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Old 08-16-2011, 08:56 AM   #251
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Richard Lowcock wrote: View Post
Oh dear. Look all I was simply saying was two new students started because of him. If that is happening at our class in a local area I think that number multiplies nationally over the year.
Well, actually you said:
Quote:
You all fail to acknowledge the one person who was perhaps single handedly responsible for creating an explosion of new Aikido students to you and all the other Aikido dojos throughout the world over the last 15 years. I think you know who I am going to say. Steven Seagal.
This struck me as presumptive for a couple reasons. On one hand, it doesn't fit with my experience, slight though it is. No one I know of who trains/trained in Aikido does/did so because of Seagal sensei. Also, as I mentioned, no one I grew up with knew Seagal did Aikido (this was early to mid 90's before everyone had access to the internet), though we were very familiar with his awesome action flicks.
The second reason is that you seemed to be saying the lack of physical toughness is why Ledyard sensei's dojo (and by extension, Aikido) has fewer students. I am willing to accept the idea that the popularity of BJJ and MMA have drawn potential students away from Aikido. I'm sure on some level it has. More people know about BJJ and MMA than they do about Aikido. I would be shocked to learn otherwise (I have very often been asked what Aikido is when I mentioned it was the martial art I practiced; never has anyone asked me what BJJ or MMA are when I mentioned them). I think the lack of toughness is less an issue because, again based on my limited experience, I don't see Aikido as being perceived as "tough" to begin with. People looking for "tough" would be more inclined to do Karate, Judo, boxing, or kickboxing (and now BJJ and MMA), all of which are vastly more well-known.

Quote:
Of course my points are valid. It's common sense. My friend and I predicted it 10 years ago.
Remarks like the first two here are what I have a hard time taking seriously. Of course to you and yours it's common sense. Of course, to me it's not. Furthermore you can be right in your prediction for the wrong reasons. I believe the economy has more of a direct influence on this issue than BJJ or percieved toughness. 15 years ago it was 1996 and things were decidedly different in the Seattle area...never mind the possibility of small coincidental factors which occasionally stack up.

Quote:
Disregard what you want from my comments. I couldn't care less.
...
Game over, thanks for playing.
R
Somehow I get the feeling you probably could care less. The game is over now? Was there a winner?
Take care, Richard Lowcock ( a great name by the way!),
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:52 AM   #252
Cliff Judge
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
The second reason is that you seemed to be saying the lack of physical toughness is why Ledyard sensei's dojo (and by extension, Aikido) has fewer students. I am willing to accept the idea that the popularity of BJJ and MMA have drawn potential students away from Aikido. I'm sure on some level it has. More people know about BJJ and MMA than they do about Aikido. I would be shocked to learn otherwise (I have very often been asked what Aikido is when I mentioned it was the martial art I practiced; never has anyone asked me what BJJ or MMA are when I mentioned them). I think the lack of toughness is less an issue because, again based on my limited experience, I don't see Aikido as being perceived as "tough" to begin with. People looking for "tough" would be more inclined to do Karate, Judo, boxing, or kickboxing (and now BJJ and MMA), all of which are vastly more well-known.
I really don't think people are attracted to BJJ because it is perceived as "tough." I think it is simply that it trains one to engage in affective aggression. The goal of any true Budo is to bring people up to the point where they don't need to engage in affective aggression. Aikido is possibly unique among the modern hand-to-hand Budos in that from day one, you are supposed to leave your need to lock horns at mating season with the other herbivores off the mat.

I know plenty of long-term BJJ players who are quite calm, imperturbable, and relaxed in heated situations. But the younger guys I see on other forums tend to emphasize that they don't want to just do BJJ because its not enough for them without that omnipresent Muay Thai that is also trained at the gyms.

Ultimately these guys want to do a martial art because they think its glamorous, a way to empower themselves to be the kind of males (and females) who the lowest common denominator looks up to in Western society. I.e. people who "don't take crap" and "keep it real" and "just speak their mind." These are people who die quickly in cultures where men carry swords.

Aikido is terrible for that. You have no competition that you can invite girls to. There is no path to riches by becoming a world champion. You are challenged to move to a place where winning and losing don't matter. How the heck can you NOT BE A LOSER if you are not trying to be a winner? This makes no sense to most people, particularly those who are bad with nuance and grey areas. it doesn't make any obvious sense.

The concept of "going beyond winning and losing" is a refinement of "going beyond living or dying," which was something that Japanese warriors had to really figure out if they wanted to be a whole person in the limited time they had on Earth. That really compels me personally, but anybody paying attention to what I have to say around here has probably picked up on the fact that I am unashamedly Japanophilic. I think some people are resistant to foreign ideas. (Like maybe if you are a working-class guy who just says what's on your mind and you grew up in one of history's greatest ex-Empires, I think it would be understandable for you to question the utility of the spiritual side of Aikido, which is informed by multiple strains of exotic religious practice. But then I would wonder why you would bother with it for 10 or more years. )

There I go running my mouth again...I hope I don't piss anyone off non-constructively with my comments. Exceptions to every rule and all that!

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 08-16-2011 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:11 AM   #253
Belt_Up
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
You all fail to acknowledge the one person who was perhaps single handedly responsible for creating an explosion of new Aikido students to you and all the other Aikido dojos throughout the world over the last 15 years.
Do you have any facts to support this assertion? Attendance figures, for instance?

Quote:
Of course my points are valid. It's common sense. My friend and I predicted it 10 years ago.
The two of you predicted Ledyard's seminar attendance difficulties ten years ago?
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:48 AM   #254
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I really don't think people are attracted to BJJ because it is perceived as "tough."
Hi Cliff,
I meant "tough" as a short-hand for being able to handle aggression in more physical terms and I didn't mean to imply BJJ is for those lowest common denominator types; just that those who are interested in more physically "tough" approaches probably arean't going to be attracted to most Aikido compared to BJJ. I know a black belt in BJJ and he's always seemed like a very nice, even-tempered guy.

Quote:
There I go running my mouth again...I hope I don't piss anyone off non-constructively with my comments. Exceptions to every rule and all that!
You and me both.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #255
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Dear Dick Lowcock:
Are you Tony?
I don't think so. Tony does not talk like a teenager. I don't think Dick is a teenager, he just talks like one, IMO.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 08-16-2011 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #256
Richard Stevens
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Richard Lowcock wrote: View Post
I bet he doesn't know that when Seagal held a seminar in Paris back in 1999, he came over to the Brit Aikidoka group and said we were the only ones doing what he had asked for correctly. I wasn't there but several people told me.
Inaccurate hyperbole, logical fallacy, now hearsay... the entertainment continues...
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:36 PM   #257
Cliff Judge
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Dear Dick Lowcock:
Are you Tony?
The spelling, grammar, and punctuation patterns are all different. I don't think I've noticed such belligerent venom from Tony either.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:52 PM   #258
dps
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
David,

No.

George is a rokudan, and he earned his rank from Saotome Sensei. Therefore, he doesn't need to proclaim himself as "Elite" because he has been certified as such by a student of Osensei. And "Professional" is a matter of fact.

As far as these definitions go, I was more thinking along the lines of:
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Barbara,
I know I often seem like a hard case and an elitist. In a certain sense I am but in others I'm not. But I have been given a unique gift... 35 years ago I stumbled upon a demonstration of this amazing art by Saotome Sensei, a man who spent fifteen years under the direction of the Founder. I have been doing Aikido ever since. The more I have put into it, the more I have gotten out of it.

It is because I was given such a unique gift, the chance to train with and learn from an array of truly amazing teachers that I find myself called upon to champion the art. Aikido, in the sense the the Founder intended it to be (as I understand it, not that everyone agrees) and as it has been presented to me by Saotome Sensei is endangered.

No one needs to "champion" the hobbyists, to put forth the cause of the average... There are so many of those folks... they are the vast majority. What there are not very many of is folks like my teachers, or even folks like me. I do not see students who remind me of myself when I started.
dps
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:23 PM   #259
Cliff Judge
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
dps
David, if you were to make a post that included the lines "I know I come off as an inflammatory troll and in some sense I am," I would not attempt to quote it to support this post.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:17 PM   #260
Hellis
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Dear Dick Lowcock:
Are you Tony?
A rather sad attempt to insult Mr Richard Lowcock simply because like our missing friend Tony has an opinion which does not meet the AW group mentality. I see the same gang approach which got Tony banned..Take care Mr Lowcock you could be next....
Once Tony has completed a course with Aikido ribbons and breathing through his toes he will be back - I hope ..

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:54 PM   #261
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Oh Henry, lighten up....Tony would have been the first to laugh at that. Don't lump me in with any clique.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:52 PM   #262
Brett Charvat
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Today I learned that some people don't know the difference between the terms "elitist" and "elite."
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #263
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think it is simply that it trains one to engage in affective aggression.
I am intrigued by the concept of affective aggression. Is that were someone has aggressive affectations?

(I know you meant 'effective', but somehow 'affective' seems strangely appropriate)
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:39 PM   #264
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Here I am picking on your spelling and I mess it up myself :\

were --> where
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:10 PM   #265
Cliff Judge
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I am intrigued by the concept of affective aggression. Is that were someone has aggressive affectations?

(I know you meant 'effective', but somehow 'affective' seems strangely appropriate)
I mean affective aggression. It's a thing. I had intended to put the following in the post after one of my uses of the term, but left it off because I am dumb:

Quote:
(the kind of aggression that males of the same species display when arguing over territory; as opposed to predatory aggression, which is when animal gets to eat or the other one gets to live)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggression#Varities
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:12 PM   #266
hughrbeyer
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Reading comprehension is a difficult skill.

In some minds "Some people might think I'm elitist" means "I think I rank with the elite"?

Twice? Repeated and quoted for emphasis?

Dear me.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:25 PM   #267
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I mean affective aggression. It's a thing. I had intended to put the following in the post after one of my uses of the term, but left it off because I am dumb:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggression#Varities
Thanks. That was an interesting read.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:17 PM   #268
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Just an FYI to everyone... Richard and I have had a very nice conversation via PM and are completely good. We are hoping to get together when I am in Coventry next year.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:52 PM   #269
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
A rather sad attempt to insult Mr Richard Lowcock simply because like our missing friend Tony has an opinion which does not meet the AW group mentality. I see the same gang approach which got Tony banned..Take care Mr Lowcock you could be next....
Once Tony has completed a course with Aikido ribbons and breathing through his toes he will be back - I hope ..

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
Hi Henry,
Actually I would disagree that there is much of anything here we could call the "AW Group Mentality". You can find a VERY wide range of opinions on almost any topic. I think that everyone who posts here finds himself or herself in disagreement with many other folks with some frequency. Folks generally know their own minds...

Given the normal range of diversity amongst folks here, it is all the more indicative that something is really going on when folks seem to gel into some sort of uniform opinion about something, positive or negative.

Acting like an ass, frequently and consistently on the forums is likely to create something of a unified front amongst the folks here. So, one can sit back and decide it's all group think or one can take the "50 million Elvis fans can't be wrong" approach. If it looks like an ass, smells like an ass, sounds like an ass, maybe it's an ass. Expecting everyone else to change their minds and see what they feel to be true as something other than true is a) not likely to happen and b) is a bit dismissive of others opinions.

On several occasions in the past I have found myself in serious disagreement with the larger group. It has always caused me to take a second look at my own position. If that many intelligent and well intentioned people have a drastically different idea about something, I need to check myself. Once in a while I decide that I am sticking with my opinion anyway... even if I am in disagreement with a lot of others. But more often than not, I will change my position based on the feedback I get.

Now I do not see Richard's posts in the same light as Tony's. Richard simply got stuck putting forth a set of opinions that not many people agreed with. He stuck with them and championed them forcefully and others responded as forcefully. I do not have much of an issue with either side in the argument. It's a give and take. I didn't take the least offense by anything Richard said to me... This isn't the place for folks to be thin skinned.

Tony is / was different. He went out of his way to be obnoxious. He consistently inserted himself into conversations that other folks were having with all sincerity and did so when he had absolutely nothing to contribute and only did so to deride the folks on both sides of the dialogue. He consistently derided attempts to be thoughtful about almost anything. I think that folks got totally fed up with his negativity, which was often cloaked by humor. But it was humor meant to put people and their ideas down.

You have consistently stood up for him which leads me to believe that, while you do not yourself act that way on-line, you didn't really believe he was as obnoxious as many of the rest of us. Jun Aikiyama is a most tolerant fellow. You really have to work at getting banned on the forums. Tony managed it multiple times. So, you might consider looking at your own thoughts about this guy since they seem to be quite out of kilter with those of a very diverse group.

I am sorry that Richard's return to internet forums wasn't more positive for him. It's hard when you have an opinion that most folks don't agree with. But he was simply forceful about his ideas. He wasn't here to make other people feel little or to cause problems just for their own sake. I told him in our PM exchange that I hope he stays and keeps posting. But I don't need my time wasted by people like Tony W. Insinuating that those of us who found him offensive are part of some collective group think is hard to really maintain because we so seldom are in the kind of agreement about much of anything.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:21 PM   #270
niall
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

George I don't think it's cool to take cheap shots at Tony in the forums when he can't reply. You could have replied to Henry in a pm. It gives a negative impression of aikiweb to have this kind of thing in a forum.

I don't agree with a lot of what Tony writes. I think he's mistaken when he says that the only way to improve is through competition. And I really don't want to hear any more about his tea-drinking habits with Henry. Tony's main point - the one he keeps coming back to - is that your techniques have to work. Nothing to argue about there.

Tony has been banned for breaking a forum rule - not because of his opinions. Tony is not one of the negative people who don't know what they are talking about. There are enough of them on aikiweb. Tony does aikido. He has done it for many years. If you don't agree with him - cool. Argue with him. Or ignore him. There's an ignore button for that. But wait till he can reply before talking about him.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 08-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #271
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

SInce my name got dragged in - like bit of toilet paper on the bottom of someone's shoe but nevertheless there it is...I might as well take this opportunity to say that I was honored that George ledyard went to the trouble to answer my apparent (I actually didn't mean quite that) charge of elitism, that I have actually trained with him once or twice and I know from my experience that he is not all that elitist in practice but quite generous, which is why I dropped it, and anyway I think you all are mostly asking completely the wrong question. The real question is not why are not more young men trashing their joints training really hard and so reaching eventually some deep understanding of aikido through knee replacement surgery. THe real question is why no one seems to notice that young women and older women are standing there on the sidelines, or not coming to the dojo at all, with a hell of a lot to offer if you would just stop having this pissing contest and listen. Aikido is about so much more than this. I do not believe it is necessary to be able to win a 'real' fight or even be particularly athletic to be a serious aikido student. What it takes is seriously using your training to sharpen your compassion and empathy, gratitude and determination and self control. It is the sincere effort to perfect technique that matters, not the technique or how fast you can do it. Otherwise aikido would be worse than useless. I once heard Saotome Sensei say something along the lines that training for years just to get good technique would be - criminal. Any thug can win a fight with a bit of luck. What is more, I imagine Seagal sensei put off just as many people from aikido as he brought in - and who knows what they might have brought to it. ...I liked the bit about the gracies bowing to their students. I do think we all could be deeply grateful to our fellow students and those willing to learn from us, it is a tremendous gift they bring. Aikido does seem to breed a certain arrogance, probably that bit about reconciling the world and becoming the universe...goes to your head.

Enough. Sorry

Barbara
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:47 AM   #272
Hellis
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Hi George

I don’t see that I have `constantly ` stood up for Tony. If he was still here he was more than capable of standing up for himself. No, I did not find him obnoxious, I simply saw a guy that persistently asked questions and never really got the answers. I am in no way associated with Tony if that is what Nial implies with his reference to “ Tony and Henry’s tea drinking habits “ . I just saw a lot of people having a go at Tony after he was banned that I am sure would not do to his face. Neither have I met Mr Richard Lowcock ( to my knowledge ) but as the pack did not agree with him some (2)resorted to trying to make fun of his name, I did not agree with that. I assure you that I have never had tea with Mr Lowcock either.. Last night I asked my son Rik if he thought it was insulting to call someone Dick who obviously prefers to be called Richard, my son said only last week someone said to him “ do you mind if I call you Dick ? “ Rik replied “ No I don’t mind - as long as you don’t mind if I knock you out ? ! “ the guy replied “ That’s fair enough Rik “ - harmony – love – and Aiki was restored without offence.

Henry Ellis
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:11 AM   #273
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
But wait till he can reply before talking about him.
Henry was the one that brought up Tony W. He stated that there was some sort of group or pack mentality that got Tony banned. He compared it to the reaction folks had to Richard's post.

I was simply taking issue with that....

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:30 AM   #274
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Hi George

I don't see that I have `constantly ` stood up for Tony. If he was still here he was more than capable of standing up for himself. No, I did not find him obnoxious, I simply saw a guy that persistently asked questions and never really got the answers. I am in no way associated with Tony if that is what Nial implies with his reference to " Tony and Henry's tea drinking habits " . I just saw a lot of people having a go at Tony after he was banned that I am sure would not do to his face. Neither have I met Mr Richard Lowcock ( to my knowledge ) but as the pack did not agree with him some (2)resorted to trying to make fun of his name, I did not agree with that. I assure you that I have never had tea with Mr Lowcock either.. Last night I asked my son Rik if he thought it was insulting to call someone Dick who obviously prefers to be called Richard, my son said only last week someone said to him " do you mind if I call you Dick ? " Rik replied " No I don't mind - as long as you don't mind if I knock you out ? ! " the guy replied " That's fair enough Rik " - harmony -- love -- and Aiki was restored without offence.

Henry Ellis
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
As I said, I had a PM with Richard and I believe we are good. I am not saying that everyone here always behaves, especially when the arguments get a bit more heated. But the fact that an individual or two is not respectful is not indicative that folks are thinking or acting as a "pack". There are simply occasions on which someone tries to hold an opinion that the vast majority of folks disagree with. When, in the face of that disagreement, they hold onto that opinion even more strongly, things can get testy. It would be best if folks stayed civil and respectful. Sometimes they don't. But from everything I have seen on the forums over the years, people here are quite constrained when compared to many other forums I have seen. No matter how obnoxious some folks have become, there have always been folks here who supported their right to say what hey wished, how they wished to say it. I am sorry, I just don't see the "pack" mentality at work and I certainly do not think that any such resulted in anyone getting banned. You have to really work to get banned here. Only a very small number of folks have done so in all the years I have participated.

Anyway, it's not worth belaboring further... You are a respected teacher in your world... if you have different ideas about what constitutes obnoxious behavior, well, you are fully entitled. I'm not trying to change your mind. But stuff like this is subjective rather than objective. Which means my take on it is no better or worse than anyone else's. It's Jun that has to take a read on the aggregate collective opinion pool and decide whether someone has become detrimental to the forum.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:13 AM   #275
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
...but as the pack did not agree with him some (2)resorted to trying to make fun of his name, I did not agree with that.
Hi Henry,
I've seen the name "Richard Lowcock" used before as a pseudonym, which is why I made reference to it at the end of one of my posts. I thought it was a joke made by the poster and if I was wrong in my assumption, I'd like to take the opportunity now to publicly apologize.
I don't make fun of people with the intention of belittling them, so I said "great name" thinking I wasn't being insulting. However, since I am perceived as being insulting I am happy to apologize. It wasn't my intention.
Sincerely,
Matthew Guano

Last edited by mathewjgano : 08-18-2011 at 08:16 AM.

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