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Old 03-10-2005, 03:38 PM   #201
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote:
Mike, if you start by rereading post 150, you'll find that the only one requiring proof of anything is you.
I find it interesting, that people who so readily demonize the acceptability of rape, will so eagerly verbally gang-bang someone they simply disagree with, intellectually.

I don't know Mike from Eve, so I'm not sure what the big sticking point was. Challenging questions. So? Lots of PAGP (passive-aggressive game-playing) was actually a big more incriminating. If a person can't stay centered in verbal randori, no chance of it happening in a physical realm.

Quote:
Rob and Larry - who train in completely different systems - have similar experiences perceiveing and relating to body-fear in others. It seems if many people are training at that level of perception, maybe we'll make some progress in increasing the numbers of women in aikido. Any thoughts?
I now train in an eclectic system of jujutsu, kempo and weapons. It reminds me of nothing so much as what Shoji Nishio Shihan put together, but a bit more direct and efficient. We have koryu roots, and gendai ones as well.

I was frightened to death at first, and made plans to go and train with the Jiyushinkai. But I tried it, and I stuck with it, and it agrees with me. At times we have had 70-30 male-female attendance.

As far as I know, there are no other female teachers in this system.

My heroines include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, our local provost marshal, several women on the aikido mailing list, and no prominent senior women in that art. There's just not enough exposure. Budo in Texas is a minefield.. and while I found many instructors in aikido to admire, none of them really spoke to me in terms of being my "personal icon". Maybe I just don't do icons.

Changes will not be brought about by whining for favors or politicizing.
Changes will be brought about by training sincerely and being genuine, by exploring history, both understanding and ignoring politics, and blazing the trail to the future.

http://www.ejmas.com/proceedings/GSJSA03dolan.htm

MLE
www.the-dojo.com
www.katsujin.com

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Old 03-11-2005, 12:29 AM   #202
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Equitable?

Emily wrote, "If a person can't stay centered in verbal randori, no chance of it happening in a physical realm."


I have to disagree with you on this one, Emily. Personally I'm much more comfortable sparring physically than verbally. It's a lot harder for people to lie or be specious with nonverbal communication.
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:49 AM   #203
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Equitable?

Recently our dojo lost one of our brown belts, a young woman, because we are too 'sexist, racist, feudal, backwards, and undemocratic (etc.)' for her to continue training there. Those of us who remain can do little but shake our heads at her (what the heck does democracy have to do with training in a martial art?).

One of the many things that attracted me to this dojo in the first place, and that keeps me there, is the hard-line egalitarianism set by Sensei. Everyone is expected to train at the same level, everyone is held to the same standards, and everyone is expected to take care of their own bodies. These were the exact things, however, that drove a different woman away.

If we want to 'attract and retain women,' we are going to have to acknowledge that different women want different things and start by deciding whom we want to attract. However, if the dojo-cho refuses to admit that some aspects of training are different for men and women, I'm willing to bet fifty rolls that they won't get many women at all. Only once in the five or so years that I've been training has Sensei had to say anything about harassment, but on that occasion (as, I am told, happened once or twice before I came as well) he made it blindingly clear that it would not be tolerated. That attitude is clearly felt in the atmosphere of the dojo, and I think it's a prerequisite for most women regardless of their training goals.
Caveat: I'm only one gal, not 'most,' and all of the above is mnsho.

-LK
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:47 AM   #204
ruthmc
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
Recently our dojo lost one of our brown belts, a young woman, because we are too 'sexist, racist, feudal, backwards, and undemocratic (etc.)' for her to continue training there. Those of us who remain can do little but shake our heads at her (what the heck does democracy have to do with training in a martial art?).
So that's what she said.... I suspect that what she meant was that she didn't feel included.

Democracy (as it is understood in the west) has nothing to do with training in an eastern martial art, and unless one can get one's head around this, it is easy to feel excluded from the dojo system. I think that it can be more difficult for women to find their way in the martial arts dojo, as the process is inherently better understood by men. This is why it is so important for women to help other women find their way - we have a duty of care to our kohai sisters to help them to understand and feel part of the system.

(These are just my observations after training in a variety of Aikido dojo for 13+ years)

I'm sorry to hear that your dojo has lost a student, and I hope that you will all gain some positive learning from the experience.

Ruth
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:46 AM   #205
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
Recently our dojo lost one of our brown belts, a young woman, because we are too 'sexist, racist, feudal, backwards, and undemocratic (etc.)' for her to continue training there. Those of us who remain can do little but shake our heads at her (what the heck does democracy have to do with training in a martial art?).

One of the many things that attracted me to this dojo in the first place, and that keeps me there, is the hard-line egalitarianism set by Sensei. Everyone is expected to train at the same level, everyone is held to the same standards, and everyone is expected to take care of their own bodies. These were the exact things, however, that drove a different woman away.
Goes to show how different reality can seem from different people's viewpoint. Makes it difficult to discuss a topic like this.

Quote:
However, if the dojo-cho refuses to admit that some aspects of training are different for men and women, I'm willing to bet fifty rolls that they won't get many women at all.
I 'm going to have to ask my teacher about this because this made me really curious about his views. We have about 50% women in the dojo, but if you ask me, there isn't any difference made in the training. OTOH that could be just how I perceive things and not true at all. I'm going to do a little poll at the dojo I think.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:34 AM   #206
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Equitable?

Wow! Excellent posts, girls! It took 9 pages for us to get here, but I'm really glad we stuck it out!!
Quote:
If we want to 'attract and retain women,' we are going to have to acknowledge that different women want different things and start by deciding whom we want to attract. However, if the dojo-cho refuses to admit that some aspects of training are different for men and women, I'm willing to bet fifty rolls that they won't get many women at all.
Quote:
I think that it can be more difficult for women to find their way in the martial arts dojo, as the process is inherently better understood by men.
Great points!!!

Dojo culture formed in a world entirely foreign to western female upbringing. A lot of what goes on and is required of us (what we must accomplish) is in direct opposition to behavior expected of me pre-training - for example, by my parents or in school. I think we begin training with our experiences of being told to always defer to elders and not bother anyone with our problems, etc... When we see the way things work in a dojo we may naturally assume the respect required of us is the repressive kind that we have worked so hard to buck. There are likely many more women who could be excellent students, but quit over this misunderstanding. Only few of us are willing or able to overcome this obstacle.

I think in general, different things make us feel respected than what makes men feel respected. Since dojo life was set up by and for men, it makes sense that it encourages them in their "native language". Perhaps the men feel we are "fragile" and "weak" when women complain only about feeling left out, because they understand that to mean we are complaining about feeling disrespected from hard training. We in turn get insulted at the idea that we can't handle hard training... And so it goes...

Sorry my points are not articulated very well this morning. Some people have a way with words, and others, well, not... have... way...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:07 AM   #207
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote:
Wow! Excellent posts, girls! It took 9 pages for us to get here, but I'm really glad we stuck it out!!Great points!!!

Dojo culture formed in a world entirely foreign to western female upbringing. A lot of what goes on and is required of us (what we must accomplish) is in direct opposition to behavior expected of me pre-training - for example, by my parents or in school. I think we begin training with our experiences of being told to always defer to elders and not bother anyone with our problems, etc... When we see the way things work in a dojo we may naturally assume the respect required of us is the repressive kind that we have worked so hard to buck. There are likely many more women who could be excellent students, but quit over this misunderstanding. Only few of us are willing or able to overcome this obstacle.

I think in general, different things make us feel respected than what makes men feel respected. Since dojo life was set up by and for men, it makes sense that it encourages them in their "native language". Perhaps the men feel we are "fragile" and "weak" when women complain only about feeling left out, because they understand that to mean we are complaining about feeling disrespected from hard training. We in turn get insulted at the idea that we can't handle hard training... And so it goes...
With all due respect, it sounds like you guys have been singled out for vicitmization by your parents, schools, men, dojo's, etc., your whole lives. I hadn't realized it was that bad. How about this as a practical solution to the constant problems you're pointing out. Why not form an all-female dojo? ALL the problems that other people have foisted on you will then be circumvented:

You can train just as hard as you want.

You can have only female visiting instructors.

Women will make their Aikido-dojo behaviour conform with what's most comfortable for women.

There will be no sexual banter that is offensive.

Since women won't feel fear about going into an all-female dojo, they will undoubtedly flock in untold numbers, thus assuring the financial survival of the dojo and the ability to put out women instructors equal or better to men instructors.

The dojo's will be more spiritual and full of harmony.

Child-rearing should be no problem because there's always women handy who can hold your baby while you do a smoothe roll.

The more I think of it, the better I like it. Is there already an all-female dojo someplace (probably like in Washington State, Oregon, Massachusetts or California, I would assume) ? I'd be interested to hear how they're doing, if there is such a place.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:45 AM   #208
SeiserL
 
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Re: Equitable?

(I usually don't do this, but ...)

IMHO, sarcasm is for the ignorant and arrogant, but this is a public unmoderated forum and everyone does have a right to their own personal opinion and means of expressing it.

But, somewhere a mother, wife, sister, or girlfriend has my condolences.

If we needed proof that sexist views are alive and well in America, we have removed all trace of doubt and respect. But, thank you for illustrating the belief system that prevents things from being equitable.

(My wife would be glad I wrote this, but I will probably wished I had just stepped off the line of attack instead of into it, bowed respectfully, and left well enough alone.)

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!
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:38 PM   #209
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
(I usually don't do this, but ...)

IMHO, sarcasm is for the ignorant and arrogant,
Strange coincidence... that' s exactly what I think about psychology, Lynn. It's the non-science thats membership has become a laughingstock for its ultra-liberal orientation. "Ultra-liberal" meaning similar to "Ultra-Right in that it is "not centered" in my opinion.
Quote:
But, somewhere a mother, wife, sister, or girlfriend has my condolences.

If we needed proof that sexist views are alive and well in America, we have removed all trace of doubt and respect. But, thank you for illustrating the belief system that prevents things from being equitable.
Let's review quickly what Sunny said:

'When we see the way things work in a dojo we may naturally assume the respect required of us is the repressive kind that we have worked so hard to buck. There are likely many more women who could be excellent students, but quit over this misunderstanding. Only few of us are willing or able to overcome this obstacle.

I think in general, different things make us feel respected than what makes men feel respected. Since dojo life was set up by and for men, it makes sense that it encourages them in their "native language". Perhaps the men feel we are "fragile" and "weak" when women complain only about feeling left out, because they understand that to mean we are complaining about feeling disrespected from hard training. We in turn get insulted at the idea that we can't handle hard training... And so it goes...'


So why you didn't offer any condolences about that obliquely negative attack on men, Lynn (and it wasn't even "tonge-in-cheek" the way mine was)? I'll tell you why. It's because you're in the California cultural belief-system that it's alright for a "victim" to complain and be insulting, through a series of posts, because she's just "venting" and rightfully so, in your opinion. So you took umbrage at my satire and thought it worth the oblique shot of offering condolences to a wife, mother, girlfriend, etc. Frankly, all those people would think you're a flake, Lynn, and wouldn't want your condolences. The rest of the world is not necessarily a fan of pop-psychology a la California.
Quote:
(My wife would be glad I wrote this, but I will probably wished I had just stepped off the line of attack instead of into it, bowed respectfully, and left well enough alone.)
True, but I admire you for finally doing something, after all these years I've watched you post, that took a little testosterone. Congratulations.

Although what I wrote was obviously tongue-in-cheek as a response to a continued sexist rant by actually only 2 or 3 people, there's a bit of reality behind what Sunny said AND behind what I said. There are SOME dojo's where there are problems about gender, but for the most part there are more problems in the dojo's where women (and sometimes men) have a chip on their shoulder. Sunny has a chip on her shoulder, obviously, and refuses to address the fact that in most dojo's everything is at an acceptable level. She just whines and bickers about the injustice of it all. I actually know of two dojo's that were started as all-female dojo's (I'm sure there's more, but I only personally knew about 2). They didn't last. The bickering and cat-fighting ended them pretty quickly. Not to mention there was no great response and joining by women. So my comment is again, "get back to Aikido and leave the extraneous issues out of it", because there are problems everywhere that can distract. Gender problems exist on both sides. Check 'em at the door. If you're good, show it.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:17 PM   #210
SeiserL
 
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Re: Equitable?

Sorry Mike,

Since you publicly dish it out so well, I thought you could probable take it. So much for things that are equitable.

Since we don't know each other, lets not take it too personally or seriously, or waste a lot of other's time testing testosterone. You, no doubt, win in that area.

I hope you and yours are safe, healthy, and happy. I, and mine, are.

And now, as you suggest, back to just training.

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!
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:37 PM   #211
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
Sorry Mike,

Since you publicly dish it out so well, I thought you could probable take it. So much for things that are equitable.
Sorry, Lynn, I don't look at it like that. You attacked me unprovoked and I threw you. I.e., I just flowed with your personally unprovoked attack. If you had posted something in different tone or on a different topic, I'd have responded in kind. When you "dish out" comments about someone's wife, mother, girlfriend, etc., why on earth would you think a martial artist is going to roll over and turn the other cheek?
Quote:
Since we don't know each other, lets not take it too personally or seriously, or waste a lot of other's time testing testosterone. You, no doubt, win in that area.
You're absolutely misreading me if you think my returning a tit for tat reflects me taking things personally, Lynn. Do you get angry when Uke attacks you, then? Perhaps you turn and walk away in your dojo when Uke attacks???

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:17 PM   #212
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Equitable?

Viva California!
Viva California!
Viva California!


-LK
p.s. in written english, plural nouns do not generally have apostrophes (ie, 'those dojos' is correct, 'those dojo's' is not).
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:21 PM   #213
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Equitable?

And 'English' should have been capitalized.

-LK
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:23 PM   #214
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
Viva California!
Viva California!
Viva California!
Some of my best friends are Californians.
Quote:
p.s. in written english, plural nouns do not generally have apostrophes (ie, 'those dojos' is correct, 'those dojo's' is not).
Maybe so. "Dojo" is English?

Mike
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:23 PM   #215
SeiserL
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Lynn. Do you get angry when Uke attacks you, then? Perhaps you turn and walk away in your dojo when Uke attacks???
If you take commenting on your statements as an unprovoked attack, then yes, I offered my personal observation on your unprovoked attacks. I disagreed.

I don't take this seriously or personally enough to feel thrown (or even off balanced), get angry, or feel attacked. It was the response I have come to expect.There is no real threat here.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I do walk away from things that are a waste of my time. Its called wisdom, common sense, and good manners.

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!
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:24 PM   #216
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
And 'English' should have been capitalized.
I knew what you meant and didn't want to nitpick.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:35 PM   #217
RonRagusa
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote:
....When we see the way things work in a dojo we may naturally assume the respect required of us is the repressive kind that we have worked so hard to buck....
When respect is demanded in the dojo it is most likely of the repressive variety. It's the instructor's responsibility to earn your respect, and then continually work to keep it.

Last edited by RonRagusa : 03-12-2005 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:38 PM   #218
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
If you take commenting on your statements as an unprovoked attack, then yes, I offered my personal observation on your unprovoked attacks. I disagreed.
You are a gem of passive-aggressive behaviour, Lynn.
Quote:
I don't take this seriously or personally enough to feel thrown (or even off balanced), get angry, or feel attacked. It was the response I have come to expect.There is no real threat here.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I do walk away from things that are a waste of my time. Its called wisdom, common sense, and good manners.
In my experience, most of the "psychologists" and "therapists" I have encountered are people with personal problems that they act out by advising others on how to act and think. You're no different, IMO. I'm not going along with the babble-speak, Lynn, but I appreciate that you have found a wonderful community within which to interact and you're in just about the ultimate location, as well. Congratulations.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:52 PM   #219
CaseyD
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Re: Equitable?

Hmm.. What was this thread about again? The number of women invited to teach at a seminar. It has been noted that there are a lot more high ranked men than women in aikido. So, the ratio of men to women instructors would appear obvious. Im guessing that at the heart of this thread is the old " woman in a man's world" thing that many women must feel in life.
As a guy I'd just like to say that I like practicing with different people, and some of the women in my dojo are awesome, both to practice with and as teachers.
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:54 PM   #220
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser's signature in which he wrote:
Lynn Seiser, PhD
SandanTenshinkai Aikido/Kali JKD
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training." Train well. KWATZ!
Incidentally, Lynn, now that you've interposed yourself into the thread, could you explain to me how you can have the body mechanics of the Ki and Kokyu of Aikido while maintaining the body mechanics of Jeet Kune Do? It's a physical curiosity to me.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:25 PM   #221
SeiserL
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
how you can have the body mechanics of the Ki and Kokyu of Aikido while maintaining the body mechanics of Jeet Kune Do? It's a physical curiosity to me.
That has been curious for me too. But that's an entirely different thread.

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!
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Old 03-12-2005, 07:44 PM   #222
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
I 'm going to have to ask my teacher about this because this made me really curious about his views. We have about 50% women in the dojo, but if you ask me, there isn't any difference made in the training. OTOH that could be just how I perceive things and not true at all. I'm going to do a little poll at the dojo I think.
For fear of adding those fifty rolls to my already grueling pre-test regimen, I should clarify my meaning.

I've trained for five years, and only once during that time has Sensei ever said anything specifically regarding women. It was in the middle of a speech about something else, and he was using it as a simile - but basically he said that it is completely unacceptable for men to take advantage of women on the mat, to turn training into some sort of rub-and-touch fest, and he wouldn't allow it. *
I think that his attitude shows in the general atmosphere of the dojo, even though it is almost never explicitely mentioned. Even though some women have had issues with the style of training, I've never heard of anyone who didn't feel as though the dojo was a safe place where that type of behavior didn't happen (at least not from reqular members). _That_ is what I mean by a dojo-cho who understands the issues.

-LK
*There's a dojo legend wherein Sensei physically threw a student out of the dojo, whom he found out had been routinely harassing a teenage girl after class. I don't know if it's true or not.
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:14 PM   #223
Jeffrey A. Fong
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Re: Equitable?

A most curious experience following this (and other threads). There's a fine line between an honest, energetic debate of the topic and conflict for the sake of same. I see some have difficulty with this concept. Thanks and congratulations to those who''ve managed to keep this on topic and above character assasination.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:29 AM   #224
rob_liberti
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Re: Equitable?

Ron Ragusa,
Well, I'm sure we see things closer than it appears on this thread, but I can assure you that the dojos where Sunny trains do not require any special respect for the teacher. I took her point to mean more that men and women have learned to percieve different things as respectful. (I should probably ask her!)

Mike, I agree with Lynn that you are taking differing opinions as personal attacks on you. In my opinion, you were contributing so wonderfully to the Ki and kokyu threads. No one is chiming in to support your views in this thread.

I am disappointed that you have time to post after almost every other person posts, and yet when I asked you some good questions on another thread about conditioning, and training, and strategy - you told me you didn't have time. Please follow your own advice and stop wasting time on this thread and stick to contributing positively to aikido in those other discussions.

I will choose to follow your advice and not waste any more time quibbling with you on topics that don't contribute positively towards aikido and encourage others to do the same.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 03-15-2005 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:58 AM   #225
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Mike, I agree with Lynn that you are taking differing opinions as personal attacks on you. In my opinion, you were contributing so wonderfully to the Ki and kokyu threads. No one is chiming in to support your views in this thread.
Er, not publicly, Rob. Just as *publicly* a lot of people on this list never say much about this list, but go look at how many websites mention things like "aiki-fruits", etc. What you've just done is continue on, once again, with the personal discussions instead of the topic discussions, while adding in the sort of appeal-to-authority tactic, "no support for your side". I actually have had some pretty hilarious support on the side.
Quote:
I am disappointed that you have time to post after almost every other person posts, and yet when I asked you some good questions on another thread about conditioning, and training, and strategy - you told me you didn't have time. Please follow your own advice and stop wasting time on this thread and stick to contributing positively to aikido in those other discussions.
Your disappointment with me aside, go back and look, Rob. I'll bet that I have contributed more substantive how-to's (valid one's, at that) about real Ki and Kokyu than any other person on the forum.... stuff I *wish* someone had told me years ago in order that I wouldn't waste so much time. And from some of the private discussions ongoing, it's apparently helping some of the very few that are really interested. What you want are extensions of those ideas when it's already apparent from many of your posts that you don't understand those basics yet, Rob. No offense meant. Since I have a lot of years of experience in typing out how to do those things and I know also from that experience that I've wasted countless hours because no one was able to use the information, I'm simply not going to make that error again in wasting the typing time.

And incidentally, I spend a lot of time working on the computer doing projects and research.... so when I check my email every now and then and see a post from QiJing, AikiWeb, and other places, I'll goof off for those few minutes as a time-killer and quick break.
Quote:
I will choose to follow your advice and not waste any more time quibbling with you on topics that don't contribute positively towards aikido and encourage others to do the same.
Good. This tendency to go to personality discussions by the same people who keep talking about "higher purposes" and "harmony" has already set off a lot of bells to some of us. Passive-Aggressive behavior is NOT the same thing as "noble higher purposes"; it's hypocrisy. Let's avoid slamming others while pretending we're aloof from it and not really doing it, please.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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