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Old 01-22-2011, 08:05 PM   #51
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi George. Good meeting you again. I can't disagree with any of what you say for I understand where you're coming from and the only difference I see is based on one word.

The word is 'respect'. Let me explain why. For years I tussled with the concept as I had it as a principle which I was taught and it came from Tohei's principles and it was 'respect your partner's Ki'

I went from thinking I knew what it meant to seeing I didn't know what it meant to seeing it sometimes depending.......

Finally I saw what it meant and my view on the word itself changed, the power of respect took on a whole new meaning. You want to know what it meant? It meant repect your partnes' Ki.

As usual in these things it was back to the simplicity.

What I wasn't getting was that I thought if something was bad I couldn't respect it. It happened in two stages: First a reality of Ki and the fact that everyone, beyond the presented illusion has Ki and to 'see' it, know it and respect it. As Ki itself is good then it is also to see past the presented force or even negative energy as they are not Ki. So of course I could respect their Ki and link with it even if they didn't know they had it or was sure what they were using was it. On doing and practicing this It expanded out to why not respect what they are doing anyway whether bad or good for respect is an inherent part of my spiritual being so why let others make me give up part of my true self?

Now once again this doesn't to me mean I agree with or even should let it carry on, it's down to personal judgement. For example if someone wants to do Aikido in my space, in my dojo, and yet not according to the principles I teach then after showing them the difference and respecting where they are coming from they realize either this is the way they were looking for or they leave. I respect them either way. If someone is acting obnoxious towards others I can respect it and accept it and yet communicate through to the true them it is not allowed and if they persist they will have to go somewhere else.

In fact using the rope analogy I would say that when a thread is overtly disrupting or even covertly undermining or harming the rope(group) that generally in life the group or person in charge of the group takes appropriate action and this would be known as justice.

So that is what I meant by respect and once again I probably should try to articulate clearer sometimes.

Respect. G.
Ok Graham, I think I get where you are coming from... but maybe not as the discussion is a bit obscure. So let me take a more earthy and less intellectual example.

Last weekend I attended the Bridge seminar in San Diego conducted by Ikeda Sensei, Christian Tissier, and Doran Sensei. I had a wonderful time and found every single person I worked with to be a pleasure, with one exception.

I had a partner who chose to do a total passive aggressive number on me. It was Ikeda Sensei's class and he was as usual doing connection work. My partner gave me a grab with absolutely no energy in it, a completely uncommitted grab, and then proceeded to look away and watch everyone around me training. It was so monumentally disrespectful that it was clearly intentional. I have encountered guys who play this game before. They give you nothing until they feel you try to move to do what the Sensei did, then they counter you. So I just sat there looking at him. I could see it register that I wasn't even trying to do the technique, and he almost looked at me, but he caught himself and didn't react. So I started walking forward to get him to give me some energy but he simply refused to engage and he literally allowed me to back him into some other folks rather than give me anything to work with.

So, "little mind" George is telling me to knock this sucker cold for dissing me. He'd have never seen it coming because he was so busy not looking at me. But "big mind" George prevailed and took the "high road". It certainly wasn't my problem that this guy was such an "anal pore". He wasn't my student and not my responsibility although I cannot imagine what teacher tolerates such an idiot in his dojo. But, not my problem... So I did the proper thing and ignored him the rest of the weekend.

However, the next day I was happily training with someone and I looked over and saw one of my female friends on the side crying and holding her shoulder. I happened to know she had a very fragile shoulder from a previous accident and it had clearly been re-injured. So I went over and asked her if she was ok and what had happened. She said that someone had cranked her shoulder hard and re-injured it. This being after he was too rough and she had told him to go easier because she was hurt.

At that point I was pretty pissed. I decided to go out and train a bit with whomever had done it. At first she wouldn't tell me who had done it but I insisted and low and behold, it was my sphincter friend from the first day. Now this fellow as a very tall and pretty strong guy and my friend was a diminutive female of just over 100 lbs I would say with very fine bone structure. Certainly someone I would exercise the utmost care with under any circumstance.

Now, I am a fairly mellow guy normally. But there is one thing that is totally calculated to bring out what I call the Wrath of God George (some I keep deeply buried most of the time) and that is the kind of guy who when he trains with me, a big, senior guy, he gives me nothing and won't take the risk of even participating and then turns around and manhandles some virtually defenseless 6th kyu woman and actually injures her after being asked to go easier. That's not an accident at that point, that's intentional.

When I realized whom she had pointed out, I told her that I had wanted to go out and "play" with him, but because it was him in particular I didn't trust myself to do it. I was SO angry I could barely see straight. I came very close to full Wrath of God George and had I done so it would have been blood on the mat, broken bones time. So, I restrained myself. Instead I went to one of the hosts and told them what had happened. In talking to some other folks I discovered that virtually all the women who trained with him and felt that they had been manhandled. One of my female friends told me that she had come inches from attacking him herself.

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, two possible outcomes would have been appropriate. One was that I beat the crap out of this fellow... Good karmic payback within minutes of the offense and all that. The other would be that the seminar organizers had acted on the information I had given them and dis-invited him to any future events held by them. I think I would have felt ok about either one. In the end, to my knowledge, neither happened.

My wife was adamant that I should have taken the guy out, then and there. One of my other senior friends said he would have told the guy to meet him in the parking lot. I've spent some time thinking about why I ended up not nuking the guy. I'm pretty straight with myself that it wasn't because I was afraid of being hurt in getting into it. I am not saying that I couldn't have been, this guy was pretty strong. But I didn't think that possibility was what restrained me. I was actually afraid of being embarrassed on some level. I didn't want to create a scene, I didn't want to put out a lot of bad juju into an event that was so overwhelmingly positive. I think I didn't want people to see that not so wonderful party of me that I know is there but I keep hidden.

My wife, who comes from a rough tough Western martial arts background asked me what was wrong with Aikido people that they didn't protect their own? I have plenty of rational answers as to why I didn't but that's really all bullshit. I could have, I didn't and no one else to my knowledge did anything about the guy. He will almost certainly hurt someone else before he is done.

So, I don't feel at peace with the outcome. I don't feel that I did what needed to be done and I feel the system failed to do what it should have done. Justice was not done and someone else will certainly suffer for it.

So my question is, how does all this wonderful ki good stuff, treating people wonderfully, respectfully, etc which you seem to always do... How does that handle people who are simply not good people, who are victimizers and prey on the weak? Isn't it really the responsibility of the strong to protect those people who can't protect themselves? That's what I have always told my kids that martial arts is about. I feel like I failed to do that. I did what was civilized, I wasn't violent, I didn't disturb the "wa" of the event. But I feel like I failed in some elemental way.

So tell me, how does all of your good ki, mutual respect, perfect equanimity (which is impressive the way) handle bad stuff. Conflict resolution is easy when there's not much conflict. I am not happy with my efforts to be civilized in this case. I feel like I should have done Conan on this guy. Unless I am convinced otherwise, I think if I am ever on the mat with this guy again and I see him pulling this stuff again, I will not make the same choice at all.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:38 PM   #52
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: My Rope Theory

What would that help? You did what you could. I would make sure all my students knew about him. If I saw him training with one of my students I would join them.
Hurting him would hurt you in the long run.

Mary
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:15 PM   #53
RonRagusa
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
So tell me, how does all of your good ki, mutual respect, perfect equanimity (which is impressive the way) handle bad stuff. Conflict resolution is easy when there's not much conflict. I am not happy with my efforts to be civilized in this case. I feel like I should have done Conan on this guy. Unless I am convinced otherwise, I think if I am ever on the mat with this guy again and I see him pulling this stuff again, I will not make the same choice at all.
The solution proposed by Mary is based on real life experience. We encountered just such a person at the camps we used to attend before we went independent. After a couple of our less experienced students complained about the treatment they received from him we made sure that whenever we saw him single out one of our students one of us would join them. Eventually he stopped seeking out our students and pointedly avoided both of us.

We never had to hurt anyone or let the situation escalate to the point where potential conflict became promoted to real conflict.

Ron
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:29 PM   #54
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
The solution proposed by Mary is based on real life experience. We encountered just such a person at the camps we used to attend before we went independent. After a couple of our less experienced students complained about the treatment they received from him we made sure that whenever we saw him single out one of our students one of us would join them. Eventually he stopped seeking out our students and pointedly avoided both of us.

We never had to hurt anyone or let the situation escalate to the point where potential conflict became promoted to real conflict.

Ron
Hi Ron and Mary,
I have done precisely what you suggested in the past. But that was always when someone appeared insensitive or was just such a stick that the needed a wake up call. I have put people on the floor and scared the shit out of them when they were stupid ukes. But I have never hurt any of these folks doing it.

But this guy really hurt my friend. I was conscious a bit afterward that I felt that everyone in the room was on some level my Aikido family. And I have to say I go a bit cave man when we are talking about family and friends. Me, I walk away, but something else goes on when it's my friends and family. And the feeling was so great at the Bridge Seminar. Every single person I trained with was so great. Leaving this idiot standing amongst them seemed wrong. Anyway, it is what it is now, but next time I don't think I''ll make the same choice. But thanks for the input...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:30 PM   #55
Budd
 
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Re: My Rope Theory

That situation that George describes - I used to go look for those kinds of guys - but unfortunately, I think the "system" gives them an easy place to hide. I don't have the answer for how to deal with them, either - other than if it's going to be some sort of hierarchical system, then you'd better make damn sure the people at the top have enough moral character to actively root out pieces of shit like that. Funny thing is I have encountered many more people like that in aikido, than in more competition based arts like judo/bjj, etc.

Again, don't know the answers - and in my brutish method of dispensing my own brand of justice to those that I felt deserved it - I'm sure that I did my own bit to further inappropriate behaviors, no matter how deserved they might have been.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:06 PM   #56
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
...I understand where you're coming from and the only difference I see is based on one word.

The word is 'respect'. Let me explain why. For years I tussled with the concept as I had it as a principle which I was taught and it came from Tohei's principles and it was 'respect your partner's Ki'

I went from thinking I knew what it meant to seeing I didn't know what it meant to seeing it sometimes depending.......

Finally I saw what it meant and my view on the word itself changed, the power of respect took on a whole new meaning. You want to know what it meant? It meant repect your partnes' Ki....I thought if something was bad I couldn't respect it....As Ki itself is good then it is also to see past the presented force or even negative energy as they are not Ki. So of course I could respect their Ki and link with it even if they didn't know they had it or was sure what they were using was it. On doing and practicing this It expanded out to why not respect what they are doing anyway whether bad or good for respect is an inherent part of my spiritual being so why let others make me give up part of my true self?
Graham,

There is another word you should also remember and that is kichigai--(changed ki or "different" ki)--when a person's ki becomes unnatural because of a sick way that they use it because of a sick way that they use their mind.

In fact, ki is neither good nor bad. It simply is. But it can be made good or bad through its close association with a good or bad mind.

Say a person like the Dalai Lama constantly turns his mind to helping and loving others. His ki becomes like his mind.

Then let's look at that fellow who shot the Congresswoman in Arizona. Or better yet, consider a child molester and murderer. His mind becomes so fascinated with horrible ideas and fixations that his very ki becomes transformed into something completely inhuman: ki chigai (different ki). His very ki becomes sick and evil--much worse than an innocent animal like a wolf or even a jackal. It's worse than an animal spirit. It is unfit for any human or animal interaction.

George Ledyard just gave you the example of the jerk who was passive toward strong men but manhandled small women. That jerk is verging on kichigai as well. Who knows? Maybe he's already there. Maybe he uses his aikido skill to rape women between seminars. He certainly seems to have a sick attitude toward women. So maybe he is kichigai. You see the effect his ki had on Ledyard Sensei and on the women who had contact with him. And all the friends of the man who shot the Congresswoman commented on how strange the man had become in the years leading up to the shooting. And then look at that totally insane face in the mug shots.

So there is definitely a kind of ki that does not merit respect and it's wrong to simply treat such people as we would treat someone who works to refine himself and care for others.

Aikido is a martial art that involves serious interplay with the ki of others. It is meant to protect our own ki against that of evil people and it is meant to be effective against such seriously maniacal people as the Arizona shooter. This kind of aikido must be oriented to certain main principles to maintain this kind of healthy viability. And the first aspect of that is Truth, carefully followed by Martial Effectiveness. Without Truth, there is no martial effectiveness, and without martial effectiveness, aikido is False or even worse. But the "quality control" aspect of aikido is not quite what it was fifty or sixty years ago and now some very strange people can teach whatever kind of misguided garbage their disoriented minds conjure up and call it aikido. Learning from a kichigai teacher is very unhealthy and therefore dangerous. But being a bully is not the only result of kichigai. It can go in all kinds of directions and the results on one's aikido are also very clear. One way is to become obsessive about "samurai spirit" and "honor" and "martial effectiveness" to the point of losing the ability to relate to normal people so that only bizarre people will train with them, resulting in even more unfit people gaining the ability to teach.

Another bad direction of aikido is to lose the orientation to Truth and Martial Effectiveness, to begin teaching something so lacking in martial effectiveness that it departs completely from the arena of Truth, itself. And a main refuge for such people is to devolve into a driveling fantasy of universal love that O Sensei would find utterly creepy (kimochi warui)--sickening or disgusting.

It is not our right to redefine aikido to whatever kind of self-aggrandizing fantasy play suits us--even in the name of "respecting" other people's ki. If you don't first respect the standard of Truth in aikido that was well established long ago, then every move you make on the mat and every word you speak about aikido is a manifestation of utter disrespect for Truth. So how then can you claim to respect anyone or anything? You're simply infecting them with disrespect for the Truth of what aikido is and therefore disrespect for what they are and what Life really is.

If that's what you're doing, then you've already become very close to kichigai and you will never get better by continuing in the same way.

Murderer, molester, manhandler, or just a fantasy dancer, it's all heading in the same kichigai and kimochi warui direction. The only difference is a matter of degree. And to teach that same attitude to others is a bigger disservice to them and to oneself than being a heroin addict. And while I respect ki and love humanity, I don't respect that kind of attitude, nor will I accord it any dignity or recognition at all.

If you see what I mean.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:08 PM   #57
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
The solution proposed by Mary is based on real life experience. We encountered just such a person at the camps we used to attend before we went independent. After a couple of our less experienced students complained about the treatment they received from him we made sure that whenever we saw him single out one of our students one of us would join them. Eventually he stopped seeking out our students and pointedly avoided both of us.

We never had to hurt anyone or let the situation escalate to the point where potential conflict became promoted to real conflict.
That's pretty cool.

Best to y'all.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:12 PM   #58
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
...it is what it is now, but next time I don't think I''ll make the same choice. But thanks for the input...
I'd say you ought to put him in a serious yonkyo and whisper a word to the wise in his ear. And make sure he feels like sitting out a couple of hours after that--if not just getting the heck out of Dodge.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:54 AM   #59
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: My Rope Theory

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I'd say you ought to put him in a serious yonkyo and whisper a word to the wise in his ear. And make sure he feels like sitting out a couple of hours after that--if not just getting the heck out of Dodge.

Best to you.

David
I feel better now... I have taken some actions that may go some way towards taking care of the problem. I also found out some info that made me glad I didn't take the guy out on the spot... would have caused some other complications. So all in all, I feel like I have taken some action my effort at "Right Action" so to speak and I avoided creating any bad Karma by unleashing Wrath of God George, best he stays hidden where he belongs. But it had better not happen again any where while I am around or bad Karma or no, the guy is in terrible trouble.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:56 AM   #60
Flintstone
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Is he not source of the rope called Aikido?
Is he?
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:28 AM   #61
gates
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Re: My Rope Theory

I think the moment the senior instructors found out they should have stopped the class and either embarrassed, directly or indirectly, the hell out of the guy so much that he felt like an insignificant piece of crap.

Or at least pulled him to help demonstrate the next technique Ganseki-otoshi.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:52 AM   #62
Amir Krause
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Is he not source of the rope called Aikido?
Not when all M.A. under this name are considered.

Amir
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:20 AM   #63
Amir Krause
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Let me see if I can clarify what I said earlier...

My main point is that I become personally concerned whenever I hear dialogue that centers around removing differing opinion. Graham's initial post contains an advocation to remove argument and fighting from aikido; arguments that I assume include training curriculum, use of weapons, stylistic alterations, and fighting effectiveness, to name a few. While I may not agree with those who oppose my perspectives, I do not believe I have a right [ever] to remove that opposing perspective. Opposing parties may argue and debate issues in a positive and constructive manner; I do not think it fair to cite the poor presentation of an argument or the poor ethics employed during debate as a cause to remove the dialogue. As such, I also do not tend to support the "can't we all just get along" stuff either. As Graham cites, people tend to consolidate around those who share similar values, beliefs and opinions. Those who don't like what they read or see in one setting have the opportunity to change that setting to one more desirable. This is both an expression of freedom and an expression of prejudice.

Secondly, I do not believe "more is better" in aikido. I do not believe the art's integrity will perservere with more people practicing at a lower quality. Contigent upon my first point, the role of frictional debate and argument is to identify and purge those practices and practicioners ill-suited to the preservation of aikido. The pressure of accountibility, education, and evaluation helps to control the presence of poor aikido. Without pressure to maintain quality withing the art, eventually the art will become ineffective; some would argue that is currently happening. Ledyard sensei just posted a great thread that touches upon the issue of balancing the essence of aikido with the expansion of student body.

Ultimately, I believe my training is my own and not subjective to a larger group; it is mine to pursue with the vigor and energy that I put into it and under the authority of the instructor under whom I wish to train. I am not training to make the rope bigger or smaller or stronger ro weaker, I am training to make myself better and preserve the intergity of the aikido I learned from my instructor. In this sense I think it less important to worry about what everyone else is doing and more about what I am doing. There is no rope if after 15 years I still cannot do aikido; it is no consolation to me that if after 15 years of aikido there are others who cannot do aikido either. I see no reason to tie my aikido to yours...
Great Post !

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

But this guy really hurt my friend. I was conscious a bit afterward that I felt that everyone in the room was on some level my Aikido family. And I have to say I go a bit cave man when we are talking about family and friends. Me, I walk away, but something else goes on when it's my friends and family. And the feeling was so great at the Bridge Seminar. Every single person I trained with was so great. Leaving this idiot standing amongst them seemed wrong. Anyway, it is what it is now, but next time I don't think I''ll make the same choice. But thanks for the input...
Wow, that story of yours made me feel like
And I am just a Sempai of others, not their teacher...

We rarely have seminars with others, but as a Sempai, had I seen anyone starting such a thing with one of our beginners, I would have interveaned, preferbly in the "friendly" manner of joining the practice.

Amir
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:44 AM   #64
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I feel better now... I have taken some actions that may go some way towards taking care of the problem. I also found out some info that made me glad I didn't take the guy out on the spot... would have caused some other complications.
Yeah. If you're not the head teacher at the gig, it would be a little presumptuous to snatch someone off the mat and order him out. But maybe a yonkyo and a word in the ear would have worked. I'm sure a lot of people would have just crunched him pretty hard without saying anything except, "Oops! You okay? Sorry about that."

Or maybe, "Oops! My mind was on that young lady whose shoulder you wrenched."

But it sounds like you had the best response, ultimately. Behind the scenes rarely makes a scene.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:49 AM   #65
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
I think the moment the senior instructors found out they should have stopped the class and either embarrassed, directly or indirectly, the hell out of the guy so much that he felt like an insignificant piece of crap.
Seems he already felt like that, but he mistook it for the feeling of being a big, tough guy with Samurai spirit.

He just forgot that the real samurai saw themselves as servants.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #66
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: My Rope Theory

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Yeah. If you're not the head teacher at the gig, it would be a little presumptuous to snatch someone off the mat and order him out. But maybe a yonkyo and a word in the ear would have worked. I'm sure a lot of people would have just crunched him pretty hard without saying anything except, "Oops! You okay? Sorry about that."

Or maybe, "Oops! My mind was on that young lady whose shoulder you wrenched."

But it sounds like you had the best response, ultimately. Behind the scenes rarely makes a scene.

Best wishes.

David
I realized later what I should have done, was to walk and and stop the seminar right at that instant and tell the entire group what he had done. Shame him in front of everyone there. It would have served to warn everyone else and I suspect that after something like that, you wouldn't see him again at the seminar. It would have taken some Moxie to do it, but I think it would have been effective. Anyway, other avenues are being pursued...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:33 AM   #67
aikishihan
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Re: My Rope Theory

Hi George,

What a gift to us whenever you share your innermost thoughts that appear to reveal your vulnerability. Actually, your main strengths are revealed, confirming why we love, respect and follow your lead in all things Aiki, AikiGeorge!

You certainly did not fail in any elemental way in refraining from visiting the Wrath of God George on this clueless and miserable person. Your final decisions valid why Aikido practice is so valuable, correct for the times, and a model for all martial arts situations today.

Our mutual friend indeed was traumatized by the incident, but she is of sterner stuff than her sneaky and snarky assailant, and she assured me that she will learn from this and survive just fine, thank you. She is indeed a treasure, and we are fortunate to have people like her in our seminars and our dojos.

Thanks again for this eye opening revelation of how a Master Shihan of Aikido walks his talk.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:35 AM   #68
lbb
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Re: My Rope Theory

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I realized later what I should have done, was to walk and and stop the seminar right at that instant and tell the entire group what he had done. Shame him in front of everyone there. It would have served to warn everyone else and I suspect that after something like that, you wouldn't see him again at the seminar. It would have taken some Moxie to do it, but I think it would have been effective. Anyway, other avenues are being pursued...
Yeah, that would have taken quite a bit of crust...and then, you would have had the opportunity to see what the rest of your "Aikido family" is made of. If the reaction was, "Wow, the nerve of George, disturbing this event in such a way," well, that would have told you something. FWIW, knowing none of the people involved, there's no doubt in my mind that some people would have reacted this way out of simple reflex. Decorum and convention serve many good functions, but if they become objects of worship in and of themselves, they also provide a skilled manipulator/bully with places to hide. When decorum is outraged for a good reason, some people will never get it. You'll never get 100% consensus backing you in your right action, in any situation -- so I guess it's always possible to see yourself as the source of discord, when at most you could be said to be its proximate cause.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:17 AM   #69
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I realized later what I should have done, was to walk and and stop the seminar right at that instant and tell the entire group what he had done. Shame him in front of everyone there. It would have served to warn everyone else and I suspect that after something like that, you wouldn't see him again at the seminar. It would have taken some Moxie to do it, but I think it would have been effective. Anyway, other avenues are being pursued...
That might really have been the best. But the "other avenues" is also very strong.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 01-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #70
David Orange
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Thanks again for this eye opening revelation of how a Master Shihan of Aikido walks his talk.
All hear!

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #71
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Re: My Rope Theory

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I feel better now... I have taken some actions that may go some way towards taking care of the problem. I also found out some info that made me glad I didn't take the guy out on the spot... would have caused some other complications.
Not knowing what that information was, I think this is probably a good example of why it's generally not a good idea to thrash people, even when they almost certainly have earned it on some level.
Speaking as a "nice guy" who is big on talking about how people ought be kind to each other, etc., I also think it's crucial to address issues like this. A) the person clearly needs to have greater respect for training partners B) unprepared people need to be protected from guys like that. That injury shouldn't have happened in the first place, and clearly that guy needed to have someone point out that the general concensus wasn't in his favor.
That said, whatever that reasoning was which makes you feel a little better for not having taken him out, THAT is the reason for the "kindness throughout" approach. To my mind the idea is to allow for as much information as possible before taking action. "Action-first" approaches lend themselves to rash behavior, even if well-intentioned. "Kill 'em with kindness" usually works best in my experience. As soon as anger enters the interaction, it's hard for the offending person to see much else and they shut down, sticking to their indefensible guns.
...Some quick thoughts, at any rate.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #72
graham christian
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Re: My Rope Theory

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Ok Graham, I think I get where you are coming from... but maybe not as the discussion is a bit obscure. So let me take a more earthy and less intellectual example.

Last weekend I attended the Bridge seminar in San Diego conducted by Ikeda Sensei, Christian Tissier, and Doran Sensei. I had a wonderful time and found every single person I worked with to be a pleasure, with one exception.

I had a partner who chose to do a total passive aggressive number on me. It was Ikeda Sensei's class and he was as usual doing connection work. My partner gave me a grab with absolutely no energy in it, a completely uncommitted grab, and then proceeded to look away and watch everyone around me training. It was so monumentally disrespectful that it was clearly intentional. I have encountered guys who play this game before. They give you nothing until they feel you try to move to do what the Sensei did, then they counter you. So I just sat there looking at him. I could see it register that I wasn't even trying to do the technique, and he almost looked at me, but he caught himself and didn't react. So I started walking forward to get him to give me some energy but he simply refused to engage and he literally allowed me to back him into some other folks rather than give me anything to work with.

So, "little mind" George is telling me to knock this sucker cold for dissing me. He'd have never seen it coming because he was so busy not looking at me. But "big mind" George prevailed and took the "high road". It certainly wasn't my problem that this guy was such an "anal pore". He wasn't my student and not my responsibility although I cannot imagine what teacher tolerates such an idiot in his dojo. But, not my problem... So I did the proper thing and ignored him the rest of the weekend.

However, the next day I was happily training with someone and I looked over and saw one of my female friends on the side crying and holding her shoulder. I happened to know she had a very fragile shoulder from a previous accident and it had clearly been re-injured. So I went over and asked her if she was ok and what had happened. She said that someone had cranked her shoulder hard and re-injured it. This being after he was too rough and she had told him to go easier because she was hurt.

At that point I was pretty pissed. I decided to go out and train a bit with whomever had done it. At first she wouldn't tell me who had done it but I insisted and low and behold, it was my sphincter friend from the first day. Now this fellow as a very tall and pretty strong guy and my friend was a diminutive female of just over 100 lbs I would say with very fine bone structure. Certainly someone I would exercise the utmost care with under any circumstance.

Now, I am a fairly mellow guy normally. But there is one thing that is totally calculated to bring out what I call the Wrath of God George (some I keep deeply buried most of the time) and that is the kind of guy who when he trains with me, a big, senior guy, he gives me nothing and won't take the risk of even participating and then turns around and manhandles some virtually defenseless 6th kyu woman and actually injures her after being asked to go easier. That's not an accident at that point, that's intentional.

When I realized whom she had pointed out, I told her that I had wanted to go out and "play" with him, but because it was him in particular I didn't trust myself to do it. I was SO angry I could barely see straight. I came very close to full Wrath of God George and had I done so it would have been blood on the mat, broken bones time. So, I restrained myself. Instead I went to one of the hosts and told them what had happened. In talking to some other folks I discovered that virtually all the women who trained with him and felt that they had been manhandled. One of my female friends told me that she had come inches from attacking him herself.

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, two possible outcomes would have been appropriate. One was that I beat the crap out of this fellow... Good karmic payback within minutes of the offense and all that. The other would be that the seminar organizers had acted on the information I had given them and dis-invited him to any future events held by them. I think I would have felt ok about either one. In the end, to my knowledge, neither happened.

My wife was adamant that I should have taken the guy out, then and there. One of my other senior friends said he would have told the guy to meet him in the parking lot. I've spent some time thinking about why I ended up not nuking the guy. I'm pretty straight with myself that it wasn't because I was afraid of being hurt in getting into it. I am not saying that I couldn't have been, this guy was pretty strong. But I didn't think that possibility was what restrained me. I was actually afraid of being embarrassed on some level. I didn't want to create a scene, I didn't want to put out a lot of bad juju into an event that was so overwhelmingly positive. I think I didn't want people to see that not so wonderful party of me that I know is there but I keep hidden.

My wife, who comes from a rough tough Western martial arts background asked me what was wrong with Aikido people that they didn't protect their own? I have plenty of rational answers as to why I didn't but that's really all bullshit. I could have, I didn't and no one else to my knowledge did anything about the guy. He will almost certainly hurt someone else before he is done.

So, I don't feel at peace with the outcome. I don't feel that I did what needed to be done and I feel the system failed to do what it should have done. Justice was not done and someone else will certainly suffer for it.

So my question is, how does all this wonderful ki good stuff, treating people wonderfully, respectfully, etc which you seem to always do... How does that handle people who are simply not good people, who are victimizers and prey on the weak? Isn't it really the responsibility of the strong to protect those people who can't protect themselves? That's what I have always told my kids that martial arts is about. I feel like I failed to do that. I did what was civilized, I wasn't violent, I didn't disturb the "wa" of the event. But I feel like I failed in some elemental way.

So tell me, how does all of your good ki, mutual respect, perfect equanimity (which is impressive the way) handle bad stuff. Conflict resolution is easy when there's not much conflict. I am not happy with my efforts to be civilized in this case. I feel like I should have done Conan on this guy. Unless I am convinced otherwise, I think if I am ever on the mat with this guy again and I see him pulling this stuff again, I will not make the same choice at all.
Hi George, thanks for the response. It's a shame there wasn't a woman there who could pretend she was 'weak' and then give him the fright of his life.
On the situation you found yourself in I think you handled it perfectly from the view of budo as we all must do what we consider the best action at the time and then later in review look over what we could have done better and what it would have been better for others to do. So well done is all I can say there.
I have been in similar situations and many years ago I had found there was an Aikido dojo near a friends house and she wanted her son to learn some Aikido to try and get him on the straight and narrow so I advised her to send him there.
Two weeks later I visited her expecting good news and to my horror found that he had returned home black and blue and basically had been beaten to a pulp as a demonstration by the teacher to the class of what to do with a thug. She was very upset and so was I as I knew his intention to improve himself was real.
The next day I went to the teachers house, my friend had been told by my girlfriend that I was pretty pissed off which was a bit out of charachter for me and so he said he would drive me there. I left him in the car and told him not to worry as all I wanted to do was find out what had happened.
On entering the house and meeting the guy I introduced myself and told him why I was there. He got offended as if to say who the hell are you questioning what I do. I proceeded to explain I just wanted to know if the boy had done anything untoward or if there was something I hadn't been told. He proceeded to tell me it's none of my business and said he would now teach me a lesson.
He told me to take his wrist and as I did so he did a fast Kotei Geishe which didn't work. This made him angry accusing me of resisting at which point he threw some chairs and table out of the way, his wife left the room in a hurry and he told me to try that again. I saw the rage in his eyes and recocnized he was actually quite mad and that only made me think he's the one who needs the lesson. Anyway I proceeded to grab his wrist and then with all the power he could muster he proceeded to do a Kotei geishe twisting the hand at the same time designed to rip out all the tendons. I went with it entering in to the center of the technique dropping my elbow and turning into him whilst thrusting my elbow straight through his sternum and acrooss the floor and pinning him to the wall. I was now seeing red and wanted to break his kneck and the thought of what budo meant prevented me from doing so. I left without a word more, got in the car outside with my friend saying 'what happened?' and all I could say was drive! It took a few minutes for me to regain my composure at which point I said 'owww!' as I noticed and felt my wrist had been damaged, I had indeed strained a few tendons.
Now in review I wondered what the hell had happened there and was it all my fault etc. etc. but in the end decided I had done the best I could do at that time and yet could learn a lot of lessons from that experience for the future.
One lesson I learned there, after much soul searching and put down of self was the realization that I had actually been Kind. I had been in a position where I found I was willing to cause seriouse harm and the other person knew it and thus by not doing so left him knowing that and me free of Karma so to speak. Hence my view of kindness changed. I also learned that I had more to learn and if I knew the type of kokyu that O'Sensei had then it would have been simple and super effective without any anger or rage etc. (that's my opinion anyway)
So what I'm basically saying here George is that in my experience I have found that each time it was due to my not knowing the depths and power of these things called love, kindness, goodness etc. or if you like Ki, kokyu, center, koshi etc. And what really annoys us? Our own lack of Wisdom if wisdom is seen to mean that which brings about an optimum solution, a solution where all win. The fact that we can't see it doesn't mean there isn't one. What's the point of learning non-resistance if you can't non-resist agresssion, badness, unfairness etc.? What's the point of then gaining ability if you don't use it to help in some way in those precise situations? For me both should be done as I believe that is part of 'the way'.
Regards. G.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #73
graham christian
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Re: My Rope Theory

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Graham,

There is another word you should also remember and that is kichigai--(changed ki or "different" ki)--when a person's ki becomes unnatural because of a sick way that they use it because of a sick way that they use their mind.

In fact, ki is neither good nor bad. It simply is. But it can be made good or bad through its close association with a good or bad mind.

Say a person like the Dalai Lama constantly turns his mind to helping and loving others. His ki becomes like his mind.

Then let's look at that fellow who shot the Congresswoman in Arizona. Or better yet, consider a child molester and murderer. His mind becomes so fascinated with horrible ideas and fixations that his very ki becomes transformed into something completely inhuman: ki chigai (different ki). His very ki becomes sick and evil--much worse than an innocent animal like a wolf or even a jackal. It's worse than an animal spirit. It is unfit for any human or animal interaction.

George Ledyard just gave you the example of the jerk who was passive toward strong men but manhandled small women. That jerk is verging on kichigai as well. Who knows? Maybe he's already there. Maybe he uses his aikido skill to rape women between seminars. He certainly seems to have a sick attitude toward women. So maybe he is kichigai. You see the effect his ki had on Ledyard Sensei and on the women who had contact with him. And all the friends of the man who shot the Congresswoman commented on how strange the man had become in the years leading up to the shooting. And then look at that totally insane face in the mug shots.

So there is definitely a kind of ki that does not merit respect and it's wrong to simply treat such people as we would treat someone who works to refine himself and care for others.

Aikido is a martial art that involves serious interplay with the ki of others. It is meant to protect our own ki against that of evil people and it is meant to be effective against such seriously maniacal people as the Arizona shooter. This kind of aikido must be oriented to certain main principles to maintain this kind of healthy viability. And the first aspect of that is Truth, carefully followed by Martial Effectiveness. Without Truth, there is no martial effectiveness, and without martial effectiveness, aikido is False or even worse. But the "quality control" aspect of aikido is not quite what it was fifty or sixty years ago and now some very strange people can teach whatever kind of misguided garbage their disoriented minds conjure up and call it aikido. Learning from a kichigai teacher is very unhealthy and therefore dangerous. But being a bully is not the only result of kichigai. It can go in all kinds of directions and the results on one's aikido are also very clear. One way is to become obsessive about "samurai spirit" and "honor" and "martial effectiveness" to the point of losing the ability to relate to normal people so that only bizarre people will train with them, resulting in even more unfit people gaining the ability to teach.

Another bad direction of aikido is to lose the orientation to Truth and Martial Effectiveness, to begin teaching something so lacking in martial effectiveness that it departs completely from the arena of Truth, itself. And a main refuge for such people is to devolve into a driveling fantasy of universal love that O Sensei would find utterly creepy (kimochi warui)--sickening or disgusting.

It is not our right to redefine aikido to whatever kind of self-aggrandizing fantasy play suits us--even in the name of "respecting" other people's ki. If you don't first respect the standard of Truth in aikido that was well established long ago, then every move you make on the mat and every word you speak about aikido is a manifestation of utter disrespect for Truth. So how then can you claim to respect anyone or anything? You're simply infecting them with disrespect for the Truth of what aikido is and therefore disrespect for what they are and what Life really is.

If that's what you're doing, then you've already become very close to kichigai and you will never get better by continuing in the same way.

Murderer, molester, manhandler, or just a fantasy dancer, it's all heading in the same kichigai and kimochi warui direction. The only difference is a matter of degree. And to teach that same attitude to others is a bigger disservice to them and to oneself than being a heroin addict. And while I respect ki and love humanity, I don't respect that kind of attitude, nor will I accord it any dignity or recognition at all.

If you see what I mean.

David
Hi David. I do indeed see what you meanbut I put it to you that still there is a discrepancy as to the use or even the truth of respect.
As you point out 'different' types of Ki I would say then that to that degree you have differenciatedwhich takes respect and that you acknowledge and respect the existence of both yet you do not agree with one. I am saying first and foremost it actually takes respect in order to see the difference without which a person would replace respect with denial or something else.
Now on to the point of passive aggressive. Then from that viewpoint you could call that negative Ki as well as your description of the fellow who shot the congressman. So yes I understand that and you could then go into all the different types of negative Ki. O.k. Understood.
So before you equate this view of mine with airy fairy or rose tinted glasses etc. let me give you an example. Through respect a person can differenciate and thus see the man who shot the congressman was mad and deluded and following some negative path with negative Ki. Through respect they can see that. Through sympathy you get people saying it wasn't his fault maybe. Thus there is no respect in sympathy. They are disregarding the horror of it, the harmfulness of it which makes them in agreement with it.
Those who arrogantly say that the congressman probably deserved it also have no respect for they are not seeing it either. Lack of respect equals blind to that degree. In true respect there is neither agreement nor disagreement there is merely the differenciation and acknowledgement of what is. THis can then be followed by appropriate action.
Finally, as you mention the word truth so often then I put it to you that when you come to terms with the truth of Ki in action you will have a better understanding.
Thanks for your input. G.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #74
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I went with it entering in to the center of the technique dropping my elbow and turning into him whilst thrusting my elbow straight through his sternum and acrooss the floor and pinning him to the wall.
Really. That must have made quite a mess, with your elbow straight through his sternum. What did you do with the body?
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:15 PM   #75
graham christian
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Re: My Rope Theory

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Really. That must have made quite a mess, with your elbow straight through his sternum. What did you do with the body?
Your cheek must be getting quite a lot of exercise.(heh, heh)
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