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Old 07-06-2002, 05:42 PM   #26
Dojo: Seiryukan Dojo/Illini Aikido
Location: Champaign, IL, USA
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 46
Last night I dropped a friend of mine off at home. She had been intoxicated for most of the night. As she was getting out, I asked if she was alright. She said she was perfectly fine....and then proceeded to crawl to her door because she couldn't stand up anymore. The "perfectly fine" you may feel when intoxicated may not be the "perfectly fine" you need during class. "Aikido decides life and death in a single strike, so students must carefully follow the instructor's teaching..." was one of O Sensei's rules for Aikido training. If you feel you don't need all of your mental capacities to train, you have to consider that you're missing something vital in your training. And if you can't wait to smoke up until after class, maybe you have some bigger problems to worry about than what people on the aikiweb board have to say about it. ;^)

I for one would be supremely pissed if my partner was trashed. I generally try and avoid injury, and if an injury was caused by something that could have easily been prevented, I'd have a very hard time allowing that person to manhandle me again.

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Old 07-07-2002, 09:41 AM   #27
Brian H
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 102

If I were in complete command of all of my senses and skills I would not need to practice Aikido. I would just watch a Steven Seagal movie and I would be done. That not being the case I give practice full time and attention. Aikido is challenging enough as it is. The idea of coming to the dojo drunk/stoned floors me. Maybe it is because most of the dojos in my area have at least a few cops in them, because the only drinking is at after class parties and if there is any drug use it must be pretty discrete.

If anyone was in class with me and practicing impaired (or ill for that matter) I would be obligated to take them off the mat and have my Sensei make the final ruling.

The dangerousness of impaired practice has already been made, I would like to point out that I have never known a drunk who has vomited to be able to clean it up before the next afternoon.
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Old 07-14-2002, 09:43 PM   #28
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Anonymous User
Some background, some middle and closure

The person in question was my sensei. I've known him for many years. That he did drugs was common knowledge. That he did them on the mat was not. I was told, by him, that he'd stopped smoking. He claims to not hide his use but he never told me directly about it. Probably, if the students had not been so obvious no one would have known, suspected maybe, but not known. He's in the category of "can function" while high and he was high that day on the mat.

I initiated a conversation with the person and expressed my concerns. He intends to continue his practice. He compared marijuana to sacred medicine and called it an energy drug. In the world he lives in, Advil and caffeine are worse drugs. He said that he does not hide his use from those close to him. He doesn't understand that he does hide it and the issue is deeper than those closest to him. Anything less than putting it on flyers and annoucing prior to class is hiding his drug use and besides his closest students don't know when he's going to get high.

To keep a long story short, I left the school. My reasons for it follow:

1. It's illegal
2. If someone is injured it raises questions which can't be happily answered and everyone will pay the price.
3. A sensei should be fully present. If that's the best he had, I can do better, almost anywhere.
4. I could no longer recommend a person visit the dojo and how do you welcome a beginner in?
5. The practice had spread. If anyone can show up stoned then anyone will. I don't like those odds.
6. It's dangerous.
7. I see no way to change the behavior.
8. Staying implies support.

So, I said goodbye.

I appreciate the thoughts. I forwarded the link to the person.
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Old 07-15-2002, 03:17 AM   #29
"Unregistered 9"
IP Hash: 3a93fb26
Anonymous User
Good for you!

Personally, I feel there is little wrong with getting stoned or drinking for recreational purposes at home, but I feel it is very wrong (impolite and disrespectful) to be out of it when in a mentoring position (my how selfish people can be).

Your decision is admirable, and I imagine it was a difficult decision. I hope you find a decent dojo in your area quickly, and I hope your Sensi(well never mind...I don't want to be to un-pc on this forum). You and others deserve more respect.

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Old 07-15-2002, 07:13 AM   #30
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Anonymous User
what you will read it's obviously imho so don't flame me.
the last part of the post might be off topic so if there is a moderator feel freee to cut it but I would be thank full to you if you 'd start a new tread with that topic.
Also I woul like to previously excuse myself for the stile of writing and the typos but my keybord is throwing feets.
....although it is pretty funny to think about a bunch of guys 'n girls in hakama who just can't stand up or who act like drunken( admit it it's laughable to think about somebody falling flat on the mat in the attempt of grabbing one's arm)....well it's extremely DANGEROUS to practice in whatever altered state of mind, I have been a smoker and user of other drugs ( although I quit aikido for the all time I used to get trashed), now I don't use any drug beside alcool, and still I get buzzy ( not drunk) extremely rarely ( i'm Italian, stay away from my bottles of wine;-)) however i relized that drugs just lowers your defence skills, beware i'm not talking about phisical defence ( as said I never smoked and practiced) but i'm talking about mental skills....ever smoked and whatched tv? you feel like a baby, like subliminals messages are taking over you...I quit tv too, But that's just for I dislike the society of money-wealth-illusions-poverty(I just whatch movies as I enjoy the artistic form of those ones ).
I would like for you to remember what has happened to O-sensei once because he was hill and had to do a showing of his newborn techniques:

his two Uke knewed that he was hill and decided to attack him softer than usual( unaware of O-sensei warnings which were "Practice as usual!") the result? of the two uke one got his wrist broken and the other one could not continue by himself the showing....the moral of this story is :we are not o-sensei so even if your partner KNOWS you are high, akido (in his true strong powerfull and self-controled form) is not something you should do on drugs, of course if you just pretend to practice you can do what u want and rensemble a bunch of guys and girls in hakama who moves odds and slow like a family of elefants....but this is not what Aikido means to me .
Then just another sour bite....about teachers who get drunk or stoned before the class....they do not have a clue of what BUDO or JUTSU means , I'd like for them to have the great onor to be uchideshi in the daito-ryu hombu-dojo...there they would probably learn waking up at 6 in the morning and doing some really ass-kicking practice.
The TEACHER is RESPoNSABLE for EVERITHING that happens in the dojo, remember you are practicing a DO ( that last little word causes problems some people just make evERYthing out of it and some completely ignore it) not just a JUTSU, this means you (teachers) are there to give ethical messages too to the students;
this also relates to theachers which have to deal with a student that comes to practice stoned: don't be silly, understand , tell him not to take part at the class, talk to him in private and tell him the risks he was going to take ( get injured/injure somebody), and THEN WARN him that if he tries to do it back he will not be able to practice any more in your dojo, it is better that he understands the error he has done than just let him go immediately in a dojo where he could repeat the same error maybe under a teacher that smokes a joint with him befor class.
I would let a stoned student sit and watch the class ( it is still usefull) if the student is very young( 16 to 18 years old) I would just tell him to go back home, and come back next class, to avoid to him the shame of sitting aside and watch, which could be desruptive to a young's mind psychology.
In this case remember always to be polite but firm, no yellings no acceptance of something dangerous: you don't need people who handles gasoline when you play with fire.
If the student is TRASHED ( which means the elephant thing) meet him once is sober and advice him to get a hold of himself, without getting into his business too much( and I mean don't do the police officer, just tell him that he's probably abusing of the thing and that he will not practice stoned).
One other thing I do not teach Policemen, for several reasons, all over the world they looked like they are not capable to understand the ethic, and morals behind aikido, beating fast and good over protestants, Probably this comes from my experience ( of them tryng to beat the crap out of me and just fly away whith the all suite), but i've seen 15 years old kids with a huge (I say HUGE) injure throughout the face, because he threw a stone to mcdonalds, and they would not let him go to the ospital because he had to be "checked "by the police, stuff like this happened in america italy ( where a 20 years old kid was shot down from a policeman) and in gotemburg ( which i cannot recall where is it).
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Old 08-09-2002, 03:03 PM   #31
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10
I'd never do it =p, I mean come on, my reaction speed =p, get real =p
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Old 08-09-2002, 03:45 PM   #32
ChristianBoddum's Avatar
Dojo: Aarhus AiKiKai
Location: Aarhus,Denmark
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 263
Unregistered !

So well spoken !!

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 08-09-2002, 05:04 PM   #33
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166

"Practice under the influence of alcohol should be avoided."

I think it's pretty clear that the intent of this statement extends to intoxication in general.

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Old 08-10-2002, 06:17 AM   #34
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Anonymous User
What I don't get is why anybody would feel the need to combine any drug (pot, alcohol, etc) with aikido. As if it isn't enough fun already! I've tried at least 3/4 of the illegal substances out there (and all the legal ones), and none of them comes close to the euphoria of good aikido practice.
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Old 08-10-2002, 06:39 AM   #35
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Cool get ripped! and then think about it

If you want to get blasted on something and then go to aikido -- why not? Just don't suit up. Sit on the fringe of the mat and be a spectator. You may enjoy it, and you may learn something by just sitting there and watching a class. You may also learn something about yourself.
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:36 AM   #36
IP Hash: ccdbc9d0
Anonymous User
I'm put off by all the moralizers here. Let me tell you a secret: DRUGS are as diverse as everything else in this world. U take legal ones, some people take illegal ones. that's the distinction you're talking about eh?

smoking pot has a different effect on your body/mind than sniffing glue , which is also different from LSD, which is very different from Cocaine.. which is very very different from Alcohol, Cigarettes, Prozac, "Go pills", Valium, Cofee, Red Bull

All things are NOT equal, nor are their effects on different people.

Don't train if you can't safely execute/receive technique. This is a judgement call, and a decision for which you are responsible for the results.

If you drop Uke on his head it doesn't matter if you are fasting for moral purposes or just wasted on some form of mood changer. It's your responsibility for you made the decision to train in that condition.

As for your Uke .. as in any time practice time .. there's an act of faith involved , they must trust and offer trust for you never know the heart of your partner. how to get there is all about training.
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:08 AM   #37
Genex's Avatar
Dojo: Warrington Seishin Kai
Location: Warrington, England
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 155

leslie parks wrote:
Do you really want to put your body, no matter how good your ukemi, in someone's hands who has deliberately and knowingly compromised their own consciousness, reaction time and control??
Ok then what about speed? or something like that, for that matter what about Jolt Cola or Red bull? i.e. Caffine?

do you really want someone hyper on the matt?

"wow look at that shiho nage!"

"yeah shame his arm came off tho"

can you imaging bokken training? too wired to hold the sword and ends up hitting you with the blades of his hands?

(although caffine is my best friend and worst enemy, i do try to stay clear of it at least a few hours before class)


like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 08-14-2002, 05:04 PM   #38
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Anonymous User
I am also put off by the righteousness of this thread.
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:13 PM   #39
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Training in martial arts while drunk is dangerous, plain and simple. The same would go for being on any mind altering drug. You are not only taking your own life into your hands, but the lives and well being of others. We have to act responsibly. I haven't been following the thread, but I am sure that is what people have been talking about.
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:27 PM   #40
Conrad Gus
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Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 268
I once had a big ol' vietnamese ice coffee at lunch during a seminar. I was so wired on the mat that I was feeling a bit out of control.

Funny thing happened, after a dozen or so throws my energy moved down and I felt ok again.
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:33 PM   #41
Location: Chicago
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 40
Question: What of those who smoke marijuana for it's medicinal purposes? Some of these people are known to participate in martial arts like Tai Chi and Aikido to help with the same problems that they smoke for. What's everyone's opinion on that?
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:55 PM   #42
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Anonymous User
I'm anonymous here to protect the innocent. ;-)

I think medicinal use falls into the same category as a friend of mine. I trained with him for over a year before I found out that he has a 20 year pot habit and is pretty much high most of the day, including class.

Do you know what? I still like practicing with him. He's a great guy and I trust him completely as a nage, as should others whether they know this about him or not.

This kind of smoking (and medicinal smoking) is completely different than the 19 year old that smokes a huge bong before class and is all like "duuude . . . intense shihonage".

Aikido can be deadly and respect and caution are indeed warranted. However, I do believe that some of the opinions on this thread reflect more of the Protestant / New Age puritanism in our Western culture than they do the pure spirit of Aikido or the Japanese Budo culture. Not to generalize, but I know that even many Shinto priests like to have a good drink-up now and again, and most of the Japanese Shihans I have met smoke cigarettes, or at least used to.

As far as my own personal safety on the mat goes, if someone is being really reckless, there are usually protocols in the dojo for dealing with it, whatever their condition.

Judge not and ye shall not be judged.
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:33 AM   #43
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Anonymous User
Most people posting are stating that it is unfair on Uke to train stoned. The important thing about Aikido is that Uke trusts Nage completely with his body. Compare this to a sparing art where if you turn up stoned you put your own body in danger.

Getting wasted is a normal part of warrior culture but people are posting not to do it during class. I don't think this is moralising, it's just safe, respectful, bloody good commonsense and good aiki.
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Old 08-16-2002, 10:15 PM   #44
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 95
Whats wrong with moralising? I am sure you do on other issues.

-- Michael Neal
-- http://www.theaikidolink.dnsdyn.net/
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Old 08-17-2002, 07:16 PM   #45
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
What's wrong with moralizing?

There's a big difference between making decisions about your life based on your own sense of morals, for example:

"I get too floppy and silly to train while stoned. I'd hurt someone and that isn't right."

Or even,

"I don't get stoned because I think doing drugs is wrong."

...and deciding that a behavior is wrong for everybody, and shutting out the possibility that not everyone shares the particulars of your moral code, as in:

"No person should ever do drugs and train".

What is a drug? What is an altered state? This is a subjective territory, and therefore I think moralizing about it is inappropriate. We can all agree that hurting uke is bad, but the fact is that there are lots of people who smoke enough dope, drink enough coffee, smoke enough cigarettes, take enough antidepressants, etc, etc... to feel really "normal" when they train, even though they're in a state that a lot of people would find "dangerous". Ultimately, we have to cede responsibility to each individual on the mat, who is the one who has to use this "altered" body.

These people may hurt themselves more than they help themselves with these mood-altering substances. They may be happier without being under the influence of drug X, etc. But do you think moralizing about Drug Use is going to do anything but blow up the bridge that connects you to that other human? And is it right to isolate and disrespect and separate that Drug User from you? What does it accomplish?

I think there's a lot wrong with moralizing. It's a disrespectful act, it's an act of telling other people what to do. I think it creates distance and I think distance makes the problem bigger, not smaller.

I know this sounds hokey, but moralizing is the opposite of listening.

Deb Fisher
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Old 08-18-2002, 12:03 AM   #46
Conrad Gus
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Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
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I think Deb has hit the nail on the head here.
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Old 08-18-2002, 09:28 AM   #47
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Anonymous User
Moralize or don't!

It's irrelevant.

In the USA it is illegal.

You don't have to like it but that is how it is until the laws change.

If you drive a car and you hurt or kill someone under the influence then you will face serious penalties for your actions and possibly jail-time.

That should extend to the mat.

The problem with drug use is not the damage it does to the user(s) but to those around them which can be physical, psychological or even spiritual.

Their believed right to get high does not trample on my rights.
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Old 08-18-2002, 09:53 AM   #48
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
the tao

One way to get out of this moralizing/legal dilema is to try to understand the fundamental reasons for our training, which is to learn about the Tao (The Great Way ). This word is found in the word aiki-do and in the word do-jo (the training hall, or the place for learning about the Tao.)

One of the most basic methods for learning about and entering into the Tao is through misogi (ritual purification).

There are many methods used in purification. In Ki-Aikido they use deep-breathing meditaion. O'Sensei practiced meditation under an ice cold waterfall.

The Catholics begin by going to confession. The Native Americans used the sweat lodge. In yoga, fasting is prefered.

In aikido, we can also use hard physical training in very hot and very cold conditions for long periods of time, days on end, to exhaustion and then beyond.

As far as I know, the use of drugs in aikido is in no way a part of the training. This is not a moral or legal arguement -- it's just a fact.

P.S. I find it to be truly astounding that a number of teachers claiming decades of experience still say that they have no knowledge of the spiritual aspects of aikido. The simple truth of the matter is that it's all spiritual. The physical action is merely the outward manifestation of that spirit. If this simple fact is not realized, aikido in America will soon become just another fighting form. There may still be some aiki, but no more Tao. This trend just shows that a "voice of experience" may very well be just another voice of ignorance.

Last edited by mike lee : 08-19-2002 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:20 AM   #49
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Anonymous User
women voting was illegal

helping slaves escape was illegal too

drinking alcohol was illegal too

legality , so?

it's illegal to walk with your shoes untied in Portland, Maine. Laws are not immutable

how did this thread start, was it because the sensei injured the lives of people around him?

or because it offended the morality of someone

don't preach and quote what ifs

remit to reality

mr. lee has it right

Aikido misogi is training, not drug use

but that can be learned

and not by kicking people out

Aikido is harmony and unification of conflict

not exclusion and self aggrandizement
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Old 08-19-2002, 12:20 PM   #50
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Anonymous User
From norml.org. Pertinent areas in bold.

Principles of Responsible Use

When marijuana is enjoyed responsibly, subjecting users to harsh criminal and civil penalties provides no public benefit and causes terrible injustices. For reasons of public safety, public health, economics and justice, the prohibition laws should be repealed to the extent that they criminalize responsible marijuana use.

By adoption of this statement, the NORML Board of Directors has attempted to define "responsible cannabis use."

I. Adults Only Cannabis consumption is for adults only. It is irresponsible to provide cannabis to children. Many things and activities are suitable for young people, but others absolutely are not. Children do not drive cars, enter into contracts, or marry, and they must not use drugs. As it is unrealistic to demand lifetime abstinence from cars, contracts and marriage, however, it is unrealistic to expect lifetime abstinence from all intoxicants, including alcohol. Rather, our expectation and hope for young people is that they grow up to be responsible adults. Our obligation to them is to demonstrate what that means.

II. No Driving The responsible cannabis consumer does not operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous machinery while impaired by cannabis, nor (like other responsible citizens) while impaired by any other substance or condition, including some medicines and fatigue. Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition. Public safety demands not only that impaired drivers be taken off the road, but that objective measures of impairment be developed and used, rather than chemical testing.

III. Set and Setting The responsible cannabis user will carefully consider his/her set and setting, regulating use accordingly. "Set" refers to the consumer's values, attitudes, experience and personality, and "setting" means the consumer's physical and social circumstances. The responsible cannabis consumer will be vigilant as to conditions -- time, place, mood, etc. -- and does not hesitate to say "no" when those conditions are not conducive to a safe, pleasant and/or productive experience.

IV. Resist Abuse Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users. Abuse means harm. Some cannabis use is harmful; most is not. That which is harmful should be discouraged; that which is not need not be. Wars have been waged in the name of eradicating "drug abuse", but instead of focusing on abuse, enforcement measures have been diluted by targeting all drug use, whether abusive or not. If marijuana abuse is to be targeted, it is essential that clear standards be developed to identify it.

V. Respect Rights of Others The responsible cannabis user does not violate the rights of others, observes accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety, and respects the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis entirely. No one may violate the rights of others, and no substance use excuses any such violation. Regardless of the legal status of cannabis, responsible users will adhere to emerging tobacco smoking protocols in public and private places.

Spin all you want. The act was not responsible, it puts others at risk and unless the sensei flew home, he did drive.
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