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Old 07-21-2006, 08:20 AM   #1
John Matsushima
 
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Who wrote the BS?

The other day I was reading a post by someone concerning the principles of Aikido. The person sounded very passionate, but was all screwed up on his points, and I totally disagreed with what was said. Maybe some of you have read this post too, because it was mine.

One thing that has been discouraging in my training is how when I look back on my beliefs and "knowledge" that I thought I had months, years before (sometimes days), I realize that I had it all wrong. I was so passionate and studied and practiced so hard to find the answers, but I realize now that had it all wrong. Maybe in the future, I will feel the same concerning what I think I know now.


Any comments, experiences? Misery loves company. ha ha.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:24 AM   #2
ChrisMoses
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
The other day I was reading a post by someone concerning the principles of Aikido. The person sounded very passionate, but was all screwed up on his points, and I totally disagreed with what was said. Maybe some of you have read this post too, because it was mine.

One thing that has been discouraging in my training is how when I look back on my beliefs and "knowledge" that I thought I had months, years before (sometimes days), I realize that I had it all wrong. I was so passionate and studied and practiced so hard to find the answers, but I realize now that had it all wrong. Maybe in the future, I will feel the same concerning what I think I know now.


Any comments, experiences? Misery loves company. ha ha.

Been there, done that, have the tattoo...
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:27 AM   #3
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

The longer I train, the more I discover how little I really understand.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
mriehle
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Part of the path to discovery is being wrong sometimes. Being afraid to be wrong has gotten me in more trouble over the years than actually being wrong.

And maybe you weren't wrong.

Sometimes "truth" really is relevant. Sometimes a statement which is 100% true today will be 100% false tomorrow. Sometimes the "truth" is what works for us, at that particular time. Somtimes no so much. And it's often the case that our understanding of the "truth" changes.

In other words: don't sweat it. It's probably just details anyway.

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Old 07-21-2006, 08:40 AM   #5
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

I have posts going back many years now...and my mistakes are a matter of public record. For as long as the bit bucket lasts. Oh well, such is life.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:41 AM   #6
John Boswell
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

I'm always right with everything I say.



...even when I'm wrong, I'm right.

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Old 07-21-2006, 09:19 AM   #7
Aiki Teacher
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Hey Bozz where you been? We missed you this week!
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

I always hope that next year I think some of my knowledge was stupid, because that means I have learned something. If I am fine with everything, then I haven't learned a things.

Like everything else, change is natural and inevitable.

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 07-21-2006, 09:34 AM   #9
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

For all the mistakes I've done and for all the many more to come, I just take it as a learning experience. After all aikido was formed by a lifetime of various training that I don't even know about and probably won't understand. I believe that Aikido is still evolving and will continue to evolve as long as people are truly engaged in its practice.
To paraphrase what Ricky wrote, The more you know, the more you don't know. Train right!

Plus Ki
LC
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:57 AM   #10
crbateman
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

I thought I was wrong once, but apparently, I was in error...

You know what? Finding out you know less than what you thought you did is what keeps you coming back for more. How boring would life be if you discovered you really DO know everything? How useless any task would be if there were NOTHING to be gained. Stay on the path, because you're starting to "get it".
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:12 AM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
The other day I was reading a post by someone concerning the principles of Aikido. The person sounded very passionate, but was all screwed up on his points, and I totally disagreed with what was said. Maybe some of you have read this post too, because it was mine.

One thing that has been discouraging in my training is how when I look back on my beliefs and "knowledge" that I thought I had months, years before (sometimes days), I realize that I had it all wrong. I was so passionate and studied and practiced so hard to find the answers, but I realize now that had it all wrong. Maybe in the future, I will feel the same concerning what I think I know now.


Any comments, experiences? Misery loves company. ha ha.
This happens to folks who are really serious about their training It means you are actually evolving and are changing perspectives all the time based on your experience. Not being willing to do this is one of the reasons instructors stop progressing as discussed on the other thread.

The really important thing to get out of this realization is that we shouldn't take our own ideas so seriously that it causes conflict with others. Human history is absolutely full of folks slaughtering each other over beliefs that, only a fairly short time later, no one entertains any more.

You look at Aikido politics and the worst offenders are the ones that have the strongest belief that their particular understanding of the art is the correct one or is the one that O-Sensei taught...

It's fine to let ones ideas provide direction for ones practice and ones life. But its best if those ideas serve as the basis of exchange between people, bring them together rather than push them apart. When your ideas about how thngs are creates distance and conflict between you and the other folks who care about the same issues, then you are holding on too hard.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:24 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Damn George, you've got to stop posting all these reasonable and correct words of wisdom...you are going to get a reputation!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:49 PM   #13
dps
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
One thing that has been discouraging in my training is how when I look back on my beliefs and "knowledge" that I thought I had months, years before (sometimes days), I realize that I had it all wrong. I was so passionate and studied and practiced so hard to find the answers, but I realize now that had it all wrong. Maybe in the future, I will feel the same concerning what I think I know now.
Good reason to keep your posts short and concise. The more you speak the more those who are listening ( or reading) know how little you really know.

For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:09 PM   #14
Lan Powers
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

>quote...Good reason to keep your posts short and concise. The more you speak the more those who are listening ( or reading) know how little you really know. <

I like the other phrase better...."Keep silent and let others think you a fool, rather than speaking and confirming it"
I don't know who to attribute it to, but it says it all (well, most of it)
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:39 PM   #15
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
The other day I was reading a post by someone concerning the principles of Aikido. The person sounded very passionate, but was all screwed up on his points, and I totally disagreed with what was said. Maybe some of you have read this post too, because it was mine.

One thing that has been discouraging in my training is how when I look back on my beliefs and "knowledge" that I thought I had months, years before (sometimes days), I realize that I had it all wrong. I was so passionate and studied and practiced so hard to find the answers, but I realize now that had it all wrong. Maybe in the future, I will feel the same concerning what I think I know now.


Any comments, experiences? Misery loves company. ha ha.
Here's a comment: it is extremely important (in my opinion) to try to not forget your past opinions and the reasons why you held them, as well as what led you away from those opinions. This is what helps us to (a) justify our opinions (b) teach and most importantly (c) learn.

It is also helpful to try to analyze how you successfully learned something, and which mistakes that you made in the past or bits of knowledge that you gleamed were the important ones.

I see a lot of people in Aikido (and at work) who are wholly inadequate in terms of describing the process of how they got to their presumably enlightened state. This doesn't help others to understand them or learn from them, and it often shows that they themselves don't understand how they learn.

Rob
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Old 07-21-2006, 04:07 PM   #16
dps
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
I see a lot of people in Aikido (and at work) who are wholly inadequate in terms of describing the process of how they got to their presumably enlightened state. This doesn't help others to understand them or learn from them, and it often shows that they themselves don't understand how they learn.

Rob
Aikido, work and parenting.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #17
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
Any comments, experiences? Misery loves company. ha ha.
If someone is not VERY passionate about aikido , better to find something else to do. 50 years practice seems long way to go....

Quote:
You look at Aikido politics and the worst offenders are the ones that have the strongest belief that their particular understanding of the art is the correct one or is the one that O-Sensei taught...
Without the strongest belief O sensei could never create aikido. What would you do today without aikido, George

If someone doesn't believe his own understanding is the best, his practice is half-heart (sp?) and his techniques are not efficient. He will only learn superficial level of aikido.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:10 PM   #18
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:

If someone is not VERY passionate about aikido , better to find something else to do. 50 years practice seems long way to go....
No one says you shouldn't be passionate. You have to be passionate to stay the course in this art and take it to any real level of skill.

Quote:
Without the strongest belief O sensei could never create aikido.
With O-sensei it was a bit different in that he didn't see Aikido as his own creation but rather as something "revealed" to him by the Kami. So he didn't have the idea that his understanding was somehow the ultimate understanding because, as he stated himself, his understanding was always changing. So the Kami kept him humble about his own understanding, he never stopped learning.

Quote:
If someone doesn't believe his own understanding is the best, his practice is half-heart (sp?) and his techniques are not efficient. He will only learn superficial level of aikido.
This doesn't make any sense at all... I don't have to believe that my Aikido is "the best"; it's just mine. Someone who really thinks his understanding is the best doesn't have any reason to make any changes or learn from anyone else. The great teachers look at everyone they see and take whatever is good. I have no illusions that my Aikido is "the best" but I can assure you that a) it's not half-hearted and b) it's getting better all the time. This idea of "best" is insidious... we are not in competition with each other.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:15 PM   #19
aikigirl10
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
No one says you shouldn't be passionate. You have to be passionate to stay the course in this art and take it to any real level of skill.



With O-sensei it was a bit different in that he didn't see Aikido as his own creation but rather as something "revealed" to him by the Kami. So he didn't have the idea that his understanding was somehow the ultimate understanding because, as he stated himself, his understanding was always changing. So the Kami kept him humble about his own understanding, he never stopped learning.



This doesn't make any sense at all... I don't have to believe that my Aikido is "the best"; it's just mine. Someone who really thinks his understanding is the best doesn't have any reason to make any changes or learn from anyone else. The great teachers look at everyone they see and take whatever is good. I have no illusions that my Aikido is "the best" but I can assure you that a) it's not half-hearted and b) it's getting better all the time. This idea of "best" is insidious... we are not in competition with each other.
Excellent replies.
I completely agree.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:22 AM   #20
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I have no illusions that my Aikido is "the best" but I can assure you that a) it's not half-hearted and b) it's getting better all the time. This idea of "best" is insidious... we are not in competition with each other.
I'm sure you are teaching aikido that is "the best" from you point of view. Or you are teaching 'scrap' aikido?

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:47 AM   #21
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I'm sure you are teaching aikido that is "the best" from you point of view. Or you are teaching 'scrap' aikido?
I teach my own understanding of Aikido to the best of my ability. That's quite different than thinking my Aikido is the best. This attitude allows me to stay flexible and open to new ideas. My Aikido today is TOTALLY different than my Aikido five years ago.

You confuse "best, as in superior" with "confident". I am confident about my Aikido. I know I could go anywhere and get up in front of a couple hundred people and teach and people would go away feeling good about they learned. I am very good at what I do. I am good enough at it that I do it for a living. If I didn't think I was good at it, I wouldn't do it.If others didn't think I was good at it, they wouldn't train with me, at least not more than once... But that does not mean that my Aikido is somehow the best... whatever that means. (I am not at all sure how one would even decide what "best" is).
As I say, it's not a competition.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:27 AM   #22
aikidoc
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Someone who really thinks his understanding is the best doesn't have any reason to make any changes or learn from anyone else. The great teachers look at everyone they see and take whatever is good. I have no illusions that my Aikido is "the best" but I can assure you that a) it's not half-hearted and b) it's getting better all the time. This idea of "best" is insidious... we are not in competition with each other.
Absolutely. There is always someone who can humble what you think is your understanding of the art. I came to this realization when I was able to study under someone who is truly a master and has tested his art with other arts. After being under an organization where the gems were few and far between it was a refreshing change. One where the things I was struggling with or working out very slowly suddenly took leaps in a short time. The subtle things he imparts are priceless. I have been fortunate enough to train myself to be perceptive enough to catch these gems, either visually or by feeling them myself. To learn to learn helps. If I was not open to this, however, I would not learn or make changes to my art. As George has pointed out, my art too is considerably different than it was 5 years ago.
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:54 AM   #23
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
You look at Aikido politics and the worst offenders are the ones that have the strongest belief that their particular understanding of the art is the correct one or is the one that O-Sensei taught...
Hello George,

So, what about the Tohei/K Ueshiba split? Would you explain this split in the same way.

I think this split is really fundamental and neither side has been able to resolve the resulting conflict.

Best wishes, from a believer.

PAG

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Old 07-22-2006, 10:12 AM   #24
aikidoc
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

The old if "you don't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home." Ego? It did seem to be present among a lot of the uchi deshi. I don't see it with my instructor who was a soto deshi and still made 8th dan. Perhaps O'Sensei's teaching style imparted individualism or competitiveness instead of cohesiveness among the deshi. Or perhaps the characteristics of those serving as committed deshi made them that way.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:13 PM   #25
Mark Uttech
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Re: Who wrote the BS?

I believe the Tohei/K Ueshiba split was simply 'ego vs. tradition'. Koichi Tohei, being the chief instructor at the hombu dojo, thought that the title of 'Doshu' should naturally pass to him as he was the chief instructor. But tradition was that the title of 'Doshu' remains in the family. So I think that
fundamentally it was a matter of tradition vs. innovation. That first split in any institution (witness Luther vs. the Catholic Church) is felt very strongly because it brings in a huge change and ripples out endlessly; the 'split' keeps splitting. In gassho
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