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Old 08-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #51
MM
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I think you are in a bit of denial, Mark. If you look back through the threads the pattern is obvious.

When someone out of that group (and there is a group) posts something that is pertinent to the topic, it is ignored. That is why it doesn't feel like a discussion. It seems like a political platform.
My point is that in the overall scheme of aikiweb, those threads are actually in the minority. Just at a general, quick sampling of the General forum ... of the 25 listed threads, only two had people posting IP/aiki (DanWeb) type stuff. I would guess the sampling in the other forums is near the same. It just "seems" or "feels" like it's in a majority.

Now, as to the second sentence... How do you know it's ignored? Remember, you have people here who have anywhere from 0 year to 20+ years training in aikido. Do you think people with 10-20 years haven't had similar training experiences?

As to "feel" and "seem", okay, I can definitely see that, understand that, maybe not agree with it ... so, in regards to Janet's theme of the thread ... what do you suggest we do to make things better?

Mark
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #52
akiy
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Victor Williams wrote: View Post
How about coming out yourself, from behind your garden gate and meeting some of the people that have different views to you. You could then comment here on aikiweb on how the meet up went?
Let's move this thread away from being on a personal level, please.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:15 AM   #53
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Victor Williams wrote: View Post
Who was it and what are your thoughts on the meeting?
That would be a different topic wouldn't it? This is a topic on how to promote a greater sense of dialogue, not on what we think about an experience with x,y, or z practicioner.

Quote:
Basia wrote:
the basic premise of a normal conversation...is that people can and...will want to talk about it with each other, even when you are convinced or even _know_ that what they're talking about is Objectively Provably Wrong.
I think this gets to the heart of the matter: there are a lot of people who seem to want to post less because they think the conversation will change into another iteration of the typical criticisms we see on Modern Aikido, which tend to relate to the issue of "internals."
Right or wrong, there is a tone that comes through which says IP is the real deal; anything not IP is essentially false. The point has been made that people can do Aikido and have fun, but also says something akin to: "if they're not including very specific aspects of O Sensei's training (and they're probably not), then it's not the real budo of O Sensei." Again, right or wrong is beside the point when it comes to communicating ideas with the goal of keeping the communication going and not devolving into what has become somewhat typical here. It is the question of how to address "that which has become somewhat typical here" which this thread is about, assuming I'm understanding it correctly.
Janet seems to be suggesting that there is an effort to push an idea or set of ideas, which while very much grounded in authenticity, also pushes people away from participating or otherwise distracts from the conversations on a regular basis. Starting from that conclusion (which many seem to agree with), how can we diminish this effect? Dialing it back a little in some way seems to be her suggestion. I liken this to letting aite/uke up in order to let them get their feet under them before...well...you throw them but the point is to give people "space" to reorganize and re-engage.
...My other wooden nickle; which fills my quota. See you folks later.
And remember: be excellent to each other. Party on.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 08-17-2012 at 11:22 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:36 AM   #54
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
But that's still saying to a group of people, please shut up so that I can enjoy this conversation. Now, I'm all for asking someone to politely keep to the parameters of the topic. If that means someone wants to keep the parameters to how their group/organization trains or does things, that's fine. I can bow out of the conversation.
I think that's what Janet is asking, that people *do* choose to bow out of conversations rather than restate certain well-known positions over and over again.

I don't think the request is to "shut up," so much as "we were talking about something else, and would like to continue to do so, please."

Katherine
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:40 AM   #55
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"


http://xkcd.com/386/

Really, it's okay to let people have their delusions.

Katherine
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:42 AM   #56
dps
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I.....So I'm not sure what it accomplishes to state those positions over and over, with increasing volume. ......
Marketing;

"9 Reasons to Repeat Your Message

I'd like to share some reasons you need to repeat your marketing message.

If you want your message to stick, remember these pointers:
1. Your audience forgets 90 percent of what they see and hear within two weeks.

Why is this so? In the United States, we are exposed to more than 1,600 advertising, public relations, sales promotion, and marketing messages every day. Of them, we "see" only 80. And we really recall and take action on just 12.

There is a strong need to repeat your message because of competition in the marketplace.
2. Your market changes constantly.

The marketplace is not stagnant. Because we move, because of better communication and transportation, because we get bored, because we want new challenges, because we want to dive into new opportunities, the market changes. And when your market changes, you have to chase it-which means you need to repeat your message.
3. Test new ideas on a continuing and ongoing basis. And retest old ideas.

Because your marketplace is like an octopus-never staying in one place for long-you need to find out how to reach it best. And you need to do it in an ongoing fashion. Also, test old ideas that worked when you used them before. Try them again.
4. Reach out for new business.

In 1972, 1 lost two-thirds of my business within 60 days. One of my major accounts went bankrupt. Another decided to walk.

Because I had not been searching for new business, it took me almost nine months to get even. Every week since that time, I spend a little time reaching for new business.
5. Talk to your customers on a regular basis.

There is no reason for you to think that your audience remembers what your offer is. Or why, they should respond to it.

You must promote your offer on a continuing basis. Use multimedia. Use a combination of mail, print, telephone, broadcast, trade shows, take-ones and other marketing tools to let your market know what your offer is.
6. Ask for the order.

The organization, Sales and Marketing Executives International has done a study, indicating that 81 percent of all sales are made on the fifth call or later in the sales process.

What this says is that you need to ask for the order over and over again. You need to repeat your offer, repeat the benefits, repeat the request for actions ... and ask your prospects and customers to give you some additional business.
8. You need continuity in the marketplace.

You are more likely to be remembered when it's time to buy, if you are seen frequently.
9. You need continuity of sales efforts.

No matter how you sell-by a captive sales force, by a telemarketing unit, by a distribution network of some type, through a retail store, or through a combination of methods you need to have your sales force selling on a continuing basis.

Your sales team will find it easier to close sales if you are more visible in the marketplace. Continuity in the marketplace and continuity of sales effort tie together."

From http://www.presentation-pointers.com...articleid/408/

dps
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #57
Marc Abrams
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post

http://xkcd.com/386/

Really, it's okay to let people have their delusions.

Katherine
Katherine:

Delusions are fine as long as they remain delusions. When people act on their delusions you get results such as the Jonestown mass suicide, The latest delusional person who brought weapons to a theater in Colorado, etc.. Expressing ideas and thoughts are great as long as they can simply remain in that realm. What happens when you try and "mix" reality with non-realities is where things can get dicey.

As to the Aikiweb, I agree with the sentiment that after time, those people who insist that their thoughts and perceptions about Aikido are some higher truths, in the face of a differing reality, should not be responded to as much as they seem to generate some kind of morbid interest (like slowing down to see the accident on the side of the road). I think that like the accident on the side of the road, those people will continue to garner interest. Those that seek real change also know where to look. At the end of the day, people can either grow in their pursuits, stay stagnant, or simply get worse. No expressed ideas can ever hide that reality.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:08 PM   #58
Anthony Loeppert
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Yes it is...and then someone else from the group coming out and making a snarky comment is another example of the bigger picture.
I see. And this bigger picture, how many shadowy groups are there for people to come out of?
And how long have you felt this way? Feel free (please) to start a new thread outlining all your novel ideas.
It would be extremely useful to those like myself that didn't realize we belonged to a group.

It will be put on the agenda of the daily danweb conference call...
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #59
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
That would be a different topic wouldn't it? This is a topic on how to promote a greater sense of dialogue, not on what we think about an experience with x,y, or z practicioner.
.
If we met up, and got a better sense of what each other was doing, I think it would go along way to improving the dialog. Wouldn't talking about the experience and what we got from it improve things?

I've traveled form Rochester to DC, Long Island, NJ, and MA and further to meet people from Aikiweb that gave me an impression that they had something to offer. The trip has always been rewarding.Now, if only it could help me with my dialogue
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:22 PM   #60
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Hi Victor,

Quote:
Victor Williams wrote: View Post
I've traveled form Rochester to DC, Long Island, NJ, and MA and further to meet people from Aikiweb that gave me an impression that they had something to offer. The trip has always been rewarding.Now, if only it could help me with my dialogue
When you get to DC, please stop by Aikido of Northern Virginia!

Jim

Not having anything around to read is dangerous: you have to content yourself with life itself, and that can lead you to take risks. - M. Houellebecq, Platform
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #61
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote: View Post
Hi Victor,

When you get to DC, please stop by Aikido of Northern Virginia!

Jim
I have been to your dojo. Another Jim was teaching that night. We had fun.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #62
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Hi folks,

First off, I appreciate the level-headed discourse that I see from most of the people in this thread. Thank you for your thoughts and support for raising the level of discourse here on AikiWeb.

I wanted to take a few minutes to respond to some things that were raised, and I wanted to also express my appreciations for a few things. To quote Blaise Pascal for a moment, "I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter." Similarly, I have not had time to, perhaps, be as diplomatic nor fully thought out as I usually wish. To quote Kurt Vonnegut, "So it goes." And, so, here goes.

One thing I read in Janet's message is frustration that some threads end up (predictably) being centered around internal training when, initially, it had a different direction. It's a frustration that I've heard from many and one, frankly, that I have personally shared. I have had times in the past when I've predicted how some discussions will turn out: when someone brings up issues with ukemi, the discussion will turn into how aikido ukemi is contradictory to internal training methods and damaging to one's development in the art; if someone talks about trouble with a certain portion of a technique, the discussion will turn into how using "aiki" would prove such points meaningless; if ki testing is brought up, the discussion will become . . . I'm sure the reader gets the point. Again, this is not to say that the subject of internal training is invalid in those discussions. I know that this topic of internal training is one that's very important to some folks here. And, I very well understand that internal training methods can be applied in many different aspects of aikido. Rather, I feel that the pervasiveness of the internal training topic often keeps many discussions from flourishing by taking over that discussion through sheer volume of rhetoric and overall direction of discussion (as Janet and Katherine have mentioned in their posts (here, here, and here)).

Also, as I wrote before, there often seems to be a tone in these discussions that include "condemnations, disparagement, and even seeming contempt" (my words) for what many people are practicing -- which, in turn, seems to serve to strip away the meaning and enjoyment that many people find in their current training. (As an aside, I use "seem" as I can only interpret what I see and do not have the means to divine the writer's intentions.)

For example, I've seen people write that there is very little reason 1) to train in a method (or subset of an approach) that does not have the goal or 2) to train with a teacher who does not have the ability to physically dominate one's opponent. Although they are valid notions, some people have stated pretty clearly that they either do not subscribe or that they are not in such notions. As such, I think returning, time and time again, to this line of argumentation (which I feel gets too often conflated into many of the threads) does not get us very far when it comes to discussing topics which are built upon a different foundation.

Another example is the labeling of those who do not do internal training methods as practicing "modern aikido" -- a rather broad brush, in my eyes. Does that mean everyone who did non-modern aikido (pre-war?) had internal training? Does that mean everyone who is otherwise practicing today lacks internal training? It just seems to serve to create a rift to me. Another pet peeve of mine is when people write something to the effect that "no Japanese shihan is capable of doing XYZ" as I don't really see the necessity to be explicit about the ethnicity of such a group (especially when it's probably also their case that non-Japanese shihan are also incapable of XYZ). Also, when I see words and phrases such as "utter nonsense," "brainwashed," "aikibunnies," and "caricature of the real thing," I don't see how such rhetoric can serve to bridge differences but only to divide and polarize, no matter the intent of the posting.

~ * ~

As an aside, some folks bring up the fact that "meeting up" with others will basically solve everything. I don't deny that meeting people face-to-face will often help bridge differences and will also allow for demonstration and, perhaps, transmission of a lot of what we do in this art of aikido -- as some of you know, I've organized many seminars and workshops to this very end. Furthermore, not everyone has the ability nor means to go out and meet others -- and, also, there are those who purposefully choose not to do so. I think choosing one's experiences is a right that everyone has; criticizing them for not going out and experiencing something that someone else finds valuable/insightful/necessary seems odd to me. In any case -- not to be obvious or anything -- but this here is a discussion forum; its purpose is to discuss -- to communicate with each other our thoughts, experiences, and opinions. As such, if your discussion boils down to that catchphrase, "it has to be felt," then I don't see a whole lot of point of that line of argument in a discussion forum. Of course, I understand and agree that certain experiences are very difficult to capture in words; my request there, then, would be for folks to take the time and effort to do what they can to do so. After all, that's the purpose of the AikiWeb Forums.

~ * ~

In response to Mark Murray's question of "What do you suggest we do to make things better?", one thing I'm feeling from folks is that some consider internal training critical/integrated to their aikido training and others do not. I remember encountering the same sorts of philosophical differences, if you will, in the past when topics such as Tomiki competition, weapons work, and other "facets" of aikido training that wasn't shared universally came up. Those who practiced it seemed to think those facets are incontrovertibly important; others, not so much.

One imperfect solution, then, would be to start a new thread referencing the original one to discuss the topic from the viewpoint of internal training. Some may argue, though, that this doesn't address the feelings that some have that internal training might be pertinent to the discussion at-hand. Although I understand and can even agree to a certain point, I think that being able to clearly focus and delineate the topic at-hand will, in the long run, enable a much richer discussion. In terms of starting a new thread, it will enable the original thread to continue while the second thread will be there to allow discussion with a different emphasis. Again, this is imperfect -- but, until there's a difference in which the manner of discussion about internal training becomes such that talking about it isn't so polarizing, that's probably the best and simplest solution that I can offer today.

A more difficult solution, if I can say so with more than a bit of presumption regarding people's intentions, would be for everyone to be a bit more kind in their communication here. Yes, I said it -- be more kind. I sometimes get the feeling that some folks post here with a sense of righteousness and maybe even some indignation, as though they had something they wanted to educate others about -- or, even worse, put down what others have written -- rather than entering into dialogue based on sharing one's experiences, thoughts, and opinions. When you encounter differences between your point and those of others, be passionate without hostility. Seek to work out the differences you encounter, or walk away from those differences without carrying away bitterness and anger. Just as "budo begins and ends with respect," each of us has the responsibility to conduct ourselves with dignity, integrity, and, yes, respect.

~ * ~

On another topic, there are also people with, as Janet writes, "a history" between themselves and others that underlie (or, worse yet, overtly takes over) their interactions. To these folks, my request is to keep your animosities out of your discussions. Honestly, seeing people keep bringing out their dirty laundry to air on AikiWeb seems unnecessarily petty and immature. Cut it out, folks. Please engage in your discussions without coloring your points with such personal baggage, or take it to private conversations.

~ * ~

To respond to a few people's thoughts:

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I don't really think that it's the place of outsiders like myself, who don't participate in a practice, to participate in a discussion of that practice, unless we can do so 1)in a spirit of true inquiry and 2)without derailing the discussion.
I think what Mary brings up above (and in the rest of her message) has many good things in it and is worth re-reading, especially her analogies containing rutabagas and zazen.

Quote:
Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
If the IP guys can speak directly to the thread topic from their POV then that should be productive for participants and trolls alike. ie. "how much competitiveness is good/bad in a ki testing situation?" IP guy " we approach this kind of exercise this way.....". etc, etc.
I agree with this. Too many times in the past have I seen people resort to "that's been discussed already" or "it has to be felt" as their response rather than delineating the differences of their training methods, experiences, and principles through words in a productive and positive manner.

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
(1) I strongly believe in "modern aikido", as it is sometimes disparagingly called, as a fascinating practice which is "fun", for lack of a better word, and can change lives. So do most aikido practitioners. However, it seems very difficult these days to discuss it as such on aikiweb without intensive, almost ritualised reference to a lot of stuff that, for a huge majority of practitioners, has nothing to do with their practice for now. (Please note that I am not saying I agree with all of modern aikido; also note that I still belive Dan's teaching is invaluable for me personally)

(2) history - as it relates to the aikido most of us do - has recently been predominantly used in discussions here in a negative, backward looking and often fundamentalist (as in, back to the golden days) way. It is hardly ever used in a constructive, forward looking manner. I wonder whether there is still a gap between truly fascinating historical insights some of you have had, and, well, their practical relevance to what most of us do, which is modern aikido. I really look forward to the times when that gap will be bridged, but until then, we should treat each other with more tolerance and courtesy.
Thank you for that, Nicholas. I agree on both points.

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Nice "tests," Michael. I like the last two, especially.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Janet seems to be suggesting that there is an effort to push an idea or set of ideas, which while very much grounded in authenticity, also pushes people away from participating or otherwise distracts from the conversations on a regular basis.
Well said, Matthew.

~ * ~

I also wanted to relate that I have heard from many people who, in their paraphrased collective words, "used to participate on AikiWeb but don't any longer because of the tone of the discussions." Words such as "predictable," "disrespectful," "vituperation," and "trolling" have come up in their feedback. Rather than people walking away due to the subject matter, it really seems to be the tone and manner of engagement that they found objectionable. Also, I'll just say that no matter how "true" something might be, if it's being couched in disrespectful terms, I don't want to see it here on AikiWeb. Saying "just saying" or "no offense" or being tactless under the guise of being straightforward are not acceptable. On this topic, I'll just quote myself, as I've already expressed the below sentiments a while back:

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
I would rather have a community which understands and subscribes to conducting discussions in a civil manner over one that may be more "vibrant" which fosters disrespectful behavior. I've done what I can (imperfectly, of course) to maintain such a standard, even when it meant pushing away people whose behavior got in their way of contributing positively, no matter their experience level and acumen regarding the topics being discussed -- and I will continue doing so.
~ * ~

Again, I want to thank everyone for their engaging in this meta-discussion about AikiWeb. I'll close with a link to my post "Request for Civil and Respectful Conduct" which I posted earlier this year: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20698

Back to work for me.

-- Jun

PS: I have moved the discussion on "Rutabagans" to a different thread.

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Old 08-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #63
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Thank you, Jun.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:32 PM   #64
Aikibu
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Nothing beats context.. and Janet as I've said elsewhere thank you for your heartfelt expression of wanting to achieve and preserve harmony here....Though we have never met I consider you a kindred spirit

In my own personal experience ( and it's been pointed out here more than once already) Context is everything...

The "real" Budoka I have met in life were extremely polite for the most part (as well as a ton of folks I know whose profession is (simply put) killing other human beings)...After all... when you can seriously hurt or kill someone the only thing that keeps you in "context/check" is your own humility and respect for others...

A real Martial Artist in my own experience strives only to achieve victory over themselves... through discipline, focus, humility, and respect. Having been there and done that...The rest is meaningless to me.

It was an evolution this wild eyed brawl at the drop of a hat Irishman sorely needed to understand and experience.

William Hazen
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #65
graham christian
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Jun, life is full of surprises. I'm impressed by your post and bow to your wisdom.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #66
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
One thing I have learned, not in the dojo, but as a nurse and a family member, is that "being right" isn't always the most important thing. How we comport ourselves among others is.
Hello Janet,

Here is a quote I found from a book on cross-cultural rhetoric. The quotation is from a life of the Buddha. He is being pressed by opponents with questions as to whether he would ever use unpleasant, disagreeable speech. He replies,

"Speech that the Tathagata knows to be untrue, false, and useless, and also unpleasant and disagreeable to others, he does not speak; that which he knows to be true, real and useful, but also unpleasant and disagreeable to others, he knows the right time to express it. Speech that he knows to be untrue, false and useless, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, he does not speak; that which is true, real, but useless, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, that, too, he does not speak; but that which is true, real, and useful, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, in that case he knows the right time to express it." (Edward J Thomas, The Life of Buddha as Legend and History, 1975.)."

So, for the Buddha, timing is everything. This is part of an Indian rhetorical tradition that is definitely not Greek. The rhetorical tradition that is usually called 'western' is based on ancient Greek rhetoric, which itself is based on contentious disputation prior to a decision being taken by third parties.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #67
Dan Rubin
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
One imperfect solution, then, would be to start a new thread referencing the original one to discuss the topic from the viewpoint of internal training.
Hear! Hear!
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:06 PM   #68
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Those that seek real change also know where to look. At the end of the day, people can either grow in their pursuits, stay stagnant, or simply get worse. No expressed ideas can ever hide that reality.
I think part of my approach to this thread is that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own training. So if someone chooses to train in a way that I think is "wrong," that is not my problem or my responsibility.

Sure, I might choose not to visit their dojo, and suggest that others not go there either. And if they happen to visit my dojo, they should expect to receive the same instruction as any other student, even if it collides with their preconceived notions.

But out here on the internet, where the only real consequences are embarrassment and hurt feelings? *shrug* Life is too short. I've got my own training to worry about.

(And that's even more true when the debate is around the effectiveness of a particular training methodology, rather than something like safety or instructor ethics.)

Katherine
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #69
kewms
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
"9 Reasons to Repeat Your Message

I'd like to share some reasons you need to repeat your marketing message.
I believe Jun has advertising packages for those who wish to repeat a marketing message over and over. That's not what the discussion forums are for.

Katherine
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:01 AM   #70
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
"Speech that the Tathagata knows to be untrue, false, and useless, and also unpleasant and disagreeable to others, he does not speak; that which he knows to be true, real and useful, but also unpleasant and disagreeable to others, he knows the right time to express it. Speech that he knows to be untrue, false and useless, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, he does not speak; that which is true, real, but useless, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, that, too, he does not speak; but that which is true, real, and useful, and also pleasant and agreeable to others, in that case he knows the right time to express it." (Edward J Thomas, The Life of Buddha as Legend and History, 1975.)."
Many, many thanks for that.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:40 AM   #71
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

I find this thread challenging because I really sympathise with both sides to some extent. I think it is important to remember, in this particular conundrum, that it may not be enough for discourse to be rational and polite on the surface.

Here is a small collection of thought patterns that I personally find make things difficult. Some of them easily push people’s buttons and we simply will have to be careful about them:

Founder-related Legitimacy Digs:
telling somebody who practices aikido – especially if you do not practice it yourself – that they do not do what their founder intended is simply impolite and mostly pointless, even when presented in the most rational and polite way. Do not do it. I mean, you would probably not go on some religious forum and tell people their prophet was really not what they thought. Though there is historical evidence in that direction for many prophets. Slightly different field, same sensibility.

Aikido Arrogance: this is the assumption, strong but often denied amongst aikidoka, that their art is really the moral culmination of Japanese budo. And, lo and behold, also martially effective, for whatever that means. I may overstate it, but the sentiment is present in almost every post a few people here make.

The Empirical Gap: What I mean by this is an inherent refusal amongs the huge majority of aikido practitioners to have any form of empirical testing of what they claim to be able to do; I do not just mean the physical, but almost more so the spiritual/ personal/ philosophical benefit supposedly built into the art. Aikido just seems to be notoriously evasive outside of very circumscribed communities of practitioners.

The Martial Fallacy: it really does not follow from the word „martial“ being somewhere that the practice definitely needs to be about effective combat – however defined. It just does not. Words change meaning all the time, they really do.

The Shihan Mystery: If any of these Shihan practising with Dan who do not own up to the fact that they do should read this – you are doing a disservice to your art, to this forum and quite possibly to Dan. But until these guys own up to it, I think they should simply not be mentioned here again.

The Group Paranoia: There is no group. Dan’s stuff is just very persuasive to very diverse people, who may agree on little else in life and in budo. Live with it.

The Money Making Excuse: Its just too easy to accuse people of monetary interests of some sort if you have no other argument left. That’s almost the level of conspiray theories. Oh, you believe in those too – hm, why am I not surprised...

Not My Aikido: Unless some sort of direct evidence from the aikikai archives turns up („...and afterwards, he poured himself some sake, approached me and said, look son, this is what I meant:...), we will never know why he said it. He may have disliked the lack of harmony in the hall.

The Ueshiba Efficiency Fallacy:
Just because Morihei Ueshiba was a good fighter, it does not follow that he wanted others to be, and would thus disapprove of non-fighting aikido.

The Rationalising Mysticism Trick: We need martial experience to explain Ueshiba, but for reason XYZ we can really do without religious experience. We dont have much ourselves? Oh, that is just coincidence really.

OK, play with those if you like or add some more, there sure are...

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 08-18-2012 at 04:52 AM. Reason: devious, manipulative and duplicitous intent :-)
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:44 AM   #72
Gary David
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
I find this thread challenging because I really sympathise with both sides to some extent. I think it is important to remember, in this particular conundrum, that it may not be enough for discourse to be rational and polite on the surface.

OK, play with those if you like or add some more, there sure are...
I agree essentially with what Nicholas described in his full post above. Rather that adding to the mix I have just posted a picture of my teachers over my life in Aikido. This is a composite of the two me's, now and much earlier, along with the individuals that affected my practice over the years the most. These individuals are here because I had personal on mat experiences that altered my search. Four of these individuals have moved on while I still have close connection with three of these individuals. What these individuals did for me, besides a unique experience(s) was to open up my search, to look around, to test the waters and to taste the varied possibilities that were out there.

What saddens me the most is that closing down by most of the adventure of exploring and learning......and from that how to incorporate what you have experienced into one's art. I am having an interesting time in trying to incorporate what I am getting from Dan into the general Aikido drills used in the dojo to add some value to practice. I would also say that what I have gotten from Dan has helped me in better understanding some of the unique experiences I have have with my teachers earlier.

OK ok, I will add entries to Nicholas's set.............

Assigning Value without Experience: Writing folks off without actual interaction, without valid experiences or with enough interaction to place real value. This goes both ways of course. You can have enough trust in someone who has had experience to then except that someones placement, though nothing replaces real experiences. Of course you have to make yourself available for these experiences and be ready to travel.

Reevaluating Our Experiences: Sometime along the way we should take a look at our placement values on individuals.....see if they still hold up or not. This can result in them going both up or down. This may change your schedule. May mean letting go of some things or adding others.

my thoughts...
Gary
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #73
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
I find this thread challenging because I really sympathise with both sides to some extent. I think it is important to remember, in this particular conundrum, that it may not be enough for discourse to be rational and polite on the surface.
Yes...and your list of points are good ones.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #74
akiy
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Here is a small collection of thought patterns that I personally find make things difficult.
Nice list of thought patterns to avoid, Nicholas. I hope folks here will be able to stay away from each of them.

-- Jun

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #75
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

I've had these gut feelings for some time, but I've never been able to to find the right words to express them. Thank you Nicholas. I fully agree with your post.
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