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Old 06-14-2005, 06:50 AM   #276
mj
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Maybe we could fit Monty into a bathtub and throw him out too.

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Old 06-14-2005, 07:16 AM   #277
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

This thread has seemingly degenerated into personal attacks. Unless this changes soon into a discussion of the topic rather than of its participants, I will be closing the thread. Thank you.

-- Jun

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Old 06-14-2005, 07:30 AM   #278
Matt Molloy
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
Maybe we could fit Monty into a bathtub and throw him out too.
Secret technique of Shodokan?

Bathtubnage?

Is this with or without the Wet towel Atemi?

And the "Oops I just trod on the soap!" Ukemi.

Alright I'll stop..I just couldn't resist.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:49 AM   #279
mj
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Wet kune do.

Soapkido.

Aiki-o-wash-i

Shower-ate.

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Old 06-14-2005, 09:17 AM   #280
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Personally, I'm not so sure Monty is the one being intolerant. I think we are. I've had similar discussions to this one on other boards...the earth didn't stop spinning as a result. I don't agree with Monty's opinion. I think stripping (what I consider to be) the heart out of budo to be somewhat short sighted and maybe even foolish...but each person has that choice. At least Monty isn't saying to strip away ethics period...he just wants to find his ethics else where.

I disagree for myself...and I wouldn't teach his method to my students (if I had any), but do I have a problem with him doing as he pleases?

Absolutely not. And my own beliefs are strong enough to stand the challenge of him posting here.

Leave the thread open Jun, and please...do not ban Monty.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:02 AM   #281
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
How likely are you to be wearing it when you get attacked? At least some of the stuff that requires a grip on a gi or kurtka can be applied on street clothes.
My street clothes are (a) still not the same as what I wear to practice, and (b) slightly tighter. So not quite the same thing.

Quote:
Yes it does. However the first three paragraphs give you a definition that can easily be explained without mysticism.
However, if that is not the WHOLE definition, then you are still falling short.

Quote:
Now you're not making sense. This is "aikiweb.com". This thread is about aikido. We are discussing aikido. Yet you want to talk about FMA?
No. The point I am trying to make is that my persepctive on Aikido has been shaped by my experiences OUTSIDE it. When I talk about preserving part of a culture, I got that from Kali and Serak, and my Kali instructor never said their were exceptions.

In fact, my experiences in Kali have shaped my posts since I joined Aikiweb. Bit late now to complain about it.

Quote:
It possibly can, but so can gardening or playing chess. Martial arts were not developed for self improvement.
Neither were chess or gardening if it comes to it.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:04 AM   #282
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

The thing I am intolerant of is intolerance. Other than that, I am personally open for discussion regardless of how controversial it may be.

The only rules I have are:

1. No lies
2. Be able to back up your claims or arguments with facts.
3. Be respectful and tolerant of others.

I agree Ron, once things degenerate into personal attacks, or even ethno-centric, or religious ideological attacks, then things have crossed the line. Doesn't matter who it wrong.

That said, I would refuse to train with a partner in the dojo who was viscious and might be harmful, I also refuse to "train" with them here.

It is wrong to personally attack, or disparage another, but when their values clearly demonstrate that they no long are aligned with the group, would you not ask them to leave the "dojo"?
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:10 AM   #283
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

A lot of history tends to demonstrate that martial arts were developed for personal improvement.

Shoalin temple traditions say it was developed to help monks be able to medidate longer and more effectively, the martial applications were an off shoot. Don't know how true or valid this might be. (Mike Sigman, seems to be the scholar in this area).

Kano, developed Judo explicitly for self improvement as a goal
Funakoshi developed Karatedo for self improvement as a goal
Uesheba developed Aikido....

The U.S. Army, we do more importantly for character and courage development, fighitng skills are argueably secondary.

Same with Marine Corps....

If you are into MA strictly for the fighting skills, I think there are much better ways to spend your time training. Especially stay away from the "DO" arts.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:20 AM   #284
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
.... Bowing is a leftover from mystical days of paying homage, respect, and worship to the many deities that are supposed to be present on the mat and in each of us. I do not bow because I do not hold to such Asian religious views.
Actually, the Japanese use bowing the way we use shaking hands. Not much spirutality attached to it, just the same idea, different gesture. So if you want to do it "the American way," just shake hands with your partner after you're done (if you don't do it already).
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:33 AM   #285
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

I am starting to lose focus...

You want to train in aikido but take out the spiritual component, the self-improvement component and the cultural component. Why are you practicing aikido?
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:48 AM   #286
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

John, sorry, had to play devils advocate again...

Quote:
You want to train in aikido but take out the spiritual component
other threads/polls have touched on this, this is really too personal a thing to quantify and many, if not most, would feel uneasy actually teaching it explicitly.
Quote:
the self-improvement component
again, the self-improvement is down to the practitioner, not because of their practice so I don't rank this as a good reason for aikido
Quote:
and the cultural component.
the only area I used to agree with the cultural component was to have a "universal language" so practice amongst dojos was easy - sort of got blown away for me by the lack of consistent terminology used across styles (plus the difference between Geordie and Yorkshire accents). These days my dojonese is part habit mainly ease of use.
Quote:
Why are you practicing aikido
can I get back to you on this one in a few more years, I still haven't answered it to my own satisfaction. Sad thing is if I do I may stop...
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:57 AM   #287
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Personally, I'm not so sure Monty is the one being intolerant. I think we are. ...
Intolerance:- Unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs.

Ron be fair now, is that what you are accusing 'us' of?

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Old 06-14-2005, 12:35 PM   #288
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

To some extent all of us are guilty...

Even in my own post I admitted that I might find Monty's approach...short sighted and foolish...I think were the words. So yeah, I'm saying we all are somewhat guilty, and including myself in that bunch. Mike Lee really got on my nerves with this topic about a year ago on aikido journal...made me do some good thinking though. And David Valadez had some interesting thoughts here that influenced the way I feel as well. Something about how does what someone else does or says affect MY aikido?

Fact: it doesn't.

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-14-2005, 01:00 PM   #289
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

There is nothing wrong with being confronting or being direct. Sometimes I feel like we have this "aiki guilt" if we ever experience any kinda conflict.

I think what is important is to not be assumptive, antagonistic, and pre-emptive. Ask questions, try and understand, and draw out the true understanding, then irimi. I believe this is what has happened, figuritively. Once the uke commits his attack, well it is his attack, no need to feel bad about countering it.
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:16 PM   #290
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
My street clothes are (a) still not the same as what I wear to practice, and (b) slightly tighter. So not quite the same thing.
If you're going to quote me, make sure you read the quote. I said, "At least some of the stuff that requires a grip on a gi or kurtka can be applied on street clothes." I didn't say everything used in bjj, judo, or sambo that requires a grip on clothing could be used on street clothes, which is my main argument against training in those uniforms for self defense. I said some of it could. The gi and kurtka are pieces of equipment used in a sport, and also have a small benefit for self defense (learning how to use your opponent's clothes to your advantage). Wearing a hakama has nothing to do with sport of self defense.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
No. The point I am trying to make is that my persepctive on Aikido has been shaped by my experiences OUTSIDE it. When I talk about preserving part of a culture, I got that from Kali and Serak, and my Kali instructor never said their were exceptions.

In fact, my experiences in Kali have shaped my posts since I joined Aikiweb. Bit late now to complain about it.
Everyone's perspective has been shaped by their own experiences, but that has nothing to do with what I said. I made a comment about aikido masters, and you're response was about a bunch of JKD and FMA guys. Please try to stay on topic.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Neither were chess or gardening if it comes to it.
That was the point I was making. Those things weren't invented to make people a better person, but someone could still use those things for that end. It's the same with martial arts.

If you guys want to think that learning how to break arms, strangle people until they pass out, knock people out with strikes, throw people (most people don't know how to fall properly), stab them with knives, hit them with sticks, etc. is the only way to become a better person then there's nothing I can do for you. If Kano, Ueshiba, and all these other people were so concerned with self-improvement they would have come up with a religion or philosophy, not a way to injure people.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Shoalin temple traditions say it was developed to help monks be able to medidate longer and more effectively, the martial applications were an off shoot. Don't know how true or valid this might be. (Mike Sigman, seems to be the scholar in this area).
Even if that story is true (which I doubt), then it doesn't contradict what I'm saying. Shaolin martial arts supposedly came from a group of exercises so the monks could meditate longer. The exercises were for one thing, but the 'martial applications' are for fighting. Look at the name.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Kano, developed Judo explicitly for self improvement as a goal
Funakoshi developed Karatedo for self improvement as a goal
Uesheba developed Aikido....
Kano didn't develop anything. He repackaged jiu-jitsu into a more "friendly" version that didn't have a thuggish image attached to it.

Funakoshi didn't develop karate. He took Okinawan martial arts to the rest of Japan.

Ueshiba didn't develop anything either. He took aikijujitsu and other stuff he studied, combined it with his religious/spiritual beliefs, and started teaching.

One thing you're forgetting that judo and karate were a result of the Meiji Restoration, and that post-war aikido was another attempt to get away from the "war-like" mentality that JMA used to have.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
If you are into MA strictly for the fighting skills, I think there are much better ways to spend your time training. Especially stay away from the "DO" arts.
I train for fun and competition. Spirituality and religion aren't necessary for my goals, or for the goals of people who train for self defense.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
You want to train in aikido but take out the spiritual component, the self-improvement component and the cultural component. Why are you practicing aikido?
People have different reasons for training. Not all of them want to become 'Little Ueshibas'. Some people are perfectly happy with their own culture, tradition, and spiritual/religious beliefs.

Again, aikido has very little to do with Japanese culture. There is more to a culture than clothes, words, and fighting techniques. If I told you I could preserve American culture by wearing jeans, speaking English, and fighting would you believe me?
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:30 PM   #291
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
People have different reasons for training. Not all of them want to become 'Little Ueshibas'. Some people are perfectly happy with their own culture, tradition, and spiritual/religious beliefs.
Yep. And some of those same people also prefer to study a japanese martial art presented in something akin to its actual context. Without becoming 'little Ueshibas'. Sometimes that gets someone's knickers in a twist. Oh well...

Best,
RT

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:32 PM   #292
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[/quote]I train for fun and competition. Spirituality and religion aren't necessary for my goals, or for the goals of people who train for self defense.[quote]

Fun and Competition: So you get something out of it that makes you feel good or fulfilled? I actually train for these reasons too. Nothing wrong with that!

Spirituality: The physical fitness and exercise I get out of it, plus the team work, comraderie, etc, leads to me being a more well rounded and fulfilled person. That is, happy. Happiness is spirituality for many, or at least the endstate of it. I see it somewhat related to fun and competition. You cannot be spiritually fulfilled with a sick body, and a unhealthy mind. The old masters seemed to understand this, therefore, we have "THE WAYS".

I just bought a guitar, and I am learning to play it. I contend that it too can be somewhat spiritual and meditative. I don't apply the concept of religion to spirituality.

Religion: Has nothing to do with aikido for most. especially me. Don't think you meant to, but you sort of took me out of context.

Self Defense: What are you concerned about that you might need to defend yourself against? IMHO, there are much better ways to mitigate risk than the miniscule skills that you get out of a empty hand martial art such as aikido. Self defense is a very emotional paradigm.

I appreciate why you study aikido, just want to offer a different view, and maybe some further dissection.

I contend that at the most basic level, most of us, actually probably get the same things out of the art, just label it differently!

Good discussion!
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Old 06-14-2005, 02:13 PM   #293
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Spirituality: The physical fitness and exercise I get out of it, plus the team work, comraderie, etc, leads to me being a more well rounded and fulfilled person. That is, happy. Happiness is spirituality for many, or at least the endstate of it. I see it somewhat related to fun and competition. You cannot be spiritually fulfilled with a sick body, and a unhealthy mind. The old masters seemed to understand this, therefore, we have "THE WAYS".
We're looking at spirituality differently then. I don't think just feeling happy is spiritual. I think of spirituality as something intangible, something to do with the spirit (ie, religion or relating to religion).

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Self Defense: What are you concerned about that you might need to defend yourself against?
I'm not worried about self defense. As I said I train for fun. I just brought up self defense because that is why many others train.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I appreciate why you study aikido, just want to offer a different view, and maybe some further dissection.
I've tried to make this clear before, but I don't train in aikido. I'm hear to read and learn about it, and discuss stuff that I think I know enough about to post my opinion.
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:41 PM   #294
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

cool, I have a better understanding of your beliefs/philosphy now. Thanks for the discussion. Just want to point out...I believe there is a difference between feeling happy and happiness. Happiness has more to do with fullfillment, more so than an emotion.

Religion should lead to happiness, as it should allow you to be at peace with yourself and your maker/universe etc, however you define it.

That said, religion is not the only way or path, there are many.

I think formalized religion is connected to sprituality, but spirituality does not necessarily have to be connected to religion.

But we are getting off topic I believe some what.

Probably beat this to death, but aikido, as defined by the founder and the majority who study it is a way or path. That path as defined by the founder is to peace and happiness. you cannot have peace without happiness. Peace I believe is peace with yourself. You must first have that before you can have peace with the rest of the world.

Aikido is an allegory. A training methodology that serves as a physical manifestation of peace. While it is a martial art, it is a way.

Ki seems to be an important concept. As a concept it allows us to connect with ourselves and others. To establish the critical bond of interdependence that peace requires. Too many people focus on the meaning of KI and trying to define it. Labeling it "mystical" , "supernatural". IMHO, it is not important to define it, as much as it is to experience it and understand it.

One of the cautions of dealing with KI is that if you become fixated on it, you really are missing the importance of it as simple concept of understanding the relationship to you and the rest of the world. This is what is important. The old adage I hear over and over..."just shut up and train". That is much more important than debating/defining KI.

My wife is a yoga practictioner. We discuss/debate the pros/cons of yoga versus aikido. Yoga is a way to harmony and peace, yet it is not as interactive as aikido in its physical practice. I prefer the interactive physical aspects of aikido over that of yoga.

Going back and reading many of the post of Monty, as misaligned as I personally feel his values are, I think there is some things to be salvaged from his arguments.

Focusing on the mystical things as he defines them is not what is important, by training repetitively in the methodolgy of aikido we can begin to physically experience cooperation, harmony, and strength. The techniques we perform will simply put us on the path, just like walking does.

So, Phillip, as you point out..I believe, the primary thing is to train, and try to become a better aikidoka, or martial artist through the refinement of your technique and have fun doing so.

I think we could both agree, we'd be on the same path, even if we are looking at things slightly different. I could look off one side of the trail, you could look off the other. Regardless, we'd be heading up the same mountain.

While technique is what we do, it is not the endstate in a DO system. Maybe this is where we would differ???

Monty proposes that you strip out the DO aspects, just concentrate on hard, effective training. I believe this is where the whole argument starts. Not sure you can really do that. Arts of karatedo, aikido, and judo, are already stripped out of the things that made them SU arts. The founders of the systems created them as a derivative, maybe as for the political reasons you stated, but I submit that alone was not enough to make them viable and survive. People had to recieve some benefit from them. Politics was not the benefit, personal gain, or growth was the benefit.

The words "combat effective" are interesting. If the arts were really concerned with this, then they would have become something entirely different as guns and other methods of domination and control developed. We all have visions in our minds of "self defense" and "combat effective", those are very emotionally guided things, versus logically guided things. One of the biggest disillusionments that the DO arts create is the notion of combat effectiveness and self defense. Are there benefits to be gained in these areas? Of course, but based on the structure and methodology of DO arts, this is definitely NOT a primary focus by any means.

Sorry for the long post, lots of thoughts popped into my head!
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:54 PM   #295
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
.... Wearing a hakama has nothing to do with sport of self defense.
Kendo people would be very interested to hear that.

Quote:
Everyone's perspective has been shaped by their own experiences, but that has nothing to do with what I said. I made a comment about aikido masters, and you're response was about a bunch of JKD and FMA guys. Please try to stay on topic.
Actually, I went back through the thread, and we talked past each other: I made reference to how Guro Andy and his insturctors, Guro Dan Insoanto and Maha Guru Victor de Thouras make a point of the culturalr preservations side (which is where I got it). Monty came back with how "appealing" the the old men of the MA was a fallacy, and I came back with "God forbid MA masters have a point" or something like that. That's when you made your comment about Aikido masters, but you left the word "Aikido" out; I was still thinking about Guro Dan and Pak Vic. And that's when I said what I said. So it wasn't "suddenly."

BTW, I have yet to be to a seminar in anything where the demonstraiton is with anything other than a "compliant student." The exception might be a demonstration of sparring or light grappling for position, but even then, it's with someone out ot be a horse's backsdie and confound/hurt the instructor. So why it's a big deal that you don't see AIkido masters fight their ukes is beyond me.


Quote:
If you guys want to think that learning how to break arms, strangle people until they pass out, knock people out with strikes, throw people (most people don't know how to fall properly), stab them with knives, hit them with sticks, etc. is the only way to become a better person then there's nothing I can do for you. If Kano, Ueshiba, and all these other people were so concerned with self-improvement they would have come up with a religion or philosophy, not a way to injure people.
They would probably say they did.

Quote:
People have different reasons for training. Not all of them want to become 'Little Ueshibas'. Some people are perfectly happy with their own culture, tradition, and spiritual/religious beliefs.
I don't want to be a "little Ueshiba" either. And I train because I like it; that's why I came back to Aikido. But I also take seriously the cultural preservation side of Aikido, not because I'm unhappy with my own culture, or because I'm seriously into Japanese culture, because IMHO, that's a big part of what the MA are about. If the spiritual part of Aikido is an important part of it, then that is what I will learn and pass down. Not because I want to be a "little Ueshiba," but because I want to be respectful to him and the art he founded. Even if there are things I'm not crazy about -- and there are --- I'm not originating anything in any of my classes; instead, I am having something precious passed to me. And I don't think I could live with myself if, when the time came, I deliberately went out of my way not to pass it on to other people.

Quote:
Again, aikido has very little to do with Japanese culture. There is more to a culture than clothes, words, and fighting techniques. If I told you I could preserve American culture by wearing jeans, speaking English, and fighting would you believe me?
I'd believe you would be preserving a part of it. Culture is so ubiquitous that you can not get away from it. Language and dress are a part of a culture. Fighting systems are interesting because you don't find that as a speciality in hunter/gatherer societies; it's only in agricultural societies that MA became a separate area of study, and so the culture they originated in got bound up in it. Even if it extends only to the style of uniform, terminology, it's there. Like it or not.
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:08 PM   #296
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Ki seems to be an important concept. As a concept it allows us to connect with ourselves and others. To establish the critical bond of interdependence that peace requires. Too many people focus on the meaning of KI and trying to define it. Labeling it "mystical" , "supernatural". IMHO, it is not important to define it, as much as it is to experience it and understand it.
Can you understand something without knowing what it is?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
While technique is what we do, it is not the endstate in a DO system. Maybe this is where we would differ???
I think we're looking at the word "DO" differently. You seem to be looking at it as a literal 'way'. The way I see it, nearly all the techniques found in 'DO' styles came from older styles. These techniques have the same purpose they did when they were made, to injure or restrain someone. I don't see how a technique can be taken from a fighting style and then somehow have it's purposed changed to create peace.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Kendo people would be very interested to hear that.
Right, because we all know kendo is realistic self defense training.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
BTW, I have yet to be to a seminar in anything where the demonstraiton is with anything other than a "compliant student." The exception might be a demonstration of sparring or light grappling for position, but even then, it's with someone out ot be a horse's backsdie and confound/hurt the instructor. So why it's a big deal that you don't see AIkido masters fight their ukes is beyond me.
Have you ever heard of senshido?

I wasn't talking about just seminars either. There are a lot of instructors out there who will willingly show you that they know how to use what they teach. They do this through competition, or even just sparring or rolling with the students. Now I've heard plenty of stories about how invincibles Ueshiba and other aikido 'masters' are, but I've never seen them fight. I've never seen them spar. I've never seen them do anything with a resisting opponent (and no, charging at your instructor with your arm sticking out with no concern for your own balance does not count as resisting).

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
I'd believe you would be preserving a part of it. Culture is so ubiquitous that you can not get away from it. Language and dress are a part of a culture. Fighting systems are interesting because you don't find that as a speciality in hunter/gatherer societies; it's only in agricultural societies that MA became a separate area of study, and so the culture they originated in got bound up in it. Even if it extends only to the style of uniform, terminology, it's there. Like it or not.
A part of it yes, but the entire culture? No. Aikido doesn't even contain the ideals of the majority of people in that culture at that time. It's just about Ueshiba.

Martial arts didn't get wrapped in culture. Boxing has very little culture around in. Wrestling has very little culture around it. Sambo has very little culture around it. Only recently have many martial arts become the way they are because some people can't see why they were originally made.
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:47 PM   #297
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Phillip Wrote:
Quote:
Can you understand something without knowing what it is?
You can have knowledge in several different ways. You can have experiential knowledge without having the mental knowledge or understanding. You don't have to understand the physics of thermodynamics in order to know that boiling water is hot, for example. Your body can simply learn from the physical aspects of the art.

and also:

Quote:
I think we're looking at the word "DO" differently. You seem to be looking at it as a literal 'way'. The way I see it, nearly all the techniques found in 'DO' styles came from older styles. These techniques have the same purpose they did when they were made, to injure or restrain someone. I don't see how a technique can be taken from a fighting style and then somehow have it's purposed changed to create peace.
Correct, they did take the techniques from older styles. Why did they change an effective/lethal technique to something other than that?

Politics? possibly, but I contend that politics alone is not enough to sustain long term interest. The people studying the system would have to realize some benefit from the art. What possible benefit can you get out of a "watered" down/"gentrified" system?

Look at the mission statement or philosophical intent the founders very clearly wrote. Gichin Funakoshi was very clear about why he created Karate, as well as Kano, and Uesheba. How can you really argue with what their intent of creating the system was?? May not be why you study it, but it is the intent behind the art.

Phillip wrote:
Quote:
I've never seen them spar. I've never seen them do anything with a resisting opponent
I have. Heres a little vignette. I was four weeks out of Ranger School and four years of studying a very tough hard core karate. My karate instructor sent me to Saotome Sensei's dojo in DC when I moved there with the Army. After doing the usual "hardcore" beginner thing...you know tryng to really understand the art, but growing impatient with all the senior students that I was convinced could not defend their way out of a paper bag. I baited a 3rd Dan who was well respected in the dojo to play my "what if" boxing, trapped in the corner, can't irimi scenario. (I am a pretty decent boxer, and was in decent shape fresh out of Ranger Training, 6 foot 1, 210 lbs). I pulled the short punches and "checked" him if he tried to irimi. He couldn't do anything with me.

About that time Saotome Sensei walks down the steps from the house into the dojo, so the 3rd Dan says, "lets ask sensei". After a few minutes of Sensei trying to define my "what if" he got in the corner against the wall and say "go ahead". I figured, hey this is a shihan, he should be able to hold his own so I did not hold back and proceed to come in with good jabs and body blows. It took about a split second for him to slip past me somehow and flatten my face against the wall. he is...what....about 4 11, maybe 140lbs??? he held me there while he explained to the 3rd Dan about the problems with paradigms and something about the wall being your friend and not the enemy. I was pretty humbled, and had a sore nose for a few days.

I am now careful when I ask for proof from shihans like Saotome sensei, and Ikeda sensei cause you might get what you ask for.

As far as the culture thing.

Culture may be important to some, that is fine with me. However, I think the training methodolgy is what is important. You can gain the same pschyological, mental, and spiritual benefits out of wrestling, BJJ, Sambo, and even Modern Army Combatives that you can from aikido. It really is what the individual connects with.

One thing I do think you have to be careful with in aikido is the false sense of culture or spirituality that you percieve you gain from the japanese culture that many dojos emulate. It is fine to wear a hakama, it is fine to have a kamiza, and bow and all that, but that ritual is a reminder, it does not make you better, more refined, or more spiritual than any other art like BJJ that simply goes on the mat and trains hard.
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:49 PM   #298
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
Can you understand something without knowing what it is?
You can have some understanding of something that you can't actually see by observing its effects indirectly; for example, scientists had some understanding of how atoms aggregated into molecules long before we had systems of actally picturing atoms or molecules.

Also, you can certianly use something without knowing what it is. We do it all the time in technological societies.

-LK
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:27 PM   #299
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
You can have knowledge in several different ways. You can have experiential knowledge without having the mental knowledge or understanding. You don't have to understand the physics of thermodynamics in order to know that boiling water is hot, for example. Your body can simply learn from the physical aspects of the art.
I don't think that's quite the same as the topic of ki. I don't think you can know what 'ki' is without understanding it.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Politics? possibly, but I contend that politics alone is not enough to sustain long term interest. The people studying the system would have to realize some benefit from the art. What possible benefit can you get out of a "watered" down/"gentrified" system?
Long term interest isn't the hard part, hence the success of mcdojos.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Look at the mission statement or philosophical intent the founders very clearly wrote. Gichin Funakoshi was very clear about why he created Karate, as well as Kano, and Uesheba. How can you really argue with what their intent of creating the system was?? May not be why you study it, but it is the intent behind the art.
The reason Funakoshi, Ueshiba, and Kano founded their own styles doesn't change the fact that they still taught fighting techniques. If Ueshiba wanted to make spread peace, why fighting techniques? Why have training methods where there is a winner and a loser? If he wanted to create peace, he should have taught dancing. Everyone would recieve the same benefit and be peaceful. There would be no competition within the dojo. Fighting itself is a competition, so teaching fighting techniques is promoting competition.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
About that time Saotome Sensei walks down the steps from the house into the dojo, so the 3rd Dan says, "lets ask sensei". After a few minutes of Sensei trying to define my "what if" he got in the corner against the wall and say "go ahead". I figured, hey this is a shihan, he should be able to hold his own so I did not hold back and proceed to come in with good jabs and body blows. It took about a split second for him to slip past me somehow and flatten my face against the wall. he is...what....about 4 11, maybe 140lbs??? he held me there while he explained to the 3rd Dan about the problems with paradigms and something about the wall being your friend and not the enemy. I was pretty humbled, and had a sore nose for a few days.
Fair enough, you have a reason to respect Saotome's ability. Many don't have a reason, yet they still treat these 'masters' like they are gods.

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
You can have some understanding of something that you can't actually see by observing its effects indirectly; for example, scientists had some understanding of how atoms aggregated into molecules long before we had systems of actally picturing atoms or molecules.

Also, you can certianly use something without knowing what it is. We do it all the time in technological societies.
Maybe I should have explained my question better.

How can someone talk about all of the benefits that they have gained from ki, talk about 'extending ki', teach their students how to use ki, etc. and then turn around and say they don't have a clue what it is? Many people from a wide range of arts talk about ki/chi as proper mechanics and technique, and many others within those same arts talk about mystical energy that you can use to knock people out or heal them...

I think someone said this in that thread I linked to (about extending ki), but nearly everything that people claim they have seen/experienced but don't understand is attributed to ki. That ranges from good, effective techniques all the way to supposed no-touch KO's. 'Ki' seems to be a one-size-fits-all term to explain everything in Asian arts.

Re: Using 'Ki' as a metaphor...

In Tony Cecchine's catch wrestling dvd's, Mr Cecchine often tells the viewer to imagine lines going in different directions to explain how you should apply pressure during certain pins. Some might say that is 'extending ki', I just think it's a good way to make sure your technique is right.

Last edited by Pankration90 : 06-15-2005 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:38 AM   #300
Sonja2012
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
Why have training methods where there is a winner and a loser? If he wanted to create peace, he should have taught dancing.
Using a "fighting technique" is exactly the way to teach people that there in fact is not a winner and a loser. It is not about winning or about defeating. That is the whole point of aikido - to understand that there is no fight and therefore no winner or loser. IMHO.

Oh, and Kevin, as usual, I enjoyed reading your post
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