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Old 10-03-2002, 06:33 AM   #26
mike lee
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add up the cost $$$

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Judge not Dan lest thou be judged by the same measure thou used to measure him (or at least placed in a similar situation by the powers that be).

I do have a very important suggestion: If you should choose to stand on principle in a violent confrontation, make sure that your medical insurance is paid up, you have an excellent dentist, and that you have access to a good lawyer.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-03-2002 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 10-03-2002, 07:29 AM   #27
Jason Tonks
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Mike, I agree with you discretion is indeed the better part of valour. However I maintain my point that no one has the right to impose their will upon you. How far would you allow anyone to dictate your actions to you? I have been in similar situations and it is bloody frightening but I refused to be ruled by fear. Everybody is different and resolves things in their own way. I'd have at least made the guy be Uke!

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-03-2002, 07:44 AM   #28
SimonW11
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Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
Honestly, Simon, I don't know where you are getting these ideas. Taking ukemi is not the same thing as handling an attack.
You are mistaken. I would add it takes supreme confidence to take ukemi for someone you believe intent on doing you harm.


Quote:
In this situation, if Dan wanted to try to handle the man's attack, he would have asked the man to do just that, attack him. The he would have tried to handle it by doing an Aikido technique.
He had already handled the attack. Before contact was made.
Quote:
You are Dan's approach, OTOH, acknowledged that he couldn't safely throw the TKD man in a confrontational situation. That is to say that he admitted that he couldn't handle the man's attack, and by doing so, released much of the tension that had built up. This is, obviously, not the same thing as "handling his attack."
Umm I am not quite sure what you mean. Presumable you think Dan Could not handle the Other guy safely in a physical confrontation, Why? after all Dan refused to say the other guy was better.

Whos safety do you think Dan was worried about?

He took a verbal attack and deescalated it.

Seems to me that he handled the attack very well. Do you generally escalate verbal attacks into physical ones? Do you consider this "handling attacks" well? Does your boss/customers/priest/lawyer agree?
Quote:
What are you talking about? If you mean Dennis Hooker, he hasn't even posted on this thread, much less provided a "counterexample"
He Posted to the original thread this article is from.

http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ul...c&f=9&t=001452

Read it I am sure you would approve of Mr Hookers approach.
Quote:
Moreover, it should be clear from my last post that the TKD man was the one who dictated the terms of this encounter. He demanded that Dan teach him Aikido, and that's exactly what happened.
I cant believe you are really that naive. this is just a debating point surely?

Dan gave him what he asked for instead of what he wanted.

Simon
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Old 10-03-2002, 07:47 AM   #29
mike lee
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cultural differences

Quote:
However I maintain my point that no one has the right to impose their will upon you.
That's a great principle, but consider the fact that Dan was foreigner and a guest in Asia.

Ultimately, foreigners lose every fight in Asia, eventually. Why? Because if Dan had won, the TKD teacher would have lost face. Then, his only choice would have then been to commit suicide (not likely) or to get 15 of his TKD buddies together and beat the hell out of Dan in some secluded area with no witnesses.

That's how it works here. There's no such thing as a fair fight in Asia.

Still want to be a hero?
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Old 10-03-2002, 08:20 AM   #30
Jason Tonks
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Mike I can see your point. He might indeed have made the right choice here. Your point regarding all his mates beating the hell out of him is an example of the sad state of society today. Not just in Asia either. Cowardly thugs are everywhere unfortunately.

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-03-2002, 09:26 AM   #31
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Simon Watkins (SimonW11) wrote:
I cant believe you are really that naive. this is just a debating point surely? Dan gave him what he asked for instead of what he wanted.
Simon, I'm not going to reply to the content of your last post. Since you already seem so convinced of your expertise that no amount of rational discussion will change your mind, I will not waste my time trying. And since you feel that I am so naive, I will just defer to your vast experience and let your comments stand, for the most part, as they are.

I am going to make one exception, though, and respond to your claim that Dan gave the TKD man what he asked for instead of what he wanted. You have brought up an interesting point here that is essential for correctly understanding and interpreting this story.

How do you know what the man wanted? Do you have direct access to his mind? No, all you have is Dan's description of the events, and that description is necessarily biased. Dan says that the man "only wanted to show his students how Japanese Aikido was inferior to Korean martial arts," but actually that's only Dan's perception of what the man wanted.

In fact, it is far more likely that the man was truly interested in Aikido but had difficulty expressing this interest in a less aggressive way. Dan mentions that at the time the Koreans tended to look down upon the Japanese and their arts, so it stands to reason that the man would have found it difficult to approach Dan sincerely without losing face. Hence, he reverted to an aggressive posture. Instead of realizing the true nature of the man's intent, though, Dan created a confrontational situation in his own mind by assuming the worst. In this way, he was the source of his own problems. Usually, that's the way things are.

Dan's blindness to the true nature of the situation is also what allows him to look like a hero when he turns the situation around and makes friends with the man. But, in reality, he is just a hero in his own mind, and, of course, also in the minds of those naive enough to uncritically accept his version of the story. Ultimately, all Dan did in this situation was to change his own mind. And, ultimately, that's really all Aikido is about.
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Old 10-03-2002, 10:01 AM   #32
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
Giancarlo wrote:
But, in reality, he is just a hero in his own mind, and, of course, also in the minds of those naive enough to uncritically accept his version of the story. Ultimately, all Dan did in this situation was to change his own mind. And, ultimately, that's really all Aikido is about.
Excellently put, although I suspect I read this with a very different 'spin' than I think you wrote it with. If Dan felt like a hero in his own mind, then masakatsu agatsu (true victory is victory over ourselves) and he is indeed a hero. Indeed, AiKiDo is only ever about changing yourself. Or, if you like, AiKiDo is steeped in the understanding that all you can ever really change is yourself. You can think of it less as a choice AiKiDo makes to focus inward and more as a realization that that is the only place to focus.

AiKiDo teaches us (well, at least it teaches me) that my tendency to lose in conflicts arises fundamentally out of my tendency to perceive things as conflicts. Dan's insight was (at least this is how I understand the story) that no real conflict needed to exist between him and the other instructor. You can only lose that which you value, and it doesn't sound, from Dan's story, that anything he valued was lost. AiKiDo teaches (me) to be careful about the things I choose to value: the more things I hold on to, the more vulnerable to seeing situations of conflict and loss that I become.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-03-2002, 01:25 PM   #33
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
Excellently put, although I suspect I read this with a very different 'spin' than I think you wrote it with. If Dan felt like a hero in his own mind, then masakatsu agatsu (true victory is victory over ourselves) and he is indeed a hero.
You are right, I wasn't thinking of the masakatsu agatsu interpretation. While it is not incompatible with my intended meaning, I don't think that Dan attained full realization of that ideal in this situation.
Quote:
Dan's insight was (at least this is how I understand the story) that no real conflict needed to exist between him and the other instructor.
I agree with this, however, I think that his understanding of the causes of the conflict was rather limited. This is why this his decision to employ ukemiwaza rather than nagewaza was incorrectly taken the primary factor leading to the resolution of this conflict. In fact, it was not strictly relevant to the resolution of the conflict at all.
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Old 10-03-2002, 10:09 PM   #34
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
Giancarlo wrote:
I agree with this, however, I think that his understanding of the causes of the conflict was rather limited. This is why this his decision to employ ukemiwaza rather than nagewaza was incorrectly taken the primary factor leading to the resolution of this conflict. In fact, it was not strictly relevant to the resolution of the conflict at all.
This is interesting and I feel I don't entirely understand what you mean. Can you say what you see as the causes of the conflict, what you see as his understanding of those causes, and in what sense you feel like the conflict was not resolved.

Not rhetorical questions; honestly curious (that happens often enough there should be a shorthand. Nrq;hc (?) )

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-04-2002, 12:07 AM   #35
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
Can you say what you see as the causes of the conflict,
I saw the causes as being that Dan did not realize that the other man was truly curious about Aikido and that the Korean man, due to the reasons I discussed, took an overly demanding approach that Dan misinterpreted as hostile to himself and Aikido.
Quote:
what you see as his understanding of those causes,
As I see it, Dan blamed it all on the other guy. He thought the cause of the problem was just that the man did not have a sincere interest in Aikido and was only trying to give him a hard time.
Quote:
and in what sense you feel like the conflict was not resolved.
Well, I think that for the most part the conflict was resolved. However, for the sake of discussion, I see the major issue as being that Dan still blames the other man for causing the conflict and beleives that he employed some magic technique to change the other man's mind. In reality, it seems more likely that Dan simply misperceived the state of the other man's mind in the first place, and that his "technique" was nothing more than considering, at least for the sake of getting rid of his immediate problem, that the man may have actually wanted what he said he wanted. But I didn't get the impression that Dan sees it this way himself. Instead, the story reads as if Dan faced this evil TKD man who was out to get him and, though the use of his superior Aikido skills, Dan prevailed over the man and won the day. In this way, he has not fully embodied the ideal of masakatsu agatsu.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-04-2002 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 10-05-2002, 07:55 AM   #36
kendo52
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I'm shocked that Aikidoka of any rank would get caught up in banter and rhetoric. Having trained extensively with Dan Messisco Sensei . . . let it be known that if he chooses, he can take care of himself - in ANY martial situation - but that's not his message. His message is in the story - read it again. There's only one way to refer to Messisco Sensei - GRAB HIS WRIST.
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Old 10-05-2002, 08:08 AM   #37
mike lee
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shock value

Quote:
I'm shocked that Aikidoka of any rank would get caught up in banter and rhetoric.
I'm shocked that you're shocked!

(But please, stand by your man.)
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Old 10-05-2002, 02:41 PM   #38
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Captain Louis Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-05-2002, 09:53 PM   #39
G DiPierro
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Quote:
ken eckler (kendo52) wrote:
I'm shocked that Aikidoka of any rank would get caught up in banter and rhetoric.
Welcome to AikiWeb! Quite a shocking place, isn't it?
Quote:
His message is in the story - read it again. There's only one way to refer to Messisco Sensei - GRAB HIS WRIST.
If the only way to "refer" to him, whatever that means, is to "grab his wrist" then why did he write the story in the first place? If you don't want people to discuss your writing then you shouldn't post it here! Besides, if you are right that the only way for us to judge Dan is to physically grab his wrist ourselves, then obviously we will have to ignore your post. After all, you wouldn't want us to get up caught up in any banter and rhetoric, would you?

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-05-2002 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 10-06-2002, 05:49 AM   #40
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
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If I may throw my own 2 cents in and get back to the original topic, I fail to see any point in which the writer 'submitted' to the TKD instructor. He acted as uke, yes, but is being uke being submissive? I don't believe so, especially not in this case.

In the story, Sensei Dan took the TKD instructor's wrist and began to teach him an Aikido technique, using himself as uke. Far from an act of submission, it is quite the opposite: He established and maintained the role of instructor in the situation, placing the TKD inst. firmly in the role of student. He did it in a very skillful manner too; in such a way that TKD couldn't object and had no reason to. An excellent demonstration of the first rule of teaching: 'control your class'. I have to remember that technique and add it to my repertoire.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-06-2002, 09:02 AM   #41
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
I fail to see any point in which the writer 'submitted' to the TKD instructor.
Please go back and read the thread more carefully. Pay particular attention to posts 21, 25, 27, 29 and the last half of 33. I really don't feel like explaining this again.
Quote:
He established and maintained the role of instructor in the situation, placing the TKD inst. firmly in the role of student. He did it in a very skillful manner too
Yes, I agree with all this. Dan handled that well.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-06-2002 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 10-06-2002, 11:32 AM   #42
DaveO
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Well, EXCUSE me!

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
Please go back and read the thread more carefully. Pay particular attention to posts 21, 25, 27, 29 and the last half of 33. I really don't feel like explaining this again.
Pardon me; I wasn't aware my post warranted such patronizing condecension. Neither was I aware I needed any explanation from you. I do not see any of his actions as submission; I see them as an acceptance of the situation and a successful resolution of conflict. His class was disrupted by this individual; he had a simple choice: Allow the disruption to continue or solve it. He chose the latter, and had another choice: Solve it positively or negatively. He chose the former. If you choose to see that as 'submission', that's your choice, not mine.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-06-2002, 01:59 PM   #43
G DiPierro
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Re: Well, EXCUSE me!

Quote:
Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
Pardon me; I wasn't aware my post warranted such patronizing condecension. Neither was I aware I needed any explanation from you.
No? Who did you think was going to explain it? Who did you think you were addressing when you questioned the idea of Dan having 'submitted'? Had you bothered to read the thread carefully, like I suggested, you would have realized that you were responding to my posts. Next time, show some respect to the those with whom you disagree by at least demonstrating in your post that you have read and understood their positions.
Quote:
I do not see any of his actions as submission; I see them as an acceptance of the situation and a successful resolution of conflict. His class was disrupted by this individual; he had a simple choice: Allow the disruption to continue or solve it. He chose the latter, and had another choice: Solve it positively or negatively. He chose the former. If you choose to see that as 'submission', that's your choice, not mine.
Your argument is that because Dan's actions were positive in effect, they couldn't be submission. Why not?
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Old 10-07-2002, 02:56 AM   #44
mike lee
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Cool hindsight is 20-20? maybe not

Oftentimes, when under pressure and with enough training and acquired wisdom, we simply react in a certain way based on instincts. It seems to be almost impossible to fully understand what we did and why we did it the moment.

Neverthess, afterwards, we like like to speculate -- yet, such speculation can never truly be fully accurate.

Basically, all we can do is listen, learn and grow -- and avoid fighting for no reason, except to support our sorry egos.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:13 AM   #45
Jason Tonks
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Here's a story regarding the late Master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei who brought Aikido to the United Kingdom in the early 1950's and helped its spread as well as many other budo arts around Europe. One evening when walking back from the dojo, Abbe noticed a group of four young men watching him from the other side of the road. Suddenly the group approached Abbe demanding his wallet. Abbe's response was to throw his wallet on the floor and state " I'm prepared to die for that, what about you?" The men looked at each other then at the wallet, then at Abbe then fled.

I just thought I'd share this story because it is the kind of one that inspires me. Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was my Sensei's teacher back in the 1950's and was a man full of martial spirit and courage. Sometimes I feel in Aikido this has become sadly lacking. I'm sure I'm not a lone voice in the wilderness.

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:31 AM   #46
G DiPierro
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Re: hindsight is 20-20? maybe not

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
It seems to be almost impossible to fully understand what we did and why we did it the moment. Neverthess, afterwards, we like like to speculate -- yet, such speculation can never truly be fully accurate.
That sounds pretty good to me, although I think that "almost impossible" is a bit too strong. Difficult, perhaps, but possible. I found this quote in an online version of the Hagakure and thought it relevant.
Quote:
We can recognise others faults but are always blind to our own.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-07-2002 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 10-07-2002, 04:12 AM   #47
mike lee
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Cool long live the ego

Quote:
We can recognise others faults but are always blind to our own.
Well, the main reason there is that I don't have any faults. I thought I was wrong once, but then I found out I was mistaken.
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Old 10-07-2002, 07:38 AM   #48
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Jason wrote:
a man full of martial spirit and courage. Sometimes I feel in Aikido this has become sadly lacking. I'm sure I'm not a lone voice in the wilderness.
You certainly aren't ("If I could have a dollar for every time I've heard ..."). I like your story about Kenshiro Abbe. I liked Dan Messico's story, too. To me, one of the ideas that is at the heart of AiKiDo is the idea of creativity. I feel that the exciting part of these stories is that they make me think again about a situation that I thought I had understood. It is because of this that I find the lament of the 'loss of martial spirit' in AiKiDo so tiresome. It seems to me (and I could be quite wrong) an attitude where the lamenter tries to fit AiKiDo into a box they feel that they already understand, rather than looking for the creative insight or the creative approach that would allow it to be something new and different from anything they had previously imagined.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:13 AM   #49
mike lee
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new levels of nonsense

Quote:
I just thought I'd share this story because it is the kind of one that inspires me. Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was my Sensei's teacher back in the 1950's and was a man full of martial spirit and courage. Sometimes I feel in Aikido this has become sadly lacking. I'm sure I'm not a lone voice in the wilderness.
Ah yes -- the time when men were men ...

If you want to be a man of courage, no one is stopping you. But what gives you the right to criticize others for not measuring up to your lofty standards?

I've often noticed that it's the cowards that like to sit back and chastise others for not having the kind of guts they imagine themselves to have. But when push comes to shove, they have a rather convenient habit of disappearing.

You try a trick like Abbe Sense's in present-day Chicago and the robbers are likely to pull out semi-automatic hand guns and fill you full of holes.

When I read your obit in the newspaper, I'll remember your inspiring story of courage, while pondering your lack of sound judgment.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-07-2002 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:18 AM   #50
opherdonchin
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Hey Mike,

Isn't that a bit harsh? Perhaps I read Abbe's story differently than you do. I imagine that pulling off that stunt requires a great deal of sensitivity to appreciate what will and will not work in a given situation, and it's important to notice that his solution did resolve the situation without his even threatening violence.

I see it like one of those very cool 'no hands' throws that people so often question. I'm sure there are lots of ways to do it wrong, and there are lots of ukes with whom it wouldn't work in any case. On the other hand, there is certainly something to be learned from trying to understand when and how it could work.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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