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Old 10-07-2002, 08:30 AM   #51
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
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You're probably right here Opher. I can be quite idealistic and I tend to hanker after the "old school ways" myself. Dan was undoubtedly in a very awkward situation in the story. I'm sure now as someone has said Dan can handle himself. He obviously chose the way he felt was best at the time. My only concern was that this choice was made for him through the bullying posture and words of another. I was just concerned at first that he had been bullied into his actions. I feel now that I was wrong and misjudged Dan's actions.

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:45 AM   #52
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Jason wrote:
My only concern was that this choice was made for him through the bullying posture and words of another. I was just concerned at first that he had been bullied into his actions.
I can certainly identify with this feeling.

I guess that for a number of people on the thread, the reaction to the story revolves around the question of whether Dan could have 'taken' the other instructor. If he could have, then it's possible to see his choice as wise and generous; if he couldn't, then the suspicion arises that Dan was forced to submit. I've heard AiKiDo teachers say, "if you don't know how to hurt the other person, you can't choose not to do so."

While I think those ideas have a lot to teach us about our attitudes towards violence and non-violence, my personal reaction to the story is a little different. I guess that I hope that I, faced with the same situation, would find an answer that taught me as much and stayed with me as long as Dan's answer did for him. Ultimately, the value of the situation for Dan is in what he takes away from it, and how much use he manages to make of that. His submission or, alternatively, his faithful adherence to principles of non-violence both seem like secondary questions for me.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-07-2002, 09:12 AM   #53
Jason Tonks
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Mike. My only point in all of this was my concern that Dan had been bullied into the way he acted. I now understand that I misjudged his actions and that he was more than capable of dealing with this situation differently if need be. I can be a bit idealistic at times, but I hate the thought of bullies and thugs getting their way.

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:07 PM   #54
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
I guess that for a number of people on the thread, the reaction to the story revolves around the question of whether Dan could have 'taken' the other instructor. If he could have, then it's possible to see his choice as wise and generous; if he couldn't, then the suspicion arises that Dan was forced to submit.
Yes! You have hit it right on the head! Could he have taken the other man? I think the answer is no, but it just doesn't matter. He didn't have to. Look, the guy came over and rudely demanded to be taught Aikido. That's not how to do things, but we have to look at the situation in perspective. The other man is an instructor himself, they share the same practice space, and Dan was a visitor in his country.

So just how much of an insult was it to Dan that the other man took this approach? Not that much. If Dan had been a shihan or even a highly ranked shidoin, then maybe it would have been different, but if that were the case then Dan, or one of his students, would have been sure to teach the man a different sort of lesson, one about respect, not about Aikido techniques.

But Dan let the indiscretion slide, and in this situation I think it was the right thing to do. It was, in fact, submitting, but the reality is that we often submit to others out of respect or because the situation simply requires it, even when they have done something that we don't like. It is part of life, and certainly part of life in the martial arts.

The problem I saw in Dan's story is that he missed this, and he thought that he had not submitted but instead prevailed over the man by trickery or deception. Alot of people on this thread also saw it that way, and I think that's largely a result of the competitive attitude that always needs to identify with winning and being better than others. But Dan is no better or worse than the other man, regardless of what art the other guy teaches or how he approached Dan. The right thing to do was to teach the man some Aikido, not because the other guy threatened him, and not because it resolved the conflict that Dan percieved, but because that's what the man needed and because Dan could provide it. Had Dan realized this in the first place, then there never would have been a conflict at all. That would have been an example of how Aikido can avoid a conflict entirely.

Dan's decision to teach the man by taking ukemi rather than throwing him was a wonderful idea. It alone makes this story worth reading. But why was it important in resolving this conflict? Strictly speaking, the question of method of instruction shouldn't have mattered. The conflict was resolved by Dan's decision to teach the man, regardless of method, because the conflict was created only by Dan's reluctance to teach the man. Why was Dan so reluctant? Maybe he was a little scared and wasn't sure if he could safely throw an aggressive, trained TKD instructor. And maybe he hadn't thought of the idea of taking ukemi for him. Perhaps he was locked into the idea that only way to teach this man a lesson was to throw him.

If so, that would explain why he experienced the idea of taking ukemi as the element that resolved the conflict. For him, this idea, finally appearing at the last minute when Dan thought there was no other way out, is what enabled him to willingly and confidently teach the man. His fear disappeared as he realized that he didn't have to throw the man to teach him. Confidently, Dan reached out grabbed the man's wrist, knowing that neither he nor the other man would be hurt.

The idea of taking ukemi may have played a key role in the resolution of this conflict because it may have been what Dan needed to feel safe teaching this man. And teaching the man was what ultimately resolved this conflict because, in spite of the man's agression and impoliteness, it was the right thing to do.
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:25 PM   #55
kendo52
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Sorry to put all of you on the defensive - My original post (and intent) meant to read "engage in banter and rhetoric . . . about someone you obviously don't know a whole lot about." If you knew more about Dan Sensei - and its not my job to tell - But if you did , all of your theories and mental constructs, ifs, ands and buts, would become meaningless.

All of your comments remind me how hard it is to have faith and believe in ourselves and other people. I agree that this discussion does come down to who could have taken who - and that is exactly what Dan meant by the relative world. To compare his decision to throw or not - or for him to even engage in combat - would be to relegate the encounter and situation into the dualistic world of Me Vs. Him. Whether it be ukemi or nage being relative to TKD and confrontation is still relativity!! You cannot compare Dan and the TKD for they are mutually exclusive and Dan chose to embody the absolute ideal - aikido.

His original post and story is in response to Aikido Journals thread about Daito Ryu's effectiveness Vs. Aikido's. Did anyone put his post in the context of that thread when writing their reply? Just curious as ever- kendo52
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:11 AM   #56
mike lee
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Cool shotgun posts

Quote:
All of your comments remind me how hard it is to have faith and believe in ourselves and other people.
Does that include me? If so, why?
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:16 AM   #57
mike lee
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maybe better left unsaid

Quote:
The problem I saw in Dan's story is that he missed this, and he thought that he had not submitted but instead prevailed over the man by trickery or deception.
A classic case of a man in denial?
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:38 AM   #58
G DiPierro
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Quote:
ken eckler (kendo52) wrote:
My original post (and intent) meant to read "engage in banter and rhetoric . . . about someone you obviously don't know a whole lot about."
I don't see this thread as being about Dan per se. It's about a story of which Dan happened to be the author of as well as the main character. Our comments have been limited to Dan's function in these two roles and have no bearing on him outside of this scope. IOW, we have limited our comments to only those subjects about which we have some information.
Quote:
His original post and story is in response to Aikido Journals thread about Daito Ryu's effectiveness Vs. Aikido's. Did anyone put his post in the context of that thread when writing their reply?
Although Dan's story was originally posted in a different context, by allowing it to be reposted it here he was agreeing to an important change in context. Instead of being one reply among many in a long thread, Dan's story became the central focus of its own thread. It was also added to one of the permenant sections of this site as a stand-alone item. Dan surely consented to this change, and by doing so brought his story to a wider audience but also subjected it to a much greater degree of scrutiny. One of the first results of this change in context is that many posters early in this thread read too much into Dan's story, thinking to be far more meaningful than it actually was. Eventually, this led to others in the thread to question some of the assumptions upon which these early evaluations were based, leading finally to a quite detailed discussion about the true motivations for the actions of those involved. As I understand it, this thread was created precisely for that purpose.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-08-2002 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 10-08-2002, 04:34 AM   #59
Jason Tonks
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Well put Giancarlo. Not everybody is going to interpret a story in the same way. Freedom of speech and belief I think it's called. I personally can be quite opinionated but if I'm in the wrong like to think I can admit it. Isn't it funny how quickly things can flair up even over an internet posting between two people who don't know each other and live on opposite sides of the world! To think we practice the Art of Peace! The sad reality is that peace sometimes comes at a cost. The vast majority of the time a peaceful solution can be found through discussion and debate but sometimes this is not so. At such times, if justification is on our side I feel we should act against a threat to our well being. Getting back to Dan's story, at the end of the day everybody will draw their own conclusions. Once you make things public, people judge, whether you like it or not. It's human nature.

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-08-2002, 04:43 AM   #60
mike lee
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Cool the art of growth

Quote:
Getting back to Dan's story, at the end of the day everybody will draw their own conclusions.
Or maybe at the end of the day we can learn something new, become a little more open-minded, and be a little more tolerant.
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Old 10-08-2002, 05:14 AM   #61
Jason Tonks
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Mike I do apologise. We can't all have your humility, piousness and unique insight. Your digs are getting a bit tiresome now. You were obviously after a reaction. Now you got one.

Feel better?

Jason T
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Old 10-08-2002, 05:29 AM   #62
mike lee
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Cool missing the mark by a country mile

Quote:
Mike I do apologise. We can't all have your humility, piousness and unique insight. Your digs are getting a bit tiresome now. You were obviously after a reaction. Now you got one.
I wasn't expecting an apology. But then again, I guess I didn't get one.

P.S. Reactions are not required.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-08-2002 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:59 AM   #63
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
Mike wrote:
Or maybe at the end of the day we can learn something new, become a little more open-minded, and be a little more tolerant.
Quote:
Jason wrote:
Mike I do apologise. We can't all have your humility, piousness and unique insight. Your digs are getting a bit tiresome now.
I hope Mike won't be offended if I say that I also feel his posts occasionally come off a tad sanctimonious. On the other hand, often I think he has some important perspectives to offer. In this particular case, I'd say that I had both reactions simultaneously. It's true that Mike's post can be read as a sort of 'dig,' but that's not the only way you can choose to read it. Another way to read it is as a fairly straight and honest response to Jason saying, "if justification is on our side I feel we should act against a threat to our well being." When I read Jason's post, I really wanted to respond to that line, but I couldn't think of a way to do it gracefully. I'm not sure whether Mike succeeded in responding to the idea gracefully, but I see him as having given it an honest try.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:14 AM   #64
Jason Tonks
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Oper. You're right again and I wish I could be as diplomatic as you are. God I tried here after I felt I was in the wrong. However Mike didn't seem to know when he'd won! I find it difficult not to bite back at times but Mike seemed intent on (as I read it) goading me not just a couple of times, but on every occasion. As far as I'm concerned it's over. I apologise for any bad feeling this may have caused. I like to think if we all met each other we'd be mates!

All the best

Jason T
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:19 AM   #65
mike lee
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Blush! pious poop

Quote:
I hope Mike won't be offended if I say that I also feel his posts occasionally come off a tad sanctimonious
ONLY A TAD??? I'M INSULTED!!!
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:23 AM   #66
mike lee
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bad-news Bears

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I like to think if we all met each other we'd be mates!
Only if you're a die-hard Bears fan. (Damn Packers!)
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:21 PM   #67
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
Mike wrote:
ONLY A TAD??? I'M INSULTED!!!
He he he.

I have to admit that these forums have been a consistent 'workout' for me and for my AiKiDo. I often feel very challenged to find the balance between asserting myself (not having my center taken) and crossing over into an attack (throwing my own center away). Everyone knows about how, on the mat, the goal is to perform every technique with a feeling of newness, bringing to it all the focus, connectedness, and center that you can. Of course, on the mat I rarely achieve that. I rarely achieve that here on the forums, either, but I try to do the same thing: bring a sense of expressing my AiKiDo every time. Very challenging and very frustrating.

Last edited by opherdonchin : 10-08-2002 at 12:25 PM.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:43 AM   #68
mike lee
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the circle game

Quote:
I have to admit that these forums have been a consistent 'workout' for me and for my AiKiDo.
I guess I like to keep "working it" on the forums sometimes, like on the mat when you keep working a technique in an effort to get it generally right. But sometimes one's just got to let it go until the next practice, or the next thread.

I try to get it to the point where the young hot-heads finally go beyond themselves, and can even laugh at themselves -- but it's long-term process. It's not really about taking "digs" or being pious, although on the outside, it comes off that way.

It's like when someone visits a dojo with advanced practice going on and they perceive it as being violent, aggressive, rowdy -- when actually we're just pushing ourselves to the limit and having a good time.

The intent for us is always peace. But how does one know if it's a real, genuine peace unless it's occassionally challenged by a good-natured "attack" once in awhile?

(More words count less.)

Last edited by mike lee : 10-10-2002 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 10-10-2002, 03:22 AM   #69
Jason Tonks
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Alright there Mike. Fair play to you there. I did end up laughing at myself and you're right, I can be a bit of a hot head and have a bad habit of taking things personally when I know I should be viewing things dispassionately. Typical aries I'm told!

Isn't the theory easy compared to the actual real practice. Bit like my old chemistry experiments!
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Old 10-14-2002, 08:51 AM   #70
justinm
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Quote:
Jason Tonks wrote:
Isn't the theory easy compared to the actual real practice. Bit like my old chemistry experiments!
As a frenchman once told me - "it's all very well in practice, but it will never work in theory"
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Old 10-14-2002, 09:16 AM   #71
akiy
 
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"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they are not."

The topic here, though, is starting to diverge away from the article onhand. So far, there's been some interesting discussions on "The Importance of Receiving." Does anyone here have any other thoughts on the article?

-- Jun

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Old 10-14-2002, 10:31 AM   #72
mike lee
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knowing how to take a hit

I had a thought, but then I forgot it

No, honestly, I've been thinking a lot about football recently. They have receivers in football, but the guys I'm thinking about don't catch the football -- they're the offensive linemen who block for runners and protect the quarterback, and take a beating from rushing defensive linemen and linbackers game after game. They receive a lot of punishment, but they stoicly return to take more. I really admire the quiet strength of these guys.

When I was young, my heros were the destroyers on defense, such as Deacon Jones, Howey Long, Randy White, Richard Dent, `Mean' Joe Green, Ray Nitchke, and the most feared meance of them all, Dick Butkus. I loved the hitters -- the guys that wanted to put their opponents in the hospital, or worse.

But over the years, I learned to admire those guys that received a lot of punishment, and just kept on going. They were also big, awesome, powerful people, but they generally didn't say much, they just had a rock-solid work ethic. Yah; those offensive linemen know how to receive.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-14-2002 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:13 AM   #73
Usagi
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Talking about denial...

Most of you people are not paying attention to what was described.

The TKD guy DID NOT WANTED TO LEARN AIKIDO.

The whole point was exactly about that.

The guy WANTED TO FIGHT AND DEFEAT Dan.

So, for those of you who insist that the TKD fellow forced Dan to submit, it was quite the contrary.

The TKD guy wanted to fight and ended up HAVING DAN TEACHING HIM REAL AIKIDO.

If the TKD guy REALLY wanted to learn AiKiDo, his attitude would have been diferent.

The "teach me aikido" sentence was pure irony (anyone can realize that), an excuse to step onto the mat.

Dan acted "absent minded" as if he believed in the intention present in that setence, and TAUGHT AIKIDO.

And to put REAL fire in here...

If O-SenSei and his older deshi were so completely undefeatable, how do any of you explain "Rendevous with Adventure"?

And don't use the "Tohei SenSei was afraid to harm the poor fellow" on me...(that's not what i saw).

One thing is to "grab my finger", another one completely diferent is to fight with someone who REALLY wants to prove that he is better than you.

Most people are still looking for the martial art that will make them the Alpha Male...

True combat is about manipulating the opponent into doing useless acts (like grabing fingers for stance ), geting him out of guard and not about twisting joints or striking nervs.

Martial arts are about learning throught the motions.

Any martial art is as good as another.

To believe that just because you train aeekeedoe you are more efficient than a trained boxer, bjj, tkd or street thug is to day dream.

Just because you choose to marry your wife that doesn't mean that all other man in the world want to have her as their wife (or that marrieng her would make a diferent men as happy as you are).

For some reason people insist on these "aeekeedo beats everyone else!" atitude.

Even if it was so, and throught aeekeedo i could become a SuperSayajin, violence(even verbal) SHOULD be the last resource of the inept.

"Some people walk in the forest and see only wood for the fire..."

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and i- i took the one less traveled by,- and that has made all the diference!"
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:08 AM   #74
Bruce Baker
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It won't work if you do it.

There is an anomaly of having something work for one person that won't work for another person.

Even if done with the same attitude, same spirit, and same exact movements, the actual transition of actions, speech, and presence is dependant upon the individual and their ability to send a message.

Most of the advice we give here, on the Aikiweb forums, is our personal experience based on what works for us.

Now, I am a rather large man, middleaged, with a physical presence that trys not to send the message of danger to those around me. In fact, I find it my life's ambition to be invisible in most endeavors as it allows me to move quietly among the English, an old saying from colonial days.

Most tense situaltions can be disarmed with humor, humility, and a smidge of biting your tongue, but then that is also the advice of someone who would enjoy a raucaus fight with five to ten attackers, also.

No. It is your purpose of recognizing a situation that you must deal with within the means of your physical, mental, and life's experience so that your control of a situation allows your continued survival.

Beyond taking anyones advice, or listening to a story of what someone else did in a particular situation, we are trying to advance our knowledge and life experience without the actual encounter happening to us.

Get back on the ground with the distortion of doing this if you meet someone, or doing that ... it will happen the way it will happen.

Even if it like Dennis Hooker hitting a loud mouth challenger in the mouth as he walks into a dojo full of bravado, right or wrong, that is the way it happened, and it was a lesson to be learned from.

The real story is that we are only renting this time we are alive, inhabiting the earth ... look at any layers when a trench is dug or a road in cut into a mountain.

Don't be ruled by your baser instincts, but then again, use your head to keep out of trouble. The world is full of @@sses, no sense in you being one of them.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:41 PM   #75
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: AikiWeb News: New Article: The Importance of Receiving

I really liked this column. I could almost feel the guy's atitude change as he felt his uke.

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