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Old 06-11-2005, 10:12 AM   #176
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
.... You may see your training as a 'job', but others don't. People train for many reasons.
Then replace "job" with whatever word you wish to describe what a student does. It's a figure of speach.


Quote:
... You aren't truly preserving a piece of culture. One man does not constitute a culture ....
The culture is there, refracted through O Sensei's ideas.
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:18 AM   #177
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
..... You lose nothing by changing the name of a technique .... Who cares if the "culture" is lost .....
I care. So does Guro Dan Inosanto and Maha Guru Victor de Thouars and others; and my Kali instructor, Guro And Astle, who's studied under the above gentlemen. All of them are adamant about the cultural preservation side of the martial arts.

Maybe the question shouldn't be "who cares?" but "why don't you?"
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:35 AM   #178
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
Mysticism is defined to mean that which is irrational, unsystematic, and based upon personal experience.
Technique is defined to mean that which is systemic, logical, understandable, and capable of being taught. It is propositional.
Under that broad definition of "mysticism," just the act of training on your own, making improvements, or even noticing things while you train -- which all fall under the heading of "personal experience" --- become "mystical" and according to you, should be disgarded. But there's nothing mystical about it -- just putting the time in. Yet since anything that involves personal experience must be disgarded, so the very act practing then, has to be mystical and thus disgarded.

By the same token, as you may know, there are drills such as the immovable arm drill which are based on the flow of ki. Whether or not the ki is actually there, the drills instill the body mechanics and ideas -- upper body relaxed, breathe and move from your abdomen (which are important ideas in many martial arts) -- which are the basis of the techniques. Improving on those areas improves on those techniques whether ki is really there or just gives you a mental frame of reference for what you're doing. Meaning it does improve on technique, and, according to you, should not be disgarded.

So it seems you have validated ki and invalidated martial arts training at the same time. Congratulations!
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Old 06-11-2005, 12:33 PM   #179
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
By the same token, as you may know, there are drills such as the immovable arm drill which are based on the flow of ki. Whether or not the ki is actually there, the drills instill the body mechanics and ideas -- upper body relaxed, breathe and move from your abdomen (which are important ideas in many martial arts) -- which are the basis of the techniques. Improving on those areas improves on those techniques whether ki is really there or just gives you a mental frame of reference for what you're doing. Meaning it does improve on technique, and, according to you, should not be disgarded.
The fact is that you don't know that ki is there and no one can agree on just what exactly "ki" is. If you taught these things as "drills that instill body mechanics and ideas" instead of talking about the flow of ki I'm sure you'd get exactly the same results.
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Old 06-11-2005, 12:50 PM   #180
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Then replace "job" with whatever word you wish to describe what a student does. It's a figure of speach.
Not everyone trains just to pass on the beliefs of Ueshiba. Some want self defense training, a hobby, etc.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
The culture is there, refracted through O Sensei's ideas.
What does "aikido is love" and all the other stuff Ueshiba said have to do with the beliefs and ideas of the Japanese society as a whole during the 60s? Aikido training does not reflect Japanse culture.

If you want to preserve a culture, take up capoeira. It has songs, dancing, music, etc. All of these things represent culture better than wearing outdated Japanese clothing and discussing the religious beliefs of Ueshiba.
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Old 06-11-2005, 04:02 PM   #181
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
But where's the defense against someone attacking you with a banana!? How cna you neglect it? That's justifiable lethal force that is! You have to have youor students fend off attackers with bananas in their cars going the wrong way on the freeway at 95 mph in a hail storm on the fourth of july headlong into a heard of elephants and a baby zebra without an instructor. THEN your curriculum will be complete.



Team America World Police?
Noted. will be added to curriculum.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-11-2005, 04:39 PM   #182
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
.
Those trying to get someone to accept mysticism as part of Aikido must prove that mysticism is useful.
Red Beetle
Very easy task.
If you look at terrorists in Middle East, what is most important thing that allows them suicide attacks with bombs?Only military technique? Of course not! Mysticism? Yes, of course only this factor can push these ppl to all those horrible things. We are right in the middle of martial environment. But during each war, there are plenty of examples where some more or less mystical idea (God, Honor, Homeland, Gold….) pushed/helped/allowed ppl to things far beyond their normal capacity.

Aikido isn't any exception as far as you practice aikido as expression and embodiment of BUDO's spirit/mind. You can practice at merely technical level, but this way you can't apply the entirety of yours abilities and wisdom.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:11 PM   #183
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
Not everyone trains just to pass on the beliefs of Ueshiba. Some want self defense training, a hobby, etc.
But if you train long enough and become an instructor, guess what you end up doing? Passing on what was passed to you; it doesn't matter in what.


Quote:
What does "aikido is love" and all the other stuff Ueshiba said have to do with the beliefs and ideas of the Japanese society as a whole during the 60s? Aikido training does not reflect Japanse culture.
(A) I said "refracted through his ideas." It's not undiluted. (B) IIRC, the Japense government supports martial arts, including Aikido, and also the classical bujitsu systems. Something about nationa heritage?

Quote:
If you want to preserve a culture, take up capoeira. It has songs, dancing, music, etc. All of these things represent culture better than wearing outdated Japanese clothing ....
Yeah, you want to tell the BJJ people to stop doing that? They want to be on the cutting edge, shouldn't they stop weating gis? Esepcailly as the Gracies are Brazillian, not Japanese.

Quote:
.... and discussing the religious beliefs of Ueshiba.
FYI, my sensei's intorductory handout says Aikido is "not an intellectual process," meaning you sit around and talk about it, but a "training program." Meaning you do something. So I guess that's covered.
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:14 PM   #184
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
The fact is that you don't know that ki is there and no one can agree on just what exactly "ki" is ....
True; there are even multiple theories about whether it comes out through the fingers, back of the hand, or the palm. But how do you prove something ISN'T there?

Quote:
..... If you taught these things as "drills that instill body mechanics and ideas" instead of talking about the flow of ki I'm sure you'd get exactly the same results.
Maybe. But if results are all that matters, then it doesn't matter, especially if ki visualization works.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:01 PM   #185
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote]
Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
But if you train long enough and become an instructor, guess what you end up doing? Passing on what was passed to you; it doesn't matter in what.
You are choosing to ignore his main point, because you know that he is right. Teaching a hip toss to someone does not require me to tell them before, during, or after the lesson that Jigoro Kano was the founder of Judo.

I studied Judo under an instructor for years without even knowing that Judo was from Japan, or who systematized it. He never taught the history to us, and I was more concerned with perfecting the technique to ask. When I finally went to other schools, they were impressed with my Judo, but were stunned to learn that I didn't know the Japanese terminology or history. Turns out, that my first instructor hated the Japanese. He would not disrespect his school by even mentioning them, or using their terms. He taught Judo, but without the Japanese culture. He was a South Korean national champion.

You can teach the Judo syllabus, change the names of the techniques, and call the system by another name, and the ones who are fresh to Martial Arts will be none the wiser.

A rose by any other name is still the same.


Quote:
(A) I said "refracted through his ideas." It's not undiluted. (B) IIRC, the Japense government supports martial arts, including Aikido, and also the classical bujitsu systems. Something about nationa heritage?
This depends on what government is ruling Japan. Martial arts were outlawed more than once in the history of Japan. What some people consider heritage, others consider trash.


Quote:
Yeah, you want to tell the BJJ people to stop doing that? They want to be on the cutting edge, shouldn't they stop weating gis?
Some have stopped wearing kimonos. Others only wear the kimono. Some practice with and without the kimono evenly.


Quote:
Esepcailly as the Gracies are Brazillian, not Japanese.
Yeah they do Jiu-jitsu the Gracie way, not the Japanese cultural way. This also annihilates your fuzzy cultural attachments. You don't need a national culture to do Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, bowling, chess, and so on.





Quote:
FYI, my sensei's intorductory handout says Aikido is "not an intellectual process
First of all, let's just state the obvious. You have to use an intellectual process to attack intellectual process. This is self-contradicting....absurd. You have to use your intellect in order to tell us that Aikido, which is in the intellect, is not intellectual. That is sad.
I believe what you say about this Aikido handout.
You are irrational. And your sensei is wrong. Aikido is intellectual, not physical. If you do not KNOW technique, then you can not expect to execute technique. A person's body being projected with iriminage is the result of the intellect's control over matter.
The techniques of Aikido are not magical, they are propositional, intellectual, and rational. The body is merely the instrument that you play the Aikido with.

Quote:
," meaning you sit around and talk about it, but a "training program." Meaning you do something. So I guess that's covered
I wouldn't waste my time learning from some guy who couldn't verbally explain how a technique is done. The reason technique can be verbally explained is because all technique is propositional. If the guy has to say, "let me just show you." Or, if he has to say, "you just got to do Aikido in order to learn it.", then I would say that he doesn't know how to teach it. You should be able to verbally explain how to execute technique without ever having to show it.

Again, you are going to have to intellectually understand how to do something, before you can do something.


Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Go to my web-site and see my June Newsletter for an example of how Kesa-gatame is to be done, without a group of pictures that take you step by step through the process.

Last edited by Red Beetle : 06-11-2005 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:20 PM   #186
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote]
Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Very easy task.
If you look at terrorists in Middle East, what is most important thing that allows them suicide attacks with bombs?Only military technique? Of course not! Mysticism? Yes, of course only this factor can push these ppl to all those horrible things
You are stating that mysticism is what motivates terrorism. I am not saying that mysticism cannot motivate a person to do iriminage, or Aikido, but I am saying that mysticism does not add to the technique of Aikido. Mysticism does not make the terrorist's gun's shoot better, or their bombs to be more explosive. Their engineering in bomb development, and gun construction is what makes these weapons good or bad....not mysticism.

The same applies to Aikido. Mysticism does not make one's koshi-nage better. The way they execute the technique of Koshi-nage is what makes it better or worse.

You need to show how Mysticism is going to make the actual technique better in order to sale your snake-bit remedy. Showing that a belief can motivate a person to do this or that does not make your argument. You are off the subject. You need to show how irrational thought helps one's rational technique.


Quote:
You can practice at merely technical level, but this way you can't apply the entirety of yours abilities and wisdom.

Mysticism is not an ability, and it is not wisdom. Ability and wisdom both denote intellectual propositional content that can be understood, learned, and taught. Mysticism is irrational and inconsistent.

Since Mysticism has nothing to technically add to Aikido, it therefore follows necessarily that you can only practice Aikido at the technical level.

Your statement is false.

Red Beetle

Last edited by Red Beetle : 06-11-2005 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:34 PM   #187
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote]
Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Under that broad definition of "mysticism," just the act of training on your own, making improvements, or even noticing things while you train -- which all fall under the heading of "personal experience" --- become "mystical" and according to you, should be disgarded. But there's nothing mystical about it -- just putting the time in. Yet since anything that involves personal experience must be disgarded, so the very act practing then, has to be mystical and thus disgarded.
Nope. By personal experience, I do not mean practicing intellectual propositional techniques which require thought, study, and understanding. By personal experience I mean sensations that can only be experienced by the one experiencing them. Experience is an equivocal term. When I say experience, then I am referring to empirical experience, not the knowledge one acquires from studying and practicing an intellectual system.

Quote:
By the same token, as you may know, there are drills such as the immovable arm drill which are based on the flow of ki. Whether or not the ki is actually there, the drills instill the body mechanics and ideas -- upper body relaxed, breathe and move from your abdomen (which are important ideas in many martial arts) -- which are the basis of the techniques. Improving on those areas improves on those techniques whether ki is really there or just gives you a mental frame of reference for what you're doing. Meaning it does improve on technique, and, according to you, should not be disgarded.
You just admitted that Ki has nothing to offer to the technique.
You could replace Ki with rock music, and it really wouldn't matter.
When you say, "whether ki is really there or not just..." denotes that ki doesn't matter. It is excess which can be cut away. It is useless. The time spent teaching about ki could be spent on improving someone's technical abilities.

Quote:
So it seems you have validated ki and invalidated martial arts training at the same time. Congratulations!
You are in a fairy-tale world.
But I have an idea for your next Aikido class.
When sensei begins to teach about ki, remind him/her to open with the phrase, "Once upon a time..."

Red Beelte
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:42 PM   #188
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote=Michael Gallagher]I care.
Quote:
So does Guro Dan Inosanto and Maha Guru Victor de Thouars and others; and my Kali instructor, Guro And Astle, who's studied under the above gentlemen. All of them are adamant about the cultural preservation side of the martial arts.
You can appeal to big name martial artists, but that is only an ad-hominem fallacy.

All of them care, yet none of them can demonstrate that changing the name of a technique will alter the technique. The reason they can't is because it doesn't change the technique, but only the name.

When water falls from clouds in the sky one person says, "It is raining." and another says, "Esta lloviendo." Neither English nor Spanish alters the weather.


Quote:
Maybe the question shouldn't be "who cares?" but "why don't you?"
I am not interested in their culture, but their fighting technique.

Red Beetle.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:49 PM   #189
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote]
Quote:
Keith Kolb wrote:
But you do. Perhaps you should take a refresher course on critical thinking. The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. You make the claim: "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward," implying that Aikido with mystic is a step backward from Aikido without mysticism. If you wish to be logical, you must back up your claim.


Why must they here? If they fail to do so, their students will leave. If you do not like mysticism in martial arts, vote with your wallet and take you business else ware. The usefulness of the mysticism is irrelevant to the student who WANTS a mystical martial arts experience.

However, if you wish to discuss mysticism in Aikido, you must prove that it is not useful and/or desirable, or concede that you are arguing from opinion and quit pretending that you are being logical.

Please see the definitions and syllogism that I provided in post 165. I am claiming that this disproves mysticism has anything positive to add to the technical aspects of Aikido. It can be disreguarded, and more time directed to improving technique, rather than having empirical mystical episodes.

Red Beetle
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:18 PM   #190
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Monty, (may I call you Monty?)

You are absolutely right. You do not need the mysticism in aikido to learn or teach it - a'la Shioda and Tohei. Mysticism is simply a tool for explaining things (and how O'Sensei explained his universe of meaning).

Personally, I prefer the mysticism part and find it easier to understand than something expressed in the much clumsier English language. Very often, things get lost in "translation" and the transliteration does not always convey the "correct" meaning.

Maybe that's how I'm wired.... YMMV. To each their own.

Ignatius
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:28 AM   #191
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote=Monty Collier]
Quote:
You are choosing to ignore his main point, because you know that he is right. Teaching a hip toss to someone does not require me to tell them before, during, or after the lesson that Jigoro Kano was the founder of Judo.

I studied Judo under an instructor for years without even knowing that Judo was from Japan, or who systematized it. He never taught the history to us, and I was more concerned with perfecting the technique to ask. When I finally went to other schools, they were impressed with my Judo, but were stunned to learn that I didn't know the Japanese terminology or history. Turns out, that my first instructor hated the Japanese. He would not disrespect his school by even mentioning them, or using their terms. He taught Judo, but without the Japanese culture. He was a South Korean national champion.

You can teach the Judo syllabus, change the names of the techniques, and call the system by another name, and the ones who are fresh to Martial Arts will be none the wiser.

A rose by any other name is still the same.
You can do that, but should you? Was your sensei the exception or the rule in not mentioning Judo's history (or at least in not giving you a handout that outlined it right away)?



Quote:
This depends on what government is ruling Japan. Martial arts were outlawed more than once in the history of Japan. What some people consider heritage, others consider trash.
Well, the current government into Japan doesn't think it's trash.


Quote:
Some have stopped wearing kimonos. Others only wear the kimono. Some practice with and without the kimono evenly.
You mean the hakama, right?

Quote:
Yeah they do Jiu-jitsu the Gracie way, not the Japanese cultural way. This also annihilates your fuzzy cultural attachments. You don't need a national culture to do Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, bowling, chess, and so on.
They still wear gis and use a Japanese name.


Quote:
First of all, let's just state the obvious. You have to use an intellectual process to attack intellectual process. This is self-contradicting....absurd. You have to use your intellect in order to tell us that Aikido, which is in the intellect, is not intellectual. That is sad.
I believe what you say about this Aikido handout.
You are irrational. And your sensei is wrong. Aikido is intellectual, not physical. If you do not KNOW technique, then you can not expect to execute technique. A person's body being projected with iriminage is the result of the intellect's control over matter.
The techniques of Aikido are not magical, they are propositional, intellectual, and rational. The body is merely the instrument that you play the Aikido with.
What's also obvious is he is not using the words "intellectual process" the way you do. What you refer to as the intellectual process of learning a technique he calls a "training program."

And since he's been doing Aikido for about 30 years -- that's what, longer than you've been alive -- I have a hunch he may be right about two or three things.

Quote:
I wouldn't waste my time learning from some guy who couldn't verbally explain how a technique is done ....
Well, then, you needn't worry about me because he explains it verbally quite well.

Quote:
The reason technique can be verbally explained is because all technique is propositional. If the guy has to say, "let me just show you." Or, if he has to say, "you just got to do Aikido in order to learn it.", then I would say that he doesn't know how to teach it. You should be able to verbally explain how to execute technique without ever having to show it ..... Go to my web-site and see my June Newsletter for an example of how Kesa-gatame is to be done, without a group of pictures that take you step by step through the process.
That speaks for itself.
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:30 AM   #192
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

If you wish to use this as your logical argument, very well.

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
1) Anything which cannot be demonstrated to improve upon technique is something which should be disregarded
2) Mysticism is something which cannot be demonstrated to improve upon technique
_____________________________________________________

3) Therefore, Mysticism is something which should be disregarded


Red Beetle
Your argument is deductive. It is also valid; however it is not sound due to the following:
1) This premise asserts an absolute. By finding at least one instance where something that does not improve technique may be desirable voids this premise. This is simple: law. You may be able to teach a student the most effective lethal technique mankind can possibly execute, but if the student is afraid of going to jail for using it, you might as well have taught the student nothing. Clearly, law cannot be disregarded. So there is at least one subject that does not directly effect the execution of technique but cannot be disregarded. This makes premise 1 false, and your argument logically unsound.

2) As Szczepan Janczuk wrote, mysticism can drive people to feats beyond normally possible. A fanatic can resist more pain, take greater risks, and stay more focused on a goal than a non-fanatic. All of these things can aid in successful execution of technique. Mysticism can provide this sort of fanaticism, and therefore, aid technique. Premise 2 is also false, again rendering your unsound.
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:33 AM   #193
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote=Monty Collier]
Quote:

Nope. By personal experience, I do not mean practicing intellectual propositional techniques which require thought, study, and understanding. By personal experience I mean sensations that can only be experienced by the one experiencing them. Experience is an equivocal term. When I say experience, then I am referring to empirical experience, not the knowledge one acquires from studying and practicing an intellectual system.
Except that in grappling, touch sensitivity is important; only you can feel what your partner is doing and respond to it, and that's the only way to do it in grappling range -- your eyes are uesless. So you've just ruled out randori, because it requires experiencing something no one involved can.

Quote:
You just admitted that Ki has nothing to offer to the technique.
You could replace Ki with rock music, and it really wouldn't matter.
When you say, "whether ki is really there or not just..." denotes that ki doesn't matter. It is excess which can be cut away. It is useless. The time spent teaching about ki could be spent on improving someone's technical abilities.
You have it bass-ackwards -- if visualizing the ki flow helps the technique work better, then it IS helping.

As for the rest of your post, I won't sink to your level.
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:37 AM   #194
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote=Monty Collier]
Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
I care.

You can appeal to big name martial artists, but that is only an ad-hominem fallacy.
Yeah, god forbid martial arts masters who have forgot more than you or I will ever know should know something.

Quote:
All of them care, yet none of them can demonstrate that changing the name of a technique will alter the technique. The reason they can't is because it doesn't change the technique, but only the name.
The point is not that it changes the technique; the point is that martial arts are about MORE than just the techniques.


Quote:

I am not interested in their culture, but their fighting technique.

Red Beetle.
That's your choice; I've spelled out my views. The lineages I'm a part of attach more significance to things you don't give a damn about. Well, that's fine, for you. If you're happy, great. Happy training.

Last edited by CNYMike : 06-12-2005 at 12:40 AM. Reason: adding a word
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Old 06-12-2005, 01:19 AM   #195
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Keith,
thanks for dealing with the argument.


Quote:
Your argument is deductive. It is also valid
Thank you.


Quote:
By finding at least one instance where something that does not improve technique may be desirable voids this premise.

Quote:
This is simple: law.

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Clearly, law cannot be disregarded. So there is at least one subject that does not directly effect the execution of technique but cannot be disregarded.
Law can, and often is, disregarded. This is why we have to have police to enforce the law. The fact that one may disregard the law and do you physical harm is one of the main reasons people study martial arts. So much for your attack on my first premise.

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You may be able to teach a student the most effective lethal technique mankind can possibly execute, but if the student is afraid of going to jail for using it, you might as well have taught the student nothing.
This has nothing to do with the formulation of technique. It addresses the ethical question of "should I use the technique."
We are talking about "should I keep something in my system that does not improve upon technique itself." We are not talking about "Should I use the system that I have in light of the law of the land."

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This makes premise 1 false, and your argument logically unsound.
Sorry, you will have to do better.


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2) As Szczepan Janczuk wrote, mysticism can drive people to feats beyond normally possible. A fanatic can resist more pain, take greater risks, and stay more focused on a goal than a non-fanatic.
This has nothing to do with actual Aikido technique itself. You could direct this to the ability to finger paint while in a bar room brawl. Again, we are talking about disregarding anything that cannot improve the actual technique itself. We are not talking about that which encourages me to use, or not use technique.


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All of these things can aid in successful execution of technique.
Possibly, but again, they do not aid in the production of technique, or better technique. Studying how the body can and cannot move will lead to better technical advancement, but mystical practices have nothing to offer technique itself.


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Mysticism can provide this sort of fanaticism, and therefore, aid technique.
You mean that mysticism can aid in the motivational use and execution of technique, but not in the production and development of that technique. You are off the subject.

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Premise 2 is also false, again rendering your unsound.
Wrong. You have not attacked the premise. But another premise that I did not mention.


The mystical sensation of power does not improve the iriminage that I have been taught. The lack of mysticism does not improve the technique of my iriminage. But, by crafting my technique to be closer to how iriminage is to be done will improve my Aikido technique.


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Old 06-12-2005, 01:40 AM   #196
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote][quote=Michael Gallagher]
Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:

Except that in grappling, touch sensitivity is important; only you can feel what your partner is doing and respond to it, and that's the only way to do it in grappling range -- your eyes are useless. So you've just ruled out randori, because it requires experiencing something no one involved can.
Your remarks presuppose that people learn through their senses. I do not believe that people learn through their senses. I am not an empiricist.

It is no safe guide to rely upon one or more of your senses. They all can deceive you. It may look like I can pass his guard, but it turns out I cannot. It may feel like he doesn't have my arm in bad position, but it turned out that it was in even worse position than I thought. I didn't hear him tapping, but it turned out that he was, and I snapped his elbow regardless. Sensations cannot be trusted in wrestling. Only sound technique, which is based upon rational propositions can be trusted. I am claiming that systems like Aikido, Judo, and Jiu-jitsu are like geometry or mathematics in general. No one has ever seen the laws of logic, the number 2, or a triangle, but you can understand the propositions that such ideas are made of. They are invisible, inaudible, intangible, but no less real.

An armbar, for example, is not a conglomeration of sensations, but it is a collection of propositions that are combined in such a way that it has a qualitative affect on my adversary. The affect is that his arm is hyper-extended at the elbow. It doesn't matter if it looks like it is, or if it feels like it is.





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You have it bass-ackwards -- if visualizing the ki flow helps the technique work better, then it IS helping.
We are talking about improving the technique itself, not aiding the existing technique. Keith had the same problem. You guys are thinking hard, but your not on target yet. Keep up the good work though!


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Old 06-12-2005, 01:48 AM   #197
Red Beetle
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Location: Tennessee
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote][quote=Michael Gallagher]
Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:

Yeah, god forbid martial arts masters who have forgot more than you or I will ever know should know something.
This pious attitude towards the holy fathers of the martial arts world does not justify your ad hominem fallacy. They may know ten times the technique, but if they are wrong at this point, then they are wrong. Changing the name does not change the technique.


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The point is not that it changes the technique
You argued that this was exactly the point in the past.
Have you receded your original position?

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; the point is that martial arts are about MORE than just the techniques.
But, that is not what this thread is about.
Please read the topic of the thread again.



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Old 06-12-2005, 02:40 AM   #198
Keith_k
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Quote:
Clearly, law cannot be disregarded. So there is at least one subject that does not directly effect the execution of technique but cannot be disregarded.
Law can, and often is, disregarded.
This is fallacious reasoning: appeal to authority. Just because other dojos neglect to teach their students about the legal consequences of using technique does not mean that it is proper or desirable to do so.
Quote:
This is why we have to have police to enforce the law. The fact that one may disregard the law and do you physical harm is one of the main reasons people study martial arts.
The actions of other people have no bearing on how a student learns technique.
Quote:
Quote:
You may be able to teach a student the most effective lethal technique mankind can possibly execute, but if the student is afraid of going to jail for using it, you might as well have taught the student nothing.
This has nothing to do with the formulation of technique. It addresses the ethical question of "should I use the technique."
We are talking about "should I keep something in my system that does not improve upon technique itself." We are not talking about "Should I use the system that I have in light of the law of the land."
It is true that the legal consequences of using technique have no effect on the actual execution of a technique, but it has every effect on whether or not the technique even takes place. Without legal, or at least moral, context, a technique can never be applied outside of the dojo. You would no longer be practicing self defense. If the dojo does not provide a legal or moral context as to when a technique can be used, the student will be forced to either compose his or her own context, or never use the technique. Without context, the technique is useless. Even in sport competitions, the student must know the rules. If a grappler enters a competition without knowing the rules, he or she my use a technique that is illegal and get disqualified, or he or she my fail to use an effective legal technique and be defeated. Knowledge of the rules of competition does not aid in the actual execution of technique, but without this knowledge there is no way to achieve the primary goal: victory. Without knowledge of when and what is acceptable on the street, the martial artist will again fail to achieve the primary goal: survival.

Quote:
Quote:
As Szczepan Janczuk wrote, mysticism can drive people to feats beyond normally possible. A fanatic can resist more pain, take greater risks, and stay more focused on a goal than a non-fanatic.
This has nothing to do with actual Aikido technique itself. You could direct this to the ability to finger paint while in a bar room brawl. Again, we are talking about disregarding anything that cannot improve the actual technique itself. We are not talking about that which encourages me to use, or not use technique.
Focus does not aid in proper execution of technique? What about confidence (which can also be improved through mysticism)?
Quote:
Quote:
All of these things can aid in successful execution of technique.
Possibly,
Then you admit that mysticism can have some value?
Quote:
but again, they do not aid in the production of technique, or better technique. Studying how the body can and cannot move will lead to better technical advancement, but mystical practices have nothing to offer technique itself.
Let us take, for example, a hip throw. I can describe why it is necessary to have your hips lower than the person you are trying to throw with physics and with ki.
Physics: Your hips form and axis of rotation about which you will rotate your opponent's body. His center of gravity is about the level of his hips, so if you place your axis of rotation below his center of gravity you need only start the initial rotation and then the tangential component of the gravitational force vector will aid the torque and facilitate the rotation with greater ease.
Ki: By getting your Dan Jun (Korean word, I forgot the Japanese word for this) closer to the earth than his, you will draw greater ki from the earth and you will have the power to throw him with ease.
Both explanations will allow the student to execute a successful hip throw. However, ki explanation may be easier for some students to understand. In fact, I could construct a whole system of rules for ki, which may mimic the laws of physics but be simpler to understand, that would allow students to understand the principles behind technique and successfully execute and formulate said technique. This would be a great learning aid: students would be able to understand technique without having to study the extensive and complicated field of physics. Many successful martial artists say that their techniques are founded in physics, but very few of them have actually studied physics in depth enough to really have a good understanding of the physics behind much of what they do. They explain things in simplified layman's terms, yet they are still successful. Explaining technique in terms of ki accomplishes this same goal and is just as valid as some of the physical explanations I've heard.
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Old 06-12-2005, 04:37 AM   #199
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Red Beetle,

Why do you think the Army and the Marine Corps are putting a big emphasis on Martial Arts training right now????

I can tell you why...it has nothing to do with the technical skills you gain from the art. It has everything to do with the mental aspects of developing qualities you want in warriors.

For the Army at least, those things are Leadership, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service,Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage.

If you read a few books on Aikido you wil also find that many view the seven pleats in the hakama represent the seven values of aiki spirit.

You will find that the claps we do at the beginning of class serve as a reminder.

In the military we have customs and courtesies...we salute, we call each other sir and sergeant. We do many things that make the system work.

Martial arts is much the same way. You don't study them for the technique you learn, but for the friendships you gain, the values the art emulates, the spirit it evokes so on ans so on.

This mysticism you talk about is tied up in that.

Sure there are misguided souls that study martial arts. We have aiki bunnies in aikido. In BJJ you have guys with pierced tonques and tatoos that run around thinking they are bad asses, other martiall arts have ninjas, and all that stuff...

That does not mean that the spiritual aspects the art inclusive in the arts is a waste of time.

Trust me, I have very little room for wasting my time. I find the way we practice aikido relevant to my profession. Not sure what you do for work, but I can vouch it works for me personally.

I have read a great deal of your website, It appears that you do have some background in judo, and seem to know a fair amount about what you are talking about. I will give you that much. Leaves me nothing to doubt that you probably are proficient at grappling.

There are much more to Martial Arts and Budo than technical skills to be gained. I find it ironic that there is a picture of you in a swariwaza pose "thinking bout judo and jujitsu". Also one of you in seiza doing what looks like a "heaven and earth" and posture related to kokyu...the very essence of KI.

What do these two pictures have to do with the technical skills of judo?

You also have several pictures of you striking a pose with "attitude".

I think those are wonderful things...things that make up the warrior spirit. Are the technical skills, no they are mental skills....those mental skills can be learned through training. They make you feel good and strong.

That my friend is "mysticism" at it's best. It is the spiritual aspects that make studying budo important.

Call it what you want, and attempt to scowl and be disrepectful...but in the end, what we have is ourselves and what makes us up as a whole person...and it is more than techniques.
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Old 06-12-2005, 05:17 AM   #200
mj
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

I'm reminded of The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai "Sweep the leg!"

Morality is not mysticism.

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