom train this way just don't waste their time debating the value of such training on forums.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:14 AM   #94
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Not so sure that we're that small of a minority. I think many whom train this way just don't waste their time debating the value of such training on forums.
Ricky,
I don't think it's a waste of time... it's a matter of raising awareness. Just look at these forums. Two or three years ago very few people had any idea about internal power training, no exposure to Howard Popkin, Toby Threadgill, Ushiro Kenji, and so on.

Now, not only are these teachers, including ones like Dan H who previously didn't even think people, especially Aikido people, were even open to what he was doing, are teaching widely, folks are traveling far and wide trying to get face time, and change is in the air.

There are Federation Shihan who have started working on this stuff. And I think much of this change started way back in 2000 when some of us cam e back from the Aiki Expos and started talking about what we'd seen and done.

Sure, there are still folks who pooh pooh it all, or just assume that they are already doing it and don't need to change anything. There are folks who are entirely happy with what they've been doing and don't feel the need to change anything. But every month one or two of these folks sees a chance to check out one of these teachers and decides to see what all the fuss is about. And that is because of the exchanges here on the forums.

Sure, you feel as if you are spitting into the wind a lot of the time. But I think that if you really love Aikido and want it to be the amazing art it has the potential to be, technically and spiritually, then it is worth the effort to get through to the folks who are open to new perspectives.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:17 AM   #95
jonreading
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

At the risk for digressing this thread, I think the undercurrent I get from some of these posts has not to do with the specifics of Graham's posts, but the manner of expression the videos Graham posted [unclearly] represent.

To use another video series, I am going to reference a number of videos posted to YouTube by Frank Doran Sensei (or rather, his people maybe). Doran Sensei is great because his stuff looks absolutely fake, but its not. In many of his videos he moves [too] slowly, makes [too] big movements, emphasizes connected states, and looks [too] relaxed. Yet I believe his videos do not contest what he is doing is "applied" or anything but instructive and he is precise and mechanical in his movement. George Sensei has similar videos (although the wild wonder from the North claims he talks too much).

I think that videos can help us learn aikido, but we need to be respectful of how and what we communicate in a video. We also need to be critical of our community when dialog is unclear. I think the resounding critique in this thread is that it is unclear for what these videos are intended.

Is the video intended for instruction? If so, important details like the incorrectly positioning your bokken as it would sit in saya is an important critique. Is the video intended for demonstration? If so, the lack of conviction from uke is an important factor. Without these critiques, how can Graham make a better video? Without these critiques, how can we keep Graham honest?

Criticism sometimes doesn't feel good, but it is a necessary feedback tool to improving. Wanna know the difference between Graham's video and the video of the shihan doing the same thing? The shihan doesn't wear his sword upside down. If the Aikido community is not willing to consider its own legitimacy, who will?

We have an obligation to our art and each other to make it better. This obligation starts in our dojo. My instructor invested time to teach me aikido. I have an obligation to pass on my time to another. The world wide web allows me to expand my obligation beyond my dojo. If I can write something that helps someone else on this forum, I consider my time well-spent. If I can read something that will help my training, I appreciate the time that poster spent writing.

I remember when "is not" was the correct usage, "ain't" was not a word. Guess what? Not enough people cared about correctly using "is not"...
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:27 AM   #96
Dennis Hooker
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

George old friend, some Aikido people have taken a path that lead away for the internal arts and some did not, some still walk both paths even though Hombu Dojo elders decided to split ways and distinctly limit their training to include or exclude aspects of internal training. None the less this thread runs through all Aikido and it is nothing new. Just because some people are only now finding value in it and seeking it out does not negate the fact that it was and is there. I for one find it refreshing that young dogs are now old and seeking a little different path. I think it is coming back together. The thread is stronger, in some aspects, within some groups than others but it is nothing new to Aikido at all.

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:52 AM   #97
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
George old friend, some Aikido people have taken a path that lead away for the internal arts and some did not, some still walk both paths even though Hombu Dojo elders decided to split ways and distinctly limit their training to include or exclude aspects of internal training. None the less this thread runs through all Aikido and it is nothing new. Just because some people are only now finding value in it and seeking it out does not negate the fact that it was and is there. I for one find it refreshing that young dogs are now old and seeking a little different path. I think it is coming back together. The thread is stronger, in some aspects, within some groups than others but it is nothing new to Aikido at all.
Hey Buddy!
Hope all is well... Genie and I are looking forward to seeing you at Winter Camp.

Sure, it was always there... we certainly had it right in front of us all these years, even if we didn't understand it as we would have liked. But I think it is a hopeful sign that I see the trend away from a deeper understanding of the art perhaps changing back again. It's gone so far one direction, now it's time to "return to the source" so to speak. Folks like yourself who quietly taught something much deeper all these years with little fame and certainly no fortune are getting at least some of the recognition you have deserved because folks are starting to understand the difference between what is quality and what is not. Your Aikido has always been quality and I know it has been hard for those of you who have understood all along to watch the art deteriorate because folks simply did not know any better.

Anyway, I am hopeful at this point, which wasn't the case five years ago.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #98
kewms
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think that videos can help us learn aikido, but we need to be respectful of how and what we communicate in a video. We also need to be critical of our community when dialog is unclear. I think the resounding critique in this thread is that it is unclear for what these videos are intended.

Is the video intended for instruction? If so, important details like the incorrectly positioning your bokken as it would sit in saya is an important critique. Is the video intended for demonstration? If so, the lack of conviction from uke is an important factor. Without these critiques, how can Graham make a better video? Without these critiques, how can we keep Graham honest?
Indeed.

When a video is posted without explanation, people (myself included) will project their own assumptions about what a demo video "should" include, or what correct instruction "should" look like. Explaining the purpose of a video won't necessarily fend off criticism, but it will help to make sure that the criticism is on point.

Another forum I read has a "Digital Coaching" area. Videos posted there are assumed to be from people seeking guidance, who know that their form isn't correct and need help improving. As such, they generally get a pretty respectful, helpful response. If the very same videos were posted on the very same site with more boastful commentary, they'd get ripped to shreds. Context is everything.

Katherine
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #99
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
... some still walk both paths even though Hombu Dojo elders decided to split ways and distinctly limit their training to include or exclude aspects of internal training.
Hello Mr. Hooker,
May I ask why you think there was a decision to distinctly limit certain parts of the training? Are you referring to the Ki Society split? Or ... something else?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Josh
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:01 PM   #100
Dennis Hooker
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
Hello Mr. Hooker,
May I ask why you think there was a decision to distinctly limit certain parts of the training? Are you referring to the Ki Society split? Or ... something else?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Josh
Ya Josh that is it. It was not a happy time.

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