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Old 12-19-2002, 10:50 AM   #26
bob_stra
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Quote:
Joe Cavazos (JMCavazos) wrote:
You know, it's not a competition to see which art is better.
You've misunderstood - I'm not trying to "compete" one art Vs another. I merely curious as to how folks practice integration - both within aikido (flowing from standing, kneeling, two arm grab, shoulder grab etc) and in a larger martial art context.

Presumably without some experimentation things aren't likely to slip into place by themselves.

Please don't misunderstand - I'm not saying go onto the mat and start throwing spinning back kicks at your unsuspecting friends ;-)
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Old 12-19-2002, 12:30 PM   #27
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I'm sorry. I didn't mean it to sound that way. I guess sometimes I say some things in an attempt to clear up my thoughts.

My bad....
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Old 12-19-2002, 12:34 PM   #28
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I think people have given you their answer, as much as it may not be the answer you are looking for. Lots of people, seeming to be in the know, have said that they devote time to each art separately. They keep the apples and the oranges isolated for training ("cultivation" if you like the fruit comparison).

As far as integration, I believe it happens spontaneously. After training AIKIDO for a length of time, (5 years for me) I suddenly find it showing up in my kenpo. However, I wonder how much of this is integration as it is just different elements finding their places: aikido evasion, kenpo atemi, wing chun hand trap, aikido joint lock, etc. More like tools for very precise instances than a true integration? From that perspective, the answers given, the one's I doubt you expected, make the most sense.
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Old 12-19-2002, 12:38 PM   #29
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Quote:
Joe Cavazos (JMCavazos) wrote:
I'm sorry. I didn't mean it to sound that way.
Entirely alright - I wasn't too clear in my first post ;-)

Regardless, still interested in this topic.

(not to change horses in mid stream, but I wonder how the hapaikido guys manage to combine things?)
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Old 12-19-2002, 12:57 PM   #30
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CZR wrote : -


>I think people have given you their answer, >as much as it may not be the answer you are >looking for.

You've got a real habit of doing that ;-)

I like it!!

>Lots of people, seeming to be in the know, >have said that they devote time to each art >separately.

Veering slightly off topic now, do you believe that "having other fruit in the basket helps the apples ripen quicker?"

(how's that for stretching the metaphor?)

Does one need to practice making a fruit salad?

>As far as integration, I believe it happens >spontaneously.

I have no doubt you are right. I wonder perhaps whether this can (and should ?) be expidited.

Not that I necessarily want to you understand, just curious. I see some interesting things online abt

Karl Geis / Fugakukai - some ideas on how to make "fruit salad" ;-)

>After training AIKIDO for a length of time, >(5 years for me) I suddenly find it showing >up in my kenpo. However, I wonder how much >of this is integration as it is just >different elements finding their places

Without the other elements, would his have ever happened?

Kind points back to a point Bruce was making a while back re: aikido as a principle VS fixed art.
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Old 12-19-2002, 02:54 PM   #31
opherdonchin
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This is a well known koan:

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

I think this is the source for the phrase (although I don't know).

In any case, my question to Bruce is whether he is railing against emptying the cup because he has sincerely tried it and found that it doesn't work for him.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-19-2002, 10:38 PM   #32
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Quote:
I think this is the source for the phrase (although I don't know).
As far as I know, that is correct...

Quote:
Veering slightly off topic now, do you believe that "having other fruit in the basket helps the apples ripen quicker?"
No... not necessarily at any rate...
Quote:
I have no doubt you are right. I wonder perhaps whether this can (and should ?) be expidited.
Thanx... I doubt it can be expidited with any statistical certainty. And definitely do not think that it should be. I have always been of the mind set that training time and quality are just that. You want to learn: train better or longer, or both (within reason). Also, think of the implications of expedition, it is either detrimental/risky, or it would become the training standard.
Quote:
Without the other elements, would his have ever happened?
Perhaps... As a complete martial artist, one should not neglect any range/type nor environment of combat, regardless of style. Seek these within one system though. You cannot walk two roads at the same time...
Quote:
Kind points back to a point Bruce was making a while back re: aikido as a principle VS fixed art.
I tend to contemplate, having gained proficiency in a few arts, whether all arts share the property of showing "fixed" technique initially then transcend to principle...
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:41 PM   #33
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Maybe empty your cup means checking your baggage at the door, or leaving the ego behind?

It is hard to do for me at least, but is becoming easier the older I get (and the closer I get to dying!)

I think there is always something to be learned and it certainly is harder for me to learn something when I a busy surrounding myself with the greatness of what I think I represent.

By stripping away ego (emptying the cup)...I allows me to open to the possibilities of what is being conveyed. I then take what little morsel I discover, think about it, process it, and decide to either keep it, or throw it away.

Using my experiences and past (baggage) as a filter, allows me to decide if what is being taught is relevant to me.

What I am finding now as I get older, is that things I learned and discarded when I was a teenager are important today. They were not important then, but they are now.

I think it is a natural process, some people mature faster than others. I truely believe that true wisdom and happiness lies in being humble, simple and egoless. I hope I can get there someday!

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Old 12-22-2002, 01:36 AM   #34
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Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Maybe empty your cup means checking your baggage at the door, or leaving the ego behind?
I agree with you, but it seems folks all around tend to misunderstand the adage. Infact I've seen things swing the other way too (just as Bruce hints at)

"no, no - your technique is impossibly wrong. You must do it our way!! Empty your cup!!"

That also belies a kind of arrogance no?

If aikido is truely a two way transmission of knowledge, then who's to say what is right and wrong? (Of course we're assuming two sensible partners in practice, seeking to learn)

Still, I think you hit the nail on the head. Empty your cup refer more to a mental than physical act.
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Old 12-22-2002, 03:41 PM   #35
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More thoughts

Socrates was said to be the wisest amongst men, because he claimed that he knew nothing at all except that he knew nothing.

Perhaps this is on the same lines as emptying the cup?


Last edited by JPT : 12-22-2002 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 12-22-2002, 04:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
"no, no - your technique is impossibly wrong. You must do it our way!! Empty your cup!!"
Ah, but if I can't empty my cup of the knowledge that this is arrogant and wrongheaded behavior, I allow that to prevent me from learning whatever the arrogant, wrongheaded person might have to offer.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-22-2002, 05:31 PM   #37
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
Ah, but if I can't empty my cup of the knowledge that this is arrogant and wrongheaded behavior, I allow that to prevent me from learning whatever the arrogant, wrongheaded person might have to offer.
See, now your just being prickly ;-)

If you were a metallurgist and I insisted that the marshmellows were the hardest know substance, what would you make of that situation? Could you really learn something *directly* useful from that? Honestly?

(I get your point tho. I was inferring the exterme case scenario, as per above analogy. What you're hinting at is "shade of gray". I think both situations can / do occur)
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Old 12-22-2002, 05:31 PM   #38
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Peatee-san has a point there. That's basically what I did last night training, and I enjoyed the training session as if it was my first.

I wasn't able to do the techniques that my sensei was demonstrating, mostly aiki-waza. That made realize that I have yet to know anything. Most of the students, especially the ones that have been practicing as long as I have, didn't get it either. We didn't force ourselves to be able to do the technique, none of us actually get it.

We just look at each other and smiled. Basically my training partners and I agreed that we still yet have a long way to go. Even though none of us properly executed the technique, none of us were frustrated, instead we were satisfied that at last our "cup is empty".

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-22-2002, 05:39 PM   #39
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Here's another p.o.v. -

Perhaps the veneration of humility is intimately a Japanese trait. (emphasis on veneration)? In the analytical west things are more "show me the money". <not necessarily a good thing>

Perhaps this is simple case of culture clash / misunderstanding / too much Kungfu Theatre on TV ? ;-)
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Old 12-22-2002, 06:15 PM   #40
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In regards to Nan-in's, "emptying the cup":

One can't truly "empty the cup" in a sense that forgetting everything that one has learned. But like Leavitt-san said, it prevents one to be resistant, hard-headed, and egotistical.

As for Strahinjevich-san's example of marshmellow being the hardest substance on earth, if I was a material expert of course I would never accept it.
Quote:
But the example of emptying the cup in this matter is this: wrote:
Ask the person that states that, "Why is marshmellow the hardest substance on earth? Please enlighten me."

The person might be talking philosophically or something else that is other than the physical nature of the marshmellow. That person might be able to give a good explanation. We might never know if we just laugh at the guy and dismiss him directly.

But if the person cannot explain why or didn't give a good explanation, only then you could dismiss his statement.
It's the same with everything in communication in this world. Politicians, teachers, students, etc. can't properly explain and justify their statements, people would dismiss them immediately. But the problem is people won't give them a chance to explain or justify. Therefore, when someone has something good to communicate, they just dismiss them from what they have said before or from their reputation. One of my lecturer said something like, "Gold is still gold, even when it comes out of a pigs mouth."

On the extreme opposite case, some people just accept the other persons statement because those people idolize that person too much. They just believe whatever that person say is correct. They, the fanatics, too need to, "empty their cup".

To me, "emptying the cup" means seeing the truth as it is. We must not see things with relevant truth that is bounded by our egotistical, prejudiced, and discriminant mind. This is the difference between "kan" and "ken".

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-22-2002, 06:37 PM   #41
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If we were talking about Zen, then the cup is never truly empty. The fifth ring, emptiness/nothingness, is not empty/nothing at all. "Mushin" or "no mind" does not mean you're not thinking, or become an idiot.

Mushin does not mean relying on instinct or how good of a reaction one could do either. Being reactive and instinctual could be disastrous. Being in mushin is actually quite the opposite, it is being active and seeing things for what they truly is.

Being in "mushin" is being "the empty cup". Mushin must be practiced not only in techniques, but in communication and other daily activities. We take this life for granted, we sometimes forget how precious it is.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-22-2002, 07:13 PM   #42
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Correction:
Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
We must not see things with relevant truth that is bounded by our egotistical, prejudiced, and discriminant mind.
What I meant to say is:
Quote:
We must not see things with relative truth that is bounded by our egotistical, prejudiced, and discriminant mind.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-22-2002, 09:57 PM   #43
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
then the cup is never truly empty.
I like what you said here, and I believe we can never really empty our cup. To put my thoughts into words, I allow the cup to fill, then drink from it, always leaving a little something in the bottom, this is the foundation for the next fil. The cup of knowledge should never be emptied, but drank from regularily, to ensure it never overflows, so there is always room for more but never remains empty or full, but each taste unique.

Hmmmm...hope you can see what I mean here, anyway...keep on sipping!!

Cheers

Rob

"Excess leads to the path of Wisdom"
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Old 12-23-2002, 06:54 AM   #44
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Good thread!!

I'd like to add one (? last ?) thought to this tread. (which has suprisingly turned out to be a good 'un)

Perhaps some ppl resist "emptying the cup" for the same reason they resist a discipline like Zen. Superfcicially it seems to require aquiesence / passivity. Infact the opposite is true - you simply act without preconception. You don't get rid of anything, you just learn to appreciate it in a different way.

Developing on this, how many folks who tell you "empty your cup, dammit!" really stop to think of the impact those words have?

Gread thread here folks. Kudos all round ;-)
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:23 AM   #45
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Quote:
Superfcicially it seems to require aquiesence / passivity.
I remember once having read Siddhartha in High School and giving an impassioned speech about how enlightenment seemed to be more or less like death.

It's interesting that you said 'act without preconception' (which I think is right) when I would have probably said that it has something more to do with 'humility' (which may also be right). It seems like these two different themes of arrogance opposed to humility and judgement opposed to an open mind (or freedom from preconceptions) have some sort of connection. I'm not entirely comfortable saying that they are the same thing, though.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:19 AM   #46
Bruce Baker
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Let's break that cup

Enough of the cup.

Some of you get it as being a good analogy for those who come to learn by teaching what they have learned, and some of you have yet to see that it is indeed the struggle of the body and mind to adapt.

The longer you practice Aikido, the more cross-over you will see in movements. Sometimes the teacher knows the variations and applications, but many times they don't get into it.

Correct behavior, and attitude.

Joe Cavazos gets it!

There is neither a cup, nor the attitude. There is open sharing and adjustment to allow knowledge to flow.

That is my entire point of bringing up the cup.

The same attitude I dislike in others to give to me, I wish to correct this behavior in myself.

So, what is my way of explaining it to those who have had previous training?

Everything you have learned before will fit into your Aikido training, give it time and you find how to use it.

No cup emptying.

No attitude of Aikido being better than any other art.

A true explanation that give equity across the board to all practitioners from any art going to train in another art.

Maybe it is time to get a few schools with only two belt ranks. How many of you would stay to train, and how many of you would choose the schools with kyu and dan grades?

You want me to put away ego, integrating techniques that come up in class like old friends from previous training? Sure ...

Give up you rank and train for the love of training, then we will see who really loves to train and who is full of ego?

Oh, well.

Final point.

Sidarthur? His journey was to learn the truth of all things through depravation and pain.

I already have the pain, the constant ringing in my head, so I guess I am halfway there to enlightenment.

Fact is, when you endure pain long enough, you must use your inner strength to attain what other people consider normal operating conditions for their body, and in using that inner strength on a continual basis ... it does make your mind go places most people don't get to ... because they think only on one level.

Don't mind me, if you disagree, but if you have been there, to where I sometimes wander to in my poking and prodding of you in forum questions, speak up.

Even Sidarthur found out that enlightenment is no fun if you are alone.

To share our thoughts and dreams, experiences is the true enlightenment of being alive.

By the way, just because it is a bigger cup, why do some of you think you have lost anything in volume?

Same glass of water, but now it has grown to a pond, a lake, a river, a bay, an ocean, maybe even drinking the love of the Universe O'Sensei alludes to?

The awe of seeing how small the amount of knowledge you hold compared to what you can learn should put that ego in its place and get the same results as the old "empty your cup" adage.

That is the probably what the monk was saying anyway.
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:58 AM   #47
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Mirroring Jay's quote. Richard II, Shakespeare.

Richard, a king who would be a man, who spent his life in indolence and self-absorption. In his death-cell, awaiting execution, reflects:

"... a man be eased with nothing, till he be eased with being nothing...I wasted time and now time doth waste me."

Personally, I want to make sure my cup is clean before filling it (and learning to clean it, I am filling it too).

Paul Smith
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Old 12-23-2002, 12:17 PM   #48
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Hey Bruce, I was wondering when you'd chime in.

I think that I'll feel like you 'get it' (as you say) on the issue of cup emptying after I see you post something like "that's interesting, I hadn't thought of it that way" somewhere on these forums.

Perhaps, as a metaphor, the image is wasted on you. Both you and I would agree that that isn't because you know too much and don't have anything to learn. Perhaps there are other metaphors that are easier on you because they 'fill' you with a greater respect for all you have learned and known. That's great, because (I think) the hardest part of learning is often finding the metaphors that work for you.

However, just because you can't get the metaphor to work for you doesn't mean there is something wrong with the metaphor. It just means you haven't learned to appreciate it or understand it fully. You may never learn, in fact, and there may be nothing wrong with that, either.

I still find that the metaphor of 'unbendable arm' is one that is more counterproductive for me than helpful. That doesn't mean there is something wrong with the metaphor, just something wrong with the way I'm using it or connecting to it.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-26-2002, 08:51 PM   #49
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Opher, I might agree with the unbendable arm is there was only one degree of using it.

As in applying degrees of force, pain, and motion in practicing aikido, so too does the degree of application vary for many techniques including unbendable arm, only they don't like the label of Bendable arm when it is already labeled unbendable arm? Go figure.

I sometimes put long discussions in terms of discuss, plan, and execute.

While you are discussing what to do, I have already put a plan in place, and I execute it before you have gotten to your plan because I see the movement of the army from the mountain not from the midst of the battlefield.

You know, it is the old story of looking at something so close all you see is a small piece of the picture, not the whole picture or how the piece you are looking at fits? Yeah, that old game.

The fact is, since we have beaten this metaphor of 'empty cups' to death, then indeed we have reached another plateau of understanding that goes to the basic thesis, of "Say what you mean, not what you think you mean." That is a common saying of mine for people who suddenly realize the metaphor, or partial instructions without proper discussion is indeed their own fault for assuming that what they said was understood by the other person.

So, as we meander about, and ask each other what the heck sensei said or was tryig to allude to as we try to immitate the movements, and try to get the feel of techniques in Aikido practice, tell 'em what I tell 'em when the words and explanations don't match ... say what you mean, not what you think you mean.

If you are still a student after that, barring being knocked into the middle of next week, you might as well keep 'em, cause that my friend, is a good teacher.
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Old 12-27-2002, 08:00 AM   #50
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Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
While you are discussing what to do, I have already put a plan in place, and I execute it before you have gotten to your plan because I see the movement of the army from the mountain not from the midst of the battlefield.
Can someone PLEASE tell me why this man has not been elevated to Shihan already? Someone should write the Doshu on his behalf immediately!
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