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Old 02-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #1
TheAikidoka
 
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How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Hi to all,
This thread is in response to a thread I started entitled, My thougths on competative vs non-competation.
the thread mushroomed into something I was quite unprepareed for, so what I am propsing here is just a continuation of that thread, but I hope people can see where I am heading towards.

First I will respond to one of the last post by Mr kevin Leavitt, which starts with him quoting me, it is as follows:

Quote: Said by Andy B:
Another quote I like use in the dojo is again I'm not sure who said this " a true pacifist is not a true pacifist if he is not able to in a blink of an eye cut down and finish the enemy, but at the moment of impending doom chooses peace". END QUOTE

Mr Leavitt`s comments:
I always choose peace...it is my attacker or opponent that makes the other choice and I finish it if necessary (hopefully).

I agree 100% with this definition. So now we are doing to brass tacks and the real core of the subject. Physical, real, martial skill. Have the skills, knowledge, and abilty to do something about the situation if necessary.

Seeing that we both agree on this subject. I am very interested in exchanging ideas about how you train your students to deal with and respond to those that do not wish to harmonize, reason, nor share the same love for non-competitiveness that you do.

I assume you prepare your students to deal with the realities and stresses that are involved in fighting and train them in concepts such as stress overload, andrenal dump, and how to deal with situations from positions of disadvantage and points of failure.

I know for myself and my training, it is a comfort and has created the room necessary for me to in many cases not have to engage in fighitng or violence, but knowing that I have a solid martial background that I can rely on if necessary to cut down my opponent if necessary.

Sounds like you and I are on the same sheet of music Andrew and most of this might be simply semantics! END of mr Leavitts response.

A new student started at our dojo only three months ago, I will not name him personally, lets just call him student A.
After 2 months of basic training, I asked him, why he wanted to practice Aikido or indeed any artial art. he told me he wanted to learn how to defend himself from the possible unprovoked attacks, i.e being mugged or being involved in a drunken fight. He wanted to learn techniques that would give him an advantage.
Now the student by coming to the dojo with this in mind, was already well aware of the dangers and the reality of how stressful a real fight can be, indeed you have to turn on the tv at night switch to the news and see the reality of violence in our world. It does not need to be taught it is blatant.
Is this not obviously the main reason why people take up martial arts in the first place, I understand they continue to practice for all the other aspects of training can give, but the primary reason is to learn how to deal with a potentially dangerous and indeed frightening experience.

Here lies the inate problem, he has had the thought that one day he maybe attacked (this student has never been involved in a violent confilct), and has believed this to be true, and that one day he will be attacked in some way or another. Which can never be proved or disproved. It is just a thought! So he learns Aikido with a specific goal in mind and not for the Joy of doing what he is doing for its own sake, he is living in the future not the present. I pointed this out to student A, and he litterally burst out laughing as he didnt realise this.
And it has its route in competing. If I learn this and an imaginary oponent does that I can beat him with this technique and so on and so forth.

How did I get him to this position, well this is the technique, its not really a technique in one sense but please humour me.

First I sat the student down on the mat and pointed out, that althought the dojo is noisy and people rushing around doing this or that. The mats we stand on, the weapons rack on the wall, indeed everything that we are surrounded by is completely and utterly still. Anyone reading this,check it out for yourself, look around you, no matter where you are in the world, look around you and notice the complete stillness that is everything around you. Student A`s eyes began to widen and and a smile appears.
Second, when he felt comfortable with the fact everything is still, I pointed to the fact that everything is also surrounded by stillness. A bigger smile came.
Third, the next thing I pointed him towards was that not only was everything still and surrounded by stillness, it is also completely and Utterly silent. Student A Now has a very big grin on his face.
The fourth, aspect of this reality I pointed to was that although everything is still, and silent, everything is surounded by a certain amount spaciousness. Now student A is almost in a fit of giggle`s, because he had never seen this reality.You can see this more in nature than in anything else. Just look at a tree or a flower, it is routed, again I say ROUTED in stillness, surrounded by Stilnees, silence and spaciousness

The last thing I pointed out to studen A, and it is the most crucial. If that is the true essence of everything else then it must be, it MUST BE, true for us as human beings as well. And do you know what, student A, fell silent as if a dawning of this reality was now taking place.

Now, how did I translate this into physical practice. I dont think a lot of people will agree with this but here goes nothing.
I asked student A, when we stood up to play the role of Tori (the defender) and I will be uke (the attacker). I told him I was not going to tell him a technique to use and I am not going to tell him how I was going to attack, but I will attack with full force. I asked him to experience the situation as though he had no physical body, no barrier between himself and the outside world, indeed interpret the situation as if he WAS the spaciousness in which the violence was going to happen.
So I attacked full force, I stood in the left hanmi, and kicked forward with all my might with my right foot coming forwards. And there was nothing there he simply side stepped gave me a push and I was down, he had full control of the situation. I do not even know what he did, do not need to know, only he does.

Afterwards I asked him to describe what he felt, again he had a huge grin on his face.
He said, whoa, that was amazing. I felt like I was suckinig you in in some kind of void or vorrtex. I did not have a feeling of needing to control you, but just the situation in hand. I felt we were one.

And the student experienced this only after a few months of training, it is not magic, but being fully in this moment, which is the reality of the situation.

Now wouldnt it be great if we taught kids from an early age, this type of training, so they actually FEEL we are all one and the same, we are apart of the same family. Any Attack or unprovoked attack, has its route in some form of competition.
Examples: from the point of view of the mugger: that person over there has something I want/need, must have, I cannot gain this by any other means but by force, and by getting what I want I can have a stronger sense of self. But they dont openly say this otherwise they would see it for the madness it is. So they justify there action, by yet another thought form, its oklook at him he drives a BMW he can afford it.
Example 2: They have lots of oil, and if they aint prepared to share it, because they have more than us, we will take it by force. And Justify the violence because they believe we "need" "must have" "want", what they have, and they can afford it, and we cant afford not to have it.

Do you see if we/humanity, were to realise we are that stilness, we are that spaciousness, and we are the silence that in habit this world, that we are of the same origins. We ARE LIFE, and we are LIVING LIFE NOW!
I repeat a quote from my ealier post: Jesus said "I am the truth and the light". I believe there is a piece missing here, it should been which I believe to be the truth, Jesus said "i am the truth and the light, you too are the truth and the light, its just you are not aware of it......yet"

All of this, in essence, is down to the self seeking competative mind. Where would the human race be without its problems of me and us. Ask yourselves this question. What problems do you have right now. Right now what problems are right in front of you now.
I am not talking about life situations, and the throught drama`s of me and us, because when you realise this, life situations, are no longer problematic as such, and without the mind of centention on all sides, the true difficulties we face as a species can be takled from a stand point of, lets act now so that nobody loses.
Is this not Budo?

Now I urge people to re-read my original post on, My thoughts on Competition vs none competition.

May I take this opportunity to say thank you to all who have contributed to my previous thread, and have had the patience to read and listen to what I have written in this one.

Always In Budo

Andy B
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
nickregnier1
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Re: How to be non-competative in a competative world

Dear Andy,

(sent you a message by the way). The posting you wrote is deep and very interesting indeed! This gives me a different view to explore Budo and life. Well written and I am not sure what else to write or debate but this is one of the best postings I have read I can tell you!

This keeps me happy with a big smile for the rest of the evening at least.
Take care,

Nick

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: How to be non-competative in a competative world

That was very kind of you nick, thank you, I have sent you the details for the Japan Aid event on 11th of march to the e-mail adress you gave to me, hope we can indeed meet and build friendships.

Andy B
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Also just to add a another little quote I use in the dojo, "I said this is very simple...but not always easy"

Andy B
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
I repeat a quote from my ealier post: Jesus said "I am the truth and the light". I believe there is a piece missing here, it should been which I believe to be the truth, Jesus said "i am the truth and the light, you too are the truth and the light, its just you are not aware of it......yet"
Which Jesus are you quoting?

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Old 02-28-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

I wish to share with you all this little story that happened on my way to work today. This event that happened underlies the principle`s I am alluding to.

So i had just got parked up and I am walking the ten minute walk into work. Now what happened next actually made me stop in disbelief.

On this road where I was walking, the main road runs north to south and there is a cross roads running east to west. A car had stalled and had broken down right on the crossing, in the keep clear sign. Now there was traffic coming up from the south end, traffic coming up from the north, nobody could go anywhere.
But it did not stop them trying, beeping horns shouting get of the road (he could not because his car had broken down), then the abuse started " get out of the effing road was one comment I herd, they started reving engines because they did not want to be where they were but to where they thought they aught to be, and the competition started to see who could make the most noise to get rid of this situation. The Mechanics in bus garage oppposite turning away and you could literally see the thoughts popping in there head "nothing to do with me".

All this happened all in all in about a minute or two, I went up to that person in the car and noticed he was a very elderly gentleman, who by this time was so stressed out that when I tapped on the window to get his attention, he litteraly jumped in his seat. I asked if he was ok, and I could see the relief in his face as he realised I was not there to do any harm, he nodded nervously.
I said if you would like to just take the handbreak off I will push your car the 2 or 3 meters across the road so you are no longer in danger.
I stood up looked at the other people in there cars and just shook my head at them, I wanted to shout at them, I hope you never break down and have nobody to help you. But for the good that would do, I knew it wouldnt do any, I just shook my head in disbelief.
The elderly genmtleman was so grateful, I honestly thought he was going to cry. I again asked if he was ok, he said yes and thank you, I said, no need to thank me sir, I actually called him sir, demonstrating I was being respectful, and not gaining a sense of self from what had just happened, anybody with a little compassion and sense would have done the same, and he just smiled, a sincere smile, and I walked on to work.

This is just one example of the insanity and of the sickness of a competative human mind.
And this happened today!

Andy B

Last edited by TheAikidoka : 02-28-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: to make sense of sentencing
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
graham christian
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Demonstrating the budo of love, Aikido. Nice to see.

Regards.G.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Does anybody, have any thoughts on the way I have been training the students in the dojo?
This I am very interested to hear.

Andy B
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
Michael Hackett
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

You are teaching perfectly in your dojo for your students. Your perspective is not for everyone, but is your's and therefore exactly right in the environment you've created. Nothing wrong with that.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

No comments Andrew really.

I was more interested in discussing the whole concept of pacifism and having the means or marital ability to actually do something.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with spreading love and compassion in the world, we need more people to do this.

I am really more interested in what I consider to be more pragmatic solutions and applications of dealing with violence that address the complete spectrum in more depth than an allegory.

Of course, there are people out there that come to the martial arts for many different reasons, and there as just as many dojos out there that will cater to those reasons.

I just hope that in those dojos that the people studying in some of the dojos that are heavily based on philosophy and allegories, that the instructors and students understand the limitations of their practice and are not deluded into thinking that what they are doing will apply universally to every situation, or with real people in the real world that are really trying to cause real and authentic harm.

If in your practice and teaching you are able to open peoples minds to looking at thing differently and expand their hearts...nothing wrong with that. I'd just be careful about also making them understanding the limitations, dissonance, and problems they might possible face.

It is my profession to work with people, communities, and governments through the full spectrum of peace and violence from humanitarian assistance to full on war. I think I am pretty decent at it having done it for the last 27 years. However, I will tell you that I personally only understand a little bit about the intricacies of psychology and what makes people to the things they do and motivate them to postivie change. It is a tough business for sure.

Budo has been a big help personally to help me through some tough times, however, for me, Budo is about self and not about others. I can't affect them through preaching budo, I can only try to be what I want to see in the world. Outside of that, I can teach those that want to learn some physical things within the context of marital arts, and if they stick with it, maybe they will find their own way on the path.

PersonallyI have yet to find a person in budo that is qualified to guide someone specifically through transcendence, but that has been my experiences.

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Old 02-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #11
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
You are teaching perfectly in your dojo for your students. Your perspective is not for everyone, but is your's and therefore exactly right in the environment you've created. Nothing wrong with that.
Thank you for your comments, michael. I can accept that. Just to clarify, it is not my Dojo.
I teach at a trditional dojo, headed by Kyoshi Roger Payne, 6th dan Aikido, 7th Dan Iaido, Official representative for judo in Uk from the Dai Nippon Butokukai, (society for Japanese martial virtues), founded in the late 1800`s, howeve there has been a wooden building on the site of the butokuden (hall of martial virtues) since around the eighth centuary.
I only began training with Kyoshi Payne in August Last year, However I have been practicing Aikido since I was fifteen, I am now 32. I spent ten years under sensei John duggan 6th DAn, of the shin gi tai Aikido society uk.

Kyoshi payne has obviously seen some worth in what I am doing or he surely would not ask me to teach in his full time traditional dojo. I teach the AIkido Juniors, which kyoshi sensei has never had in 35 year`s of the history of his dojo.
He also have asked me to teach Aiki weapons on the sunday`s. I teach the Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo syllabus, of M Saito Sensei, that was given to me by my first teachers son, MIchael Duggan 5th dan shin gi tai UK, when he went to japan and brought it back with him in the late 90`s early 2000`s. I do Not know if Michael was taught in Iwama or not I never felt the need to ask (I should do I know), however the case this is what I was taught, and feel obligated to pass on to the next generation, as it was taught to me. FWIW.

In Budo

Andy B

Last edited by TheAikidoka : 02-28-2012 at 03:57 PM. Reason: sentencing clarification
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #12
philippe willaume
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Hello andrew
Well since you asked I am sorry but I very strongly disagree.
It is not a judgement of what you do or how you teach and I am happy that it works for you and your students

From a personal protection stand point, in my opinion it is the equivalent to the dichotomy between entitlement and dangerous behavior.
It takes lots of time or energy to explain to a hard core feminist that avoiding dangerous behavior is different to laying blame on the victim.
IE accepting having a coffee at 12:00 in the hotel room of an acquaintance is a risky behavior and that it is not equivalent to a yes but she did arguments.

You can spread love and understanding and it does not hurt to back by a solid martial background.
Like Kevin I believe that Budo will make you a better man, and to vast extend getting rid of the need to prove thing to yourself than enable you to walk away or take a situation in its stride.
There even could be and argument for having the will to utterly obliterate your opponent and understanding the consequences does a lot to put thing in perspective and actually is making much less prone to act and much more understanding.
For me it is all vain if you do not have the will and the ability to backup your stance

From a philosophical stand point
To be fair I am a product of the French republic i.e. we are all born equal and it is your job to make sure that it stays that way.
As well I am much more in agreement with Voltaire than I am with Rousseau and when push comes to shove I even believe that the Divine Marquis got it right about humanity.
So as you guessed I am not inclined to acquiesce on the whole rooted immovable silence.
To be clear, I am not advocating that you die with your sword in hand and you need to get a ticked at Odin/Wotan brunch or that it is better to be judged by 12 that carried by six.
In fact I believe that Budo does make you a better person but you need to be able to deliver when the chips are down,

Phil

One Ringeck to bring them all and in darkness bind them,
In the Land of Windsor where phlip phlop live.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
TheAikidoka
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Hi philipe,
Yes agreed, you must back up what you say with what you can do. I trained for the Royal Marines, I did not make it all the way through the training due to injury. But close enough, to learn how to kill, and do it quickly ruthlessly and with no disregard for the enemy whatsoever. I can deliver the kill stroke, I choose, again I choose, peace. I chose Aikido. Aikido did not choose me

I no longer have the desire for death, I Choose life.

This is Budo, this is Aikido.

Andy B
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:57 PM   #14
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Also, it is very important to teach, that every action you take no matter what act that may be, must be taken responsibility for.
I wil paraphrase a story I recently read on Aikido Journal, an incident that took place between Koichi Tohei Sensei & Morihei ueshiba.
After the war everything was in very short supply, Tohei sensei had recently came back from a trip to the states with a brand new leather coat, you know the Texan type with the frills and the leather and swede padding. When people at the dojo and others in the street saw Tohei sensei with this, they thought it amazing that somebody in Japan could afford or indeed own such an item.
Well the end result was that coat was stolen, Tohei came into the dojo as mad as anything, he sat all the deshi in a line and went into one big time!
Hearing the commotion, O'sensei came out to see what all the fuss was about, somebody explained to O'sensei what had happened. After a few minutes O'sensei turned to Tohei sensei and said" your to blame for this" and walked out the dojo. With Tohei in hot persuit.
Somebody asked Ueshiba later what he ment, how could Tohei be at fault?
Ueshiba said, Tohei made who ever it was a thief, by brandishing such an item in public, showing it off, he was inviting it to be stolen. Stealing is wrong. But turning a person into a thief is even worse.

And it had routes in competition, look at what I have and you don't.

This is true awareness, and seeing the situation exactly as it is. With no other judgements or labelling. Just the truth of the matter. This is taking responsibility for ones actions, instead of blaming others for what happened.

Andy B

Last edited by TheAikidoka : 02-28-2012 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #15
Michael Hackett
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

I never bought into that story.......a thief makes a conscious decision to steal the property of another. An honest man, regardless of the opportunity and desire, will choose not to steal. Blaming the victim is simply wrong. A person can stretch the degree of responsibility to silly limits for any event. If the rancher who raised the cattle that went into making the jacket had chosen to grow corn on his land instead, this never would have happened. It obviously was the rancher's fault that some Japanese citizen stole Tohei's jacket and made the man into a thief. While we're at it, we should condemn Henry Ford for all the drunk driving deaths we have here in the US as well, since he made the automobile affordable and available. O Sensei's logic was simply faulty and perhaps there was much more to his comment than what was reported; you know the omote and ura of an issue.

Michael
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:25 PM   #16
Stephen Nichol
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
Does anybody, have any thoughts on the way I have been training the students in the dojo?
This I am very interested to hear.

Andy B
Greetings Andy,

First of all let me start off by asking have you read the book 'The Power of Now' by Ekhart Tolle? I have and everything you state here is stated in that book.

To your question:

Perspective.

Each person has their own reasons, like you mentioned in the original post. You have to respect that and simply just 'be' yourself. When they ask specifically about things, you can present your 'way'. If they express a desire to know or learn more about your 'way' then you can show them the door and path... but they have to go through and follow it for themselves. You cannot change others, you can only change yourself.

Lead by example. Put yourself in 'situations' where you have to test (not compete) your convictions to your 'way' of being. Embrace the pain, the situations you avoid because they may allow your ego to emerge, gain a foot hold or if already present, be challenged and forced to deal with itself, its perception that it had of what the outcome should have been. Each time you are able to remain still, at peace with a situation that could/should/would (future/present/past) have caused you discomfort, fear, anxiety... then your 'way' is better for it. To a further extent... deriving pleasure and satisfaction can sometimes be feeding the ego as well so one has to be careful.

No judgements. Not even of yourself.. when you catch yourself slipping up.. and making a judgement about someone or something. Things are what they are, no more, no less.

When your students want to learn this as well... you can only show them the path and explain it.. but they have to find it within themselves, truly put themselves in each situation and remain at peace with it. Not like it, not love it, not fear it or dislike it... just be there and accept it. From that peace they can make decisions about what to with the situation.

It is hard for a person identified with thier mind, their ego, their job, their car, their bank account, the clothes they wear that 'they' are actually none of these 'things'. (Yes, this means belts and Hakamas too ) They are just themselves. If we take our 'stuff' away from ourselves we are still 'us'. In fact, in most cases I find people are actually owned by the stuff they think they possess. (You own a house but you pay taxes on it.., You own a company but you are responsible to your employees and all your customers. You own a car but you have fuel and maintanence expenses. You have money in the bank but every one else seems to want some of it.. taxes, fees, and we continue to all work so hard to hold onto our stuff... and find a space to breath and for some people it ends up killing them). I am not advocating we all go hari krishna and live under the trees... just that little by little we recognize what is important and what is not.

When a person dies... generally some perspective comes into play for most people.. not everyone (the monkey sphere comes into play, almost unfortunately). However this experience to can polarize a person because they will attach a feeling to it and not simply be at peace with it. (A person or group of people you love dies you feel loss and sadness. Person or group of people you dislike dies and you may feel good that they are gone. Does either of these feelings you have really help anyone.. you or someone else, truly? 'IF' you could be at peace with it regardless.. then there would at least be no negative effect from it (revenge for one).)

Anyway.. starting to 'go all over the place' with this...

Back on point: Just 'be' the best example you can be for those around you. Be they students at the dojo where you train, co-workers at the office, family and friends an even more importantly... complete strangers. Because we tend to let our mind play tricks and imagine threats and create enemies of people we do not even know and even some we do know... If a students insists on dwelling about a possible future event of violence from someone they do not know.. well, they are better off at least start considering those they do know as that is far more likely to happen. Statiscally speaking. That or the 'random act of violence' they are likely to have to contend with will be a motor vehicle/plane/train accident.

Last edited by Stephen Nichol : 02-28-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:37 PM   #17
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

The problem in AIkido as I see it is that people get caught up in preaching on about peace. Well, preaching peace is just words. In the dojo we need to be practicing almost as if for war. What I mean is, train seriously and talk peace all you want afterwards. At the end of the day, you can only 'let the villian off easy' if you have the ability to absolutely destroy him. If you can't destroy him, then you will not be able to 'let him off' or deal with him lightly/gently. Rather, he'll be busy destroying you. You can only 'be kind' to the villian if you are much better than him. And if you are not there yet, well, you had better stop talking about peace until you are more 'qualified' to do so, in my opinion.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:48 PM   #18
Stephen Nichol
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
The problem in AIkido as I see it is that people get caught up in preaching.
Sorry. Had to do it. You are 100% right up to this point. 'Preaching' about 'anything' is where most of it starts to go horribly wrong because there are always others who cannot simply accept and leave it at 'you/that person is just that way, feels that way, believes that way... '

It does not matter if I/you/us/them are right or wrong when we leave each other to our own paths.. only when I/you/us/them attempt to impose our beliefs/will on one another does it create a situation that needs to be dealt with. How we deal with it depends on our beliefs/path... training.. choice(s).

I suppose we are all guilty of some kind of preaching at some point. Opinions offered where and when none is asked...

Even above in my response to a specific question asking for an opinion I 'preached' the path I try to follow in my life. When asked by some one out of interest (happens more than I ever thought it would) I tell them about it. However I just try to live moment by moment and lead by example. I am always careful to check myself about the example I am setting as well for I know I am not perfect either.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
Chris Li
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
Thank you for your comments, michael. I can accept that. Just to clarify, it is not my Dojo.
I teach at a trditional dojo, headed by Kyoshi Roger Payne, 6th dan Aikido, 7th Dan Iaido, Official representative for judo in Uk from the Dai Nippon Butokukai, (society for Japanese martial virtues), founded in the late 1800`s, howeve there has been a wooden building on the site of the butokuden (hall of martial virtues) since around the eighth centuary.
The Dai Nippon Butokukai has kind of a checkered history and is, currently, a very minor organization in Japan without much real connection to the pre-war group of the same name. It appears to be somewhat larger outside of Japan than in.

There's a kind of interesting (if old) discussion here.

The summary here is a little better if you can read Japanese.

To get back to "peace", I think that before discussing peace in Aikido it should be established whether or not Morihei Ueshiba was in fact a pacifist (Kisshomaru denied that either he or his father were pacifists), and/or if he was a pacifist then what "peace" would mean to him.

Peace might, for example, mean something different to someone like Arnaud Amalric than it does to most people here (or so I imagine!).

Best,

Chris

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #20
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Stephen Nichol: I am a big fan of Tolle and I think the things he preaches are on track and in the bigger scheme of things, yes, that is how we should be living our lives.

However, IMO, budo and martial arts deals with a much, much smaller subset of this in at a very specific point on the spectrum of human interaction called real and authentic violence or better yet, hate put into action.

O'Sensei I think, saw a way to BRIDGE the gap, provide us a way to realistically address transcending this very, specific point of human interaction at a very real and personal level.

The problem is that I really believe that most people skip right over the MOST important parts of the process and jump right to the end state...right into the spectrum of the stuff Tolle talks about without really and authentically taking the time to deal with the point on the spectrum that Budo attempts to transcend!

Tolle has the luxury, the technology, and the audience to preach this too. However, to be quite honest, I n all the terrorist and "bad guys" I have searched and inventoried their possessions, I have NEVER once found a book of Tolle's amongst there posessions. Nor Ghandi, not anyone else of significance.

I have also willing to bet the there has not been on thief, gang member, or drug dealer that has been caught reading this stuff or following that path too!

So, the questions I have is how to you "MOVE" or "SHIFT" the center of the real nature of violence? At what point of the spectrum SHOULD we be spending our time on?

As Andrew says, I Choose Peace! I agree with that. However, if we choose Budo along with that...there is an obligation and commitment we make as warriors to work on a very specific aspect of that process...that is the martial process. It requires us to see the nature of violence, to look it in the eye, face it, and find ways to authentically positively affect it.

Now, I don't believe that all of us need to go to the extremes that some of us go to..say in the military, or put ourselves at risk as two reporters that were killed in Syria last week, however, I have great respect for people that are willing to put in on the line in such a way and we need more of them willing to have the courage to do so.

No, I think it is okay to be a lawyer, accountant, work at McDonalds or whatever it is you do in a peaceful, clean, relatively safe environment, go to a "normal" dojo three days a week and do all that without having to face violence first hand. It is not a requirement to put your life at risk.

However, it is a requirement if you choose budo to be willing to look honestly at the subject, to dig past the Utopic platitudes and delusions of grandiose rhetoric and look deep within yourself and realize where it is that you ARE, where other people ARE, and the differences between you, and study and reflect on the causes of violence and the responsibility we have as budoka to have the courage at some point to stand up to those that are being bulliled and oppressed, to set the example, and to help the victims while stopping the bad guys. At some level, this is an ABSOLUTE requirement. We MUST be willing to leave our comfort zones in SOME way to do this.

It is perfectly fine to choose something else than Budo. Perfectly fine to join an Ashram, listen and read Tolle, and try to "be the change". Please! we need more people to do these things. BUT, at the same time, we need to realize where we are CHOOSING to be on that spectrum of things. If we are NOT willing to face the realities of the physicality of Violence, to look at it, study it, commit to it...THEN we are doing something OTHER than marital arts and something other than Budo!

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:51 PM   #21
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
I never bought into that story.......a thief makes a conscious decision to steal the property of another. An honest man, regardless of the opportunity and desire, will choose not to steal. Blaming the victim is simply wrong.
Would you steal to keep your family from starving?

Are you an honest man?

Katherine
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:52 AM   #22
Michael Hackett
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

At the risk of getting into "lifeboat ethics" I can't honestly say whether I would steal to feed my family or not. I know of three inter-related families in Oklahoma who were paragons of virtue until the dust bowl and depression days. Many of the men in the three families did just that and stole to feed their families. Today there is no stigma attached to being a criminal in this small group of people and virtually all of the men and quite a few of the women are career criminals. If I stole to feed my family I still would have been making a choice and I would still be a thief. Maybe an understandable thief, maybe a noble thief, maybe a humanistic thief, but a thief non-the-less. I probably could even rationalize my behavior and attribute it to those who had plenty, or big business, or big banks, or even my poor luck. Am I an honest man? I can only answer that I strive to be, even with myself.

As I said earlier, I think there was much more ura context to the comments attributed to O Sensei than we recognize today. Then again, he had a number of strange ideas that I don't understand or necessarily share.

Michael
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:10 AM   #23
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

Andrew,

I'm having trouble figuring out what you mean by competitive mindset. In your examples I don't see anything competitive, The man in the car was blocking traffic and people were getting impatient, where was the competition?

Tohei sensei brought himself or was given a leather coat, it doesn't mean he wanted to say "look at what I have and you don't." Is he supposed to wear rags because someone else might be jealous? Where's the competition?

If a person is forced to defend themselves, that's not competition, that's survival. When a person sets a goal and strives for it, that's not competition, that's self improvement and self love. I don't think it's possible to love anyone else if you don't love yourself.

So if you wouldn't mind, please explain what it is you mean by competitive mindset, as your examples don't demonstrate what I understand to be competition.

"Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men" - Thomas Henry Huxley
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:17 AM   #24
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

I think it would depend on who you were stealing from and the situation. If you have starving people and an institution or company or something has the ability to do something, but chooses to hoard and control, even if the law is on there side, then I would say that it is okay to steal as you are attempting to lessen true harm and not cause more. However, if you steal from another individual at their expense then that might be a different situation.

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:43 AM   #25
TheAikidoka
 
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Re: How to be non-competitive in a competitive world

To Stephen nicole,

Hi, Yes I have indeed read Mr Tolle`s book, the power of now, and it is oneof the best martial arts books I have ever read. Although the book does not say it is so, I believe it s, here`s why.

Do we not in martial artist`s demonstrate, we are completely present in this moment when we are training.
There is no time for thought when we are being attacked, it is not being able react to a situation, this is far too slow, this is, Go No Sen, reacting. To act in the now is being ahead of the game. To see, be aware of the situation arise before physical violence has devolped and act accordingly in such a way, that no harm can now come to you or other. this is sen sen no sen. the middle ground is sen no sen, to be able to act when you didnt see or you were not aware of the situation, when it happens instantly, you act in the sam instance.
I read somewhere recently, that the graveyards of japan are indeed full of warriors, who practiced Go no sen, or waiting for the attack and then trying to do something. this is competing, if he does this I will do that and so on.

I believe O`sensei, fully understood the martial effectiveness of being fully in the present so he could move accordingly. here is what I mean and I will use one of the most famous Doka attributed to O`sensei.
Quote "one does not need buildings, money or power, to practice the art of peace, heaven is right where you are standing and that is the place to train"

Here is what I understand him to be saying here, "one (you as the presence of your surroundings) does not need money, buildings or power (the egoic contending mind of self and me), to practice the art of peace, (to practice being yourself) heaven is right where you are standing and that is the place to train, (the eternal presentness of now, the omnipresence that always is).

I understand, O`sensei`s famous duel in the dojo where a swordsman attacked him with full force and violence whilst he himself was unnarmed, and he just side stepped pushed the guy into a wall and that man became injured, it was after this he had his enlightenment experience. he indeed said so himsekf "that I felt the gods chastising me for me conseated feeling of having power over another".
He had moved so deeply into that moment (the eternal now) it litterally shook him to his core, and the only way he cold explain this is through his religious beliefs. He did not force his views on anybody, he said find out for yourself. because I believe you have to be so sick of it all, that you litterally to turn your back on your own competing egoic sense of me.
Actually I feel it was due to these experiences that he also began to distance himself from Omoto, I understand the first and second Omoto incident`s, probably also had a lot to do with that, but I believ this had more to do with it. O`sensei does not come across as someone who is told what to do!

I have read that the main teaching of Omoto, is to find oneness with the god essence that is in and of everything. Indeed in the opening chapters of the Essence of Aikido by mr Stephens, Osensei is said that te essence of Aikido is to find oneness with god, to transcend the thought of self and other.

how do we do this/ Become aware of what is now. And it is completely non-resistant, or another way of saying this, is BU, to putting a stop to the contending spears, DO.(a way) Aikido is indeed a way to stop contending spears. The Contending Mind.

If you do not believe the examples I have given are people contending with each other, then simply watch the news tonight without judgements labels, approch with mushin, no mind. Then see it for youself

In Budo

Andy B
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