Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-26-2004, 09:38 AM   #126
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

"If the bullet serves to remind him, then it causes him to remember. By causing him to remember, it causes him to be more mindful."

Perhaps I should not take for granted that we are on the same page of:
direct *cause*
and
indirect *cause*

My point has always been that treating the belt with a mindful respect is an indirect cause for better aikido. Why? Because it makes you think, remember, and apply your training off of the mat. In this way, it also makes you a better person.

It is not mojo or magic.

However, notice this... as I explained the connection between mindfulness with the belt to mindfulness with technique (and life off the mat) - expressing a concrete method of improving our aikido and ourselves - you did not challenge the value of the metaphor, only my method of making my point (whether we can consider it causal or not). The example I gave clearly demonstrated a value to the notion of treating a belt with respect, yet still fell *far* short of any sort of deification, magic, or mojo.

You mean we can have metaphor without magic?

Yep.

And that means that this:

"quote: Nice strawman. Just who, exactly, is deifying their belt?

Um.. Well, you are!
To a sceptic like me, thats how irrational behaviour towards an inanimate object out of respect for some intangible mystical influence it may have over ones life looks."

...patently false. No intangible, save for the respect and mindfulness that it creates in me. And you have called these things causal, creating a benefit on and off the mats (and I agree: indirect causality), so which is it? Causal? Or mystical? You can't have it both ways.

So, I'll take your argument calling mindfulness-remembrance-betterment causal, and figure that the rest of these strawmen are just an unwillingness to let go of the argument. You can see the value, it's just easier to distort tradition into mysticism than it is to require more of one's-self.

Here's a thought, too. Look at the other places in your training where you pay respect to an inanimate object. Maybe you bow to the shomen wall at the opening and close of practice. If so, what's different about that?

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2004, 05:28 PM   #127
Qatana
 
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Uh, pardon me Tim but did you just say Sean's opinion was false?

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2004, 11:01 PM   #128
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

No, I did not. Not so long as by "opinion" you mean his stance on the value of the tradition.

However, "patently false" refers to his claim that I deify my belt. That is absurd.

I simply pointed out that he is now arguing my point for me (so then how could I say that he was wrong, anyway?). I appreciate other people championing my points, as I cannot always be checking the board.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 08:11 AM   #129
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
Magma wrote:
Maybe you bow to the shomen wall at the opening and close of practice. If so, what's different about that?
Since you ask:
It's a genuine tradition, with some historical basis other than urban myth. Also it doesn't involve leaving something dirty that could do with a good wash.

Sean
x
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 09:16 AM   #130
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Sean -

"It's a genuine tradition, with some historical basis other than urban myth."
***
My point on this whole thread is that the value of a tradition is not determined by the "genuineness" of it, nor its historical authenticity. Its value is determined by its value. You recognized the value above in the tradition of respecting a belt (how it can be a reminder to us on the mats), so I know you see the value in it. You were arguing my point for me, so you see the value. Arguments of authenticity have no bearing on the potential value one can take from a tradition, ritual, or metaphor.
***

"Also it doesn't involve leaving something dirty that could do with a good wash."
***
None of my belts, for any of my arts have ever been washed, and neither are they dirty. They do not stink, they are not crusted, and they are not discolored. In short, they have never needed to be washed. Before you say that I need to work harder or that I must not sweat, let me assure you that a workout for me *is* a workout, and I sweat more than most people, I think.

No, if one's belt is getting dirty because of the mats or the workout, then I posit that one's dojo is more of an immediate concern than washing the belt. The dojo should be clean. If it is, then washing one's belt will be as unnecessary as I have found it to be.

Then again, an awareness of the dojo and its state of cleanliness or order is just the sort of mindful-awareness that might be engendered by subscribing to the tradition of treating the belt as a symbol of your training. So, treating the belt with less respect might lead to the mats getting treated with less respect (leaving them dirty), leading to a belt that gets dirty...

...ahh... it's just a vicious circle then, isn't it?

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 01:57 PM   #131
skyetide
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 27
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

"It's a genuine tradition, with some historical basis other than urban myth"

Sean, Sean. We already dealt with this issue. *yawn*

If some of us find value in treating our belts with mindful respect…if metaphors and similes and analogies help us to speak to the intangible…to remind us of something we can value even beyond simple physical technique in Aikido, in our lives, what is the problem? You're just playing with words and not really taking a stance.

I don't think Tim is forcing his opinion or calling the opinion of others invalid. I think he is just stating that this is his reality, that this is where he finds value and then defending it when people are saying no, there is no value in that.

I know it's hard to imagine what others are like on the mats just through reading threads, but I have had the chance to see Tim do Aikido. As I remember, he does sweat, he doesn't smell and his technique is amazing. Whatever he is doing, if it will help me become better, well, I'm willing to listen.

Cheers...and be well.

Will this thread never end? *sigh*
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 05:55 PM   #132
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Japan
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
skyetide wrote:
"
I don't think Tim is forcing his opinion or calling the opinion of others invalid. I think he is just stating that this is his reality, that this is where he finds value and then defending it when people are saying no, there is no value in that.
Rightly or wrongly Tim was jumped on exactly because he came across as being judgemental about other (those that don't believe as he does) peoples training.

And I must say that tradition relies completely on "genuineness" of it, nor its historical authenticity. That is what tradition is. The further a tradition goes back the more weight it has. The not washing a belt maybe a very local tradition in one or two dojos but has no weight in Aikido tradition.

Quote:
I know it's hard to imagine what others are like on the mats just through reading threads, but I have had the chance to see Tim do Aikido. As I remember, he does sweat, he doesn't smell and his technique is amazing. Whatever he is doing, if it will help me become better, well, I'm willing to listen.
Well Sean sweats, I'm really glad he washes, and his technique is pretty damm good - what's the point.
Quote:
Will this thread never end? *sigh*
God no - this is a forum where everyone and their dog can spout off. Threads go on, they die and are resurected. Nature of the beast.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 06:35 PM   #133
skyetide
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 27
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

"And I must say that tradition relies completely on "genuineness" of it, nor its historical authenticity. That is what tradition is. The further a tradition goes back the more weight it has. The not washing a belt maybe a very local tradition in one or two dojos but has no weight in Aikido tradition. "

I understand your point, Peter. But can you think of some new traditions that carry weight, that are genuine? You are saying that a tradition is more genuine if it has a longer history? As a woman, I can think of a few historical traditions that I can do without, and a few new traditions that are more genuine and meaningful for me.


"Well Sean sweats, I'm really glad he washes, and his technique is pretty damm good - what's the point."

Good for Sean! (applause) I'm not attempting to compare...I would not dream of it. My point is that we have to rely on words only in this forum. I wonder if we (myself included) would be more accepting or open to one's point of view if we could see him/her perform and grow a respect for their work? Just thinking outloud.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have slippers to fetch, dinner to cook and a job to quit....he-he-he. Just kidding, Peter.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 07:09 PM   #134
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Japan
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Traditions are tossed all the time - old is not necessarily good just as new is not necessarily bad.

It's simply that there is no basis in calling the non-washing of a belt an Aikido tradition OR that those who treat their obi as they would any other article of clothing somehow have a lesser understanding. To be fair to Tim he has backpeddled a bit from his initial statements. I doubt very much that his ability has anything to with an unwashed obi and more to the point physical ability does not negate incorrect ideas. Now of course if you and he wish to continue your tradition - by all means.

Get thee to the kitchen woman.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2004, 08:13 PM   #135
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
skyetide wrote:
Sean, Sean. We already dealt with this issue. *yawn*
We did? Oh, ok then, sorry to bore you. I did intend that to be my last post on this thread, but I can't resist adding just a bit more in reply to you. After this, I'll really try to just let it lie, I promise.
Quote:
If some of us find value in treating our belts with mindful respect…if metaphors and similes and analogies help us to speak to the intangible…to remind us of something we can value even beyond simple physical technique in Aikido, in our lives, what is the problem?
No problem, I'd prefer it if people wouldn't pretend things are long standing, or widespread traditions which simply aren't, but it really doesn't bother me all that much.
Please bear in mind though, that you don't have to refuse to wash something to treat it with 'mindful respect'. As I said before, I really think its much more common for people to express their respect for a thing by keeping it clean, or whatever. Like sharpening a knife.
I also treat my belt with mindful respect, it was a gift from the shihan to whom I look for inspiration and as such it is irreplaceable. I just happen to express that respect by carefully washing it when it needs a wash. I get very sweaty and if I didn't do that it would stink, no way to respect my Shihan, my partners or myself.
Quote:
You're just playing with words and not really taking a stance.
I think my stance is pretty clear on this issue, I really cant make it any clearer.
And I do think my analogy with the magic feather stands: by treating his magic feather with mindful respect, Dumbo was able to fly. It had value for him, but ultimately he discovered that he didn't really need it.
I see Tim's belt as his magic feather. It undeniably has value for him, but in truth I don't believe it offers him anything that he doesn't already have within himself.

Ok. Thats me done. If you'd care to reply, I'm happy to let your reply be the last word. (Unless of course the whole thread suddenly lurches off in a different direction altogether, but hey, thats what we're here for!

Sean
x
ps: Peter, you're too kind, really.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 07:19 AM   #136
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Peter -

"And I must say that tradition relies completely on "genuineness" of it, nor its historical authenticity. That is what tradition is. The further a tradition goes back the more weight it has. The not washing a belt maybe a very local tradition in one or two dojos but has no weight in Aikido tradition."

All traditions had their start at some point, why do they have more value now? A tradition that does not speak to the person performing it is just empty ritual. THAT is the measure of a tradition, not age. I don't follow tradition because everyone who came before me did the same. That is the nature of dogma and stagnation.

Length of observance - the age of the tradition - is hardly the way to measure the value of a tradition, as Tonya pointed out above.

Regardless of age, if the tradition can help the person, what is better: to engage the tradition, or to reject it? Ultimately, it is participation in the tradition that reveals its value... and that is a personal choice. Is one willing to go a step beyond and require that extra bit from themselves?

"It's simply that there is no basis in calling the non-washing of a belt an Aikido tradition OR that those who treat their obi as they would any other article of clothing somehow have a lesser understanding. To be fair to Tim he has backpeddled a bit from his initial statements."

Peter, the only thing that I have backpeddled from is an understanding of how widespread the tradition is. Never in my training in various martial arts and in various schools - nor in friends I knew who also trained in yet different arts and schools - has there been any question on this. Belts are not washed and they are not allowed to rest against the ground. However, that does not mitigate the other discussion about the relative value of the tradition and its symbolism.

And honestly, I have never said that someone who treats their obi as they would any other piece of clothing has less understanding (especially to say that they have less than me; this is not about comparisons like that). I have said that they are missing out on - and perhaps willingly disregarding - a tool that could help them gain greater understanding.

So, discussions of physical ability in this context have some merit: not comparing Sean to me or some silly notion like that, but the me-of-yesterday to the me-of-today. There is no magic to the belt. Even Sean acknowledged this, though he now stalwartly defends his flag planted to the contrary. An extra measure to the belt leads to another remembrance of our training away from the mats... leads to a reminder when we're back *on* the mats, impacting our training. In other words, I am made better for my awareness and respect of the belt in this way. Tonya has been more than kind in her compliment to me, but I also do not doubt that Sean has "pretty damn good" technique, as you say.

All that I have been saying for this whole thread, and all I am saying now is that even that "pretty damn good" technique can be made better for this respect and mindful awareness. *That* is the value of the tradition, not its age, and *that* is why it is quite widespread in the martial arts world.

It is still one's own art, though. One can choose to not make use of this tool.

Sean -

"I'd prefer it if people wouldn't pretend things are long standing, or widespread traditions which simply aren't, but it really doesn't bother me all that much."

Really, how many times do I have to say that I am not arguing that the tradition...
1) is widespread
2) is long standing
3) takes its value from *being* widespread, or
4) takes its value from *being* long standing

In my experience, the tradition is at least widespread in the martial arts world (and the poll on the main page seems to reflect that), but that discussion is COMPLETELY separate from the discussion of the tradition's value... which is what is being debated currently.

"Please bear in mind though, that you don't have to refuse to wash something to treat it with 'mindful respect'. As I said before, I really think its much more common for people to express their respect for a thing by keeping it clean, or whatever."

First, it isn't "refusing" to wash the belt. Secondly, washing the belt treats it no differently than any other piece of clothing, with nothing of a reminder towards mindfulness. Thirdly, while it might be common to respect something by washing it, not every common thing is or can be treated as a symbol, and certainly not as a symbol of something so directly related to self-improvement as one's training.

"And I do think my analogy with the magic feather stands:"

Hardly. Let me see if I can show why not.

"by treating his magic feather with mindful respect, Dumbo was able to fly."

Nope. Dumbo was able to fly because of his ears. Now, he might have believed that he needed the feather to fly, but then I don't believe that you need to treat your obi with respect to do aikido, so already the analogy has broken down. Further, there is no discussion in the Dumbo-myth of if Dumbo's flight-abilities were enhanced for some sort of awareness of the feather, which is really what I'm talking about here: *enhancing* one's aikido and self. Finally, there is no "mindful awareness" of the feather on Dumbo's part; in the Dumbo-myth, the feather was, for him, simply magic. Again... and again... I claim no magic, only an indirect chain of events that begins once someone begins treating their obi with respect and mindful awareness. Dumbo had neither of these things for his feather.

"I see Tim's belt as his magic feather. It undeniably has value for him, but in truth I don't believe it offers him anything that he doesn't already have within himself."

In every way this analogy can collapse it has. There is no magic. There is no echo of Dumbo's unfounded credit to the feather that he could fly. My aikido - and my self - is made better because of a mindfulness that comes from the mindfulness (respect) I pay to my obi. If I must play the part of dumbo in today's analogy, then know that if I stopped respecting my obi, I could still fly... but I would not fly so well nor so high - that is, I would I improve so much in the future - as I would respecting that obi. That's not really in the analogy, though, which is why the analogy is pretty useless to understanding this tradition.

But you accepted the causality (indirect causality) of the belt-respect to better aikido, Sean. In that case, I don't know why you continue with this analogy.

I have said my peace. In the end it comes down to a personal willingness to enter into the metaphor in order to see what value is there. For some metaphors, that might be nothing. However I, and many others in the martial arts world, know that there *is* value in this particular metaphor, and so suggest it for any serious artist.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 08:29 AM   #137
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Tim,

I suspect what people are objecting to is your constant referral that people are either knowingly or unknowingly missing out on a tool to improve their training (the "unwashed belt" tradition) and implying that by not subscribing to the tradition, they are "missing out". However, you acknowledge that traditions only have value to those who ascribe value to the tradition. Could it be that this tradition holds no value for us, however illogical you may personally find such an attitude to be?

In short, I cast no aspirations on your aikido abilities based on the manner you treat your belt. Kindly grant me the same courtesy.

As to if the tradition of the "unwashed belt" is a useful tool for improving aikido, let's see some evidence.

Regards,

Paul
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 03:03 PM   #138
skyetide
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 27
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
PeterR wrote:
Get thee to the kitchen woman.
One moment, kind sir, let me just remove my shoes...


(Sean wrote)"Ok. Thats me done. If you'd care to reply, I'm happy to let your reply be the last word. (Unless of course the whole thread suddenly lurches off in a different direction altogether, but hey, thats what we're here for! "


All this mumbo-dumbo has me thinking....isn't Dinsey world just a giant people trap run by a mouse?
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2004, 04:18 PM   #139
Doka
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 169
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
skyetide wrote:
All this mumbo-dumbo has me thinking....isn't Dinsey world just a giant people trap run by a mouse?
And the bait is sickly sweet! Give me Warner Bros. any day!!!

Back to the obi....

This tradition must have come from somewhere! I first heard it over 20 years ago when I started Judo. I have heard it in Karate dojo, and then in Aikido dojo, and I have never washed my belt - it is greying nicely!!!

I have never really asked people if they wash their belt, as it doesn't really matter to what they do on the mat. I am much happier if people treat each other with respect, not just their belt!

I fold my hakama and hang it up, but I know people who screw it up and sling it in their bag, but it doesn't really matter to what they do on the mat.

By the way, when I fold my hakama it is on the floor!!!!

Hmmmmm!!!!!!

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2004, 09:05 AM   #140
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Offline
Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
Doka wrote:
This tradition must have come from somewhere!
Probably has similar origins to other urban myths and old wives tales. This website looks interesting about that.
Quote:
I have never really asked people if they wash their belt, as it doesn't really matter to what they do on the mat. I am much happier if people treat each other with respect, not just their belt!
Agree completely. If you can't tell whether they wash it or not, it obviously isn't a problem.
The gentleman on the other thread though, whose belt was in an accident with an incontinent cat, and he *still* didn't wash it? Ewww!

Quote:
By the way, when I fold my hakama it is on the floor!!!!
We don't have hakama at my dojo, so I'm not sure, but how easy would it be to fold it without putting it down? Is it the sort of thing you could sell tickets for? Is it disrespectful to hold it in your teeth?

Sean
x

Last edited by deepsoup : 04-29-2004 at 09:08 AM.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
funny grading moments jimmy2006 Testing 28 04-16-2007 12:32 PM
Brawling with a friend Luc X Saroufim General 227 07-17-2006 07:33 PM
My answer to a very good question: Charlie General 1 08-02-2005 07:10 AM
Article: Thoughts on Bugei Studies by Karl Friday AikiWeb System Training 28 04-27-2002 05:21 PM
Question about clothing Shouri (Steve) General 3 07-26-2000 09:44 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:44 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2018 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2018 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate