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Old 04-05-2005, 03:33 AM   #51
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Sunny, I did notice that, but
a) I wanted to see if Ruth was discounting fighting as part of a martial art or not (going from her previous posts, I'd presume not).
Correct. I just happen to believe that there's rather more to a good martial artist than the ability to fight

Ruth
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:05 AM   #52
Brion Toss
Dojo: Aikido Port Townsend
Location: Port Townsend, Wa.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 104
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
It meant the "Age of Aquarius", Brion. In other words, whether "pejorative" or not, it referred to people who believed in Astrology, Crystal Vibrations, Peace-Love-and-Harmony, etc. Look at how many people are presenting Aikido, a martial art, as a "Way of Harmony". The tag "New Age" is quite appropriate, Brion. Step up to it in a manly fashion. So why not make the case logically how people who can't really do a martial art, but insist it isn't important in Aikido to do so, are correct. Give us the scenario how O-Sensei would have welcomed them as brethren so that we can all consider it. Fair enough? I don't have a problem with the views you have, Brion, but you have to sell them to me first... I tend to be a sceptic. Explain to me how O-Sensei in his dotage preached peace and harmony yet how he was so irascible that many people tried to keep him away from Hombu dojo and to avoid his anger and outrages. I.e., my position is that he was quite human and not a Jesus-like figure preaching on the Mount. Good points. :^)

Mike
Hello,
As I said, much of what has been called "New Age" is delusional stuff. This includes some Aikido practices, as I believe I also made clear. My points were: not everything called "New Age" is claptrap; that the good stuff is sorely needed in the world; and that even the good stuff will look like claptrap to many people.
When I said "Ueshiba the elder," I did not mean "Ueshiba in his old age." I was merely trying to distinguish him from his son and grandson. As I understand it, O-Sensei preached peace and harmony (however it might be translated) for many years. And no, I do not think that harmony means the absence of conflict.
As for Jesus, as another poster has pointed out, he could be irascible as they come. Humanity was one of his big selling points, as I recall.
Yours,
Brion Toss
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:12 AM   #53
Brion Toss
Dojo: Aikido Port Townsend
Location: Port Townsend, Wa.
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Matthew Zsebik wrote:
Description of Your First Name of: Brion
Although the name Brion creates the urge to be reliable and responsible, we emphasize that it limits your versatility and scope, tuning you to technical details. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the elimination system, and through worry and mental tension.

Your first name of Brion has given you a practical, logical, analytical approach to life and a great deal of patience. You enjoy working at anything of a mechanical or technical nature, and believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well. When you are interested in a project, you concentrate all your thoughts on it and do not appreciate being interrupted. This name creates a deliberate and methodical way of thinking and speaking; it takes you time to learn but, once you have mastered a subject, you do not forget it.


[Click here for an analysis of your complete name]


Watch an instructional video that explains "How?" and "Why?" your name creates your mind.

http://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/your.cfm

Step right up! Step right up....
Matthew,
If you have any substantive argument to make, make it. Although the analysis was pretty accurate...
Yours,
Brion Toss
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:23 AM   #54
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Re: New Age Dojos

This snippet was posted by Kensho Furuya Sensei on his Yahoo group message board:

"Over the last few years, we have seen the tremendous growth and popularity of Aikido all over the world. This is really an incredible phenomena to witness. I was talking with a veteran instructor from Aikikai the other day and he said, 'It is all due to O'Sensei's teachings and his idea of peace and harmony (emphasis mine) that Aikido is so popular today.' I (Furuya Sensei) agree with him totally. We really have to appreciate O'Sensei's teaching - that 37 years after his passing, his words and teaching are still very important to us - not only for Aikidoists, but for everyone all around the world."

and,

"At first, you might think that Aikido principles seem idealistic and impractical in our modern world today, but this is not so. Over the years, you will find that they are the most effective and most essential way to live, indeed, it is agreed that if we do not understand or realize Peace in this world, we are in big trouble."
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:35 AM   #55
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: New Age Dojos

This is an article by Nishio Sensei who recently passed away. The ideas expressed by Nishio Sensei seemed relevant to this thread. I was going to quote snippets from it but would have ended up quoting the whole thing so here's the link:

http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~nisio/HTML/eigo.html
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:48 PM   #56
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
This snippet was posted by Kensho Furuya Sensei on his Yahoo group message board:

"Over the last few years, we have seen the tremendous growth and popularity of Aikido all over the world. This is really an incredible phenomena to witness. I was talking with a veteran instructor from Aikikai the other day and he said, 'It is all due to O'Sensei's teachings and his idea of peace and harmony (emphasis mine) that Aikido is so popular today.' I (Furuya Sensei) agree with him totally. We really have to appreciate O'Sensei's teaching - that 37 years after his passing, his words and teaching are still very important to us - not only for Aikidoists, but for everyone all around the world."
In his Embracing Defeat, John Dower makes the point that the Jpn were able to transfer almost in toto, pre-war slogans to post-war purposes. He says something to the effect that while the Jpn were rampaging through China, they weren't crying out "Up with militarism"; they were advocating peace and cooperation.

The words themselves--peace and harmony--are almost useless.for understanding any behavior based on them. Caveat emptor.

As PAG has mused, it would be extremely interesting to see what aikido would have become had Japan won the war.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 04-07-2005, 02:55 PM   #57
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
In his Embracing Defeat, John Dower makes the point that the Jpn were able to transfer almost in toto, pre-war slogans to post-war purposes. He says something to the effect that while the Jpn were rampaging through China, they weren't crying out "Up with militarism"; they were advocating peace and cooperation.

The words themselves--peace and harmony--are almost useless.for understanding any behavior based on them. Caveat emptor.

As PAG has mused, it would be extremely interesting to see what aikido would have become had Japan won the war.
Don -

The divergence between ideals and behavior has been noted before in this thread and elsewhere. My question is should we abandon the ideals because the originators of the ideals behave in a manner contrary to their own teachings? I'm not sure. Being a child of the '50s and more at home in engineer boots and black leather jacket than Birkenstocks and wool serape (metaphorically speaking) I must admit that all the peace and harmony stuff has been hard for me to assimilate. However, the behavior of masters who should know better notwithstanding, after many years of training I'm finding that the path laid out by O-Sensei makes sense to me within the context of my Aikido practice. So in daily life, I treat the philosophical foundation of Aikido with the same seriousness as I do the practical application of Aikido principles and techniques. This is how I live, practice and teach.

Ron
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Old 04-07-2005, 05:31 PM   #58
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
The divergence between ideals and behavior has been noted before in this thread and elsewhere....the behavior of masters who should know better notwithstanding, after many years of training I'm finding that the path laid out by O-Sensei makes sense to me within the context of my Aikido practice.
Nice post.

Actually, I've come around to a similar conclusion in my training/attitude too, but my knee-jerk reaction is recoil from arguments from authority. But your point is taken--perhaps I'm too inclined to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 04-07-2005, 05:32 PM   #59
Mel Barker
Dojo: University of Louisville Aikido Club
Location: Louisville, KY
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
...the path laid out by O-Sensei...
Ron
Ron,

I think Don may be saying that the path laid out is possibly not the one Westerners think it is, and that things in the East are never as linear as we would like them to be. He seems to be saying that the actions and words are congruent for that militarized society. They only seem incongruent to us now.

Perhaps the idea of Manifest Destiny is analogous. From my understanding, at the time it was a rather accepted notion of most Americans, where as now, it seems rather arrogant and racist.

From the prospective of hindsight many popular notions seem wrong - Japanese militarism, Manifest Destiny, bell bottoms....

I once heard Sugano Sensei say that the harmony O Sensei was seeking was between him and his Kami. I took this to mean it wasn't based on the cultural assumptions we all seem to project on him. I kind of think you are saying the same thing in your post when you describe how your Aikido practice works for you.

Mel Barker
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Old 04-07-2005, 05:34 PM   #60
Mel Barker
Dojo: University of Louisville Aikido Club
Location: Louisville, KY
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Re: New Age Dojos

Well, Don spoke for himself before I got the chance to do it for him. lol

Mel
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:13 PM   #61
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Mel Barker wrote:
I once heard Sugano Sensei say that the harmony O Sensei was seeking was between him and his Kami. I took this to mean it wasn't based on the cultural assumptions we all seem to project on him. I kind of think you are saying the same thing in your post when you describe how your Aikido practice works for you.

Mel Barker
Mel -

Your assumption is correct. Aikido is, first and foremost, a path I have chosen to travel. The meaning I derive from the teaching I've had and the studying I've done on my own is germane to me and helps shape the road I'm traveling. My students have chosen to come with me for a time and share my interpretation of what Aikido is. Along the way other branches of the path present themselves and sometimes a student will wander away in another direction. We're all responsible for our own Aikido.

My interpretation of O-Sensei's teachings is based solely on what he has written regarding foundational issues gauged from an American perspective. I have also been influenced by my long association with Maruyama Sensei and his interpretation of Aikido. As a way of peace through harmony and mutual respect, Aikido works for me. As a martial art that I can use to protect myself and my family, Aikido works for me too. As a vehicle of personal growth and enlightenment, ditto. These ideas are not mutually exclusive.

What I don't insist is that anyone follow my way. I teach my students that Aikido comes from within and it's my job to provide them with a venue in which to explore the Aikido within themselves and help them to express what they feel. In my universe there is room for a wide variety of Aikido flavors.

Ron
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:19 PM   #62
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Nice post.

Actually, I've come around to a similar conclusion in my training/attitude too, but my knee-jerk reaction is recoil from arguments from authority.

Thanks.
Don -

Thanks. I understand the recoil from authority feeling. I've always had a hard time with authoritatively insistant types and my first reaction has always been to question everything they say.

Ron
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:50 PM   #63
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: New Age Dojos

I think that here in Hiroshima there is a tendency for world peace to become a kind of mantra, as if by simply uttering the words on every occasion possible, what the words signify will automatically come to pass.

A few years ago, with the completion of expressways around Hiroshima, new highway bus services were started. The routes had to have a name, and many routes ended in '---Liner' and so we have the 'Rose Liner', the 'Reed Liner', the 'Flower Liner' all plying between Hiroshima and various local cities. And, of course we have the 'Peace Liner', as well as hundreds of companies and enterprises, all named 'Peace' or its Japanese equivalent. Hiroshima is often called the International City of Peace and Culture, but really it is no more a 'city of peace' than any other modern Japanese city. In other words, the title is also something of a cliche and, like most cliches, it is important occasionally to stand back and look once again for the meaning behind the cliche.

I think we all have to do what Ron Ragusa states: to train hard and live out our training in the world as we find it. For me in Hiroshima, to hear a less than saintly aikido shihan telling me that O Sensei created aikido in the cause of world peace and this is what we must all strive for, also risks becoming a cliche, subject to the same questions as I occasionally ask my Japanese neighbours here.

All this said, however, there are many ordinary Japanese people who do try to live out their ideals. One of my many vices is a fondness for a particular kind of Japanese beer and my local sake shop stocks it. The shop is run by an 88-year old A-bomb victim, who was one of the very first people to return to Hiroshima immediately after the bombing and try to rebuild his life. Initally he lived in a tent a few yards away from the hypocenter. He was a soldier on leave at the time of the bombing and of course fought for his country. His country was defeated and his home and family were destroyed in an instant. He does not hate Americans and in fact is very happy to sit and calmly talk to me about what happened. He is honest in his own way, just like the Japanese aikido shihan.

Best regards to all,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-07-2005 at 06:53 PM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:13 AM   #64
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: New Age Dojos

Quote:
His country was defeated and his home and family were destroyed in an instant. He does not hate Americans and in fact is very happy to sit and calmly talk to me about what happened. He is honest in his own way, just like the Japanese aikido shihan.
Life is full of interesting contradictions, isn't it? It never ceases to amaze me...
RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:15 AM   #65
Jake Karlins
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai
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Re: New Age Dojos

Peter- what an amazing post! fantastic
Really made me think about how it's easy to talk about peace and harmony, but these things take on a new weight in the context of actual war and destruction.
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