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Old 06-02-2006, 02:37 PM   #951
wendyrowe
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Brian Cates wrote:
In this first video, you will see O-Sensei practicing Aikido as he was forming it before the Second World War:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEdsT-R9Pys

In the second video, you will see how he was practicing it just 12-15 years later in Iwama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwQ3HZgz32Q
They've been removed because Aikido Journal hadn't given permission. So this is an excellent time for me to plug Aikido Journal: they have wonderful footage in their "Video Clips," and I don't think you need to subscribe to look at it. (I just logged out and was still able to click randomly on the first one I tried.) www.aikidojournal.com/media.php?media=video
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:17 PM   #952
statisticool
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Wendy Rowe wrote:
I suspect that if we knew Japanese we might not come away with precisely the same shade of meaning we glean from the translated soundbite "Nonviolence is the true practice of Aikido."
There's also quotes by Kisshomaru Ueshiba from The Spirit of Aikido involving non-violence:

"Aikido rejects all forms of violence, justified or unjustified. Otherwise, we would be no different from the forms of martial arts in which fighting and winning are selling points.

At the risk of sounding repetitious, I want to say again that aikido is a spritual path and its ideal is the realization of harmony and love. By disciplining the mind and body, especially mind, it leads to the perfection of personality and humanity. What we teach children is not brute force, not violence, but the cultivation of ki through the mind-body training which will eventually build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of control over their lives."
(p. 54-55)

and

"The tournament system is the root of the problems arising with the internationalization of Japanese martiala rts. While tournaments have played a definite role in spreading the martial arts throughout the world, they also suppress the unique quality of budo (as opposed to bujutsu), whose primary concern is the cultivation of the spirit. When strength determines all, Japanese martial ways lose their true essence, and it is only natural for physical skill to take stage center. When that happens Japan abrogates it claim to having developed a unique martial art concerned not with violence and brutality but with peace and love."
(p. 117)

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:26 PM   #953
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Justin,

Ueshiba Kisshomaru =/= Ueshiba Morihei.

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Old 06-02-2006, 06:17 PM   #954
statisticool
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

That's (trivially) true, of course.

I simply quoted two of the most relevant masters who proclaimed aikido to be non-violent.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-02-2006, 06:24 PM   #955
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I also reject all forms of violence! I do not seek it or revel in it in anyway.

two questions Justin:

1. You have yet to respond to how do you handle a situation when you witness harm and violence being done?

2. Please remind everyone exactly how much aikido experience you actually have, other than quoting sources on the internet and in books.

I believe there is much you don't understand about violence, conflict, and aikido. It is much more complicated than quoting something someone said in a book. Rejecting violence and recognizing that it exist and dealing with it are two different things.

I really wish you would answer a few questions or respond to the counters to your debate rather than offering new material that says the same thing.
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:13 PM   #956
Travis Johnson
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

wow, how wonderful to have all of these post regarding the same issue. isn't it amazing that this thread got started something like 3 months ago, and at that point there was a mere 600 replies. well, i think i'm just gonna keep training and not be concerned with all of this. one foot in front of the other.

best wishes
travis
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Old 06-03-2006, 05:40 AM   #957
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
That's (trivially) true, of course.

I simply quoted two of the most relevant masters who proclaimed aikido to be non-violent.
Not so trivially

Btw, i'm still waiting for the founder's original quotes in the original language.

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Old 06-05-2006, 12:06 PM   #958
statisticool
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

This is not quoting things that random people said, but the founder, the founder's son, his son, and students who were direct students of these people, of the martial art under discussion.

I don't think such teachings can be dismissed merely because people have a bad habit of leaning towards the violent end of the spectrum. I think K. Ueshiba also said (don't have exact quote on hand) something like if one dismisses this philosophical base then they are no longer practicing aikido. Again, that's not my opinion.

Last edited by statisticool : 06-05-2006 at 12:09 PM.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:08 PM   #959
statisticool
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
1. You have yet to respond to how do you handle a situation when you witness harm and violence being done?
I'm not interesting in playing hypotheticals.

Quote:
ase remind everyone exactly how much aikido experience you actually have, other than quoting sources on the internet and in books.
I never made any claims of having any levels of experience. This is well known. Luckily one doesn't need experience to quote those who do have experience.

Please let me know when you believe I am allowed to talk aikido to you. After 1 month? 3 months? 1 year? 5 years experience? I'll save all my posts until then.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:20 PM   #960
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
I'm not interesting in playing hypotheticals.
Hmm, yes, quite understandable.

But **we** may not be interested in playing dualing quotes, either.

Confusing the founder's name and the name of his son shows a lack of familiarity with the material you are quoting. So any weight it *might* have carried is lessened. It is also often referred to as an "appeal to authority", which is often cited as a weakness in logical debates. While I don't always agree with that perspective...it does provide an interesting context to such debate.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:12 PM   #961
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

The whole concept of non-violence is both theorectical and hypothetical. So you offer a quote which leans towards a perfect ideal. If you did study aikido with O'sensei's direct students would would also discover that aikido really is about building a bridge between violence and non-violence, and it is not about ignoring violence.

I pose the question that I ask because it forces you to deal with the ideal of non-violence directly. Your refusal to answer the question means one of two things to me. 1. You truly don't know how to answer the question because of lack of knowledge on the subject. 2. You are ignoring it because it does not support your argument and therefore, you are presenting counterpoints or statements simply to argue.

I can present you many examples of how someone could face and deal with violence and still be doing aikido. It happens everyday.

Of course you are free to discuss aikido as you wish. However, don't expect a warm audience from people that have been studying for years if you do not study it at all, and do not seem geniunely interested in understanding, learning, or internalizing the art.

As Ron has stated, your argument appeals to authority. I simply present a counter to your appeal that offers a greater scope or breadth concerning aikido, o'sensei, and conflict/violence.

The Founders and his Doshu sons also recognized that aikido is an evolving art, that must respond appropriately to the changes in society and perspectives. It must constantly be moving forward and adapting in order to stay relevant. If it was based on a black and white ultimatium as your appeal to authority argument presents...it would have become antiquated and died off long ago, because it does not accurately and honestly answers such questions as I posed to you.

That is the reason you should answer the question about ethics and violence that I pose if you are really interested in discussing the issue honestly.

Thanks Ron for the clarification. Once again, you manage to say what I am trying to say more clearly!
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:27 PM   #962
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Thanks Ron for the clarification.
Aww, shucks...

Best,
Ron {blushing}

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:36 PM   #963
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
I'm not interesting in playing hypotheticals.
Personally, i don't think they are asking you to go into detail about what you would do exactly during a situation of violence or if you were to witness violence.

I think what we are all wondering is, would you consider using violence to help someone who was being attacked, or would that be non-aiki? (<<<for lack of a better word) I dont think it's against aikido principles to use violence as a means of putting an end to violence, if that makes any sense. But of course i could be wrong.

*Paige*
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #964
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
...you say that with one attacker you could stop it just by your presence but with 5 you'd probably fight but lose ... what about two? Two would think they could take you, so they wouldn't be intimidated by the mere fact that you were there as a witness/defender. By saying you'd fight 5 armed 23 year olds, you've admitted to one point where you'd be willing to abandon non-violence; I'd just like you (and others) to examine the edges more to consider where your own boundaries really are.
After reading this again, I feel compelled to think about it some more.
Everything I said about this hypothetical situation carried a big "maybe," because it is true that hypothetical situations are a bit "what if" game. But they do give us a starting point from which to consider things more deeply, if we're carefull about how we proceed.
Wendy, you asked me to consider where my boundaries are, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure where they are, which is why I tried to describe everything in slightly uncertain terms. I think it's quite possible for me to take on 5 knife wielding fellows and come through it without harming anyone. I'd only consciously try to harm someone if I perceived it would protect either me or that proverbial old lady from lasting damage. I try to act with conscious effort as much as possible, but that is dependant upon physical and mental timing. If I'm quick enough, I can always consciously place people where I want them, but being human like everyone else, we all tend to have the same relative speed, which makes it tougher to get "inside" their timing and take control of them. The smaller that window of opportunity, the more difficult it is to mindfully protect, and it becomes more chaotic. I train to make that window of opportunity wider, and the more I focus on refining my abilities, the more likely i am able to prevent harm to people, attackers included.
Now, there's always that little part in the back of my mind that would sincerely like to hurt 5 guys attacking a little old lady. It would be a perverse sort of gluttony to do so, as I HATE senseless violence with something of a passion. I don't use that word, hate, lightly. But with that recognition, I dislike the violent urge that hate produces in me and I'm quite dedicated to peace. There are many factors we have to over-come to erradicate violence. The more complicated the violence, the more creative we have to be to solve its problem. Against two people, I'd be much more able to not harm them than against 5 people, based on my current ability. I might suprise myself and make 5 friends with the right choice of words and actions, just as I might suprise myself with that one 15 year old and trip and knock him into a speeding bus. In all cases we have to do our very best, and in all moments of our life we ought to our best to make that best get better.
No wasted moments.
Hope I made some sense...i just woke up and am a bit foggy-headed.
Take care!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:15 PM   #965
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I dont think it's against aikido principles to use violence as a means of putting an end to violence, if that makes any sense. But of course i could be wrong.

*Paige*
The way I think about it now is that Aikido in its most pure form (100% "way of aiki") cannot really be violent. That's why, for example in an earlier post, I said I might be doing something closer to aikijujutsu in a situation I was less able to handle effectively. I'd be reaching toward Aikido, but my level of ability might not allow it. I think it's incredibly difficult to do "pure" Aikido. I'm getting a bit excessive in defining things (and I can imagine some people shaking their head at this...sorry folks) but this is what I coe up with when i try to define exactly what Aikido is or is not in a potentially violent situation.
Ok, time for me to go eat breakfast and wake up.
Take care all!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:09 PM   #966
Man of Aiki
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
"Weapons are unfortunate instruments. Heaven's way hates them. Using them when there is no other choice - that is Heaven's way .... There is logic in striking down something when it has peaked. When someone rides his luck and does evil, you strike him down when his evils have peaked. In that sense, using weapons is said to be also Heaven's Way. At times, because of one man's evil, thousands of people suffer. So you kill that one man in order to let thousands live. Here, truly, the blade that deals death could be the sword that gives life."

-Yagyu Munenori, "Heiho Kaden Sho"
Now that's a samurai, and a great one, talking about the use of weapons.

The purpose of the budo arts as he saw it wasn't simply about how to kill someone.

These were men that trained daily for years in killing arts. Over time they developed almost supernatural skill with their weapons. Naturally this led many of them to consider WHAT PURPOSES could be served by all these deadly skills they had mastered.

What direction or intention will be behind these skills?

What Yagyu Muneori was getting at was that someone who had cultivated such skill and such warrior spirit as that was required to have a responsibilty to the community at large.

Like the recent movie said: with great power comes great responsibility.

The use of those skills must be in accordance with what is best for the community. And what preserves peace and limits evil and chaos is best.

So as Yagyu pointed out, a warrior would not run around and indiscrimanantly cut down anyone who offended him. He would use his skills only on those who would harm the community of which he was a part.

How does this translate to Aikido?

O-Sensei taught that someone who had advanced far in Aikido could kill someone with a single blow. It is a very, very dangerous art in the wrong hands, just like a sword would be.

For this reason, once someone has attained true skill in the art, they must realize they have a responsibility. If a violent situation develops, you should have the skill to restore peace. An Aikidoka with the skill to do something who refuses to do so is like the samurai who could cut down the evil man and save 10,000 lives but decides it's not his business.

manofaiki
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:29 PM   #967
statisticool
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Confusing the founder's name and the name of his son shows a lack of familiarity with the material you are quoting.
Where do you believe I was confused between M. and K. Ueshiba?

Quote:
It is also often referred to as an "appeal to authority", which is often cited as a weakness in logical debates.
What the founder, the founder's son, his son, and other masters of aikido have said is highly relevant. There are conditions where such arguments are legitimate, and this is one of them, given that Ueshiba created aikido.

Last edited by statisticool : 06-06-2006 at 12:42 PM.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:40 PM   #968
statisticool
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I think what we are all wondering is, would you consider using violence to help someone who was being attacked, or would that be non-aiki? (<<<for lack of a better word) I dont think it's against aikido principles to use violence as a means of putting an end to violence, if that makes any sense. But of course i could be wrong.
IMO it all depends on the specific configurations of energy.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:16 PM   #969
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

what is a specific configuration of energy? I am not familiar with that.

I believe Ron is talking about Morihei vice Moriteru.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:38 PM   #970
Dennis Good
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I think one of the things we have to remember here is that first, with time the definition of words can change and second, how an individual perceives a word can be different. For example 80 years ago, what was considered disciplining a child would be considered violently abusive today. I would not consider restraining a drunk in a bar with sankyo that is starting trouble as violent while someone else would, however a roundhouse kick to the head would probably stop him as well but that would be violent. We may be able to read what O'sensei said but we do not know what HE considers violence and non-violence.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:43 PM   #971
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Yes Dennis. That is exactly the point I was trying to make as well....Aikido changes and paradigms change with time! Thanks for the post it demostrates this very well!
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:15 PM   #972
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Brian Cates wrote:
O-Sensei taught that someone who had advanced far in Aikido could kill someone with a single blow.
Hi, Brian.
Welcome to the club of people who understand or at least notice that aikido is an art of killing people with a single blow. So, we are not talking about fighting, winning or loosing, but about the ability to spear your opponent's life, about forgiveness, about becoming a guardian of peace. Good post. Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:08 PM   #973
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
IMO it all depends on the specific configurations of energy.
.....now you're just avoiding the question
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:28 PM   #974
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Luckily one doesn't need experience to quote those who do have experience.
True, but you do need experience to understand those with experience.

Obviously, you are free to express any opinion you wish on a forum like this... But anytime you participate in a forum which is devoted to a particular area of interest, like Aikido, there will be folks posting who know alot about the subject and those who don't. There will be those that post a lot and those who post a little. There are folks out there reading this who will never post but read whatever is written... In the end it all falls out based on who can present his ideas in the most cogent fashion. In a public forum you have to be able to take the heat and hold your own. Even when folks are polite, as they generally are here, they don't cut you much slack if they think you are wrong or don't know what you are talking about. So read as much as you can, train as much as you can, and keep on posting until folks find it hard to disagree because you really know what you are talking about.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:08 PM   #975
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote:
Hi, Brian.
Welcome to the club of people who understand or at least notice that aikido is an art of killing people with a single blow. So, we are not talking about fighting, winning or loosing, but about the ability to spear your opponent's life, about forgiveness, about becoming a guardian of peace. Good post. Thanks.
excellent post

I'd like to add, that if anyone here has read or even just glanced through the book The Art of Peace , which is basically a compilation of Morihei Ueshiba's sayings, proverbs, poems, etc. which are relevant to aikido, you will see that several times Ueshiba mentions how aikido can be used to take on multiple opponents as well as the effectiveness of aikido. This would definitely hint that aikido involves violence. Does this mean that aikido is wrong or brutal, of course not, it's all about how the violence is used, IMHO.

*Paige*
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