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 > Spiritual

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 09-14-2004, 09:16 AM   #1
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Canada
Offline
Winning.

(May be disturbing to some.)
'lo all.
I apologise at the start for the glum tone of this post; well - it was a glum sort of night. The kind of night that gets me thinking all sorts of things to take my mind off what it's doing and try something new for a while. Unfortunately; where all the options are pretty glum too.

I was thinking a bit about the Aikiweb here; in particular one of my pet peeves about this whole 'learn SD in a dojo' thing.

It's about winning.


See; I state time and time again that my goal - when considering defensive aikido - is not about winning; but about escaping. For reasons I've listed elsewhere; too tired to list them here.

This all started on another site I belong to in which someone was bitching and moaning about an incident he'd recently survived; he'd been held up at gunpoint.
OK; I admit that's a terrible thing; but he was whining about 'how will I ever forgive him and get on with my life' and ' I'm mad at myself for not doing anything to win'.
I'm not proud of it; but I blew up - went totally nuclear. 'Cause the little twit was ignoring every single thing his more experienced peers, nature and simple common sense was telling him about not rushing from behind a counter to attack someone lined up on him with an assault rifle.

My reaction sort of sparked a really dark train of thought; and it kept coming back to this winning and losing thing.
Thing is peeps; we all know - or should know - that in a violent encounter; losing really, really sucks. It's going to hurt - bad. There is a very good chance in today's day and age you might not survive losing.
All in all; winning is pretty much the better option of the two; don't you think?

Wanna know something? I hate losing. I mean, I'm totally scared to death about losing. The thing is though; I hate winning almost as much. It may be the lesser of two evils; but to my way of thinking the margin is very slim.

I say that; because I've won in the past. I've won several times.

In fact; when it got right down to the core; I've never lost.

"Well, there he goes again," you might say; "bragging about what a he-man he is!"

Bragging? I've certainly been accused of it - many times.

Let's see:
The last time I won; 3 drunks wound up going to jail; one with a very sore wrist and a puffy face where I hit it with a wall.
Yipee! I won!
All I felt about it at the time was the sad, sick feeling that the thing was back. Something I thought - hoped - had been buried for a long time.
If you've been in the business; you know what the thing is. If you haven't; you'd rather not know - trust me on this.

The time before that I won; someone was carried - screaming - into an ambulance with an elbow and knee shattered beyond repair.

A time before that I won; I left a largely headless corpse behind me. I was moving too fast to take in details; but I remember it twitching.

Another time I won involved a bayonet - mine.

There were a few others - none felt any better.

These are not bar-fights, BTW; I don't consider those to be 'violent encounters'. Otherwise the list would be quite a bit longer.

I'm sorry - some days nighttime isn't a very pleasant time for me.

Let me tell you something people; winning really, really really sucks. You might get offended at this statement; frankly I don't care - but for 99.9% of the people reading this; winning a genuine violent encounter sucks so damned bad you wouldn't be able to handle it.


I put this in the 'spiritual' section for a reason. I'll get to that in a sec; but let us be certain about one thing: Many teachers - if not the vast majority - teach their students in their own image. That is; they try to get their stuents thinking along their lines; believeing what they do; acting like they act. This is not negative; it is in fact how the wonderful nature of the Arts are passed along. I do not, however, do this. As I teach SD in our dojo; I do not do it for one good reason: I do not want my students to be more like me. I want them to avoid ever becoming like me. Physically; psychologically. There are parts of me I do not openly discuss; except to those who understand it. Those - in other words - who know what the thing is.

That's why I go so freaking ballistic when I see people talking about 'winning' a violent encounter - because it just shows they don't understand in the vast majority of cases; if you win the battle; by Christ have you ever lost the war! Most people don't understand that - so rather than have them face the possibility of finding that out firsthand; I think it's better to try to get them to see it secondhand.

I put this in the 'spiritual' section because most people consider the 'spiritual' side of aikido to be very positive, uplifting, self-bettering, etc. And it is - I love the peace and thoughtfulness it brings. Don't assume because I deal mostly with the defensive aspects on Aikiweb and at the dojo that I ignore the spiritual - it's just that I look at the two as one and the same. But it must be remembered - there is also the dark side of spirituality. The black, horrible parts of the soul that exist in all people - some more than others; some closer to the surface than others. If we want to understand ourselves as spiritual beings; we must be willing to take a deep breath and face the dark, rotten part of ourselves; one cannot beat something by ignoring it.
I suspect those fortunate few that achieve true inner peace have done so by looking hard at that black spot; respecting it, understanding and accepting it as part of themselves.

But it's here - in this black part - that winning takes its most terrible toll. In the safety; pleasure and comfort of the Dojo; we tend to forget that what we are practicing is a brutally efficient defensive system; one which can spell mayhem or death to the attacker if done properly.If that day ever comes when one must use what he's learned - and subsequently wins; chances are good - in a genuine violent encounter - that person will have done something truly horrible to the attacker. Think about the aikido techniques; and picture what can happen to uke if he doesn't know the ukemi. Unless the aikidoka is completely devoid of emotion and ethics; the guilt, pain and shame of winning in such a way will go straight into the black part and make it grow.

Therefore; there is only one way to win - truly win - and that is not to play. If one hopes to preserve the balance of spirituality and efficiency that aikido is; one must stop thinking about 'winning' a 'fight'. One must think about 'escape'.
Even ignoring the legal aspects; escape is your best policy - your best option under any circumstance.

Now; I know what a lot of people will say: "All that happened in combat; therefore it doesn't apply to me - you're just scare-mongering! That won't happen if I'm attacked in a bar!"
Maybe - but consider something: We do not train to fight in bars. A bar fight may happen; you may become involved. If so; you've ignored your training - because one of the things aikido teaches so well is the ideas and mindsets to avoid being caught up in a bar-fight! If you do get caught in a bar fight; chances are you're at least partly responsible.

No - aikido is not designed to help you under those conditions. Where it can help you - if one learns within the proper mindset - is defense against genuine violent attack - the mugger, the rapist, the robber. It is not a catch-all by any means; but it has good answers for the questions it addresses.
In other words; the same ones torturing and killing families in that other place are the same ones stalking the night streets of Scarborough or LA or Jakarta or London; looking for the next score/thrill/target. They're the ones without a moral center; no base of ethics.
You cannot win against these people - unless they're certain they will succeed they will not attack. And when they do; it'll hit like an avalanche - with the intent to dominate, to destroy, to overwhelm; not fight. You can't win under those circumstances - but you can escape.
Neither can you escape the horrors of winning if you do manage to win - but you can escape the attacker.
So - learn about escape. If your intent in studying aikido is in any way defensive (and for many, it isn't - that's great as well); start thinking along 'escape' lines, not 'winning' lines.
Because when everything suddenly stops; there'll be three possibilities: Escape. Losing. Or the thing.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 09:56 AM   #2
Richard Cardwell
Dojo: Belfast Aikido Circle
Location: Belfast
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 39
Offline
Re: Winning.

That's one of the most insightful things I've ever read online. Thank you, Dave.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 10:43 AM   #3
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 71
Offline
Re: Winning.

Very good post. Controlling those dark thoughts and inner demons is definitely the hardest battle. The trouble is I suppose we are all human and primal fears and instincts lurk just below even the most apparently civilised people.

All the best
Jason T
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 11:00 AM   #4
billybob
 
billybob's Avatar
Dojo: Academy of Warrior Spirit
Location: tampa
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 440
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

excellent thoughts!!! yes. i wrestled with wanting to kill my father for years. he deserved it. sound sick? sorry.

when he killed himself, people assumed i had murdered him. you want to talk about 'the thing'?
i know that thing. when someone you trust attacks you in your sleep and chokes you until you pass out you think you are dying - you get a 'thing'.

long road for me. but i shared that stuff as a credential for recommending a book called 'waking the tiger'. it is about curing post traumatic stress disorder through simple meditation. no need to suffer. the therapy works, and it's free.

peace

billybob
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 11:37 AM   #5
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

Very sincere and confusing post. Probably we really think too much about "does this technique work?" instead of "do we want this technique to work?". I mean "do we want this technique to be applied in a real encounter"... Hopefully Aikido also teaches us how to execute that "escape" you are talking about.
I remember my friend told me ones that the difference between smart and wise person is that smart person can handle difficult situation, wise one won't be caught in it.

Good luck with your nightmares.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 01:06 PM   #6
Brehan Crawford
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 45
Offline
Re: Winning.

Dave,

I have a hunch that what you're getting at in your post is the same motivation that O'Sensei had in making Aikido nonviolent, focusing on protecting the person who attacks you as well as yourself, and in discouraging competition.

As far as I can tell, humans are the only parts of this planet that are actually concerned with "winning". We are always striving to dominate nature and control it, or other people, usually for something fairly trivial like financial profit. Nature isn't fighting back, it doesn't hold a grudge, and in the grand scheme of things I don't think it really cares about winning or losing--if it's even aware of the concepts.

I've (thankfully) never been in combat, or even any kind of serious physical altercation, but I've played computer games for entertainment for a long time, frequently in multiplayer, and developed a high level of skill in a lot of them. When I play against other people who aren't as skilled, and win consistently time after time, I start to feel guilty, like I'm dominating them cruelly, even if that isn't my intent. It's actually gotten to the point before that I'm not having fun playing the game because I feel so bad about winning--and if I throw the game I feel cheapened somehow, and then I convince myself to lie to the other player and congratulate him, which just makes me feel more guilty. So now I suggest we play co-operatively, and that way everyone has a good time....because everyone is winning. Even if the computer totally thwomps us, we had a good time working together.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 01:16 PM   #7
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

Quote:
Brehan Crawford wrote:
As far as I can tell, humans are the only parts of this planet that are actually concerned with "winning". We are always striving to dominate nature and control it, or other people, usually for something fairly trivial like financial profit.
I'm not sure about that. Watch "Animal planet" and see how some species fight with each other for territory, food or sex... Does that reminds something?
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 01:32 PM   #8
Brehan Crawford
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 45
Offline
Re: Winning.

But none of that is for complete dominance, isn't it? I mean, sure, a bunch of hornets will completely decimate a nest of honeybees, but they don't push the fight until all of the honeybees everywhere around the world are gone. They just kill what they need to by instinct and then stop.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 01:33 PM   #9
billybob
 
billybob's Avatar
Dojo: Academy of Warrior Spirit
Location: tampa
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 440
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

i like the thoughts listed above about nature not holding a grudge.

the author of the book i mentioned 'waking the tiger' studied predator/prey
interaction. prey 'freezes' when overwhelmed. we freeze when overwhelmed,
but whereas animals tremble off the nervous tension and return to normal,
humans can get stuck. the book teaches how to get unstuck.

aikido is about healing for me. underneath i am sane. (way deep )

billybob
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 03:14 PM   #10
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Re: Winning.

Hi Dave,

Right now I'm officially lurking on the site/list where the guy was talking about the aftermath of the robbery incident and his feelings of needing to "win" etc. against a robber with an assault rifle. I don't know if he realised that his issue was with his own ego (i.e. not being aware enough and getting caught off guard) and not the robber. It was a sad state with him, he just wouldn't listen.

About the "thing". It was one of the main reasons why I decided to join Aikido. I was looking for a way, in those days at least, where I could control without injuring, since the need to "injure" (putting it very mildly) was how a big part of me always wanted to react to being attacked in any form. Restraining that urge was a big job in and of itself. I saw Aikido as a means of maintaining the ability to effectively protect myself in most situations while not giving the darker side reign to escape and run rampant on people.

Through training, what I found was the best way to control the beast was to empty my cup (preconceptions), lose the ego (as much as I was able), clear my mind/spirit, look him in the eye and understand what motivated and drove the darker self. In this way, through understanding, the darkness no longer became as scary a place, but a place that if the need arose, could be relatively safe (of course to see things this way took a hell of a paradigm shift from the good/bad way of viewing things also). But it takes a lot, and removal of the ego while going through the process is very difficult, but also pivotal to any degree of success.

Contrary to Brehan's point though, I have found that the intensity, challenge to my "comfort zone" and continuously humbling effects found in competition type training very effective in helping me control my own "desire to win" and to be the ego-driven hero. Once I have resigned myself that the meeting and testing (shi ai) with my partner is not about battle, destroying my attacker and surviving in combat, I can settle down to the work and study of refining my technique to a level where I can maintain my inner calm and keep "the thing" at rest in the midst of being under a low level threat (training it to receive personal attacks in a new way). Then I can take this to another level where I begin to apply the same principles to non-competition situations, where the rules are either blurred or non existent. By exercising the muscle it becomes stronger, so too the mind/spirit resolve. Competition in Aikido is about polishing the mirror, the jewel and the sword, not winning. At least imho.

In my humble opinion I think Ueshiba M. had it right regarding training to the level where one can deal with conflict without being mentally and spiritually drawn into and controlled by it (i.e. by feeling threatened with destruction, generating a fear response). To do this realistically however requires a level of internal and external skill that is nothing short of phenomenal.

When threatened it becomes easy for our not so nice natures to come out in an attempt to win, even in an attempt to merely survive/escape. The only respite is that survival/escape may most times be easier than trying to win, which can call for a hell of a lot more energy output and skill. But there are the times when the mere act of escape itself may call for "the thing" to come out, due to the circumstances of what is occurring, so again it is not easy. Ask anyone who may have escaped from a POW camp or a killing field.

Dave's post hit at the core. It reminds me of the saying "The only way to win against one's own subconscious is to deny it battle."

Just my thoughts. I hope it adds to the discussion. To date I still separate Aikido training and self defence training. I hope I can see the day when the 2 become 1 in all encounters.

Gambatte.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 03:56 PM   #11
tony cameron
Location: portland
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 37
Offline
Re: Winning.

dear dave & everyone of the Way,

it takes a lot of courage to bear your soul like that (or a lot of beer. i think we all have our inner demons, some horrific like your own, some less so, but all to be taken seriously. the beauty is that that demon can be destroyed and O Sensei gave us the means of doing so. i've got my own internal battle and though i get weary at times, i will persevere. i firmly believe that enough light can negate and destroy that darkness, and that is the test of life. i find O Sensei's definition of true victory to be very inspiring. just remember that you are not alone dave, we are all in this together.

friend and fellow in Aikido,

tony1


"Sharply sparkling
The spirit/mind of the person of the Way (do-jin)
Penetrates through to reveal
The evil devil that lurks inside the self"

"Masakatsu Agatsu: True victory is victory over Oneself"

- O Sensei
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 04:11 PM   #12
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Offline
Re: Winning.

Dave,
Thanks for this post, food for thought.
I find your habit of plainly speaking unpalatable truths, particularly on the subjects of self-defence and "real life" conflict to be immensely refreshing.
Regards
Sean
x
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 11:14 PM   #13
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,709
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

Great post. Compliments and appreciation.

I was asked once to teach a self-defense course at a battered woman's shelter. After an inital threat assessment, I offered only to teach escape and evasion.

IMHO, in reality if I survived, I must have done it right. There are no winners, only survivors.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2004, 03:29 AM   #14
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Winning.

[quote=Dave Organ]
Quote:
That's why I go so freaking ballistic when I see people talking about 'winning' a violent encounter - because it just shows they don't understand in the vast majority of cases.
Dave, nice to reply to your post. Your post are always challenging to reply, and in the same time, provide food for thought. I try my best...

You arrive at this ability to think this way is due to your fortunate/unfortunate encounter in your past. You were a soldier, and it is part of your job to face the ugly side of humanity. You went ballistic at someone because he thinks that winning equals victory or something like that. Please understand that not everyone you meet have the same experience as you. I am not sure if the person that you went ballistic at appreciate your concern. He may not understand simply because he is not you and he doesn't have the same experience to understand your view. Their ignorance are natural. Think back if you were not you and did not have the experience, will you understand what yourself is talking? Having said that, thanks, your post has made many people think outside the box, including moi..

Quote:
In the safety; pleasure and comfort of the Dojo; we tend to forget that what we are practicing is a brutally efficient defensive system; one which can spell mayhem or death to the attacker if done properly.
True, it also in the very same dojo we learn to appreciate compassion. Compassion to the person receiving the technique because we know how much it will hurt if done in the combative manner. It is from this compassion that we are able to value our own live and that of our adversary. Out of this compassionate attitude blossom a kind of mutual understanding, somewhat akin to mutual welfare... you know that sort of mambo jumbo.

Quote:
Therefore; there is only one way to win - truly win - and that is not to play.
Without playing you never learn. Let me ask you again, if you never 'play', can you come to such a mental conclusion. So how is never play equate to truly win? I equate that as championing the attitude of "Ignorance is bliss".

Again I reiterate, Dave, your post are a challenge to reply.

Next, there is something I would like to solicit your opinion...

Quote:
In your post you mentioned that you were sick and regret (i hope I convey the right message) the past taking of life in your previous capacity as a professional soldier. I remember also you mentioned in previous post, that you are suffering from many injuries bourned in your course of work. In my understanding of cause and effect (the dharmic effect), whatever dharmic cause you have created will follow you. I speculate, that the pain you are suffering maybe the effect of previous action.
If you believe it, then be comforted that your past effort are slowly being retributed in this manner and your dharmic soul is slowly purged of bad dharma. Of course this is based solely on my understanding of dharmic cause and effect. Other religion explain suffering in different manner.

If I have hit a sensitive topic, please excuse me, I will refrain from furthering this topic.

Sincerely,
Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2004, 05:30 AM   #15
malc anderson
Location: coventry
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 28
Offline
Re: Winning.

HI YA DAVE, YOUR POST REALLY TOUCHED ME, AND I JUST HAD TO REPLY. YOU WROTE
‘ it must be remembered - there is also the dark side of spirituality. The black, horrible parts of the soul that exist in all people - some more than others; some closer to the surface than others. If we want to understand ourselves as spiritual beings; we must be willing to take a deep breath and face the dark, rotten part of ourselves; one cannot beat something by ignoring it'.
MAY I SUGGEST THAT YOU AREN'T QUITE RIGHT IN YOUR ASSUMPTION. I HAVE BEEN PRACTICING RAJ YOGA (AS WELL MAs} FOR OVER 30 ODD YEARS AND THIS ‘THING' THAT DRIVES US FOR GOOD AND BAD, IS NOT THE REAL US INSIDE. THIS ‘THING' CONSTANTLY DRIVES US TO DO THIS AND THAT ALL DAY LONG, IT IS OUR ENEMY AND OUR FRIEND. WHEN O'SENSEI TALKS OF WINNING THE BATTLE INSIDE, HE MEANS DEFEATING THIS ‘THING'. BUT AS IT IS OUR OPERATING SYSTEM HOW CAN WE? LET GO OF THE FIGHT AGAINST IT AND SEEK SILENCE, WE CANNOT BEAT IT. BUT WE CAN PRACTICE LETTING GO BY CONCENTRATION. I WAS LUCKY I FOUND A BRILLANT TEACHER, AND IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I HAVE IN MY 30YRS OF STRUGGLE AGAINST THE' THING', BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE EXPERIENCED ‘KENSHO' QUITE A FEW TIMES, THIS IS THE' MAGIC' THAT ALL HUMANS NEED AND MUST AIM FOR. I COME AT THIS FROM KNOWING THAT THE ‘LIGHT' INSIDE IS MY REAL GOAL. NOT FROM A BOOK OR SOME NICE THOUGHTS BUT FROM DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF THAT LIGHT, THERE IS NO DARKNESS THERE! BY THE WAY THERE IS ALSO SOUND IN THAT LIGHT TOO! SO DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF TRY AND FIND A MEDITATION OF SOME KIND TO HELP YOU, FIND THE INNER LIGHT, THERE IS NO DARKNESS THERE AT ALL. AND LOVE WILL FILL YOUR LIFE IF YOU TRY HARD. HERE'S SOME QUOTES FROM O'SENSEI' S ART OF PEACE
If you have not Linked yourself To true emptiness,
You will never understand The Art of Peace.

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with LIGHT and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and ENLIGHTENMENT.
The penetrating brilliance of swords Wielded by followers of the Way
Strikes at the evil enemy Lurking deep within Their own souls and bodies
The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. on occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.
Foster and polish The warior spirit, While serving in the world;
Illuminate the path According to your INNER LIGHT.
A true warrior is always armed with the three things: the radiant sword of pacification; the mirror of bravery, wisdom, and friendship; and the precious jewel of ENLIGHTENMENT
A warrior's mind and body must be permeated with ENLIGHTENMENT wisdom and deep calm.
MASAKATSU AGATSU, ALL THE BEST MALC
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2004, 06:11 AM   #16
Simon Fraser
Location: Cambridge
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Winning.

I heard someone explaining this idea earlier this year. He was talking about how winning requires focus, and while that focus gives you the drive to go forward, it also gives you tunnel vision as you only look towards your goal. If, instead, you think about 'not losing', then the tunnel vision becomes wide open, and all the possibilities, both good and bad, become visible. In effect, it doesn't matter if the other person thinks they've won, as long as you don't lose. Driving home, I could see how this attitude would greatly improve road safety, if nothing else.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2004, 06:52 AM   #17
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
Re: Winning.

Hi Dave, great post. I think something people find hard to accept, is that we do the best we can at the time. We should learn from our mistakes but not dwell on them. We learn a lesson, but admit that we are not infallible and, especially in combat, we have to make very important decisions with very little information. What you know now is more than you knew then, so just realise, that was a different you - you've moved on. I think it is very unfair to criticise anybody elses actions during combat because you just do what you can do at the time. The same applies for people who 'loose'.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2004, 01:07 AM   #18
p00kiethebear
 
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

Mmmm.

The concepts that have been brought up in this post are ones that my mind has been trying to wrap itself around for a while. About winning and losing. This has definitly shed some light on the issue, thanks for the post, it must have taken some time to write.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2004, 07:59 AM   #19
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,709
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

IMHO, outside of the artificial competitive context, the best model is to accept its win/win or lose/lose.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2004, 10:06 AM   #20
Sue Trinidad
Dojo: Island Aikido
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 41
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

One of the most important things I've heard from a teacher so far was just this weekend. Ray Farinato Sensei said something like, "all you need to do is get by the attacker." Basically, the idea was that even in the seminar, in a multiple-attack situation, you didn't have to throw everybody--it was "extra." You just had to get yourself to a spot where they were no longer a threat, and keep moving. . . don't fight people you don't have to fight.

(Yeah, I know: when you're practicing technique in the dojo, you need to meet the attack as prescribed, etc. But as real-life advice, this seemed pretty insightful!)
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2004, 12:58 PM   #21
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: Winning.

Somebody in class the other night said: There's a big difference between making yourself a winner and making the other guy a loser.

I really liked it

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2004, 05:27 AM   #22
billybob
 
billybob's Avatar
Dojo: Academy of Warrior Spirit
Location: tampa
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 440
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

please read the original posting. the writer speaks of the darkness inside that comes from hurting and killing. the initial elation of survival passes, and you can be left feeling empty and guilty. how can this be healed?

read the original post in this thread.

billybob
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2004, 06:15 AM   #23
Nick P.
 
Nick P.'s Avatar
Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 639
Offline
Thumbs down Re: Winning.

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Somebody in class the other night said: There's a big difference between making yourself a winner and making the other guy a loser.

I really liked it

Bronson
Wow. That is really, really good.

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2004, 01:05 PM   #24
sjm924
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10
United_States
Offline
Re: Winning.

Dave,

I can relate SOMEWHAT to how you feel, BUT, if you are using aikido in the way it was originally conceived then you should cast your guilt aside.

One of my most favorite quotes:

Shioda Sensei once said, ". . .after the demise of the samurai class, the martial "arts" became martial "ways," and great value was placed upon them as a means of generating the moral strength necessary to build a sound society. Nevertheless, in the last analysis the martial arts are the arts of fighting [women and men]--of the samurai--and if the basic objective of defeating the enemy is lost sight of, then as martial arts they must cease to exist. Accordingly, they must not become mere intellectual exercises, the fundamental budo "conduct" must not be treated lightly and the "way of technique" must not be neglected as a form of spiritual and physical training."

So I believe that you either practice, and use the martial ways properly--and come out the other side of a violent confrontation as properly handling it--or you die or become maimed or injured. It's up to you. That's why I practice my style of aikido, for life or death situations. If someone tries to hurt or kill me. . . I don't feel bad about breaking their bones or sending them to the hospital. It was their decision and they picked the wrong person to mess with. This is true self defense and true budo. Hell, if they survive, they might even learn something. It might change their life around.

At least in my style, aikido is the ultimate self defense. The teaching methods haven't changed much for a long time (in my style anyways). That's why we practice a technique literally 100's or 1000's of times--so it stays fresh in the "muscle-memory".

hope my 2 cents helps.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2004, 01:23 PM   #25
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Winning.

Been a while since I have had time to post! (how's it going Dave!)

To me, it is not about winnning or losing at all when you are talking war or life. It is more about the concept of Karma.

It is hard for me to explain here in writing. It is something I think about daily. (I'm a soldier you see). I have had several friends, and colleauges killed since september 11. In all cases it did not matter how much skill they had or didn't have (some had none, a few of my Infantry/Spec Ops friends had many skills). They entered a situation that they neither choose or saw coming. It happened to them period. No amount of skill or preparation would have saved any of them. It was there time.

They didn't choose the time or the place or the circumstances. Karma.

That said, they all lived noble lives and did the best they could with the skills they had. They were all great people in their own way.

I think the best we can hope for in a life or death situation is that we are prepared to deal with it however it approaches us. We can hope that the skill we have can guide us and maybe save us. It isn't about winning or losing it is about surviving.

I think you find that if you survive a small part of you is left there behind with the situation. So I don't think you call that winning. The memories and feelings can haunt you forever.

I think we take what we have or are born with and try and refine it as best we can, improving ourselves constantly...to me this is the meaning of life. Try and give back positive things and manage or repress the negative.
  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
Meaning of Competitive? Chuck Clark Language 210 07-19-2007 12:50 PM
Wining before you start. YaB General 14 12-03-2005 07:36 AM
Has all the love gone? Ma_ai General 29 02-14-2005 09:08 PM
being defeated kensparrow General 19 04-01-2003 03:10 PM
the whole competition thing Nick General 26 02-05-2001 07:01 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:54 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 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