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Old 01-28-2012, 10:15 PM   #276
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Yes. It happens all the time. A surprising result from a Nobel Prize winner's laboratory will be taken much more seriously than the same result from a less-respected source. Even though there have been documented cases of scientific fraud in the laboratories of Nobel winners.

Katherine
Katherine:

That it happens at all is unacceptable in the scientific community at large. Case in point-> A "world renowned" doctor was advocating a particular class of medications for a particular age group for many years. My colleagues and I railed against this and said something smells like feces for years. Low and behold, this "world renowned" doctor was receiving SEVEN FIGURES of income over those years from a pharm company who made those drugs! This A-Hole is still is a professor at a world renowned university and hospital DESPITE the despicable acts that resulted in the needless medicating (I am talking about serious med.s) of an age group of children who NEVER should have been put on those med's in the first place.

The same standards apply in our community. I find it to be in less than poor taste, that there are not only those who refuse/hide/weasel away from having to put words into actions and pathetic that there are apologists who try and excuse that type of behavior. When you medicate people without real reasons, there are real life consequences from being on those med.'s that are profoundly negative. When you present yourself as a teacher of martial arts and people listen and learn from you and you have no genuine abilities/capacities, there are real life consequences to those who find out the hard way that what they learned was less than useless, but dangerous to their well-being. Our community at large, has a vested interest to the same degree of integrity that is expected in the scientific community.

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:26 PM   #277
Marc Abrams
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am not sure about bizarre or empircal...(I barely know what that means.)

For me Aikido is a co-operative practice between uke and nage. Nothing has to be proved to anyone. The connection is discovered as we train together. We fall when we are thrown. We practice Ki exercises together so we both develop correct feeling.

The goal for me is find the off balance of uke so they can be thrown. I don't force it...I pay close attention to each uke in each moment and the throw presents itself....right along with the Fun and Joy!
Bizarre and empirical are words that are well defined in the dictionary and I spelled out clearly how I used them in response to your post. If you need further clarification from me, feel free to ask.

For me, Aikido is far more that cooperative practice. None of the O'Sensei's students who I have had the honor of training with, would describe Aikido in that manner. If that is how you choose to define Aikido, then enjoy your definition and your practice. I sincerely hope that you are never in a situation where someone seriously wants to cause you harm, because there will be no cooperative practice in that instance and your definition of Aikido will be of no help to you.

My practice and my teaching of Aikido is always filled with fun and Joy. There is no requirement of cooperative practice in order to execute a technique, while still having fun and joy in Aikido. When the techniques work, regardless of the level or lack thereof of cooperation with the attacker, the real joy of maintaining peace, fun and joy really kick in. Maybe that's just my idiosyncratic view......

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:49 PM   #278
kewms
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Katherine:

That it happens at all is unacceptable in the scientific community at large.
I agree, and I'm not condoning it, just pointing out that it happens.

A certain amount of respect for credentials is helpful, in any field. Not having to personally vet every individual you might come across saves time. Knowing a person's reputation helps you decide how to approach them, even if you believe them to be mistaken on a particular point.

While it's true that there is no substitute for empirical evidence, as a practical matter it is difficult to verify every experimental claim that might be made, nearly impossible for every Aikiweb reader to train with everyone who posts here. Nor does ability to write clearly necessarily have any correlation at all with martial skill. Since the goal of any forum is community and information sharing, I find it more helpful to give people the benefit of the doubt than to demand empirical support for every utterance.

Katherine
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:49 AM   #279
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Hi Mary,

Please don't take this as an attack. I just want to clarify.

'Empirical' means that a thing can be measured or tested. I understand and approve of a lot of what you have said about how you train. However I believe the crux of the matter is how do you know when you have "correct feeling"? Is there a way to measure it? What if someone's feeling is more correct than another's? What Dan et al are saying is that they are able to test when their feeling is correct, and show how that feeling affects themselves and others in their training. What Graham is saying is that he knows within himself that his feeling is correct and he doesn't have to prove it to anybody. That is fair enough in my book, however it begs the question of why he is trying to convince us all of this fact? Why bother?

Now, I have no idea whether Dan's or Graham's claims are true. I have never met either of them. However, I do like my aikido to be demonstrable and repeatable. I know I have mistakenly thought I had "correct feeling" several times, when it turned out not to be the case. This was promptly demonstrated by my sensei as he joyfully introduced me to the mat.
Hi Robin.
Nice clarification of empirical. Do you think I'm trying to convince you or anyone? Really?

It appears some want me to convince them. That's the reverse no? When I see others doing and enjoying their Aikido however they do it or whatever style, I feel good. I admire. We used to have a group of another style Aikido come and borrow our dojo for a while. We never, either group, had any inclination or desire to prove our way to them and the same was for them to us. No need in real life.

We invited them to various events , they invited us. The blinder you are the more you need to be convinced or have something proved in my book.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:20 AM   #280
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Your claim that Graham is somehow practicing some kind of "Aikido" is likewise bizarre. Aikido is not about avoiding and escaping reality. Aikido is not practiced through words in absence of actions. In that respect, Graham is his own worst enemy. People have given him ample opportunity to respectfully demonstrate what he believes that he can do and say. People have respectfully given him ample opportunity to experience what others say that they can do and say in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect. It has only been Graham who has avoided those opportunities.
And unfortunately, Graham often likes to throw in a superior little zinger (ha ha) when skirting the opportunity to show other black belts what he does. He makes these claims, but won't even meet the people he makes the claims to because the people he's talking to are so full of ego and karma....???

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I can find no historical evidence of O'Sensei actively seeking to avoid having his ideas and abilities demonstrated in an empirical and objective manner in an atmosphere of respect.
Exactly. And you didn't have to show him too much respect. He would just smile and show you. He was always glad to meet others and spread the same art in person that he broadcast with his words. And you can bet Mochizuki and Shioda were the same.

Why, with so many powerful and sterling examples of what aikido really is, would anyone let Graham show what he shows in his videos and say what he says in his posts and still give him the least credence in aikido? The only reason would be if someone actually met Graham and he showed them convincingly that, indeed, his strange comments actually contained the truth. But, of course, Graham has refused to do that even when Dan crosses the ocean and offers him free attendance.

At that point, it glaringly appears to be a less than honorable situation.

I remember a guy (not on aikiweb, but on the web in general) who claimed to have mastered yoseikan aikido many years ago and modified it to make a more combat-effective art of it. When I wrote and told him I had been uchi deshi at the yoseikan hombu and I had never seen his name anywhere among the hundreds of black belts there from all nations, he changed his website and stopped making those claims.

In another case, someone was demanding that Dan come to his dojo and present himself for examination. Dan, of course refused. I told the guy that when people wanted to check out Ueshiba, they didn't call Ueshiba to come to their dojo and explain himself. They went to Ueshiba and challenged him. And I never heard of Ueshiba refusing to meet anyone. But Dan has visited UK a number of times, now, and he has offered to meet with Graham and exchange knowledge, but Graham won't go, even within his own "house" and for free. The black belts I came up among would always have stepped up. With black belts nowadays, that spirit seems to have vanished.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
The issue that I raised goes far beyond you, me, Dan, or Graham. It has everything to do with holding ourselves and others up to the standards that have been the hallmark of martial arts throughout the world. The level of respect, integrity and camaraderie that comes from these standards is visible to all. When people do not live up to those standards, it is visible to all as well.
At that point, you have to wonder, is this guy trolling us just for a laugh? Or does he simply think that everyone with a real connection to Ueshiba is some kind of thug, while simply latching onto some badly translated buzzwords like "love" and "spiritual" will boost him ahead of those with real connections?

No one has threatened Graham. I know Dan has a scary image (and he admits above that he has shaken people up while using only a small fraction of his power), but he is really fun to train with and his classes are among the safest I've ever encountered. In fact, while Dan talks about power and martial effectiveness, the worst, sneakiest and most weasly behavior (cheap shots, attempts to injure) have occurred in dojos where "love" was the standard or where someone had asked me to take it easy on them because they were injured. And then they threw a cheap shot.

Life is too short to waste time with BS artists. Aikido is too miraculous and wonderful for people with real roots to allow others to graft branches of stinkweed onto the tree.

Cheers.

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 01-29-2012, 07:37 AM   #281
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Why would we do that? The standard of "put up or shut up" has been a mainstay of budo from the beginning. Ueshiba always gladly proved whatever he said with action.
In the old days, people quickly learned that if you made any kind of claim, someone nearby would immediately say, "Show me." And if the speaker couldn't do what they claimed, it would become clear--often in an embarrassing way.

This was the standard through hundreds of generations of people training extremely hard for life-and-death encounters with virtual devils for opponents. Just think of the worst thing you've ever heard about Japanese. Those stories only scratch the surface of what you can find in that culture, yet there were also people like Ueshiba, Kano, etc., who upheld extremely high moral values, who would stand face-to-face with really evil (yet physically very powerful and martially very skillful) people and would overcome them--not by talking, not purely by kindness and "love," but by incredibly powerful martial arts ability and an ethic of protection of society. That meant to protect the weak and innocent from the very strong, powerful and devilish--think of the very powerful guy Ellis described meeting on the train, who suggested that Ellis accompany him and they go out and "rape a woman" together. That was not just talk. You can bet that guy really raped more than one woman and probably killed more than one man (as well as some women, perhaps).

If you made any kind of claim of ability in that milleu, the evil ones would seriously hurt you for fun and the seriously great ones would tell you in no uncertain terms to shut up. They wouldn't allow their arts to be represented by BS. Without technical ability and extreme courage, talk of "love" and "spirituality" is just an embarrassment.

Even in Japan, that standard has slacked somewhat, but still, when a guy like the "kiai master" makes too much of himself, someone like the kickboxer will come along.........and the result is never pretty.

Budo is from that culture and the standard of "put up or shut up" is an extremely valuable element of it.

FWIW.

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 01-29-2012, 07:56 AM   #282
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
In the old days, people quickly learned that if you made any kind of claim, someone nearby would immediately say, "Show me." And if the speaker couldn't do what they claimed, it would become clear--often in an embarrassing way.

This was the standard through hundreds of generations of people training extremely hard for life-and-death encounters with virtual devils for opponents. Just think of the worst thing you've ever heard about Japanese. Those stories only scratch the surface of what you can find in that culture, yet there were also people like Ueshiba, Kano, etc., who upheld extremely high moral values, who would stand face-to-face with really evil (yet physically very powerful and martially very skillful) people and would overcome them--not by talking, not purely by kindness and "love," but by incredibly powerful martial arts ability and an ethic of protection of society. That meant to protect the weak and innocent from the very strong, powerful and devilish--think of the very powerful guy Ellis described meeting on the train, who suggested that Ellis accompany him and they go out and "rape a woman" together. That was not just talk. You can bet that guy really raped more than one woman and probably killed more than one man (as well as some women, perhaps).

If you made any kind of claim of ability in that milleu, the evil ones would seriously hurt you for fun and the seriously great ones would tell you in no uncertain terms to shut up. They wouldn't allow their arts to be represented by BS. Without technical ability and extreme courage, talk of "love" and "spirituality" is just an embarrassment.

Even in Japan, that standard has slacked somewhat, but still, when a guy like the "kiai master" makes too much of himself, someone like the kickboxer will come along.........and the result is never pretty.

Budo is from that culture and the standard of "put up or shut up" is an extremely valuable element of it.

FWIW.

David
You watch too many movies my friend.In the old days people respected what others said and only the braggards went around challenging and telling them to prove it.

Put up or shut up? Maybe you need to see the truth of that too. Not the schoolyard version.

You now have my personal invite.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #283
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You watch too many movies my friend.
I can tell you I've certainly seen too many of your movies.

But, Graham...I lived in Japan. My experience does not come from movies.

Did you live in Japan? Did you ever know anyone who actually trained with Morihei Ueshiba?

And believe me, it's very different to train in a Western dojo under one Japanese teacher with a bunch of Western white-belts than to train under one Japanese master in a Japanese dojo full of 6th and 7th dan Japanese who train like human tornadoes.

I was uchi deshi to one of Ueshiba's earliest uchi deshi and his dojo was full of highly-ranked men (and some women) who all wanted to be Mochizuki's closest student. Since Mochizuki was supervisor of the uchi deshi in the "Hell Gym," you see, the training at the yoseikan hombu was intense. I trained with people from white belt to judan (in Japan). I trained with police, police instructors, prison guards, MMA fighters, judo champions, karate masters, etc. I went to bars. I met yakuza and I ran into people who were real bad-asses. All I would have had to do was make any little claim and they would have been on me "like ugly on an ape," to injure if not kill. But they went away liking me.

So your views on Japanese culture are at great variance to my direct experience of the culture. And what about Ellis Amdur's accounts of the thugs he met on the subway? Do you think those are his imagination? Those people are real. And there were more of them in the old days.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
In the old days people respected what others said and only the braggards went around challenging and telling them to prove it.
Graham....where do you get your ideas about "the old days"?

What experience do you have with the Japanese to say anything like that? It sounds to me like maybe you have been watching the movies or reading pulp fiction.

The truth is, if you said, "I can do XYZ," if someone didn't stand up right beside you and say, "Let's see it," in a week or two someone from elsewhere would show up and say "Let's see it." It was as sure as the waves of the sea.

The truth is, disrespect was far more common than respect. Real respect came only from ONE thing: if you said it, you could do it and you wouldn't hesitate to show it if someone challenged your claim.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
In the old days people respected what others said and only the braggards went around challenging and telling them to prove it.
Graham...the braggard is the one who makes the claim to begin with, isn't he?

If you say, "I can lift as much weight as Arnold Schwarzenegger," how is it being a braggard to ask you to show it?

In the old days, the Japanese worked hard from morning to late at night, demanding, physical, hard work. They were all far over-worked and had very little to do for entertainment. And if one were martially minded and trained hard with a powerful teacher, he would have no patience for BS. As soon as anyone made any kind of claim of martial arts ability, ten people would say, "Haaaaaahhhh????" quickly followed by "Misete!" and if the claimant could not prove what he said, everyone would laugh at him to utter ridicule.

And that is the main reason most Japanese just didn't talk: as sure as you spoke, you would certainly be challenged and probably embarrassed.

Just think about how judo was selected to be the training method for police in Japan: competition among several styles of jujutsu. Bloody competition, with serious injuries among jujutsu experts. Your view of the "old days" is quite amusing in that light.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Put up or shut up? Maybe you need to see the truth of that too. Not the schoolyard version.
I know the dojo version, Graham. And I know the street version. I don't claim what I can't do. I have stepped up. After I made insulting remarks to Rob John, I went and met him and he proved what he said. I didn't hide behind distance or expense or moral superiority. I put my life on the line.

I stepped up to Ark and felt the incredible power that radiates from him.

I stepped up to Dan and put my spleen on the line.

In every case, I learned.

But you have made these claims about yourself; you have denigrated other people who I know have the real stuff; and you have refused to meet them and even see if they're doing something different from what you think.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You now have my personal invite.
While I'm sure you would be merciful, your "invite" doesn't really sound so friendly. Your ego is showing again. And you just accrued more than a little karma.

It's unfortunate that I have no plans to be in UK anytime soon, but I know someone who will be there this year. Would it be okay if he takes up the invite in my place?

Cheers.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 01-29-2012 at 08:43 AM. Reason: typos

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:58 AM   #284
gates
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Ridiculous
Is it necessary to insult people before you meet them?

Enjoy the journey
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:02 AM   #285
gregstec
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

IMO, we have different groups using the same terms to define their concepts and principles; paramount of which is the term Aiki. These groups are at polar extremes of each other and will never come together as long as they both retain their different perspectives of term definitions. However, this is not necessarily a problem as long as both sides stay on their own paths and not confuse themselves by saying they are doing the same thing as the other group; this I believe is at the core of the disagreements here. Personally, I do not think either group would be interested in each other if the terms being used were different and more reflective of their actual goals and views of their respective practices.

There is always someone ahead of you and behind you on any particular path you take, and regardless of which group is more correct than the other with their interpretation of things, I believe it is the responsibility of those ahead on the path to honestly guide those behind, and those behind have the responsibility to respect and listen to those ahead (note: I did not say blindly follow those ahead) If you understand and agree with those ahead, then follow - if not, find another path. I also believe it is the responsibility of those ahead to question claims from those behind that differ with their experiences - maybe they missed something or maybe something was misunderstood. This is the only way real knowledge can be known to be fact - and it helps to eliminate the chances of those behind to be mislead off their chosen path.

IMO, if you say you can do the same as someone else, and that person disagrees, then the only logical thing to do is get together and exchange information to find the truth - period. Very simple really.

Greg
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #286
Mark Freeman
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Secondly may I point out that up to now a few people have approached me from this forum and asked to train with me, just sharing, and I have never said no. Two I openly said it would be an honour and a pleasure. There has only been one other to whom I said I would gladly meet to see what he wants for I had never talked to this person on here yet he contacted me by pm. As yet no one has made it.(By the way, there is one person who has trained with Dan who said he would come too)
Hi Graham,

not sure if I am included in your words above, as you probably quite rightly didn't use names. I would still like to come to your place, and train with you, if the invite is still there.

My reason for doing so is that it will be one small meeting, at the start of a much bigger journey, to get out in the world and see what the world of aikido has to offer, outside of the closed order I have been in for 20 years.

I hope that I come across people who can teach me more than I already know, and I am happy to give anyone my individed attention and sincere approach to learning.

I'll contact you via PM to find out your practice times, as I may be in London in a couple of weekends time.

I have trained with Dan, however, I am not out to 'prove' anything, apart from to myself, that if there is something to be learnt, that will benefit my own aikido, I want to learn it.

regards,

Mark
p.s. Marc and David (and many others), I look forward to meeting, and training with you both too. At this point I will be in some reasonable position, to form an opinion. The interweb is probably the least effective place to really get to grips with aikido. Lots of information, lots of noise, lots of textual intercourse, some of useful, some of it not. I'll be in touch when my tickets are booked..

p.p.s. If I have something that others don't, I will be happy to share it.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #287
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I think most people don't care about everyone's personal expression of aikido. There is no more "Aikido" as a standard. I never get involved in discussions with the Aiki bunnies (™Meik Skoss) as I don't care and personally think they should be left alone to do whatever that stuff is that they do.

The only time they draw attention is when they state what they are doing is Ueshiba's and as pertains to this thread-will actually throw people. It is unadulterated rubbish. It has never worked and it will not ever work and this is the reason they run from being put to the test.
Their excuses for avoiding exposure are legendary

A new iteration of an older problem
We all know the history of some of these claims. They included the early ki wars when hucksters and self deluded people were trying to cheaply ride the coat tales of Tohei, without doing the work to get his power. What happened? When people met up with these airy fairies they sucked and did a lot to harm the otherwise excellent work of one of Aikido's greats and also others in ki society putting in the work. So a few ruined it for the many. In many Budo circles Aikido has never really recovered from that.

To me this is SSDD.
The difference is now that there are people with reputations for real power and skill- the airy fairies are showing up once again trying to cheaply ride the coat tales and borrow the reputation of those who have done the actual work. The new twist is that they have learned the lessons of the past--that one-on-one exposure destroyed the reputations of the self deluded--so they pontificate on the internet and then run from any chance of being put to the test.

I think we can all agree that making statements that you understand what Ueshiba was talking about and what he was doing and how to do it is pretty damn bold. As a community-Aikido-ka should put anyone who makes such claims to the test.
Put up or shut up.
Why?
Lessons from the past have demonstrated that all you need to do to continue to watch good work be diluted to a meaningless nothing is to let ineffectual wet noodle, airy fairies represent, dilute and then eventually destroy a true visionary's good work. Don't allow it to happen

In short
They cannot throw people
They cannot do much of anything else meaningful in any martial sense either
They really have not one clue of what Morihei Ueshiba was about and they do not belong in any discussion of his work-not the least of which is letting people throw themselves... in a discussion of Budo. Good grief. Do you have any idea of how that sounds to people who actually do understand Budo?

I will say one thing in closing. I had a lot of very experienced friends in Budo who hated aikido and Daito ryu- considering them total B.S. and aiki nonsense because they took you all apart...at will.. None of them, not one, could do anything to stop someone who understands and was truly capable with aiki.
I did my job to change their opinion of aiki by stepping up.
You need to change their opinion of Aikido by doing the same.

Dan
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #288
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
I can tell you I've certainly seen too many of your movies.

But, Graham...I lived in Japan. My experience does not come from movies.

Did you live in Japan? Did you ever know anyone who actually trained with Morihei Ueshiba?

And believe me, it's very different to train in a Western dojo under one Japanese teacher with a bunch of Western white-belts than to train under one Japanese master in a Japanese dojo full of 6th and 7th dan Japanese who train like human tornadoes.

I was uchi deshi to one of Ueshiba's earliest uchi deshi and his dojo was full of highly-ranked men (and some women) who all wanted to be Mochizuki's closest student. Since Mochizuki was supervisor of the uchi deshi in the "Hell Gym," you see, the training at the yoseikan hombu was intense. I trained with people from white belt to judan (in Japan). I trained with police, police instructors, prison guards, MMA fighters, judo champions, karate masters, etc. I went to bars. I met yakuza and I ran into people who were real bad-asses. All I would have had to do was make any little claim and they would have been on me "like ugly on an ape," to injure if not kill. But they went away liking me.

So your views on Japanese culture are at great variance to my direct experience of the culture. And what about Ellis Amdur's accounts of the thugs he met on the subway? Do you think those are his imagination? Those people are real. And there were more of them in the old days.

Graham....where do you get your ideas about "the old days"?

What experience do you have with the Japanese to say anything like that? It sounds to me like maybe you have been watching the movies or reading pulp fiction.

The truth is, if you said, "I can do XYZ," if someone didn't stand up right beside you and say, "Let's see it," in a week or two someone from elsewhere would show up and say "Let's see it." It was as sure as the waves of the sea.

The truth is, disrespect was far more common than respect. Real respect came only from ONE thing: if you said it, you could do it and you wouldn't hesitate to show it if someone challenged your claim.

Graham...the braggard is the one who makes the claim to begin with, isn't he?

If you say, "I can lift as much weight as Arnold Schwarzenegger," how is it being a braggard to ask you to show it?

In the old days, the Japanese worked hard from morning to late at night, demanding, physical, hard work. They were all far over-worked and had very little to do for entertainment. And if one were martially minded and trained hard with a powerful teacher, he would have no patience for BS. As soon as anyone made any kind of claim of martial arts ability, ten people would say, "Haaaaaahhhh????" quickly followed by "Misete!" and if the claimant could not prove what he said, everyone would laugh at him to utter ridicule.

And that is the main reason most Japanese just didn't talk: as sure as you spoke, you would certainly be challenged and probably embarrassed.

Just think about how judo was selected to be the training method for police in Japan: competition among several styles of jujutsu. Bloody competition, with serious injuries among jujutsu experts. Your view of the "old days" is quite amusing in that light.

I know the dojo version, Graham. And I know the street version. I don't claim what I can't do. I have stepped up. After I made insulting remarks to Rob John, I went and met him and he proved what he said. I didn't hide behind distance or expense or moral superiority. I put my life on the line.

I stepped up to Ark and felt the incredible power that radiates from him.

I stepped up to Dan and put my spleen on the line.

In every case, I learned.

But you have made these claims about yourself; you have denigrated other people who I know have the real stuff; and you have refused to meet them and even see if they're doing something different from what you think.

While I'm sure you would be merciful, your "invite" doesn't really sound so friendly. Your ego is showing again. And you just accrued more than a little karma.

It's unfortunate that I have no plans to be in UK anytime soon, but I know someone who will be there this year. Would it be okay if he takes up the invite in my place?

Cheers.

David
Yes I have read plenty of experiences of people in Japan including Ellis Sensei. He is a fine example of how to behave.

In all sports there are the ones, the gyms labelled hells this that and the other.

My training partner and friend for eight years was Japanese thank you. A lovely man. He has now returned to Japan.

My teacher was very 'japanese' in his attitude. We went through our own 'hells' training, which was optional.

When I went to visit Kanetzuka Sensei I have a nice funny story, bottom line being it was a demonstration by me to my accompanying friend of how to behave, Japanese style or rather Japanese budo style.

So once again a saying springs to mind: know who you are talking to.

There was even one incident where my teacher had been 'threatebned' or 'challenged' if you will by a then Famous Japanese Shihan. He responded in such a way that said teacher never showed. It's a budo thing, some may call that a macho thing, nonetheless I understand these things. I may agree or disagree, but that's not the point.

The person who makes a claim is not bragging or boasting my friend, merely sharing experience. You are privileged to hear someones thoughts on here as am I. Due to this privilege it is and always will be rude of me to say prove it to anyone.

I know that if I am sincere and polite and respectful to someone that after a few communications with them and if it is of interest to me I can ask if I could come and sample some of their wares. I also know that if my behaviour is not so that I don't deserve that honour.

My invite is based on your assertion of put up or shut up. Lest you forget, my Aikido is not about fighting, not about competition, not about ego. I offer to show the principles I describe, no more, no less.

Your experiences of where you go to test your 'skill' are yours and for you alone. I am quite happy with where I have been to test mine. There's no place like real life, bottom line.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #289
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
Ridiculous
Is it necessary to insult people before you meet them?
I will note that it is usually the passive aggressive crowd that does the insulting.
Example:
I have questioned the effectiveness in throwing and doing much of anything meaningful to people who can actually fight by the aiki bunnies.
I have questioned the understanding of Aiki and Ueshiba's teachings by Japanese Shihan
I have challenged those who claim to know Ueshiba's teachings both contextually, historically, and martially, but who cannot do much of anything martially.

For that I have been called a fraud, a liar, a snake oil salesman, a charlatan, and many other things, right here in these pages and it was not only allowed, you, as a community joined in.
I find the double standard to be astonishing as I am the one who stepped up.
What was the result of that?
None of you...not a single one of over 1,100 of you.... have ever done anything to make your case. To a man you stand there dumbfounded to do your aikido on someone who truly understands your founders work and message.

My reaction?
I taught and made friends of former enemies.

I think you all need to differentiate between discussion of abilities (and erroneously calling them personal attacks) from attacking the character and credibility of those who dare to question what you do, as opposed to who you are.

Graham is more of the same with certain people in Aikido. He claims to know Ueshiba's work, but cannot explain it and demonstrates none of his power. Were we to meet, it would be just another aikido person standing their dumbfounded, not knowing what, or how I am doing things to him...with Morihei Ueshiba's aiki
Oh well.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-29-2012 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #290
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
Ridiculous
Is it necessary to insult people before you meet them?
Though no insult to Graham was intended, I do have to say that, in some cases, an insult is the best thing that can happen.

Rob John and I exchanged a number of insulting comments that made me angry and spurred me on to meet him and his teacher. I thought surely that I could at least give Rob some resistance when we met, but in fact, he truly had "transparent" power. I couldn't even feel what he did. I couldn't resist it and I couldn't let go. He had complete control from the moment I grabbed his wrists.

If the insult is of that type, much good can come from it.

A vicious, mean-spirited and unmerited insult, of course, is never necessary.

Nor are the smug, self-assued, superior little insults Graham throw off so lightly.

Nor is the presentation of aikido as a mushy, "spiritual" art without need of relation to human nature or consequeences of our actions.

As I told Graham, my intent is not to insult him but to clarify what the real world is about. Reality is usually quite insulting to the fantasist.

Regards.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 01-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #291
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I agree David
Insult? Now discussing understanding or lack thereof is an insult?
People cannot credibly claim to know Ueshiba's work, but not be able to explain it and demonstrate none of his power much less stand their dumbfounded, not knowing what, or how I am doing what I am doing...with Morihei Ueshiba's aiki.

It's no wonder no one wants to be tested. If they are all grieved and insulted over that-imagine standing in a room and simply saying .....Throw me!
Put up or shut up and being put to the test, was forced upon, Ueshiba. Regretably that is considered rude in todays tender society.
Were it that way in 1935...we would not be here and none of you would have ever heard of Morihei Ueshiba. It's a shame that many of you cannot reconcile the truth of what you are involved in and spent so much of your life trying to do. Ueshiba's teaching is really some incredible work with tangible results that most of you will never know.
Why is one on one the way to go?
Upon encountering such profound work, most intelligent people.....start asking questions.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-29-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:26 AM   #292
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Yes I have read plenty of experiences of people in Japan including Ellis Sensei. He is a fine example of how to behave.
But have you ever lived there, long enough to get out on your own and run into the kinds of things you don't get from the peaceful, nature-loving, polite image of "the Japanese"?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
My training partner and friend for eight years was Japanese thank you. A lovely man. He has now returned to Japan.
OK...so you knew one Japanese man and trained with him for eight years...in what context? And what was his history in aikido? Did he personally know and train with Morihei Ueshiba?

Do you think that training with that one Japanese guy is even vaguely similar to living in a dojo where strong and highly-ranked men come from all over the world to prove themselves and climb to a higher level under a renowned teacher? People came to Mochizuki Sensei not only from all over Japan, but from England, Germany, France, Spain, Holland, the US, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Africa, just to name a few places. All of them were highly ranked, all piled in together with numerous 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th dan Japanese under a 10th dan uchi deshi of Morihei Ueshiba?

This is not to say "I'm better than you," but to say "there are more things in this world than your philosophy has dreamt of" if you have not experienced it, which, apparently you have not.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
My teacher was very 'japanese' in his attitude.
I'm sure he was very "Japanese," but that's usually quite a far cry from Japanese. Where did he get his training?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
When I went to visit Kanetzuka Sensei I have a nice funny story, bottom line being it was a demonstration by me to my accompanying friend of how to behave, Japanese style or rather Japanese budo style.
And where did you visit Kanetzuka Sensei?

It's very easy to behave "Japanese style" but, again...that's imitative of an image. A "style," which is really quite different from the essence of being long-term among the real Japanese.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So once again a saying springs to mind: know who you are talking to.
Because you demonstrated to the guy you were with "how to behave in Japanese style"???

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
There was even one incident where my teacher had been 'threatebned' or 'challenged' if you will by a then Famous Japanese Shihan. He responded in such a way that said teacher never showed.
Could it have been because the Shihan just decided it wasn't worth putting his shoes on to go see the guy? These are very vague claims you're making and reveal nothing of value. Perhaps if you gave some detail and explained the inner working of what happened, it might be more valuable.

And this is the same point where people are criticizing your claims of power. You attribute it all to "your" four pillars of aikido--love, faith, self confidence or something?

What people love about Dan, Ark and others who are out there putting everything on the line is that they explain in detail what they are doing to get the results they effortlessly achieve. All we get from you is claims that pure love gives you great power and it finally sounds like you really don't know how to do it.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
The person who makes a claim is not bragging or boasting my friend, merely sharing experience.
No, Graham. Talk is talk. "Sharing experience" is stepping up and doing what you say you can do. If you can't do that, then your talk is "bragging". In either case, the Japanese will definitely ask you to show them what you mean. And they're not being insulting in doing that. They learned from people who do what they say, so there would not be anything insulting about saying "Misete" when you claim that you can do something. What's repugnant to the Japanese is if you say you can do something but then refuse to show it. And when you claim that what you do is too spiritual for them to grasp, you have made the insult.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You are privileged to hear someones thoughts on here as am I. Due to this privilege it is and always will be rude of me to say prove it to anyone.
Bull, Graham. In budo, you have to know that any claim of ability must either be proven or taken as mere BS.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
My invite is based on your assertion of put up or shut up. Lest you forget, my Aikido is not about fighting, not about competition, not about ego. I offer to show the principles I describe, no more, no less.
But why didn't you extend that same graciousness to Dan, who will actually be somewhere within reach of you?

My next several trips out of the US are bound to be to Japan, where my wife is from, and where I have family and many other connections. Apart from that, I'd like someday to visit Germany, where my ancestors originate, or Holland, where I also have some good friends, including my old training mate from the yoseikan hombu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqzEMmkLAhE

After that, maybe France, someday, Italy, Spain.

And if I ever get the chance, I may someday make it to UK.

But Dan will be in UK this year, I believe. So please give my invitation to him.

Best wishes.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 01-29-2012 at 10:34 AM. Reason: typo

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 01-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #293
RonRagusa
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I sincerely hope that you are never in a situation where someone seriously wants to cause you harm, because there will be no cooperative practice in that instance and your definition of Aikido will be of no help to you.
No offence Marc, but with regard to Mary's ability to defend herself, you are totally clueless. She researched, studied and taught self defense, apart from her Aikido training, for 15 years. I would not like to be on the opposite side of her in a confrontation.

You, and others, continually equate cooperative practice with weakness. This is incorrect. You, and others, equate cooperative practice with the absence of resistance.This is incorrect. The fact is that by continuing to assert these beliefs you, and others, punctuate your misunderstanding of the nature of cooperative practice.

As incorrect as I think your views are of what cooperative practice entails, I welcome your posts here on AikiWeb. Reading and studying the views of people with whom I disagree allows me to reassess my own ideas and training methods on a continual basis. This can, in the long run (though at 64, perhaps long sprint might be more appropriate ), only be of benefit to me.

Keep training and enjoy,

Ron

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Old 01-29-2012, 11:22 AM   #294
David Orange
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
You, and others, continually equate cooperative practice with weakness. This is incorrect. You, and others, equate cooperative practice with the absence of resistance.This is incorrect. The fact is that by continuing to assert these beliefs you, and others, punctuate your misunderstanding of the nature of cooperative practice.
Ron, the problem there is that the most recent champion of the term "cooperative practice" defined it quite stringently as "no resistance in any way, whatsoever, at any time at any level." He explicitly demanded a practice in which uke assiduously follows whatever nage does and throws himself purposely in the exact form "as seen on TV".

He explicitly defined "cooperative" aikido practice as an art in which the techniques are performance kata, rather than as tools to be applied as appropriate to an attacker's movement. So if Mary insists on "cooperative practice," that's the image that comes out.

But how can any practice of aikido be anything but cooperative? We cooperate by coming together in a place to practice. We cooperate by taking roles as attacker and defender and we cooperate by realizing that we are not there to bloody each other and break bones or prove which of us is better, but as a knife and sharpening stone working together for the benefit of the one who owns both tools. We attack one another "realistically," but not "really."

In Mochizuki's dojo, the training was tough, intense and highly resistant (past shodan), but there was a very cooperative atmosphere there, on the whole.

So if we object to the term "cooperative practice," it's the idea that there can never be any resistance that we object to. An uke should resist at least as much as a weed resists being pulled from the ground. Otherwise, it can have no relation to reality.

So maybe a new term is needed because "cooperative practice" has become like a brand name for a type of aikido that can only lead to disintegration of real ability.

Regards.

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 01-29-2012, 11:44 AM   #295
Marc Abrams
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
No offence Marc, but with regard to Mary's ability to defend herself, you are totally clueless. She researched, studied and taught self defense, apart from her Aikido training, for 15 years. I would not like to be on the opposite side of her in a confrontation.

You, and others, continually equate cooperative practice with weakness. This is incorrect. You, and others, equate cooperative practice with the absence of resistance.This is incorrect. The fact is that by continuing to assert these beliefs you, and others, punctuate your misunderstanding of the nature of cooperative practice.

As incorrect as I think your views are of what cooperative practice entails, I welcome your posts here on AikiWeb. Reading and studying the views of people with whom I disagree allows me to reassess my own ideas and training methods on a continual basis. This can, in the long run (though at 64, perhaps long sprint might be more appropriate ), only be of benefit to me.

Keep training and enjoy,

Ron
Ron:

Thank for letting me know I am totally clueless Wow, 15 years....... Those credentials certainly guarantee success..... I have seen enough people who fit that bill simply fall apart when reality strikes in very ugly ways. I recognize that a lot more is necessary in order to best insure that a person remains safe. Unless that training encompasses real attack scenarios to cause the conditions that result in adrenalin dumps, then all of cooperative training, research and teaching in the world will not help the person when their bodies begin to shut down from that dump. Even then, until you are really in a situation, you will not know how you will react. Most encounters that I have witnessed between martial artists and street fighter had the street fighters coming out ahead. Most street fighters and even predators have been in situations when they had to continue the assault/attack after having been struck and hurt. That is not the typical situation with martial artists. One of the great benefits of my many years of wrestling was having to persevere under the worst of circumstances (winning or losing was totally immaterial). The ability to not have your body shut down by adrenalin; the ability to keep on attacking when you are seriously hurt and/or are bleeding; the mental toughness to never, ever give up until they are pulling the person off of you (because you have lost) or you are being pulled off that person (because you have won). These are just some of the larger things that are necessary to survive violent encounters that you have not been able to preempt, or end immediately. My experiences, along with the experiences of a friend of mine (federal victims crime specialist) amount to over 60 years of experience. One of the major things we get across right at the beginning of our women's safety workshops is my saying "if you have to defend yourself, it is probably too late."

Please point out to me where I equated cooperative practice with weakness or lack of resistance. In absence of being able to do so, then you will have to get in line behind Mary to put forth an apology for intentionally or unintentionally distorting what I really said. If you re-read what I said, you will notice that I did say that cooperative practice is an important component in the overall training process. I even have blogs that talk about that quite extensively. I think that you would be in agreement with my blogs about the nature of training and the necessity of cooperative practice with our overall training paradigms.

I think that where you and I may disagree is in my belief that if you are only training in a cooperative paradigm, then you will only remain functionally effective within that paradigm. I have witnessed and have been in the middle of enough real-life, violent encounters to last more than my life time. I consider myself very fortunate to still be in one piece today. Those experiences have also pointed to the greater realization that unless you can employ your skills in the worst case scenarios (that includes some trainings where you are put to the test), then you can only guess and hope what you believe an outcome will be. That nature of training has allowed me to use my Aikido training in several violent and almost violent encounters with success. I have yet to see or experience that your paradigm of only cooperative training leads to a greater propensity of success in real-life violent encounters, than the one I endorse. Then again, it is mostly immaterial considering the odd of most of us being caught up in a real-life, violent encounter. I am very clear with my students about talking about how Aikido training is a bad choice for learning to defend yourself in a short period of time. It can be very valuable in conjunction with a number of other training components. Mixed in with good luck (which is almost always necessary in violent encounters), those training experiences help to place the odds more on you than on the attacker. Even then, feces happens.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:49 AM   #296
mathewjgano
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Ron, the problem there is that the most recent champion of the term "cooperative practice" defined it quite stringently as "no resistance in any way, whatsoever, at any time at any level."
Doesn't this suppose one person's meaning is applied by another?

Quote:
So if Mary insists on "cooperative practice," that's the image that comes out.
I think that's unfair to her; just as unfair as someone assuming someone else is too physical just because he or she advocates physical potency, or talks against overly-cooperative practice a lot.

Quote:
...maybe a new term is needed because "cooperative practice" has become like a brand name for a type of aikido that can only lead to disintegration of real ability.

Regards.

David
My view is that the terms aren't so important as long as people ask enough questions instead of applying their own semantics to other people. I personally like "cooperative practice" because it points to what we're getting at (I believe) in Aikido: mutual beneficence; mutual improvement in every way we can manage.
Thoughts?
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-29-2012 at 11:52 AM.

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Old 01-29-2012, 12:10 PM   #297
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

This looks like a budo version of Lettvin vs Leary debate on drugs.

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Old 01-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #298
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
No offence Marc, but with regard to Mary's ability to defend herself, you are totally clueless. She researched, studied and taught self defense, apart from her Aikido training, for 15 years. I would not like to be on the opposite side of her in a confrontation.
Context:

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Old 01-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #299
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Doesn't this suppose one person's meaning is applied by another?

I think that's unfair to her; just as unfair as someone assuming someone else is too physical just because he or she advocates physical potency, or talks against overly-cooperative practice a lot.

My view is that the terms aren't so important as long as people ask enough questions instead of applying their own semantics to other people. I personally like "cooperative practice" because it points to what we're getting at (I believe) in Aikido: mutual beneficence; mutual improvement in every way we can manage.
Thoughts?
Take care,
Matt
I agree totally here Matthew.

Mary is open and honest about what she does and allows others to do as they do. She invites anyone too.

Mutual is a great term, I like it.

If you haven't read my other thread then let me inform you here on this one so that others may see it too that Mark Freeman will be visiting and training with me very shortly. My firdt meet up with anyone from this 'cyber community'.

He has my full permission to relate anything to anyone with regards to what he finds.

I look forward to it, my first meeting with someone from this 'other' world called Aikiweb.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:34 PM   #300
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I agree totally here Matthew.
Mary is open and honest about what she does and allows others to do as they do. She invites anyone too.

Mutual is a great term, I like it.
There is no....mutual...anything; terms or practice if you cannot display his power and control.
Mary does not nor has ever claimed to understand Ueshiba's power and aiki or to be doing his Aiki

You on the other hand have claimed to understand Ueshiba and claimed power and continue to do so. I have called you on it many times. If you claim it, then you either have his power and control (or something approaching it) or you do not understand what he was doing and talking about.

I will be in England in the spring, As I said before I would be thrilled to cross hands. No martial art or with martial arts. I don't care either way and you won't either....as in about a minute all will be made clear and I honestly think that after touching hands....you will never ask me to do something martial to you....
Then... I will explain to you what he was talking about and how to do it, we can train and laugh our butts off then go to dinner.

Dan
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