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Old 02-10-2004, 09:29 PM   #26
wendyrowe
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I waited a while before voting so I could see if Jun would give us a hint as to what he meant. But since he's leaving it as an exercise for the reader, I'm with Lynn (post #2): without faith in my Sensei, myself, and my fellow students, I'd be lost.
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Old 02-11-2004, 07:50 AM   #27
jxa127
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Sure faith is important.

I have faith in the training system and methodology. That is, I have faith that if I keep doing what I'm supposed to do, and pay attention to what I'm doing, I'll gain skill.

I have faith in aikido techniques. I believe that they are effective at dealing with violence. I also have some first-hand proof of this too.

I have faith in the ideals (or philosophy, if you like) expressed by O'Sensei and his followers. I believe aikido can provide a way of dealing with conflict that is neither fight, nor flight.

I have faith in myself; that I can do some of the seemingly impossible things that I've seen. So far, I've been able to, but the first time always takes faith.

I also have a healthy level of skepticism and a willingness to test myself, and the skills I'm learning.

My aikido practice oftentimes touches on my personal religious faith, but then, my religious faith touches all aspects of my life, so that's no surprising. By this I mean that I tend to evaluate much of what I do in reference to my religious beliefs. I doubt I would study aikido if I found it to conflict with my personal moral code.

Regards,

-Drew

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-Drew Ames
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:43 AM   #28
"Sara M"
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yep faith in aikido... that it is what it is suppossed to be though I dont understand it. in my sensei it is very important i have faith in his intentions though i dont know what they are, so that when i learn what he has learnt, i can have faith in my opinions aswell as my aikido.

surely without faith in your attack/uke, and technique/nage your doubt would weaken its affect... isn't faith, belief? so without belief there would be nothing in the movement because you wouldnt believe in it, no confidence in the attack would mean there is nothing to defend against...?

s.m
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:37 PM   #29
Doka
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Quote:
Sara Moore (Sara M) wrote:
isn't faith, belief?
No. Faith is believing in something that in which you have no proof! If you need to have faith in your Aikido, and hence not true belief, I would change your Sensei, because you don't really believe in him!



Peace!
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:40 PM   #30
Doka
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Note:

Last bit of last post is to be thought provoking, not offending anyone! Just there for ephasis!!!

Peace!
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Old 02-11-2004, 01:16 PM   #31
"Sara M"
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well, I believe in my sensei... but i dont know him and i accept that, my faith is my belief in someone i dont know to teach my something i know nothing of...

perhaps everything begins with faith, because without it you wouldnt do anything... maybe, i mean, when you walk you have faith that your feet will touch the floor, but you dont know that until youve touched it do you...? and thats where i mean that the more tentative your step is, the less powerful the walk... you have to have faith that the path will be there to have a powerful stride. maybe if what you say is true, then maybe there is no such thing as this 'belief' - if it differs from faith so much, because it is merely an assumption of somthing that has happened or not and maybe isn't there anymore or never will be... an illusion...- isnt that dangerous, perhaps, what do you think?

my faith is just faith - not expectations like your belief seems to be

no offence taken

s.m
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:43 PM   #32
giriasis
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Faith to me is a very loaded term with a lot of religious overtones resulting from my Roman Catholic upbringing. I don't consider it a big factor at all in Aikido.

However, I consider trust a big factor in my aikido training and is a definently required.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 02-11-2004, 06:06 PM   #33
Doka
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Quote:
Sara Moore (Sara M) wrote:
maybe if what you say is true, then maybe there is no such thing as this 'belief'
If you cannot find proof within your Aikido, then it cannot work. If you have the proof within your AIkido and you know it works, so faith does not come in to it.

To prempt a question, I have always told my students that Aikido takes time and is not instant, but I always give them the "proof" of it!

Peace!
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Old 02-12-2004, 03:20 AM   #34
JessePasley
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Whatever, faith is such a wimpy word. Faith is for people who go to go church and just listen. Faith just sits in the background and lounges around. All action coming from faith is ultimately tied to whatever thing is believed in...leaving us poor mortals out of the equation.

Now, devotion is a better word. Devotion demands bold love, active compassion, tolerance, and ACTION. An increase in devotion always brings out real results.

So, no, I don't think faith is important at all. There is a trust that I have when I enter the dojo, but that is built upon history of having a good lesson every time. My teachers are good, but they are human, not make believe creatures that hide their lucky charms at the end of rainbows. And O'Sensei, well, he's dead, never knew the guy. I prefer to honor the dead by practicing rather than talking or 'feeling.'
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Old 02-12-2004, 01:24 PM   #35
Doka
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Hmmm!!!

One thing I will say following that is that faith does not require proof!!! We MUST look for proof!!!

With out the search for proof, we can have no knowledge or wisdom! The road to which is questions! Why? How? What? Where? When?

Faith can be very dangerous and destroy our MARTIAL art!

Peace!
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Old 02-12-2004, 04:51 PM   #36
"Sara M"
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i think I understand you mark... but wouldn't you also say that concentrating on getting results (proof) rather than just training and getting the technique right, can create tension if you dont get what you expect?... considering aikido takes so long to even begin to get a true feel for the basics...??

this is the point at which you have to have faith that you are progressing isn't it?, because more often than not, i dont think you see yourself advance even though you are... i think maybe, asking so many questions like you say can help... but then i think asking and searching frantically can also block you from what is already there, your just not realising your feeling it already... or have i got the wrong end of the stick here?

considering this `proof` that you know you have... surely you have to have faith that its still there?? - have faith that you know what you believe in is truly proof...?

s.m
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Old 02-13-2004, 03:20 PM   #37
Doka
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"Getting the techniques right" - how do you know you are getting them right? Because they work! Proof!

To be honest, faith is an excuse for either not trying to find the proof or blocking others from trying to find the proof. A la the church, which used faith to control the people.

Faith can be very dangerous!!!

Peace!
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Old 02-14-2004, 08:59 AM   #38
akiy
 
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Hi folks,

I just wanted to pipe up and say that it's been quite interesting reading everyone's interpretation on "faith"! Yes, I left it mostly as an exercise to the reader rather than imposing a single "definition" to the term... We had a pretty good discussion about this topic on Aikido-L so I thought I'd bring it over here.

For me personally, faith is a very important part of my aikido training. Although it's not religious in nature for me, it's more philosophical and/or spiritual.

Many people here have talked about "proof" and such being contrary to "faith." For me, I've felt many things in aikido from a lot of experienced people that I personally can not reproduce myself. Yet, I keep training in the hopes that I will, some day, through training in a manner laid down by these people, be able to do at least some of them. That, to me, is a sense of "faith" in my training. To this date, I may not have any proof that I personally will be able to do something, but I keep training.

Lastly, I wrote the following on Aikido-L so I'll just copy and paste the whole paragraph:

I believe one of the principles that Ki Society folks use is (in English), "Perform with confidence." Putting aside the semantics of the word "perform," I like the word "confidence" there. From what I understand, its etymology comes from confidere, from com- + fidere (to trust, have faith in). This sense of moving with trust/faith in oneself is important, I think, after a while. I don't see many shihan out there who are questioning their own abilities, after all.

Thanks to everyone for an interesting discussion (so far)!

-- Jun

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Old 02-14-2004, 09:40 PM   #39
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Jesse Pasley wrote:
My teachers are good, but they are human, not make believe creatures that hide their lucky charms at the end of rainbows.
I'll have you know that one of your teachers is a leprechaun with a glandular disorder.
Quote:
Mark Dobro wrote:
"Getting the techniques right" - how do you know you are getting them right? Because they work! Proof!

To be honest, faith is an excuse for either not trying to find the proof or blocking others from trying to find the proof. A la the church, which used faith to control the people.

Faith can be very dangerous!!!
The responses of both you and Jesse struck a chord and, minor differences aside, are essentially the same. I found myself nodding vigorously and then I read Jun's post regarding confidence.

I guess faith is not so bad after all.

BUT ....

Faith/confidence in your own abilities comes with experience. I would even say that some people are just naturally more confident in themselves and get past that waffle stage quicker. The proverbial Shihan passed through long before.

We also have faith/confidence in our teachers and training partners - but as Jesse pointed out that too comes from experience.

Damm you Jun for confusing the question with etymological derivations.

I'll think I'll go back to the Jesse/Mark concept of faith being belief without proof. In that regard it has no place in Aikido.


Last edited by PeterR : 02-14-2004 at 09:45 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-15-2004, 09:32 AM   #40
Qatana
 
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When i started training i had Hope. And Desire.And Fear.

While i still have no Proof, i most definitly now have Faith.

Q
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www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 02-16-2004, 12:20 PM   #41
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Interesting the differing contexts that faith is being used in.

I would say that the belief in being able one day to do the technique you saw your teacher do is not faith, as you have proof that it is possible. You saw your teacher do it! You are simply striving to improve and achieve.

The discusion on this word is quite analogous really - like, "How do you do Kokyu Nage?"

Peace!
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Old 02-16-2004, 01:17 PM   #42
akiy
 
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Hi Mark,
Quote:
Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
I would say that the belief in being able one day to do the technique you saw your teacher do is not faith, as you have proof that it is possible. You saw your teacher do it! You are simply striving to improve and achieve.
So, in other words, you may have "proof" that something can be possible, but you have to have "faith" that the training process will work for you to achieve that goal.

For example, I am currently able to juggle only three clubs. However, I have personally seen people juggling seven clubs. There is nothing that proves that I personally will be able to juggle seven pins even with the "proof" that I saw someone else do so.

Say I join this master juggler's school in order to learn how to juggle seven clubs. I see him doing so every day and I work at the exercises that he provides, but I am still stuck at three clubs. Of course, there is proof that the master juggler is able to juggle seven clubs, but is there any proof that the exercises that he provides will lead me to juggling seven clubs? Heck, even if little 14 year old Anthony were able to learn seven clubs studying under this juggling master, does that mean that I personally will?

In other words, there is no proof that I will, one day guaranteed, attain the ability to do my teacher's iriminage. Moving forward on that path, to me, requires faith. That is where my "faith" in my aikido training lies -- that the training process will get me somewhere, even if it doesn't seem like it will.

-- Jun

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Old 02-16-2004, 05:55 PM   #43
PeterR
 
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Now we are entering the realm of possibilities - and again faith is based on experience.

Picture Jun on his first day in Juggling class - picking up and then dropping one club. The teacher is effortlessly juggling the seven clubs while sipping tea and humming Wagner. Jun is no way fathoms he could ever get so close but that student over there with three clubs - now I could do that.

A few months later (Jun is a fast learner) he's able to juggle three clubs and although not quite managing Wagner - the theme from Born Free works nicely. He hates tea. Now he might have hit a plateau (its the tea Jun) based on experience he can form a belief that he can eventually get to where he wants to go.

If as a beginner he set his sites on the Master Juggler the development of belief would probably have failed and he would have done something else - just as silly- like Aikido or something.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:40 PM   #44
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LOL!

Nice Peter. I enjoyed that, even if I am at home nursing the shoulder that went this morning when I yawned!!?? A nearly 20 year old injury from Judo!!!

Jun, I see what you are saying, but I see that as wild fantacy! My Master threw me about effortlessly and I could never get near him - he felt like stone to touch, although he was not muscly. Maybe one day, but I have many more steps to tred before I can reach for that one with belief.

You see, you can aim for the stars, and beyond, but believing that it is possible and believing that you will get there are worlds apart.

"To see is to believe!", to not see and still believe - that is faith!

Peace!

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Old 02-17-2004, 01:44 PM   #45
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I hope I made it clear that I was trying to re-iterate Peter!

Peace!
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:17 AM   #46
mao
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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states:

"Etymology: Middle English feith, from Old French feid, foi, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust -- more at BIDE

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs"

Personally, I stick to 1 b(1), meaning making the effort to keep my promise of practicing three times a week, and (2), meaning I try to be as sincere as possible, either as uke or nage.

No religious beliefs at all.

mao
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