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Old 08-20-2002, 01:47 PM   #26
Kevin Leavitt
 
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In response to Edward:

Yes Aikido is an utopic idea. I don't think anyone here really believes otherwise. But it is something to move towards. You can either move towards something or away from it...or you can stand still...that is apathy.

So, I submit that it is better to strive and work toward this ideal called aikido.

Of course it cannot directly solve all the world problems, nor is it a pancea for peace. It is only a methodology or a way that allows certain individuals who so choose to walk it's path to learn how to be better people.

If everyone was able to do the things we all strive to do, then we would have peace...no question about it!

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Old 08-20-2002, 02:44 PM   #27
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Yes Aikido is an utopic idea. I don't think anyone here really believes otherwise.
My (limited) experience in this forum says that for most possible opinions there is someone in the forum who holds them.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-20-2002, 08:41 PM   #28
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Opher,

I would agree that it is possible that there are those out there that truely believe they can create utopia in a few short years with Aikido.

But from those that I know personally on this list, those that have been involved in this thread, and the hundreds of people that I have met studying Aikido, I cannot say I have met one of those types!

I would love to hear their philosophy and solutions to how they propose to do this...I might learn something!

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Old 08-20-2002, 11:17 PM   #29
opherdonchin
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point taken

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-22-2002, 03:34 PM   #30
Neil Mick
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Hey, what happened to the 2 other posts in the Spirituality Forum, dealing with Aikido and Politics? They were both very interesting, and they just disappeared!
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Old 08-22-2002, 06:55 PM   #31
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They've been scooted over to Chit Chat, which IMO is appropriate - especially with the MoAP thread. Not sure about the thinking behind PvR... getting too off topic?

Deb Fisher
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Old 08-22-2002, 07:14 PM   #32
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Deb,

I agree with things getting off topic. Not that I also like a good debate, but when it gets down to whose opinion his right or wrong, I think we start missing the whole point which is to discuss some basic core concepts to expand our thinking horizons.

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Old 08-22-2002, 11:06 PM   #33
Neil Mick
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I agree that a battle of opinions is regrettable, but...

These posts have been helpful to me; the element of politics and spirituality in Aikido has always interested me, but more so since 9/11. Every time a sensei mentions "peace," my brain goes off into a whole range of questions. If the goal of Aikidoists is to foster harmony, then what is their role when the disharmony is spawned from us?

Oh, and on a previous point: Aikido IS utopian in outlook, but very process-oriented as well. For instance, we're not all for going out into the wilderness to set up a perfect society or for believing in any given dogma (except maybe that violence is harmful to the human spirit), but we ARE into the immediate moment of the blend. That second when we transform an adversarial situation into an harmonious one. As such, we are more interested in the process of achieving harmony, rather than the goal.

At least I am.
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Old 08-23-2002, 06:27 AM   #34
mike lee
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facing reality

The truth hurts.
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Old 08-23-2002, 12:04 PM   #35
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yet another political thought:

I have never been a real ran of the Left Vs. Right model of politics.

I my mind there is no real difference, in practice, between totalitarian governments. Does it really matter if the man who has his boot heel on the back of your neck is doing it in the name of Fascism, Communism, Socialism, or for that mater, "Homeland security."

My answer is to use the Individualist vs. Collectivist model.

Kevin's life style changes are, no doubt, the result of much contemplation and bring him a measure of comfort and personal satisfaction. It is an individual choice made to benefit himself. By sharing his personal journey with us, he has inspired us.

This sort of thing is individualism at its finest. Kevin is not harming anyone by his choices (well, maybe the beef industry, but I will do my part to keep them happy for him), but he is "being a good example." Not that bad examples don't have there place too.

Collectivists are those that believe that they can make those choices for you. Ban this, enforce that, there should be a law against that. Laws are a good thing, if you harm somebody else, you should be held a accountable (individually - good example: 19 Moslem terrorist belonging to a moslem terrorist organization were responsible for 9/11, but "Moslems" were not)

I find Kevin's choices inspiring and admire him for making them, but they are not for me. If I was forced to make the same lifestyle changes, for the good of all, it would be oppressive and I would be unlikely willingly obey (and thereby become a criminal). What works for Kevin sucks for me.

An incident that occurred several years ago comes to mind (not sure why) where a boy was lost in a designated wilderness area. A helicopter located him. However, for the good of all, it was illegal for any powered vehicles to be in the park and the helicopter could not land. So the boy had to spend an extra night in the woods and wait until a team hiked in to rescue him the next day. While I agree that all can benefit from an unspoiled park and individuals can find other places to ride ATVs and 4x4s, why should we risk the life of a boy to reach that utopian collective goal.

The "Aiki-me" strives to do the right thing, sometimes with the support of others and sometimes despite the lack of it.

Creating a mybrid of petty laws and edicts does not seem to be the answer. Better to have a lot of Kevins.

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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Old 08-23-2002, 12:28 PM   #36
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Brian,

Good post.

Laws should be designed to protect people from harm. Law enforcement is designed to hold people accountable for their actions.

With that said, you also have spirit and intent versus the letter of the law. Common sense should prevail! Unfortunately it doesn't always work that way.

That is why we have judges and a court system to interpret.

I really kinda disagree with laws that are "sin" laws or laws of morality. Example would be the old "blue" laws that prohibited people from buying alcohol on Sundays. Societies mores and values should determine how a particular society or subculture decides to handle these type of things.

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Old 08-23-2002, 01:02 PM   #37
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Very true

When I lived in Massachusetts it was illegal to buy alcohol on Sunday. Result : Big and busy liquor stores just over the New Hampshire border and a lot of people who otherwise were "law abiding" became "smugglers."

Also, when I was a Park Ranger, it was always amusing to have all the bums drunk as a skunk on shoplifted mouth wash with MINTY FRESH breath every Sunday.

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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Old 08-23-2002, 01:17 PM   #38
Neil Mick
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I so agree. The flavor (left, right) of totalitarianism in any form is, still, repression.

To add to Kevin and Brian's point, I might also suggest that appropriate scale comes into play. A 20-bed hospital, for instance, would focus upon the needs of the individual than a 200-bed hospital, which would focus more upon its own system.

When an organization becomes too big, satisfying the needs of the individual become less important than systemic concerns.
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Old 08-28-2002, 04:04 AM   #39
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Boy is this thread cynical.

Can't we just agree that conflicts always have two or more parties with the exact same ability to get hurt? Mutual respect and love instead of hate, greed and ignorance... wouldn't that be nice?

Defence is one thing, retaliation something completely different. Isn't that just what separates aikido from the rest?: Defence with a mininmum of agression.

And please, could someone show me how O'sensei could ever be described as anything else than a real passifist at heart when he had gotten all things together at the end of his life.

Peace/ Jasper
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Old 08-28-2002, 04:52 AM   #40
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I guess that depends on your definition of pacifism.

To say that he would never use his martial abilities, ever, or to condone such use in ANY situation is probably not correct.

I think where we would differ is WHEN he choose to use his force, and in what skillfull manner.

To many, true pacifism is turning your back, or avoiding conflict at any cost. Not sure if this is what you mean. Don't believe O'Sensei meant this.

Most of what we discuss in this and in every forum is where do you draw the line, and how can you more skillfully use yourself to do it with minimium force.

A questions that we will probably ask our whole lives!

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Old 08-28-2002, 08:09 AM   #41
opherdonchin
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I think that AiKiDo is actually best not thought of in terms of minimum agression or 'only defense.' Instead, I think the idea of AiKiDo is to redefine the terms or the outlook until one realizes that no real conflict exists.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-29-2002, 02:50 AM   #42
mike lee
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times change

Aikido may have been more multidimensional (as far as waza is concerned) until the end of WWII. Immediately after the war, the allies forbid the practice of all MA in Japan. They apparently didn't want something similar to China's Boxer Rebellion to occur.

I think that at the earliest possible date after the war, aikido was touted as a "purely defensive art" in an effort to get practices going again and to allay any suspicions that it would be used to attack Japan's occupiers.

The events of WWII had a dramatic effect on the way that aikido was practiced and presented to the public. Perhaps that is why to this day, Hombu Dojo does much less ken or jo work than do some other more remote dojos in Japan.

I think it would be very interesting to hear from any Japanese sensei or GIs that had any first-hand experiences as to how post-war events shaped modern aikido, and if present-day aikido needs to be, as a result, re-adjusted to eliminate any distortions created by changes made in Hombu Dojo's training regiment.

Last edited by mike lee : 08-29-2002 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 09-10-2002, 06:14 AM   #43
Brian H
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Quote:
Jasper Arenskogh (Jappzz) wrote:
And please, could someone show me how O'sensei could ever be described as anything else than a real passifist at heart when he had gotten all things together at the end of his life.
Sword swinging, bullet dodging, center taking bad ass dude.

Aiki-Shaft

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:20 PM   #44
Chuck.Gordon
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Harmony?

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Every time a sensei mentions "peace," my brain goes off into a whole range of questions. If the goal of Aikidoists is to foster harmony, then what is their role when the disharmony is spawned from us?
Well, then we must define 'harmony.' And we must, in the context of aikido, define it form the point of view of a man who was raised in turn of the (20th) century Japan and grew up in the pre-WWII era and one who learned his budo from (and was in his own time) a scrapper, street fighter, hell-raiser and butt-kicker. And we have to factor in his spiritual turn of mind in his later years and his changing, evolving beliefs and view it all through a lens that allows us to span a half-century or more all at once, including the feisty young roustabout and the contemplative old man. Then we MIGHT be able to get a handle on what he meant and what he taught.

Until then, we must rely on the interpretations of his students and their students.

One definition of harmony that I, personally, feel is most appropriate to budo -- If a nail sticks up, hammer it down. That's a classically Japanese definition of harmony, BTW.

Now, we can get on with defining 'peace' ...

Chuck

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Old 09-10-2002, 02:29 PM   #45
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SCAP ban on MA in Japan

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Aikido may have been more multidimensional (as far as waza is concerned) until the end of WWII. Immediately after the war, the allies forbid the practice of all MA in Japan.
Not _exactly_. The SCAP ban, from things I've read and from personal info from folks who were there (my teacher amongst 'em) was really directed at the ultra-nationalist factions that used budo as a wedge/sledge/edge/hedge before and during the war.

Many dojo (if they could afford to do so and had students remaining) continued practicing after 1945 (IIRC: Ueshiba among them, in Iwama).

However, some other systems, such as Sekiguchi Ryu, which was, I understand, favored by the kempeitei (Sp?) and some other nationalist groups, was pretty soundly squashed and some systems were almost lost in the late 40's due to the restrictions.

However, all that said, I find myself agreeing with Mike to some extent. I believe that Ueshiba (or at least his spiritual/technical heirs -- dare I say 'handlers'?) intentionally changed the (at least the public) aspect of aikido, in order to seem more innocous and more friendly to the masses.

Same thing ahppened across the budo community, I suspect.

Chuck

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Old 09-10-2002, 08:29 PM   #46
Neil Mick
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Re: Harmony?

Quote:
Chuck Gordon (LOEP) wrote:
Well, then we must define 'harmony.' And we must, in the context of aikido, define it form the point of view of a man who was raised in turn of the (20th) century Japan and grew up in the pre-WWII era and one who learned his budo from (and was in his own time) a scrapper, street fighter, hell-raiser and butt-kicker. And we have to factor in his spiritual turn of mind in his later years and his changing, evolving beliefs and view it all through a lens that allows us to span a half-century or more all at once, including the feisty young roustabout and the contemplative old man. Then we MIGHT be able to get a handle on what he meant and what he taught.

Until then, we must rely on the interpretations of his students and their students.

One definition of harmony that I, personally, feel is most appropriate to budo -- If a nail sticks up, hammer it down. That's a classically Japanese definition of harmony, BTW.

Now, we can get on with defining 'peace' ...

Chuck
No, we mustn't. YOU should.

Since everyone trains for different reasons, it is up to the individual to define how to effect harmony in your life, as an Aikidoist.

If you train solely for the physical exercise, you are no worse an Aikidoist than a practictioner of Omotokyo and Kotodama.

That's the beauty of this art: there's no pressure to think that there's only one Way. And this is what makes the Art a living Art, rather than a dry re-enactment of a great man's life.

O Sensei's father's last words to his son: Do what you will; go where your spirit guides (paraphrased).

But to invert the question: what if doing nothing and and nonaction causes disharmony? What is our role in stopping the violence? The answer is different for everyone.

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Old 09-11-2002, 02:06 AM   #47
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Quote:
Brian Heanue (Brian H) wrote:
19 Moslem terrorist belonging to a moslem terrorist organization were responsible for 9/11, but "Moslems" were not)
It is spelled Muslims.
Quote:
Brian Heanue (Brian H) wrote:
I find Kevin's choices inspiring and admire him for making them, but they are not for me. If I was forced to make the same lifestyle changes, for the good of all, it would be oppressive and I would be unlikely willingly obey (and thereby become a criminal). What works for Kevin sucks for me.
Yeah right. If it is necesarry for everyone to stop eating meat in order to save the forests, well, everyone has to stop eating meat. Or let's imagine that we have to pay more taxes to stop starvation in another country. It would be human common sense to do it. That is something that is called solidarity.
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Old 09-11-2002, 04:52 AM   #48
Brian H
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Quote:
Javier Martinez (javnitro) wrote:
Yeah right. If it is necesarry for everyone to stop eating meat in order to save the forests, well, everyone has to stop eating meat. Or let's imagine that we have to pay more taxes to stop starvation in another country. It would be human common sense to do it. That is something that is called solidarity.
Yeah,

If there are to many people to feed all of them, we can execute the excess - "for the good of all".

Just because something has a "noble goal" of "saving one child" or "helping all" do not mean it is good at all.

Hitler acted for "the good of all."

I train to better myself. When I do so, I make the world a better place. I find ways to make a difference to in other lives and do not rely on any government to do it for me or expect them to do it on my behalf.

When an individual is not important compared to the group than he can be disposed of by the group without consequence.

PS Is this a spelling bee?

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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Old 09-11-2002, 07:31 AM   #49
Kevin Leavitt
 
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People need to make their own choices and establish their own moral guidelines.

You can never coerce people into seeing things from your own standpoint and values.

Some choices such as being a vegetarian are personal and while it is, from my point of view a healthy lifestyle, one that anyone could benefit from....it is not something that everyone should necessarily do.

Ideally, I would like to see more people become vegetarians....at the same time I would like to see more people use public transportation, and more people smile instead of cutting people off in traffic.

However, you should not judge people based on their choices. Being a vegetarian, an activist, a green person, does not give you the moral high ground.

You can only hope that through your choices and actions that you inspire people to find their own inner peace and true happiness.

We really need to get out of this dualistic "right" and "wrong" moral ethic we have developed in the western world.

The path to happiness and peace has many roads.

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Old 09-11-2002, 07:34 AM   #50
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Just thought of a good example.

Some people join the military to perserve peace.

Some people choose to join the peace corp to perserve peace.

neither are right and neither are wrong...they are both good choices with the same goal. Actually, in theory, both must exisit for their to be peace....the paradox of peace.

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