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Old 12-27-2004, 03:36 PM   #151
PRapoza
Dojo: Cape Cod Aikido Kenkyukai 541 Thomas Landers Rd., East Falmouth
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Re: Aikido Frauds

P.S. I met a guy who is a,certified Aikikai, fifth dan who claimed on his website to have trained with my teacher. He visited my teachers dojo a couple of times when visiting Japan. That was enough for him to include my teacher as one of his or someone he "studied with". Everyone who practiced with that guy and knows my teacher thought it was ridiculous. No one ever said anything to him though. What's the point? He's making a fool of himself and he doesn't even realize it. Ever heard the story of The Emperor's New Clothes...
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:08 PM   #152
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Commenting does not affect my training at the dojo in any way shape or form-I do it when I'm not there.

I agree, these frauds are likely out of our control realm.

As to what it has to do with my own training? In my case, it has affected it 3 times in the past via affiliations. I currently have a friend in another part of the state trying to keep a dojo functioning. It affects his because he was recently promoted to nidan and a local is one of the frauds. This is not speculation. The guy got all his rank from a soke organization made up of a 10th dan wanted for fraud in another state. The 10-th dan is also not an aikidoka yet he is promoting this guy to 5th dan. A newbie in the area does not have the ability to discerned the difference. I personally would look for quality and generally a 5th dan should be a lot more knowledgeable than a 2nd dan about the art. That is if both are legit and did not buy their rank.

I'm sure frauds have always existed. However, one of the reasons for posting this thread is that it is my opinion that it is increasing. I personally can come up with at least 10 of these cons and that's with little effort. To me I feel a responsibility to raise the awareness of other aikidoka (many on this site have had the experience) and hopefully get some ideas as to what can be done as an aikido community to at least shed light on the topic and give the local legitimate schools some criteria they can use to educate prospective students and their own. Will we solve the problem? Not likely but it has been an interesting discussion in my opinion with lots of good ideas. My biggest hope is they chose to change their names and drop the aikido moniker. If they do that, I'd be happy. So-all the cons-if you read this site-change your names and drop the aikido. I don't care what you change it to. Make something up. Then you can use doctor, soke, professor, grandmaster of ikkyo or whatever you want to call yourself and promote yourself to whatever rank your little heart desires (I understand some of the ninja groups are now going up to 15th dan). At least that way, it will not reflect on aikido.
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:36 PM   #153
David Humm
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egotism

The mentality of the delusional egotistic

A good friend of mine runs a fairly successful mail order martial arts shop (he is also a 5th dan in Shotokan)

I'm in his shop when he tells me of an order which had been placed by a chap who'd recently been graded to Shodan in Aikido, his order requested a black belt with his name and grade embroidered through the entire length of the belt.

The owner corresponds with the customer to advise the costs involved and to <ahem> actually confirm the request

The customer confirmed accordingly however he additionally stated that he'd realised the cost would be greater than 'normal' due to the greater amount of stitching so; He'd changed his mind on one aspect of the belt. That, instead of wanting Shodan on the belt, he now wanted Godan.

The shop owner phoned the customer to check this was indeed correct asking why he wanted Godan on the belt when the customer was a newly graded Shodan.

The customer replied that he'd realised the cost of the belt and that he didn't want to have to pay this each time he got promoted in the future. That his instructor had told him he'd probably reach Godan in time to come. So he wanted his name and Godan written on the belt. The shop owner asked if he wanted a second 'plain' BB to wear in the mean time to which the answer was no, he was going to wear the embroidered belt.

-------- And there's more --------

Another friend of mine and a Principal instructor here in the UK was invited to teach at a dojo, on his arrival he was greeted by the club instructor who, the Principal noted was wearing a very odd type obi under his hakama.

On closer inspection the club instructor was in fact wearing curtain/drape tie-backs wrapped around him complete with the tassel ends, one for each of his dan grades (4) These were strategically placed two at each side of his waist so they would be visible through his hakama.

When the principal asked about his ukemi and if 'they' would get in the way, the club instructor replied "I don't do ukemi anymore because I'm the teacher here"

Dave
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Old 12-27-2004, 05:34 PM   #154
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
Like there's a new thread about bowing, with a very specific question asked, and not one single person who has responded to that post has actually responded to that specific question.
Hey!!! I clearly responded specifically to that specific question!

Charles "The Thorough Reader" Hill
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Old 12-27-2004, 05:52 PM   #155
mj
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Until we see light from an attacker....
Until we can stand in the middle of 12 people we do not know and down them....
Until 8 people can hold us.....
Until we can pin real Sumo wrestlers...
Until we fight union beaters, fight in wars...
Until we can sit with 3 people pushing our head and another pulling our neck with a belt...
Until we can stand with a wooden stick and have 3 people pushing it and not move....
Until we can smile with the love of life....

What exactly is the definition of fraud here? All of us. Not one of us, frankly, is worthy to lace his boots...and yet we argue over little things. And we probably shame him.

Anyway tomorrow I will be back to my own arguing, carry on.

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Old 12-27-2004, 06:25 PM   #156
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

OK I can think of one member of this board off-hand that founded his own organization and subsequently assumed rank from that organization. He would fit into some of the descriptions I've heard here of fraud - I would not call him such.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-27-2004, 06:54 PM   #157
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

As a matter of interest..

What "rank/grade" did the founder hold in "his" art Aikido

Subsequently what "rank/grade" does the Doshu hold ? Indeed what colour belt does the Doshu wear under his hakama ? Cos it isn't black.

Perhaps there are a couple of important lessons here.

With regards to "assuming" grades from an organisation which one is responsible for forming... IMHO If someone wants to form an organisation and create a rank for themselves, I'm afraid I for one would be most suspicious.

We have a growing number of 8th dan in this country despite only three officially appointed Shihan (one of whom is the Aikikai representitive) The worth of these 8th dan certificates is frankly ZERO IMO mainly because they are awarded from within their own respective organisations or, as previously indicated issued from some pants multi-art facard who issue certificates for money. I actually found one such organisation with a dedicated aikido section headed by a person claiming grades in "BUDO-DO", "BUDO" & "Aiki-BUDO". for christ sake thats a LOT of BUDO something like a combined number of 15 dan grades in BUDO related arse. Not to mention the 6 dan in AIKIDO

Indeed what credibility is there in printing off on my PC a 5th dan certificate and giving it to myself ?

More to the question.. Why do this in the first place.

Answer - To fool people

Last edited by David Humm : 12-27-2004 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 12-27-2004, 06:58 PM   #158
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
But why this attitude I don't understand. Care to explain further, Peter?
If someone from the Himeji area wrote to Honbu and asked if I was really what I claim to be they would answer. That has relevance. I was very clear in my post when I said outside of Japan.

The problem has to do, I think, with the number of strange e-mails known organizations get and by extention their members. I would say it has to do with protecting your own.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-27-2004, 07:09 PM   #159
Don_Modesto
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
If someone from the Himeji area wrote to Honbu and asked if I was really what I claim to be they would answer. That has relevance.
Quite right. Thanks for the response.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 12-27-2004, 07:42 PM   #160
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikido Frauds

There is a fine line between (self-) delusion, deception and fraud (which to me includes a more distinct financial motive). I suppose the base line is knowing the truth and the many ways of wishing it were otherwise―or pretending it is otherwise. In Japan there is an organization called Aum Shinrikyou. The leader, now on trial for his life, claimed to be enlightened, even to be able to levitate―given his weight, this would have been a major feat. Clearly a charlatan, one might think, but the organization attracted hundreds of followers who would otherwise have made successful careers as doctors or lawyers etc. The police targeted the organization not for defrauding the members, but on other, more serious charges.

Now Aum Shinrikyou is part of a long tradition of 'new' religions in Japan and it is believed that 10% of the population are members of such 'new' religions. The pattern rarely varies: someone comes along claiming to have received 'enlightenment' on some occasion and to be carrying out the request/commission of the supposed enlightenment-giver to found a new heaven and a new earth etc. Of course, the movement attracts followers and if the followers are wealthy, so much the better. Now where would one draw the line between genuine belief and self-delusion, deception/fraud?

Compare this with the latest type of fraud, very prevalent here in Japan. Someone uses a cell phone to target middle-aged people, pretending to be a relative, or the police. The story is always similar. The son has had an accident and needs to make a large payment to the other party. He needs the cash and so please transfer x hundred thousand yen into a certain bank account―right now. I am a member of the local police committee and you would not believe how many people fall for this scam. Japan is still a cash society, so it is common for people who cause accidents to make a cash gift to the injured party, to avoid the case going any further. There is a tradition of unquestioning obedience to authority here and this leads to a certain gullibility. To me the middle-aged couple would also be blameworthy for not taking reasonable precautions, but this is because I come from a culture where authority is routinely questioned. This is rarely the case here and it is much more likely that people will get on with their own affairs and try to avoid encounters with authority figures like the police.

So if someone starts his/her own martial arts organization, it would be obvious that here genuine 'enlightenment' would require at least 8th dan, or a soke-ship. Such a person might well attract disciples, for the reasons I have suggested above. I think this is one of the advantages of belonging to an organization, but an organization by itself it not enough. Aum Shinrikyou was a large organization. Nevertheless, the lineage if Shoko Asahara was in question and so lineage―a direct line traceable to an original, respected, founder is also crucial.

I am not, of course, saying that independence is not possible or even desirable in many cases. But independence has a stronger basis if a direct line traceable to a founder is also clear. Again, there are occasions where this is also questionable, as the following case may show.

I know of someone, not Japanese, who apparently has the rank of 8th dan. When I knew this person, back in the late 70s, he was 1st kyu. So we are talking about 1st kyu to 8th dan in 25 - 30 years. The very minimum time for advancement from 1st kyu to 8th dan in the Aikikai is 50 years and there are no non-Japanese of 8th dan rank (except perhaps for the late Andre Nocquet―I have not checked). This person founded his own organization and the advisers he chose, at least in the beginning, had impeccable predigree, but the provenance of the 8th dan is not clear to me. Is this fraud? Possibly, but I doubt that any of his students would think so. Is the aikido any good, and if it is, does this make up for the rapid promotion to 8th dan? My knowledge of what an 8th or 9th dan is supposed to be capable of is based on my own training with such shihans in Japan, so I myself am very very sceptical. But I think this is as far as I can go.

Apologies for the long post,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-27-2004, 07:44 PM   #161
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Dave Humm wrote:
Subsequently what "rank/grade" does the Doshu hold ? Indeed what color belt does the Doshu wear under his hakama ? Cos it isn't black.

We have a growing number of 8th dan in this country despite only three officially appointed Shihan (one of whom is the Aikikai representitive) The worth of these 8th dan certificates is frankly ZERO IMO mainly because they are awarded from within their own respective organisations
The Aikikai Doshu is not the best example - he was born to his position.

Other groups have their own structure - and again who are you to say what is or is not fraudulent. In fact once again it sounds very much like you are making judgment calls on organizations and training methods.

The Japan Aikido Association is an association much like the Kodokan. There was a conscious decision to avoid the Iemoto system. Nariyama Shihan after over 20 years as 7th Dan assumed 8th Dan - there was no one to give him the rank. There were a few reasons for it - one it allowed other people to be promoted that deserved it and two 8th Dan was supposed to be the top rank in the JAA. Now you are saying he's suspicious.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-27-2004, 08:24 PM   #162
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Reminder. Let's keep aikido names out of this.

"Enlightenment" in the eyes of the ones who take the soke route in this country seems to have more to do with the eyes lighting up at the sign of green. The traceable lineage is often vaguely referred to and not provable. To take a seminar with someone does not mean you have studied with them, at least in the sense I know it. I have taken several seminars with top shihan over the years, but I can't really say I have studied with them. I have learned from them but to me this is different. One Texas "5th dan shihan I know of never even tested under an 8th dan shihan" -he was training with a sensei that did not believe in testing. He claimed he didn't either. However, he went to a soke organization and got his rank "certified" by an non-aikidoka. Apparently, no one in his area takes him seriously. He does not have a direct, traceable lineage to any founder as a "student". His lineage claims would be like me saying I'm a direct student of O'Sensei's because I read a book about him or saw him on video.
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:23 PM   #163
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
...Other groups have their own structure - and again who are you to say what is or is not fraudulent. In fact once again it sounds very much like you are making judgment calls on organizations and training methods.
I have never questioned other organisation's training methods, so where do you draw that conclusion? What I have questioned and continue to do so... Is the validity of a self awarded grade.
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:31 PM   #164
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Paying dues to an organization that you want to be part of, in my opinion, should not be a commercial transaction that is designed to "get you something", but instead, should be a means for each member/participant to help support the organization and the practice that makes up the communitiy and the continuation of the system.

The nature of the organization determines whether it is open to the public scrutiny or is more private in it's practices.

Chuck Clark
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www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:32 PM   #165
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Grades are part of the method - as is the appropriateness of the head of an organization taking on a higher rank so that the method may function correctly.

In my opinion, in the context of the organization, the grade is completely valid.

Again my point isn't so much about one particular practice - it has more to do with the idea of making judgement calls because a person or group approaches things in a different way then yourself.

Last edited by PeterR : 12-27-2004 at 09:36 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:43 PM   #166
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Grades are part of the method - as is the appropriateness of the head of an organization taking on a higher rank so that the method may function correctly.

In my opinion, in the context of the organization, the grade is completely valid.
And in the theory of what you say, I would agree. The practice (and the motives of some) are however quite different.

By your reasoning then, I can break away from my present organisation as a junior dan grade. Set up on my own and then assume the rank of 6th dan in the style of aikido previously studied as a junior dan grade.

Then... publisise myself as a 6th dan, gain students from this information and conduct myself as such until I decide it's time to promote myself again to say 8th dan and start refering to myself a Shihan ?

And who would know what my actual graded skill was ?

Legit or not ?
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:20 PM   #167
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Dave Humm wrote:
Set up on my own and then assume the rank of 6th dan in the style of aikido previously studied as a junior dan grade.
Where did I say that?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:18 PM   #168
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Re: Aikido Frauds

So OK - beside listing a litany of horrors. What do you suggest be done?

I mentioned before the availability of the Internet and how easy it is for someone to get informed, generally or specifically, if they so choose. Do you really want the students that can't be bothered to do any research?

Do you want more done, is it feasible?

I was once told when I worried about starting a dojo with only Shodan in an area with more experienced and higher ranks in different Aikido styles. If you are any good they will come. This is even more true with the "frauds".

And what is your motive - to get more students? To protect the innocent?

Last edited by PeterR : 12-27-2004 at 11:23 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:16 AM   #169
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
So OK - beside listing a litany of horrors. What do you suggest be done?
I don't profess to have the answers, merely hold opinion on the subject
Quote:
I mentioned before the availability of the Internet and how easy it is for someone to get informed, generally or specifically, if they so choose. Do you really want the students that can't be bothered to do any research?
Do I want them ?
Quote:
Do you want more done, is it feasible?
Realistically I doubt it but the size of this thread is indication that problems do exist, and people acknowledge it. By open discussion we make it easier for those who do, do their homework to realise things aren't always cut and dry.
Quote:
And what is your motive - to get more students?
LOL if you knew anything about where I live you'd realise how funny what you wrote is. I can literally walk from one end of Grimsby and Cleethorpes in about 2 hours.

As for protecting the innocent? Please don't patronise me it isn't required.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:01 AM   #170
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Dave Humm wrote:
And who would know what my actual graded skill was ?
Using your own criteria, that would be obvious as we observed your demonstration on the mat...

I don't care what grade somebody claims to have - good Aikido is good Aikido and bad Aikido is bad Aikido. I have seen good Aikido from an ungraded beginner and bad Aikido from a 7th dan, also the reverse, with the same people, during the same class.

It isn't possible to put people into neat little boxes to measure their skill in Aikido. Grades are an indication of many things, and far too general to function in the way you would like them to.

Ruth

ps Please tone down your language - this is an open forum Dave!
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:22 AM   #171
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Please tone down your language - this is an open forum Dave!
Pardon me ! I'll wash my mouth out with soap at once.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:27 AM   #172
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Using your own criteria, that would be obvious as we observed your demonstration on the mat...
To a beginner ? I doubt that.
Quote:
I don't care what grade somebody claims to have - good Aikido is good Aikido and bad Aikido is bad Aikido. I have seen good Aikido from an ungraded beginner and bad Aikido from a 7th dan, also the reverse, with the same people, during the same class.-
Indeed but until you actually "know" the difference, what "difference" is there?
Quote:
It isn't possible to put people into neat little boxes to measure their skill in Aikido. Grades are an indication of many things, and far too general to function in the way you would like them to.
And Ruth, you've just made the point for me. The general public simplify the matter of grades IE the higher the grade the better the person (irrespective of what we really know as the truth of the matter) Why do you think people embelish their grades in the first place?

To fool people <I think i've said that twice now>
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:33 AM   #173
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
... Where did I say that ?...

"Grades are part of the method - as is the appropriateness of the head of an organization taking on a higher rank so that the method may function correctly."
Your own post mate.

With due respect to everyone I'll bow out of this discussion as it is rapidly going now where. I think my views and opinions are well lamented on this subject and I have no wish to merely p*ss people off by repeating what I've said before.

After all I wasn't actually going to contribute to this thread

Regards to all for the New Year

Last edited by David Humm : 12-28-2004 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:34 AM   #174
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Dave Humm wrote:
Indeed but until you actually "know" the difference, what "difference" is there?
And this is what people have to learn for themselves. It's no different than learning how to judge a good steak, or how to avoid being ripped off by a used car dealer - one learns these things through life experience.

Why would you assume that you need to tell people how to judge good Aikido? For me that's part of the learning process.

Ruth
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:55 AM   #175
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Re: Aikido Frauds

While this subject hits home for me I can't really think of any clear cut solution. I think the best we can do is make sure the information is out there for people who look for it. I would agree with Peter R. that things like AikiWeb and E-budo are probably the greatest tools we have against frauds. We just need to get the word out about these resources...especially AikiWeb

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."
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