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Old 10-22-2002, 04:42 AM   #26
ian
 
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For those of you that have ever been in a real situation, or even in a war, you would know that it isn't the physical damage thats the hardest thing to bear, it's your own hatred.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:40 AM   #27
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Please describe a situation where you were attacked by something more serious than a drunk uncle, and you used the "loving protection" .
I'm starting to think, Aleksey, that you mean something very different by this phrase than I do. I also sort of suspect that you can understand a lot of what the other people on the thread are saying by imagining that they have a very, very broad definition of what counts as a drunk uncle.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-22-2002, 02:43 PM   #28
Jim ashby
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I have no problem with protecting my loved ones over ANYONE else. If you really want to know the full extent of rage, and I mean RAGE, just see a mother when her baby is threatened (or a father for that matter). Loving protection for all is a great concept, except when you are fighting for your life. Before you ask, yes, I have been there and I have the scars to show for it.

Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 10-22-2002, 02:59 PM   #29
shihonage
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
I'm starting to think, Aleksey, that you mean something very different by this phrase than I do. I also sort of suspect that you can understand a lot of what the other people on the thread are saying by imagining that they have a very, very broad definition of what counts as a drunk uncle.
And I get this feeling that some people in this thread agree with one another without realizing it.

All in all, this has become a very confusing thread
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Old 10-23-2002, 07:38 AM   #30
opherdonchin
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Loving protection for all is a great concept, except when you are fighting for your life.
There is probably a lot of truth to this. I guess the way I look at that issue is that I think of 'loving protection' as an aspiration or even a strategy that can be partially fulfilled or partially adopted. Just like I wouldn't ever say that I perform my techniques with 'real' relaxation, I would also say that I never quite manage to perform my techniques with 'real' loving protection. I'm better now than I was 5 years ago, but that can be small comfort sometimes.

So I think of the way anger and rage get in the way of loving protection the same way I think of how stress and fear get in the way of relaxation. Clearly in any real life situation I will be less relaxed and less loving and less centered than I am in the dojo. I suppose this means I will be less effective. That is one of the reasons I work to train these things in the dojo: so I will be able to reap the maximum benefit in any situations of conflict I may face.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-23-2002, 09:38 AM   #31
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Hiya'll!

Personally i think that you could protect both yourself and your loved ones without making it into an exertion of egocentricity. Most people seem to think that their frail egos (mine included) are so important to protect that they end upp hurting both themselves and averyone else.

I don't think that anyone in their right mind would REALLY like to exert more violence than the situation called for.

Personaly i hope that my MA-training will give me the focus and mental stability that allows someone to MAKE "that call" and hurt everyone involved to a minimum extent or preferably not at all.

As for if we should re-evaluate the pacifistic content of O-senseis teaching i think that the answer is pretty obvious:

We could disect his teachings and pick only what we wanted, but then we couldn't claim that it had the original loving motive of Aikido now could we?

Love can be fostring and firm but a truly loving and compassionate brother/sister or mother/father would not inflict damage or retaliate on a strayed member of their family. In the end it's all about how large a group you feel obligated towards yourself. Family, neighbours, countrymen or humanity... you set your own mental limitations. Or break them...

Just think that Aikido is a splendid means of doing the latter and would like to keep it that way...

Peace/Jesper
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Old 10-24-2002, 03:14 AM   #32
mike lee
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Cool ego-driven teachers

Quote:
All in all, this has become a very confusing thread
Where is the confusion coming from?
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Old 10-30-2002, 11:57 AM   #33
Jermaine Alley
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I am loving these comments.

I don't think that we should pick apart O'sensei's teachings at all. I just wanted to know if we had any participants that thought that some times we are being taught to be too "Nice".

Are we being conditioned to be "too Nice" or expecting our Uke/attacker to be "cooperative". Is this type of conditioning instilling a "false sense of security"?

Is our study of Aikido, its principles and techniques instilling a false sense of security in reference to the "real world"? That might be a new thread,....
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Old 11-13-2002, 07:22 PM   #34
VegasJody
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Here is my think on the subject:

When a baby cries, you don't punch it. When a child becomes angry or violent, you don't break it's arm.

Why?

This is to say that when you have superior physical ability over another, you don't fully bring it to bear on them. You utilize only as much as is nessesary to resolve the problem, and no more.

It's a difficult viewpoint to put into action in a self defense situation .... but nobody said life was easy.
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Old 11-13-2002, 08:02 PM   #35
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Ian, I am in the military, and yes, I agree that violence is always a short term solution. War never ends with the cease fire and a signed treaty...it is followed by many, many years of hard work and healing.

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Old 11-14-2002, 05:15 AM   #36
mike lee
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attitude

Quote:
I don't think that we should pick apart O'sensei's teachings at all. I just wanted to know if we had any participants that thought that some times we are being taught to be too "Nice".
I think that if O'Sensei were still alive he would say something like, "Train your heart out, but don't compete with one another and if you must fight, WIN!"
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Old 12-01-2002, 12:19 AM   #37
Jeff Tibbetts
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after reading through most of these posts, much of what I hear is familiar. Again, in a situation like this, when one attacks and you simply use Aikido to attack them back with "their own force", you devalue what lies at the heart of Aikido. This is only my opinion, but allow me to explain.

This all goes back to the old argument over loving protection. Why is it that some people are so scared of the term "loving protection", is it because our western sensibilities have told us that love is for your wife, children, and those close to you only? Why is it that we fail to realise that we are truly all the same. The guy attacking has his own story, and it surely is just as important to him as yours is to you. If people see Aikido as just another form of self defense than it truly is nothing more than Karate or Tae Kwon Do or anything else. As I've said before, some of those arts are better at getting an attacker to realise he's doing something dumb with a broken arm or worse, so why don't you all take that art and not get into this argument? I still believe that Aikido is about more than that, about trying to find ways to alleviate the suffering and the pain, and finding ways to make the situation better. If you don't see a problem with "teaching someone a lesson" than why try to talk them down at all? This country (the U.S.) has become a fairly wicked place to live, and certainly breaking someone's arm isn't going to change a damn thing. If someone honestly went to mug another for his money, and ended up with a hot meal and no broken bones than something good just happened, wether you want to give up your "hard earned moneyy" or not is another question. I'm not making the claim that we should all go out and feed some bums (or transients, if you want to be PC) but I am saying that I'd rather give up $10 dollars than break another person's arm. Wishful thinking, I know. All I'm wondering, if Aikido is truly just as violent in intention than why take it, as I've said there are other more violent arts that are faster to learn and everything. Why go through all the added training and "sit through" all the philosophy if you can simply abandon the whole concept of love long enough to win a fight and reinforce your western sense of ego and justice? Why take this art if you aren't serious about the alternative approach to violence.

If a person is inexpierienced and acting violently to defend oneself is the best they can do, than no-one can really look down on them for it. The problem comes when people are so quick to switch over into the violence mode when the time comes, not even trying to spread any sort of love. I just ask "why bother"

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 12-01-2002, 06:26 PM   #38
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Alot of what you are writing seems to personify aikido, that is talking about it as if it is really alive or something. Aikido can be a philosophy. It can be an art, and it can also be a "way" or path. What is cannot be is a alive in the sense that a person is alive.

What I am getting at is aikido is defined by each and every person as different who studies it. I believe at it's base level it is simply trying to unify the yin/yang of harmony. it is niether good nor bad, violent nor passive.

To say that Aikido is better than Karate, Tae Kwon Do, or any other art is to judge another art superficially. People make up the art, and people that study aikido can be violent or immoral as any one else. We should judge people by there actions, not by the art they identify with.

Aikido can be used violently in the right situation, but I submit that since it is a principle based art, that you cannot define any action taken to resolve conflict purely with in the confines of "Aikido".

As an Army Ranger, I studied ad nausem army tactics that are used to destroy the enemy. If you look closely at the underlying doctrine and principles, they are aikido. Yin/Yang using anothers force and momentum against them. I don't believe though that anyone would identify U.S Army Ranger tactics as "Aikido" though.

Why? because it is the person not the art that defines an aikidoka.

As an Army Ranger, it is possible to also be an aikidoka in combat and apply those principles in your daily life, even in combat.

I think someone already said it, hatred, anger, and ego are the things that define something as "not Aikido". by using compassion, love, and respect....you can use the same "technique" and apply aikido.

There simply is not an easy answer.

Theoretically, we should love all persons in the world equally. It is our ego and emotions that cause us to love the people closer to us than those strangers we do not know. While it is common sense to protect life and limb in a situation, we really should not choose to "overprotect" those things that our ego tells us are more important.

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Old 12-09-2002, 09:10 PM   #39
IwamaRyuCole
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I think that the uniquness(sp) of aikido's 'loving protection' is that, unlike shotokan or other striking heavy arts, is that aikido can be used to an extent that necessary for the situation. You could subdue a drunken buddy with it, and with the same techniques you could break an arm of someone threatening your life. I that in itself is 'loving protection', protecting you first, and than the attacker. And on the false sense of security issue... i think that some folks who practice aikido may get a false sense of security if they train soft all the time AND IF THEY FORGET ATEMI, in a real life situation you wont just be able to whip out with an ikkyo without a sufficient atemi, now of course i've heard of dojo's not teaching atemi (glad the one i go to isnt one of those), but dont forget...70%atemi,30%technique. there has been one occurence where i had to actualy use aikido...atemi is your friend, and if you know how to use it than a false sense of security shouldent arise (at least in my opinion) ...
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:04 AM   #40
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And so...

the discussion turns into the familiar debate of individual preservation vs. empathy.

I think that mr. Tibbets post hit right on the spot.

That's why i get all the more frustrated when i see that what he says is immediately dismissed.

Non or -minimal violence IS idealistic NOT pragmatic.

Sure Aikido is adaptive but the concept of pacifism is not. Either you use Aikido too resolve a situation minimizing harm on all parties OR you dismiss the supreme value of such a outcome. If you compromize the motives of this "active pacifism" called aikido it has no longer anything to do with love for your fellow man, only defense of our ego, physical and mental.

Love is unconditional or it's not love.

Wether Aikido is the budo with the best tools for minimizing damage can be discussed (i personally think it is) but the means of defence is subordinated to the MOTIVE wich is the more pacifistic among budo.

You can kill someone with a teddybear (read aikido) but that doesn't mean that it was created with that vial intent. Dont blame "toys'r'us"(read O-sensei)

Summary:

Anyone can use tools from the Aikido repertoire too cause harm or death but they can not convince anyone that this was O-senseis intent for them to do so. He was very explicitit about the fact it was a path of love, the minimal amount of force that would still protect all parties. To exeed the limits would be an unneccesary and immoral act of revenge.
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Old 12-11-2002, 06:33 AM   #41
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Either you use Aikido too resolve a situation minimizing harm on all parties OR you dismiss the supreme value of such a outcome. If you compromize the motives of this "active pacifism" called aikido it has no longer anything to do with love for your fellow man, only defense of our ego, physical and mental.
I think this is a little bit too harsh. It's like saying 'either my techniques use no muscle or I'm a bad aikidoka.' In fact, I constantly discover new ways to think about being gentle and being accepting and none of them have ever been simple 'either I do it or I don't' sorts of ideas.

For instance, loving acceptance of all things includes acceptance of myself and my limitations and especially the limitations of my good will and charitable instincts. It is only by accepting these limitations (I've found) that I learn to become more charitable to others.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-12-2002, 04:08 AM   #42
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Hi again!

I would just like to say to mr. Donchin that me using muscle or not was not what i meant. I would think it MORE irresponible to execute a tecnique WITHOUT the strength and stamina to asure a beneficial outcome.

I mean let's be honest. You KNOW with training exactly when you've crossed the line of minimal justified force in a given situation.

I do Iwama wich by some is considered harsh but that doesn't mean that i don't have the OPTION to adapt MY INTENT to a lower level threat. I might have to use more atemi and muscle as the situation progresses but then that would again be adapting to the situation when it ARISES.

I will not boast with having aikido-abilities i don't posses but my intent stands firm...

love... unconditionally

Jesper Arenskogh
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Old 12-12-2002, 05:08 AM   #43
mike lee
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In a street altercation where there are numerous unknowns, I immediately use maximum force. If he becomes apologetic, I give him loving protection.
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Old 12-12-2002, 10:21 AM   #44
opherdonchin
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Wow. What a beautiful statement of the two extremes back to back.

I don't know what I 'do' in street altercations, because I haven't had any. I know that I often fall short of the ideal of 'loving protection' in all sorts of other situations. I try to forgive myself for this for two reasons. First, because I feel I deserve the same acceptance and loving protection as everyone else, despite my flaws. Second because I think that forgiving myself is the surest path towards becoming more effective and more gentle.

Mr. Arenskogh (you can call me Opher), I was using the idea of not using strength as an analogy: wanting to be loving is like wanting to use no strength in techniques. They are both aspirations that I understand I will never 'achieve.' Sometimes I look back and I see how much more loving (and less forceful) I've become while gaining effectiveness. Other times I look forward and see how much further I still have to go.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-14-2002, 04:07 PM   #45
Bruce Baker
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Almost all the answers were a resounding "No" on one level or another to the queston.

I guess the answer is "Loving protection of Some, not All."
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Old 12-14-2002, 05:45 PM   #46
Thalib
 
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"Loving protection of all" is never practical. If it's practical, everybody would be doing it already, and there will be no wars, no fights.

It is more practical and easier to hate, discriminate, prejudice, defeat, and destroy.

I want to be a human being, not an animal that is ruled by instinct. I wan't to be able to be in control of my emotions, not the other way around.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-14-2002, 06:26 PM   #47
opherdonchin
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Quote:
I want to be a human being, not an animal that is ruled by instinct. I wan't to be able to be in control of my emotions, not the other way around.
And I want to recognize and accept my animal nature and my connection to and participation in the 'animal kingdom.' I want to recognize my uniqueness as an individual and as a representative of a unique species (although each individual and each species is unique). I want to learn to ride my emotions and play with them the way surfers ride the waves and the way nage and uke ride each other.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-16-2002, 12:54 AM   #48
Jeff Tibbetts
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I have a bad feeling about something, but I'm not sure yet what it is. I think that a lot of the problems in our daily lives, and in the way that we react to others (even on a sociological or national-political level) are clearly caused by feverishly overgrown egos. Now, just having said that I think alot of people will be offended, and I think that says alot about who we are. In American society, one is taught from day one that we are all individuals with our own set of wants/needs and goals and... you get the picture. At the same time we are all told that there are these other people all around us, and that we have to learn to get along with them. When I was yound I had a bit of a problem trying to understand this seeming paradox, only a little maturity and mental exercise brought me the answers to a lot of my questions. It seems that not too many other people see this duality as a problem, because they're not talking about it. No-one told me that you have to balance your goals with your loved ones, and that you can have your own desires so long as they're what other people want you to desire. There are a lot of egos out there who don't (or weren't socialized to) understand that they are truly not the center of the world. Your eyes are a window to the world around you, and the room does not cease to exist when you leave it. There are countless other egos at work to influence your life and those of others, and they don't always have the same goals. I think that this is at the root of why people have a problem with loving protection. I think that we are oftentimes so wrapped up in where we're going that when another path crosses ours it's either a barrier or a tool to exploit. I know that this makes it sound like the whole world is filled with jerks, but I think that our society teaches us "instrumentality", not the "blending" that we find in things like Aikido and some belief systems, like Shinto. We are all products of our environment, and we can choose to an extent how much we let that be conscious and how much we try to cast off. I guess it's just a hard pill to swallow, and don't think that I don't have a problem with it, too. For me, Aikido is a way to try to train myself to be more sympathetic to others, and to open my mind. I think that we all need to examine why we're involved with something as different and special as Aikido. Look at one of the few portraits of O-Sensei where he looks at the camera, look at his eyes and tell me that this is not a man filled with "something" that you just can't figure out yet. There's something going on in Aikido, and I can't yet see where it's headed. You are yourself, but you're also a piece of the puzzle of humanity, and you must decide where you'll fit in. Are you one of those kids who would try to jam a puzzle piece into a spot where it just barely didn't fit? I'm no conformist, but I do think that 9 out of 10 conflicts are caused by an overinflated ego on one or both ends. What can we do but work on that for ourselves. How selfless do you have to be to not only walk away from a pointless fight, but then explain to all your friends that you take a martial art that could have easily "defeated" the other person, and that it wasn't just out of fear but a genuine belief that conflict SHOULD be avoided. I don't know, it's hard to not show off sometimes, but I think it's important to maintain that humility. I think I'm really rambling here, what do you all think about this?

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 12-16-2002, 01:17 AM   #49
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Well, Tibbetts-san, I could say that I'm not at all offended with your post, and agree 99%. The only part that I don't agree is Aikido trains one to be sympathetic. Sympathy is useless. Only feeling sorry for someone else doesn't do that person or yourself any good.

Aikido actually trains one to be empathic. Feel what the others are feeling. Think about all the way the techniques are done. The way to harmonize with the attacking partner is know the partner's intentions, the partner's will and feelings, the partner's mind and spirit.

When one is empathic to another, one will do one's best to help one another.

I am naturally a selfish person. Everytime, I realize this it makes me sad, sometimes even teary eyed. What even makes me more sad is, I'm really not making an effort to change. Although I'm better now than I was in the past. Aikido helped me with that.

Last edited by Thalib : 12-16-2002 at 01:24 AM.

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Old 12-17-2002, 09:48 AM   #50
Jeff Tibbetts
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Thalib, okay, you got me on that one... I always get those two mixed together in my mind, but I really meant to say EMPATHIC. sorry about that Thanks for catching it, though. In many ways, I think it's natural to be selfish, it's the human condition. The thing about that is, though, is that it is oftentimes a better thing to not be, even if it's hard to explain. I think we all struggle to not be selfish, sometimes you do and sometimes not. What you need to remember is that you notice you're selfish after you do something that either hurts someone else you care about or something you did comes back to haunt you. What you don't often remember are all the times that you weren't selfish, as the positive effects are far more subtle, and usually go unnoticed by everyone, yourslef included. When someone else does realise you're doing something good for others, there's a good chance that you're doing it in a way that makes it too obvious, and there's a danger that you're doing it only to make yourself look better, which is actually selfish. I guess all I really mean is that selfishness is a sticky and magnetic force, and that you have to really try hard not to fall into it, wether you're even conscious of it or not is another matter sometimes.

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
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