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Old 10-29-2002, 04:58 PM   #26
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
John Bull wrote:
Once harmony has been restored (any pain involved was brought about by the aggressor) then I have nothing else to do.
Well, I'm a real 'loving protection' freak, so I see these things a little differently. I do think that it is not 'harmony' to blame the agressor for whatever pain they experience as a result of our interaction. It is not harmony because I am creating a separation between things that are 'my fault' and things that are not 'my fault.'

The key to my understanding of these issues is to leave aside the idea of what the 'ideal' aikidoka would do, or what 'aikido says you should do.' Instead, I do better when I focus on my own abilities and my own limitations. I strive to learn, through AiKiDo, how do defuse situations before they arise, de-escalate them when they do arise, and be with them in the moment as they unfold.

I feel that part of learning how to do this is a process of learning to see and understand things compassionately from points of view that I used to perceive as strange or weird or wrong. I have learned that the more succesfully I expand my perspective and my compassion, the more effective my AiKiDo. Sometimes, I fail to feel for the 'other' and I want to 'do something to them' (like preventing them from hurting me or throwing them to the ground). In these situations, I sometimes succeed in accomplishing my momentary goal, but I always know that I have seen a limitation in my AiKiDo. Of course, that's not bad. Seeing my limitations points out how I want to train. I lost track of the harmony, it was usually because I felt threatened. This gives me the opportunity to understand what sort of things threaten me and to motivate me to look for a place from which I can face them honestly and without fear.

Yours in Aiki
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Old 10-29-2002, 08:30 PM   #27
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 212
Jeff Tibbetts wrote:
Keep in mind that I'm presenting this as my father's argument, I have really come to some conclusions about it myself, but I want to hear how you would all respond to my father.
Why don't you ask him if he believes that others are morally obligated to control his behaviour should he be trying to hurt someone. Does he believe that strangers are responsible for him?
What do you all think about the moral goals of Aikido, during and after the fight, as it were. Am I being painfully naive in thinking that it's a better thing to stop the fight with less injury than to hurt them badly? This is, as has been said, dependant on their intentions, of course.
Personally I think that morals are contained within the person not the art. I don't see anything naive about wishing to cause the least amount of harm. I do believe that one would have to be much more skilled than one's assailant to accomplish that,factor in adrenaline, plus any anger and fear caused by the attack, the shock of it, well you may not have the chance to control your response as much as you might like.


I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 11-01-2002, 02:50 PM   #28
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
We seem to be getting somewhere.

As a father, I am trying to teach my children to be good individuals in a world that will mean well, but take advantage of you if you don't keep your wits about you.

As a human being, I find a morality of maintaining a law abiding society that will work for not only me, but generations that follow.

With Aikido, there is the ability to resolve conflict with conflict that is decisive, and strong, but it is tempered with wisdom and knowledge. If it means creating greater conflict to create harmony, then that is the harmony of the situation.

There is no absolute right way to resolve every situation.

I think ... most of what we learn is either from our mistakes or the mistakes of others.

In this vein, we are using Aikido to find clarity ... strength body and mind.

With our training, we can work out physical logistics without having to injure or kill each other ... so ... take your father to class or show him a video, and demonstrate some simple lessons.

If this doesn't work, let it go.

Go do what you want to do, it is, your life, your journey, your experience that teaches you what you need to know.
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Old 11-07-2002, 08:44 PM   #29
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinjya, Granite Falls, WA
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 2
There are certainly a lot of long posts here. While I read through each one, it is also possible that I missed some points and am being somewhat redundant.

Thus far, the underlying current seems to be a discussion of how much force is necessary, and whether or not you should hurt an attacker.

I believe we learn ukemi for a couple of reasons, two of which I will mention here. One is to allow others to practice their techniques (absolutely necessary). The other is to be able to take techniques without being seriously injured every time.

This is where the pain an injury part of practical 'real world' Aikido comes into play. While Aikido practitioners do not necessarily want to hurt an attacker, it would really be fairly difficult not to do so at least a little. An attacker is unlikely to have any idea how they might best respond to a technique, and thus end up spraining or breaking something during a move that would have only pained a partner in training. This wouldn't be because they were necessarily stupid (though this is up for debate if they are going around attacking people), but because they probably won't realize just how in control of them you can be. They probably won't hit the ground gracefully or turn their body just right, etc.

I'm probably not the only person who has had a technique hurt on me a little more than it had to because I inadvertently tensed or moved in a bad way. The effect could be greater on a person with no familiarity, and their reaction is difficult if not impossible to predict.

With control, you can somewhat determine the outcome. However, you do not want to do 'too little' or the person really won't stop (if you've seen or been in a fight (or seen COPS enough times) - which usually involve drunk people - you'll know this is largely true). It's a physical confrontation, and frankly, a physical attack needs an appropriate physical response (you're speaking Combat, and a person well-trained in Aikido is an excellent linguist). This is why I agree with the multiple iterations of the fact that the energy into an attack should, and typically does, translate into the energy you transfer through the technique. You are not really blending if it happens another way (powerful technique on a weak attack takes additional energy, just as slowing or weakening the technique does on a fierce attack). A person attacking softly will be naturally put down softly; an attacker going for the gold, so to speak, should receive a firm smack down.

So, evolving to a point: Somebody in a physical confrontation is going to be hurt in one way or another, so as long as you're in the right, it best not be you. It's just important that when it's done, you let it be done. That is partially how I read into the "don't want to hurt people" ideal.

In fact, it's pretty much illegal to hurt people excessively, and there have been martial artists from many disciplines who have had to face charges for "defending" themselves (I knew this kung fu guy who got into some trouble when he got a litte over-zealous one time).

As with many, I agree with ending the confrontation on a personal level (attacker against you) and then calling the police to take care of the criminal and social aspects.

I rather hope this makes sense, as I don't intend to do a solid proof-read before posting like I should.
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Old 11-23-2002, 08:46 AM   #30
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Hey, Jeff ... what did you do to resolve this issue?

How did it turn out?

It has been few weeks since I have checked this thread, and I was wondering if you found some type resolution?
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Old 11-24-2002, 01:17 AM   #31
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
Well Bruce, I think I received what I was looking for from all of you who helped me, in that it got me thinking about other sides of the issue that I had notİ I'm not sure that I came to a direct resolution, as I'm not entirely sure there is a good oneİ There were many issues brought up, and many points taken, but I don't think anyone has a clear answer on how to address the questionİ To be honest, while I think I'm better equipped to answer the question, I don't know that it would convince my father, on the other hand I doubt that he thought anything of the question after he asked it and I doubt he'd remember it, anywayİ Thanks for asking though, I think that many of the topics would make good threads on their ownİİİ

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
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Old 12-04-2002, 02:08 PM   #32
Williamross77's Avatar
Dojo: aikido of shreveport
Location: Shreveport, Lousiana
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 146
IMHO, the point of practicing Aikido it to be prepared for situations, all situations. I think if O'Sensei saw someone along the streets who dramatically posed a threat to the general population he would see the disharmony and Aikido seeks to bring the "unnatural" violent being, back to harmony, by use of the martial aspect if needed, As i have read he did not like bullies or criminals. Just my oppinion on why he greated Aikido.

in Aiki
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:11 AM   #33
eric carpenter
eric carpenter's Avatar
Dojo: hagakure
Location: washington UK
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 14
United Kingdom

thats it in a nut shell ,you just react,if you think about it ,its too late,i think thats what training is all about,reaction due to sensitivity

you train your body to react,instinctivly,youll know how much force to use because youll know the intent of your assailant,if two guys with knives burgal your home youll react differently to a drunk throwing a punch.

i had one bad experience beore i was trained,four guys picked a fight outside a pub,i fought off two of them but when i went to help my friend,everything went black.

its always been the thing that motivates my training how would i do now,what would i do ,how would i react.

if a drunk pushes you you may react with a level one response,someone pulls a knife you might reactt with a level seven,this type of grading of response i thought was good.

Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
...as a quick example, in a night club a large man was pushing people, hoping to get a response. Many people did not respond, and just walked off. However one person turned round to repreimand the bloke; as the bloke was about to respond with a punch, I couldn't help myself and just slipped in, with an irimi-nage.

At the end of the day you just do what you do in these types of situations - I didn' think, I just acted. The fact is, I'd spent years training to respond when someone throws a punch. Whatever we 'say' we will do, if we are practising aikido safely, we are actually practising to be able to deal with people in quite a non-aggressive manner. Although I have leant how to kill people, I do not practise that, and therefore I would need to bring my concious mind on-line if I was to kill - better this than the other way around.

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