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Old 05-10-2005, 06:30 AM   #26
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Look, I'm sure the old man would not mind, besides he would have turned in his grave several times over by now, I'm sure....

A church would be no less a sanctified place of worship if it did not have the trappings of religion. The things that religion has done in "the name of God" is far worse than the lip service they pay to the fundamental precepts of religion - usually the result of "blind allegiance" to the letter.

The best you can do is train and live your life "in his spirit", rather than focus on the externalities of dress codes, paying homage to a dead-head, and telling us how fine and upstanding a gentleman you are, when you can't even budge on the simple issue of not being allowed to wear a damn skirt.

That's just hypocrisy....

Ignatius
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:25 PM   #27
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Look, I'm sure the old man would not mind, besides he would have turned in his grave several times over by now, I'm sure....

A church would be no less a sanctified place of worship if it did not have the trappings of religion. The things that religion has done in "the name of God" is far worse than the lip service they pay to the fundamental precepts of religion - usually the result of "blind allegiance" to the letter.

The best you can do is train and live your life "in his spirit", rather than focus on the externalities of dress codes, paying homage to a dead-head, and telling us how fine and upstanding a gentleman you are, when you can't even budge on the simple issue of not being allowed to wear a damn skirt.

That's just hypocrisy....
Before I respond further, I just want to clear something up... Did you just call OSensei a "dead-head"?
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:36 PM   #28
maikerus
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Todd,

One point that you may want to consider when you make your list of what you require in a dojo is that it is highly probable that your needs and requirements will change as you pursue your training. I have talked to many fellow Aikido practitioners about this and I cannot think of a single person who is still training with the same expectations and desires they started with.

We all evolve as people and Aikido is one very positive way to grow within yourself. My expectations of what Aikido will do for me have changed/mutated a dozen times over the years and when I think back I can't believe how limited my original "goals" were.

Go train. Find out the parts that you like in the dojo and see if they outway the parts that you don't like. If they do, stay...if they don't, go someplace else and try again.

I have trained with Joe Thambu Sensei and highly recommend him. Not only is he highly proficient at Aikido he is a genuinely warm and interesting individual. I suspect that his dojo will be the same.

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:08 PM   #29
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
Before I respond further, I just want to clear something up... Did you just call OSensei a "dead-head"?
Oh hell! Blasphemy! Fatwah on the infidel! Burn the heretic at the stake!

The spiritually enlightened person has no need for physical or emotional attachments to transient things.

People still genuflect before a crucified figure on a cross....yet the atrocities committed in his name would make him turn in his grave. No wonder he got up and left after 3 days!

Get over it!

Ignatius
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:58 PM   #30
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Oh hell! Blasphemy! Fatwah on the infidel! Burn the heretic at the stake!

The spiritually enlightened person has no need for physical or emotional attachments to transient things.

People still genuflect before a crucified figure on a cross....yet the atrocities committed in his name would make him turn in his grave. No wonder he got up and left after 3 days!

Get over it!
Do you bow to his image before and after class?
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:59 PM   #31
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Actually, no I don't.... I don't have an image of the old man on the wall. When I bow to the kamiza before and after class, I am performing a personal spiritual cleansing/meditative ritual. My personal ritual does not involve paying homage to any dead-heads - it does not form part of my personal practice, although from time to time, I may personally acknowledge the old man's genius, privately, or in sharing with someone else.

But you are still missing the point. It's not the externalities that define spirituality. You can have all the external trappings of religion, go thru the motions of ritual, but still be internally devoid of spiritual feeling. Which is more important to you? A priest in full frock that on the surface appears to adhere to the rites and rituals of the church and the priesthood, but secretly engages in paedophilliac activities, OR the down-to-earth, dressed liked a country bum, priest that touches people's lives by his "being"?

Ignatius
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:16 PM   #32
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

I'm not sure I miss your point, although I'm almost convinced that I disagree with it. It's funny how often someone tell's me that I don't understand, when in fact, I just don't agree.

In answer to your question, I would prefer neither.

But once again you're attempting to draw me away from the context. I am not talking about wearing the hakama and being a pedo at the same time

To use your example, how about this:

A priest in full frock that fully adheres to the rites and rituals of the church and the priesthood whenever possible, but is down-to-earth, and as such doesn't mind being dressed liked a country bum if the need arises, and he touches people's lives by his "being"?

Why not the best of both worlds?
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:23 PM   #33
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Nor was I, Todd, it was a metaphor...

I have said my piece, now go in peace. Good luck and all the best.

Ignatius
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:35 PM   #34
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually, no I don't.... I don't have an image of the old man on the wall. When I bow to the kamiza before and after class, I am performing a personal spiritual cleansing/meditative ritual.

eeerrkkk it's this sort of mystic baggage that keeps me away from aikido and concentrating on a system with little or no 'ritual'.

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:39 PM   #35
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Nor was I, Todd, it was a metaphor...

I have said my piece, now go in peace. Good luck and all the best.

Falls off chair laughing
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:43 PM   #36
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ian Williams wrote:
eeerrkkk it's this sort of mystic baggage that keeps me away from aikido and concentrating on a system with little or no 'ritual'.
I'm glad you've found what you need... I wish some people around here would follow your example
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:44 PM   #37
Ian Williams
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

sorry my post came across more harshly than intended.. I really am a fan of Aikido (hence my being here) but really...

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:52 PM   #38
Kristian Miller-Karlsen
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Hello Everyone,

I've noted that there is quite a bit of tension in this discussion. I don't know why. I read that osensei stated:

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace...... foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all you encounter."

I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, however, the time we spent arguing here could have been spent training.

I hear that there is a sensei named David Brown in Melbourne. I am told he is quite experienced and has a lot to offer. I also hear that he is affiliated with the Aikikai. As to the hakama issue, I can't say.

Good fortunes to you Todd.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:03 AM   #39
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Any time Todd, I really do hope you find what your looking for. I know that the ASU (have I got that right?) let everyone wear hakama and they are also aikikai affiliated, unfortuantely they are the north american organisation, not sure if they have an austrailian branch/equivalent. if your interested in the spiritual side of aikido primarily then you could try the ki society out?
Thanks for the advice mate

I was actually hoping to join a Ki Society dojo, they seemed perfect for me.... but I'm afraid the nearest one is some 1000's of kilometres away... D'oh!
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:09 AM   #40
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ian Williams wrote:
sorry my post came across more harshly than intended.. I really am a fan of Aikido (hence my being here) but really...
Nah man it's all good, it didn't come across too harshly at all...

If your interest in Aikido does not include the spiritual side of it then that's your thang... Heaven knows the physical side of aikido is a very very good thing

Combined with Ju Jitsu (in your case) or similar (HapKiDo in my case) it becomes a truly formidable fighting form.

I admire your honesty and your direction.

My only beef here was with Ignatius playing spiritual and simultaneously spitting on the spiritual... I was glad to see your post - someone who actually lives and speaks by their beliefs
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:14 AM   #41
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
Todd,

One point that you may want to consider when you make your list of what you require in a dojo is that it is highly probable that your needs and requirements will change as you pursue your training. I have talked to many fellow Aikido practitioners about this and I cannot think of a single person who is still training with the same expectations and desires they started with.

We all evolve as people and Aikido is one very positive way to grow within yourself. My expectations of what Aikido will do for me have changed/mutated a dozen times over the years and when I think back I can't believe how limited my original "goals" were.

Go train. Find out the parts that you like in the dojo and see if they outway the parts that you don't like. If they do, stay...if they don't, go someplace else and try again.

I have trained with Joe Thambu Sensei and highly recommend him. Not only is he highly proficient at Aikido he is a genuinely warm and interesting individual. I suspect that his dojo will be the same.

cheers,

--Michael
Absolutely Michael! When I started HapKiDo (my first foray into MA) I am ashamed to say that all I was after was a way to win fights. It didn't take long for me to grow beyond that. The change never stops of course

You suggested that I weight up the parts I don't like with the parts I do... And that's pretty much where I am now... Only thing is that the way I see it, although Thambu Sensei may be a top bloke and a top teacher at a top school (all reports would make it so), fact is that he doesn't respect the meaning of the hakama in the way that I and OSensei, and hopefully someone else out there, do. (Please, no offense is intended here, just calling it how it is. I'm not suggesting that it's wrong for Thambu Sensei or his school or students)

It's a paradoxical situation... Do I let my morals slip to keep my aikido (physical), therefore losing a piece of the aikido (seems pointless), or do I uphold my morals to keep my aikido (spiritual), therefore losing a piece of the aikido. Either way I win some, I lose some.

If I am truly non-attached, the solution isn't to drop the hakama, or drop the training, it's to drop aikido altogether.... At least for the time being.

But lord knows that doesn't feel right Still a win some lose some situation. I'm a win-win kinda guy.

I thought that maybe I could do the physical side in the dojo and the spiritual in my own time... But I feel as though separating the spiritual from the dojo could defeat what I feel to be aikido - more than just something physical, but also physical representation of a spiritual way.

Still lost eh... The answer will surely present itself in time, and probably sooner than expected while I have helpful posts like yours Thanks mate!
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:24 AM   #42
maikerus
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
You suggested that I weight up the parts I don't like with the parts I do... And that's pretty much where I am now... Only thing is that the way I see it, although Thambu Sensei may be a top bloke and a top teacher at a top school (all reports would make it so), fact is that he doesn't respect the meaning of the hakama in the way that I and OSensei, and hopefully someone else out there, do. (Please, no offense is intended here, just calling it how it is. I'm not suggesting that it's wrong for Thambu Sensei or his school or students)
Hi Todd,

Thanks for the reply. I'm really surprised about what you say about Thambu Sensei not respecting the hakama. His family has a long history within Aikido and I would be surprised if he hadn't picked up at least a little respect along the way.

Have you talked to him and asked him? Whenever I see him in a hakama it is always one of the better cared for ones at a demonstration.

I mentioned earlier that followers of the Yoshinkan style don't wear hakama very much. I am told that this is because it interferes with our teaching style. Yoshinkan is very precise in movements and angles, and wearing a hakama hides those movements.

So, as a teacher, its hard to tell if a student is moving correctly if they are wearing a hakama. As a student, it is hard to see exactly how you are supposed to move if the teacher is wearing a hakama.

If you keep this in mind, I think you'll see why I believe that whether or not students and teachers are wearing a hakama in the dojo while training has no bearing on their spiritual beliefs with respect to the hakama.

The primary purpose of Thambu Sensei's dojo is probably to teach Yoshinkan Aikido and if they wore hakama they would not be able to achieve that goal as well as they are now.

I have never discussed the spiritual aspects of the hakama with Thambu Sensei, but I urge you not to dismiss him without finding out what he actually thinks. He may not hold it in as high esteem as you, but he may understand more than you think.

FWIW,

--Michael

Last edited by maikerus : 05-11-2005 at 01:34 AM.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:48 AM   #43
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

way too much whining and pickiness going on here for a self-professed aiki-junkie.




Quote:
One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

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Old 05-11-2005, 02:19 AM   #44
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
My only beef here was with Ignatius playing spiritual and simultaneously spitting on the spiritual...
A bit rich coming from someone who places such great emphasis on the external spiritual symbolism of a skirt, whilst completely ignoring my point that the internalization of spiritual practice is just as valid.

Ignatius
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:25 AM   #45
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
A bit rich coming from someone who places such great emphasis on the external spiritual symbolism of a skirt, whilst completely ignoring my point that the internalization of spiritual practice is just as valid.
I did not say that it was not just as valid. Quite the contrary. I asked you "Why not the best of both worlds?" and you walked away.

I feel that both are as important and unimportant as one another.
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:27 AM   #46
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
way too much whining and pickiness going on here for a self-professed aiki-junkie.

Well I haven't whined yet, I've stated the factual truth. If you'd prefer to ignore it because you don't like hearing it then I suggest that you do just that - ignore it.

As for pickiness, the other way of seeing it would be that there is too much complacency.

It's a matter of perspective.

It's funny how when you're agreeing strongly with someone you're right-on, but if you're disagreeing strongly, you're whining.
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:15 AM   #47
Nick Simpson
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

"Absolutely Michael! When I started HapKiDo (my first foray into MA) I am ashamed to say that all I was after was a way to win fights. It didn't take long for me to grow beyond that. The change never stops of course."

I got my hand cut a bit on saturday doing Tachi-dori with a live ken (I botched up ), nothing too bad, no tendons cut or anything, just a nasty flesh wound across my little finger, ring finger and palm.

Well I went back for a check up yesterday morning to see how the wound was healing and saw a different doctor. He was asian and I had to explain to him how the accident happened, went like this:

Doctor; "So how did you cut hand?"

Me: "Erm, I got hit with a sword doing aikido, erm."

Doctor: *Rolls Eyes and tuts.* "You werent wearing the gloves?"

Me: "Erm, its not like kendo. We dont wear armour."

Doctor: "Ah, so it must be OK to get cut then?"

Me: *feeling very small and silly* "Erm, no, I slipped up."

Doctor: "Ah..."

Me: "Erm."

Doctor: " So let me ask, why are you doing this aikido thing? do you want to be some MA champion?"

Me: "Erm, no, we dont have any competitions or anything. I just like it."

Doctor: "So you like this?" *points to wound*.

Me: *chuckle* "No."

Anyway, was funny (maybe you had to be there?) trying to explain why I do aikido, people asking always ask about rankings and tournaments and stuff first. Its hard to explain to someone why you practise a potentially dangerous sport/art with not many materialistic benefits when everyone is so brought up on the competitive aspects of things.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:17 AM   #48
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
Hi Todd,

Thanks for the reply. I'm really surprised about what you say about Thambu Sensei not respecting the hakama. His family has a long history within Aikido and I would be surprised if he hadn't picked up at least a little respect along the way.

Have you talked to him and asked him? Whenever I see him in a hakama it is always one of the better cared for ones at a demonstration.

I mentioned earlier that followers of the Yoshinkan style don't wear hakama very much. I am told that this is because it interferes with our teaching style. Yoshinkan is very precise in movements and angles, and wearing a hakama hides those movements.

So, as a teacher, its hard to tell if a student is moving correctly if they are wearing a hakama. As a student, it is hard to see exactly how you are supposed to move if the teacher is wearing a hakama.

If you keep this in mind, I think you'll see why I believe that whether or not students and teachers are wearing a hakama in the dojo while training has no bearing on their spiritual beliefs with respect to the hakama.

The primary purpose of Thambu Sensei's dojo is probably to teach Yoshinkan Aikido and if they wore hakama they would not be able to achieve that goal as well as they are now.

I have never discussed the spiritual aspects of the hakama with Thambu Sensei, but I urge you not to dismiss him without finding out what he actually thinks. He may not hold it in as high esteem as you, but he may understand more than you think.

FWIW,

--Michael
I strongly respect your standing up for Thambu Sensei here, and I thank you. This is precisely the manner of action which I am attempting to promote.

However once again I've been misquoted and misunderstood... I didn't say he does not respect the hakama. I'm fully aware of his place in this society and would be extremely suprised if that were the case - as you say, I'm sure he's picked something up along the way. I did say that he doesn't respect it the way that I do. And, based on matters brought up earlier (by others, not myself), that he doesn't respect it the way OSensei did, or he would insist upon having people wear it too (Perhaps with some exceptions such as extreme poverty such as that which was induced post WWII)

This is why I said later (in fact I said it earler on too) that I understood that certainly the hakama could be an impediment to the physical training, and that it did seem sensible that the more formal wear was worn in the more formal occasions (IE public displays etc.) I can certainly see the sense in this - although I wonder if the physical should be considered more important than the spiritual. Surely the hakama was just as restrictive to directing a student's movement in the early 1900's, but OSensei saw fit to endure this for reasons which he held important....

Now, I am strongly tempted to at the very least visit Thambu Sensei's dojo, because, to be direct, to make the call that it lacks spirituality without actually having seen it for myself is somewhat 'shooting off at the mouth'. But as said before, without even visiting, I can see from photographs that he obviously does not feel the same way about this issue as I.

Please do not misunderstand me. Like I said I did not mean any disrespect to anyone, Thambu Sensei included. Saying that he does not respect it the same way I do should not suggest that he does not respect it at all...

But I agree that I should take the time to discuss this with him. For all I know, he is prevented from following OSensei by something else, and feels the same as I do, or maybe, quite possibly given Thambu Sensei's place of seniority in Aikido, he is aware of more detail regarding OSensei's stand than is publicly known.... I would certainly respect him taking the time out to discuss the matter with me, and I will take your suggestion and discuss it with him, provided that he is able to do so. I would imagine that he is a very busy man, and I hope that he will be able to find the time.

Thanks for the suggestion
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:30 AM   #49
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Kristian Miller-Karlsen wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I've noted that there is quite a bit of tension in this discussion. I don't know why. I read that osensei stated:

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace...... foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all you encounter."

I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, however, the time we spent arguing here could have been spent training.

I hear that there is a sensei named David Brown in Melbourne. I am told he is quite experienced and has a lot to offer. I also hear that he is affiliated with the Aikikai. As to the hakama issue, I can't say.

Good fortunes to you Todd.
I think that perhaps the reason for the tension in here is that some people, rather than attempting to help me find what I want, are attempting to tell me that I'm wrong to want it. I didn't come here for abuse or correction, or for others to attempt to degrade me for my dedication to things which they do not believe in, I came here to find fellow Aikidoka who I presumed would be like-minded and assist me, either in finding the right dojo, or in finding a way around the lack of one.

I've re-read the thread, just to be sure that I still feel this way, and surely enough I don't feel that I've said anything to initiate any ill feeling. I do think that I've been grossly misunderstood/misquoted and attacked for it on several occasions. I've certainly pointed out how I've been misunderstood, in an attempt to quell any argument based on misconception of my opinion.

The only points where I feel that this is not the case, which unfortunately seems the be the root of the majority of tension, is in regard to Ignatius' disrespect towards OSensei. I stand by my opinions and my Master on this matter.

You're right, the time spent here could certainly have been spent training! That's why I'm here remember? Gotta find somewhere to train! So I appreciate the tip regarding Brown Sensei, thanks muchly! But I'm sorry if you feel that I'm trying to make waves, for that surely is not my intention... I just want to train, without compromising my spirituality. I didn't come here to question anyone else's spirituality, or to have anyone else question mine....

I'll save that for another thread hehehehe

Thanks for a positive post, and my apologies for the waves that are occurring due to my presence.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:38 AM   #50
eyrie
 
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Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!

Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
I did not say that it was not just as valid. Quite the contrary. I asked you "Why not the best of both worlds?" and you walked away.

I feel that both are as important and unimportant as one another.
I walked away because you seem intent on pressing the point, and besides, I had to leave to go to training. But I am glad you had a laugh over it.

Why not? Because it is an imperfect world with each dojo having their own rules and rituals. I believe mudansha in Michael Field's dojo do wear a hakama, but it did not meet your other criteria.

I understand where you're coming from, but if neither are as important and unimportant, why do you insist on pressing the point?

FWIW, my personal expression is simply that - mine. Not something I impose on my students. Some of my students wear a black gi to training because it is the only thing they can afford.

Does that make me a heretic? Does that make me less serious or passionate about my training? If I don't bow to an image of the old man, does that make me less respectful?

Ignatius
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