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Old 11-24-2011, 02:33 PM   #51
Gorgeous George
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Ha, ha. Calling the police would be on those trying to take over not on the person not moving. Duhhh.

Letting someone complete their mission is a principle in Aikido but alas some like you think it means what you see it as and thus lack the reality of what it means. Unfortunate.

Comparing extreme killing situations with leading a group of idiots from one place is not comparable. lol.

Regards.G.
Right...because the methods of the police would differ in that situation (nice one with the insulting language, too: it really helps to defuse hostile situations, that - just like aikido!).

Haha. Well, I think you'll find that in aikido, there is no mission - if you already have a mission, then you've failed to do aikido. [/pseudo-enlightened, egotistical voice]

...so you prattle on about the universal applicability of aikido principles to every possible situation...but I can't compare two different situations?
Right...

Last edited by akiy : 11-24-2011 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:39 PM   #52
Abasan
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Everyone watches a master swordsman wield a blade with awe. There is beauty in his kata...
Why do you open your mouth in wonder? Don't you see death in his every cut?

I think there is a distinction, natural violence and a violent mind. Violence is relative to a persons concept of it. Some believe the cutting up of human beings are an act of violence. Yet we do cut people up with very sharp blades no less... To save him. Are they violent acts? No, they are compassionate but natural acts of violence so to speak. Natural to the instigator whose job is to cut you up to save you. And violent to the patient whose very body seeks to avoid the pain and trauma of being cut up.

A violent mind however is unnatural. A predator doesn not hunt with malevolence but the act of killing is violence. But not unnatural. Violence of the mind is when you seek to destroy not in keeping to your true self or purpose.

Thus the violent mind is what does not come to the aikido equation. Yet if natural violence were to occur, then so be it.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:17 PM   #53
CorkyQ
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Thanks for the well thought out answer.

Agreed. At the moment of time, so does the solution.

However, of course I was driving at the hypocracy that is always present and that we all choose to ignore, but shouldn,t. I think we all, or at least most of us have a point when we say ENOUGH!

I find it very hyporactic to say that the AIKI solution is to always reason and show the bulliesanother way...and we will all join hands and walk on the path.

I agree with the philosophy of love for all beings and loving protection. However it doesn't,t come simply because we decide one day to join an Aikido dojo and then say that I follow the path and the profess a degree of evolvement that we mentally can process, yet have not explored to any great depth emotionally, physically, or spiritually. I see this all the time in aikidoka.

No, it require us to face stuff we don,t like, things that we are uncomfortable with, and have our buttons pushed. Pushed to the point that we snap and say enough. So we can recognize the hypocracy in ourselves and learn to deal with it. We must first take care of our own issues before we can take on others.

So i agree. There is no answer to the question thatoffers a good cut and dry solution from a fundamental, black and white aiki-dogmatic process.

However it is our duy to ponder such questions and attempt to answer. Fuuny thing is once you've boxed yourself into that corner of hypocracy saying Aikido is all about resolving situations peacefully, it is hard to come back and answer this question without exposing your own hypocracy, which is why it has only been answered most likely by you. Thanks for the response.
You make a good point. It is a crucial moment when we make a choice to abandon non-violence and it is that moment when we allow fear to override an expression of love. It is hypocritical, but it is also just a simple human failure to trust. Sound moral principle is only valuable when it is hardest to embody, but the power in turning the other cheek undeniable. It is the primary tool Gandhi used to shed the oppressive 200 year ruling by Great Britain. Many people profess to adhere to the Golden Rule but with qualifications. For instance, "I will always treat others as I would like to be treated as long as they don't try to hurt me." If the principle is to be abandoned at any point it is the same as not having it at all.

I'm not sure there is a peaceful solution to every problem expressed with physical assault, but I do believe there is a non-violent response. This is why in our dojo we do not use any kind of joint locks or pins. They wouldn't work anyway because we train as ukes to resist those things that would create discomfort or damage. Our only option is to move in such a way that our partner is supported as he completes the action (attack) that will lead himself to the ground. We practice this way because we know that our off-the-mat attackers will have a more reflexive response to the feeling of having pain compliance techniques applied to their weak parts than the kind of ukemi we learned when beginning in a traditional technique emulation training model.

I think you are asking the right questions, because if we really examine ourselves we might find that we cloak the violence we might do as aikidoka in some rationale disassociated from Aikido's highest goals. One will never each the highest peak if he sets his mind on the lower one.

Thanks for the discussion!
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:49 PM   #54
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Everyone watches a master swordsman wield a blade with awe. There is beauty in his kata...
Why do you open your mouth in wonder? Don't you see death in his every cut?

I think there is a distinction, natural violence and a violent mind. Violence is relative to a persons concept of it. Some believe the cutting up of human beings are an act of violence. Yet we do cut people up with very sharp blades no less... To save him. Are they violent acts? No, they are compassionate but natural acts of violence so to speak. Natural to the instigator whose job is to cut you up to save you. And violent to the patient whose very body seeks to avoid the pain and trauma of being cut up.

A violent mind however is unnatural. A predator doesn not hunt with malevolence but the act of killing is violence. But not unnatural. Violence of the mind is when you seek to destroy not in keeping to your true self or purpose.

Thus the violent mind is what does not come to the aikido equation. Yet if natural violence were to occur, then so be it.
I love what you've written. I think we must be diligent, though, in not using the truth in what you are saying to rationalize harming another person in our pursuit of self-defense. Aikido gives us a tool to respond non-violently to violence, natural or otherwise. But this is a tool that also can be used for violence much the same way a pitch fork could. With (as Mary Heiny says) diligent self-scrutiny we can progress toward a point in time in which the threat of violence produces no fear response because there is no longer any violence in our own hearts.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:28 PM   #55
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Ever watched a hawk catch a smaller bird? A cat hunting a mouse? More natural than most things humans do, if you ask me.

As for violence in human societies, there's much less of it now than there used to be. But the web provides lots of evidence that "civilization" requires an enforcement mechanism. Without one, it only takes a few people to create chaos.

Katherine
Much less violence now? Mmmm. That could be worth checking out. But there again you can't have it both ways.

A few with modern weapons? Much more violence and chaos. But hey, we agree with use of violence don't we.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:33 PM   #56
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Much less violence now? Mmmm. That could be worth checking out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramBFRt1Uzk

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Old 11-24-2011, 04:51 PM   #57
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Just watched the first couple of minutes. Looks interesting. I'll get back to it later. Nice one.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:22 PM   #58
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Everyone watches a master swordsman wield a blade with awe. There is beauty in his kata...
Why do you open your mouth in wonder? Don't you see death in his every cut?

I think there is a distinction, natural violence and a violent mind. Violence is relative to a persons concept of it. Some believe the cutting up of human beings are an act of violence. Yet we do cut people up with very sharp blades no less... To save him. Are they violent acts? No, they are compassionate but natural acts of violence so to speak. Natural to the instigator whose job is to cut you up to save you. And violent to the patient whose very body seeks to avoid the pain and trauma of being cut up.

A violent mind however is unnatural. A predator doesn not hunt with malevolence but the act of killing is violence. But not unnatural. Violence of the mind is when you seek to destroy not in keeping to your true self or purpose.

Thus the violent mind is what does not come to the aikido equation. Yet if natural violence were to occur, then so be it.
Nicely put. Not that I agree though.

I agree we must make distinctions and I also agree the violent mind has no place in Aikido and is un-natural.

When it comes to the Master wielding a sword I admire the skill as with admiring the skill of a master plasterer or whoever. I feel sorry for those who see it as death cuts and admire such. I can view it as such but then Admiration wouldn't be on that aspect in fact if I saw a person doing such and thinking that equalled how dangerous and competent they were I would shake my head and feel sorry for him.

Violence is harmful. It's not natural to harm. Only to those who validate the violent mind.

I like the twist put on compassion and bringing killing into it and putting them together. Sounds so 'reasonable' thus another way to be led into violence is o.k. type thinking. If you really wan't to see the difference you would have to practice from the view of no violence for whatever reason no matter what your logic thinks. Now that's a discipline of self, mind, and action. Until a person practices such how can they see better solutions?

No, as long as violence and harm is dressed up in 'reason' then we don't have to look at all really. We can all be blind sheep. Actually violent sheep.

Certain truths need to be faced. A hunter does indeed have violence in mind and the intention is violent and harmful. Now justifying it and when it might be necessary is one thing and a good study but not at the expense of what is. It is. Start from there.

IT is malevelant, it is not natural. That's the starting point without which we are not facing reality let alone any truth.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:05 PM   #59
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

A second point I'd like to bring up here is Aikido techniques. The alterations in them, subtle, make them perfect as non-violent techniques.

Not that I've met too many who understand this or have ever differentiated in this way

So through thousands of corrections over the years I did come to the belief that most didn't understand. I found then that on here that would be taken as insult, shame. Such is my experience.

I have been shown we do it this way here and this way over here and we were told this and we were told that.I'm used to it, it's nothing new in my world. However virtually all of the techniques done in ways different to mine fitted a lack of understanding, if I consider my understanding correct that is, and all when corrected resulted in the person with a 'light bulb' coming on in their heads and at last having it make sense.

A technique that doesn't harm. A technique that doesn't rely on uke having to do something to avoid pain. A technique devoid of force or violence. A technique the violent mind is not used to. A technique based on the natural way of Ki and love.

A different world.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:33 PM   #60
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Here is a concept to ponder. What if I got a bunch of my friends and we decided to simply walk into your dojo, take it over and refused to leave and cooperate. I decided that I was now in charge and I was going to run things my way or you would have to fight me and all my friends.
Good to see you on AikiWeb again, Kevin! Are you around DC again or in Germany?

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Old 11-25-2011, 12:00 AM   #61
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Violence is harmful. It's not natural to harm. Only to those who validate the violent mind
Firstly I want to say I think you are great.
Secondly I want to say what is this nonsense you babble?

I hear what you are saying but I struggling to follow. I don't see it as being about validation,I think it is about understanding. Understanding that violence is to the long end of a stick, what peace is to the short end.

That is to say that they are dipoles, each implies and even necessitates the existence of the other. You can't have a one ended stick. Just as there cannot be a crest of a wave without a trough, or light without darkness. Without an opening there can be nothing to close. Without a start there can be no finish, without death there can be no life. Without 'Violence' there can be no 'peace', Without Uke there can be no Nage.

Compassion stems from wisdom. To see and understand violence within oneself you can see and sympathise with another persons emotional state more readily, with less judgement.

Graham, I labour the point.
It is not about validation as you seem to suggest. It is about understanding. One example: Incidents of head trauma can cause dramatic personality changes and cause perfectly 'normal' people to completely lose control of their temper, resulting in terrible consequences. (damage to the emotional control centre of the brain)

You say "violence is harmful, it's not natural to harm". I think this kind of rhetoric neither leads to greater understanding, wisdom or compassion. It is an idealistic and somewhat blinkered view of the total human condition.

Keith

Last edited by gates : 11-25-2011 at 12:04 AM.

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Old 11-25-2011, 01:54 AM   #62
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Violence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Take a look at the animal kingdom. A lion attackes prey and kills (typically) by going for the throat and suffocate the victim. When hunting in groups, the other lions go for the soft tissue area (stomach/abdomen) and rip the victim apart and start eating it alive. Now we might consider this violent, but the lions won't. It is their nature. A praying mantiss bites of the partner's head after sex...
Snakes devour prey whole as do some other animals. Ever seen a crocodile take down a wildebeast?

I think there is difference between (perceived) violence because of natural instinct and intentional violence (malicious act for the sake of violence).

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:59 AM   #63
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Forest fires are violence in nature, but we have found them to be helpful in the greater scheme of things.

Also on Ghandi. His turn the other cheek strategy worked because of the political world he lived in allowed this to be a good strategy. The conditions were right. There is a bigger picture to all this than the idesal a of one person.

Again, what worked in India did not work so well in Tibet. It could have led to more suffering. Then again, maybe we are also looking too short term.

I think the middle road approach is what is best in todays world with a few exceptions going left or right of the road when necessary.

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Old 11-25-2011, 02:00 AM   #64
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Violence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Take a look at the animal kingdom. A lion attackes prey and kills (typically) by going for the throat and suffocate the victim. When hunting in groups, the other lions go for the soft tissue area (stomach/abdomen) and rip the victim apart and start eating it alive. Now we might consider this violent, but the lions won't. It is their nature. A praying mantiss bites of the partner's head after sex...
Snakes devour prey whole as do some other animals. Ever seen a crocodile take down a wildebeast?

I think there is difference between (perceived) violence because of natural instinct and intentional violence (malicious act for the sake of violence).
Yes I agree. There is a difference. It is the intent behind the violence or killing that means everything.

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Old 11-25-2011, 02:01 AM   #65
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Good to see you on AikiWeb again, Kevin! Are you around DC again or in Germany?
Thanks Joe. I am out of the Pentagon and back over in Germany thank God!

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Old 11-25-2011, 07:48 AM   #66
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
It is the intent behind the violence or killing that means everything.
Yes agreed.
Intent and intensity.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:52 PM   #67
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
Firstly I want to say I think you are great.
Secondly I want to say what is this nonsense you babble?

I hear what you are saying but I struggling to follow. I don't see it as being about validation,I think it is about understanding. Understanding that violence is to the long end of a stick, what peace is to the short end.

That is to say that they are dipoles, each implies and even necessitates the existence of the other. You can't have a one ended stick. Just as there cannot be a crest of a wave without a trough, or light without darkness. Without an opening there can be nothing to close. Without a start there can be no finish, without death there can be no life. Without 'Violence' there can be no 'peace', Without Uke there can be no Nage.

Compassion stems from wisdom. To see and understand violence within oneself you can see and sympathise with another persons emotional state more readily, with less judgement.

Graham, I labour the point.
It is not about validation as you seem to suggest. It is about understanding. One example: Incidents of head trauma can cause dramatic personality changes and cause perfectly 'normal' people to completely lose control of their temper, resulting in terrible consequences. (damage to the emotional control centre of the brain)

You say "violence is harmful, it's not natural to harm". I think this kind of rhetoric neither leads to greater understanding, wisdom or compassion. It is an idealistic and somewhat blinkered view of the total human condition.

Keith
Well may I say that if I am great and what I say is nonsense then it must be great nonsense.

So let's see now, you like great nonsense but struggle to follow it. Mmmmm. Not surprising. Ha, ha.

O.K. Wisdom is a component of compassion along with other qualities. From compassion one can see clearly yes. Thus you can understand better. Yes. So I agree it is a matter of understanding. (However I wouldn't use the word sympathy myself, empathy yes.) So we are in agreement so far, yes?

Now for the difference. There are different levels of understanding. You have your understanding and I have mine.

So now validation. It looks like we are using the word in different ways or else I apply a datum you are unaware of so I should explain.

That which you validate lives. That's a rule I follow. If you validate bad behaviour then you get more bad behaviour. If you validate something you are giving it life, more existence, more power.

In this way I see that the validation of violence creates more violence.

Thus you can understand something negative or untoward but validating it makes it worse. Acknowledge it as real yes, validate it no.

I can acknowledge violence and handle it but validate it , nah. I'll leave that to others.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:58 PM   #68
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Yes agreed.
Intent and intensity.
What people need to wake up to is that apart from accidents all harmful actions are preceded by harmful intent.

Without this reality all you do is justify and hide from self.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:35 PM   #69
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
What people need to wake up to is that apart from accidents all harmful actions are preceded by harmful intent.

Without this reality all you do is justify and hide from self.

Regards.G.
Do you mean that by causing harm you're acting with a kind of intent that isn't attentive enough; that intent which is negligent is necessarily harmful intent? It depends on the semantics of the terms: intent which turns out to be harmful is different than intent that is designed to be harmful. So in the sense of describing the purpose behind the intent, not all accidents are preceded by harmful intent. Harmless intent can be harmful just as harmful intent can be harmless; you can do your best and still fail...hence the need to train ceaselessly.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:40 PM   #70
graham christian
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Do you mean that by causing harm you're acting with a kind of intent that isn't attentive enough; that intent which is negligent is necessarily harmful intent? It depends on the semantics of the terms: intent which turns out to be harmful is different than intent that is designed to be harmful. So in the sense of describing the purpose behind the intent, not all accidents are preceded by harmful intent. Harmless intent can be harmful just as harmful intent can be harmless; you can do your best and still fail...hence the need to train ceaselessly.
Take care,
Matt
Hi Matthew. I did say apart from accidents.

Funny thing is that every time a person with such causes harm they then justify it by saying it's an accident.

Let's put it another way. I meet someone who does Aikido, he just so happens to complain and tell me about all the times damage has resulted from his Aikido in practice. All well justified to himself.

Mmmm. A trail of 'accidents.'

I proceed to train with him and get him to show me his skill.

He stops confused. It doesn't make sense. It usually works but against me it doesn't. He's confused.
I point out he's using force, that's why, and get him bit by bit to replace it with Ki.

Now, he's getting it bit by bit bujt bumps into this confusion again. It don't make sense once again. He sees it works but it don't make sense.

Why? Because it doesn't fit his usual parameters of thought. I then proceed to chat to him and find out what he actually thinks he should do and why. I uncover his thoughts, his intentions, what he thinks should be. Oh dear, there they are, harmful intentions.

He didn't know there was a way to do it without them. He's been doing Aikido x years and no one ever told him. Things begin to make sense.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:37 AM   #71
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Violence and Aikido

So you are saying the reason he cannot do it "with ki" is because of his harmful intent or state mind. I am going to assume by ki you mean without effort, softly, blending, or whatever commonly gets interpreted as ki as opposed to the opposite of ki which I think u mean force, strentgh, sped, timing, muscle.

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:17 AM   #72
Abasan
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Re: Violence and Aikido

I'd think Graham means spirit more than ki. Ki is neutral and can be used either way. Intent a bit higher than ki, spirit higher still. You can still use soft techniques and blending and what not but ultimately leading to uke's demise. Those soft skills while physically its not violent, comes with violent intentions.

True aikido goes beyond soft skills, but to ingrain a better spirit in oneself. One that doesn't have cause to harm another, this leads to anyone seeking to harm him to ultimately end up fighting themselves. But since Graham likes lone wolf so much, he should look up the chapter on killing Buddha on what I meant about natural violence. He doesn't want to, he just does.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:33 PM   #73
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Matthew. I did say apart from accidents.

Funny thing is that every time a person with such causes harm they then justify it by saying it's an accident.

Let's put it another way. I meet someone who does Aikido, he just so happens to complain and tell me about all the times damage has resulted from his Aikido in practice. All well justified to himself.

Mmmm. A trail of 'accidents.'
Hi Graham,
LOL! Sorry I missed that in the very first sentence. Holy cow I scare myself sometimes. My excuse at present is that I've been living off 3 hours of sleep the last week or so. Still...wow. Well at least I got 14 hours of sleep the other day so my excuse is gone for the time being.
...And humility is yet again reinforced.

Anyhow, I agree accidents are often too easily written off as "beyond my control." It extends to intended acts of violence too. "Look what you made me do," and all that.
Cheers!
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 11-27-2011 at 01:37 PM.

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Old 11-27-2011, 01:36 PM   #74
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Re: Violence and Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So you are saying the reason he cannot do it "with ki" is because of his harmful intent or state mind. I am going to assume by ki you mean without effort, softly, blending, or whatever commonly gets interpreted as ki as opposed to the opposite of ki which I think u mean force, strentgh, sped, timing, muscle.
Kind of but not quite.

He is running into something he knows not what. I do get him to relax more and use Ki yes along with anything else that may be out, be it technical, positional, mind etc. But yes the main important one I would be emphasizing is Ki.

Now he may be someone who 'uses Ki' already and thinks he's relaxed. But the same applies for there are many misunderstandings about Ki also. All those misunderstandings are based on wrong intentions and false understandings.

By Ki I mean that energy which is of course spiritual but you could say it is life energy, healing energy.
Opposite to Ki? I try to keep away from using the word opposite but rather get people to recognise what it's not so yes it's not force or muscle or that kind of strength.

As for timing and speed well that does have something to do with Ki as well as other factors.

From harmful intention you may produce an energy but that energy isn't Ki no matter how many 'experts' say it is.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:44 PM   #75
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
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Re: Violence and Aikido

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,
LOL! Sorry I missed that in the very first sentence. Holy cow I scare myself sometimes. My excuse at present is that I've been living off 3 hours of sleep the last week or so. Still...wow. Well at least I got 14 hours of sleep the other day so my excuse is gone for the time being.
...And humility is yet again reinforced.

Anyhow, I agree accidents are often too easily written off as "beyond my control." It extends to intended acts of violence too. "Look what you made me do," and all that.
Cheers!
Matt
Nah, excuses, you had harmful intent. Ha, ha, only joking. Yeah I understand, I was doing some night shifts last week and couldn't sleep much in the day and then it caught up. Strange things happen when your tired. In fact at work if a few minor things happen like losing pencil, dropping something and missing something all in a short space of time I know it's time to stop. Go take a break, even if it's for five minutes rest. Maybe grab a bite to eat etc.

Regards.G.
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