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Old 01-05-2006, 11:52 AM   #1
John Boswell
 
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Fight or Quit: there is no choice

On Aikido Journal today, I read a blog article entitled "Fight or Quit." The author recounted a shodan exam that a friend of his faced and walked away from each time he took the test.

You can see the article here: http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1543

One of the instructors, this was karate by the way, would coach his students during sparring and would shout out from the side "Fight or quit! Fight or quit!"

I was disgusted. I am still.

Call me silly, but when I heard Yoda from Star Wars say, "Do... or do not. There is no try." I took him seriously!

Think about it: when you "try something," are you really giving it your best effort? Are you going all out 100% when you try something out? People will test drive veihicals knowing full well they can't afford them. People will eat samples of food at the store just to get a quick bite and not intend to buy the product. People will "try" free samples, try on clothes, "try" something new because of peer pressure....... all the while knowing they aren't going to be doing this ever again! Then why bother?

Sure, it's good to try new things to open your mind to different subjects and ideas, but when doing so, it is VERY important, imho, to admit why you are doing this and be open to change.

I could go on and on, but let's get back to training. When you go to the dojo, are you giving aikido a try? or are you really there to learn what is being taught? Whenever you test, are you testing with the idea that "if I fail, I'll just try again another time" or are you there to take the test and pass it?

On my last test, 1st kyu, I stepped onto the mat knowing my butt was gonna get handed to me big time. Everything we have ever trained to do was going to be asked of me... and then some. For an hour, I was on the mat (and I'm by no means in good shape) executing techniques the best I knew how. I was rusty, it was not my best performance and I knew it, but I knew I was there and I had to follow through. I had to finish no matter what.

It would have been so easy for me to stop half way through and say,"Sensei, my iriminage sucks and I wouldn't pass me if I were you so I'm gonna stop right now and train a few more months and yada yada yada." BS! Sensei said to test so I took the test! It was HIS call. It was HIS decision. Sensei is Sensei and it is not my place to question him on ability. If he said I was ready and he wanted me to test, then by God that's what I was gonna do! He gave me the option of picking a day in a particlar month, other than that... show up and do it! And I did.

After my test, he asked me if I was worn out to the point of being sick. I offered to prove it, but he declined. And I was. I was dead. And I passed.

When I got married, I didn't go into it thinking,"Well, if it doesn't work out like I have planned, I can always get a divorce." Huh. We're not having a child to see if we like being parents. I didn't get my license in real estate to "try" out real estate sales... and I'm sure not going to quit now.

POINT IS: If you're going to DO something, then by God... DO IT!

My brother-in-law once told me," If you're gonna be a bear... be a Grizzly." Meaning, if you're going to do something, be the biggest and baddest one out there doing it.

We can't all be Shihan. We can't all be Grand Master Soke Death Ninjas of the Martial Arts World or whatever. BUT... we CAN be the best we can be and we CAN stick to it and NOT QUIT!

The article above was very interesting. I don't know if I took from it what the author wanted me to, but I did get something out of it for sure:

Quiting is NOT an option.

Please, for the love of all you hold dear, do not put the option of quiting on the table. Not for yourself, not for your students, not for your children, family or friends. Quiting is easy. Quiting is walking off and forgetting about it. Quiting... can also get you killed, maimed, injured, humiliated, and set up for losses in the future.

If you do something and loose, at least you know you did your best and need to improve. If you do something and fail, you know you have more to learn and have room to grown. But if you do something and walk away, YOU will be the one defeating yourself.

... and that is the worst defeat of all.

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Old 01-05-2006, 12:46 PM   #2
Matt Molloy
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
....... We can't all be Grand Master Soke Death Ninjas of the Martial Arts World or whatever.......[/b]
Well actually, we can. All you need to do is send the appropriate amount of money and you can buy the "Become a Grand Master Soke Death Ninja of the Martial Arts World in Five Weeks" video, watch it and Bingo!

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 01-05-2006, 01:17 PM   #3
John Boswell
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Okay, you've got a point.

But aside from that...


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Old 01-05-2006, 06:47 PM   #4
crbateman
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Matt Molloy wrote:
Well actually, we can. All you need to do is send the appropriate amount of money and you can buy the "Become a Grand Master Soke Death Ninja of the Martial Arts World in Five Weeks" video, watch it and Bingo!
Heck, if you send the money and just tell them you are already Grandmaster Soke etc., they'll just send you the paper. You won't save any money, but you'll save five weeks...
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:26 AM   #5
Matt Molloy
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Heck, if you send the money and just tell them you are already Grandmaster Soke etc., they'll just send you the paper. You won't save any money, but you'll save five weeks...
Hmph! Nobody wants to put in the hours these days.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:16 AM   #6
UnholyFracas
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

John Boswell..... I Love You!!!
By nature I am quite easily intimidated and have tended to give up at the first hurdle (too much pop psychology behind that one to bore you with right now)... but occasionally, as with Aikido I stick with something and in this case am SO glad I stuck with it. Aikido has given me the confidence to commit in other areas of my life. Slowly but surely I'm becoming, I hope, a decent human being!

I might just have to print out that first entry of yours and stick it to a wall in my house somewhere! It might remind me to stick to my guns...

We see things not as they are but as we are...

Katsumoto can rescue me anytime.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:38 AM   #7
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

With due respect to the idea of perserverance, etc. it is also important to know when to change...

The trick is knowing the difference between quitting because of fear or laziness and stopping because you've learned from your experience and have changed your mind for good reasons.

After writing the above, I remember that I'm the originator of the saying "Don't quit and don't die".

It isn't simple, this thing about making decisions, being responsible, and learning... then continuing to do it again in the next instant.

Gambatte!

Chuck Clark
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
John Boswell
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

I'm glad you got something out of it, Lou. And to be honest, I may do the same as you.

It isn't easy to stick to things and see them through. In fact, seeing through to the completion of anything is one of the things that sets winners off from loosers, if you really think about it.

How many people run the Boston Marathon or NY or LA marathons every year. Think they consider themselves loosers for not being first? Nope. Not one of them. Just ask Oprah!

And I realized we got side-tracked being funny about the soke thing, but in all honesty... this is quite a serious topic.

Think about it: Do you really want "quitting" to be an alternative to anything you do? Stop smoking. It's a choice. Stop working in a dead-end job. Stop drinking to excess. Stop whatever you want. But the whole mindset of "I quit" is just to messed up and should be condemned, not condoned.

Good luck with your training, Lou! Keep at it and if you haven't started a blog here on Aiki-web, do so and keep everyone posted on your progress! You'd be surprised how many people take interest.

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Old 01-06-2006, 09:46 AM   #9
John Boswell
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
With due respect to the idea of perserverance, etc. it is also important to know when to change...

The trick is knowing the difference between quitting because of fear or laziness and stopping because you've learned from your experience and have changed your mind for good reasons.

After writing the above, I remember that I'm the originator of the saying "Don't quit and don't die".

It isn't simple, this thing about making decisions, being responsible, and learning... then continuing to do it again in the next instant.

Gambatte!
Thank you, Sensei. I was trying to post something to this effect when you beat me to the punch. There is a difference and I tried to come back and make that a little more clear. I like your saying of "Don't quit and don't die." (I might borrow that from time to time. )

Thanks for bringing up this point.

Domo arigato.

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Old 01-06-2006, 10:16 AM   #10
UnholyFracas
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Smile Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Good luck with your training, Lou! Keep at it and if you haven't started a blog here on Aiki-web, do so and keep everyone posted on your progress! You'd be surprised how many people take interest.
Thank you! If there's one thing I've never had a problem committing myself to, it's blathering on in a diary or blog about how my life's going.

One of my new years resolutions is to "see things through". Too many times I have started with great enthusiasm only to let things drift when the going got tough or it wasn't as instantly exciting any more... Wandering around in a constant haze looking for that mythical greener grass intead of instead of living where I am (ooh getting very Buddhist now, sorry ).

That and trying to remember my Sensei's words about it (life in general and Aikido in particular) not being a competition.

See? Once the flood gates open it's waffle waffle waffle

We see things not as they are but as we are...

Katsumoto can rescue me anytime.
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:33 AM   #11
Hagen Seibert
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

I also found this article a good reading.
Though - unlike John - I don´t believe these people were starting with the intent of "just trying".

There was this were extreme, toilsome and obviosly intimidating exam atmosphere which made them lose their guts. Strange to read and hard to imagine. I´d never create an exam like that, exams as I know them are for checking technical skills. Seems like this teacher has a different idea.
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:35 AM   #12
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Don't quit and don't die.
I don't understand this point of view intellectually and I think it is unhelpful, but it sounds good and gives a nice warm and fuzzy feeling emotionally. Let me be cynical and dispute it.

The one thing everyone and everything does is die, and dying of course means that you quit everything, except for being dead. So, by vesting yourself in this statement, you are setting yourself up for failure in the long term, if not the short term.

Its like every time I see someone in Aikido class trying as hard as they can to get a certain technique to work. They WILL succeed at doing ikkyo, regardless of what sense it makes in the encounter, or whatever other options present themselves. That "I'll do it or die trying" attitude is unnecessary and probably unhelpful for their training, but often endearing because we see the echo of that futility in ourselves.

If I'm trying as hard as I can to do ikkyo (and refuse to quit), than how can I easily switch to kotegaeshi when it will actually work? If I'm trying as hard as I possibly can to fight off my attacker (and refuse to quit), than how can I switch to running away and calling the police? I should be trying to do things as hard as I think I need to in order to succeed, and quitting exactly when I reach that point. I think the trick in life is to know when to quit whatever you are doing, being it an encounter, a technique, or life itself.

They say to be the water, not the rock, and I think that's what they are talking about. Water doesn't try to do things, it just flows. As Yoda would advise..

If you expect perfection from yourself or others for more than an instant, you will be disappointed. That's what makes life beautiful - the moments of perfection in between death. The most I think that I at least can hope for is to create more of those moments of perfection, to learn to observe them in others, and do both more closely spaced together in time.

I suppose what I eventually need to realize is that all moments are perfect, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Enough philosophizing - what I am trying to say is that being attached to any idea and refusing to abandon it is dangerous. Quitting is very, very important.

Or maybe its just January, and I could use some more sunshine.
Rob
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:15 AM   #13
John Boswell
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
If I'm trying as hard as I can to do ikkyo (and refuse to quit), than how can I easily switch to kotegaeshi when it will actually work? If I'm trying as hard as I possibly can to fight off my attacker (and refuse to quit), than how can I switch to running away and calling the police? I should be trying to do things as hard as I think I need to in order to succeed, and quitting exactly when I reach that point. I think the trick in life is to know when to quit whatever you are doing, being it an encounter, a technique, or life itself.
Interesting point, Robert. Allow me, if I may, to define a couple things to better explain what I am for and against.

In any cycle of action, three things occur: Start, Change and Stop. You start the technique of Ikkyo, you execute the technique, you finish the technique and then you're done. When it comes to a fight, the fight begins (the actual physcial altercation of it), you execute techniques, movements, etc., and then you win, lose or draw with the fight and it's done.

To Quit, however? Let's look it up:
Quote:
Quit: to give up; to cease doing or attempting something especially as an admission of defeat
If you quit a fight, you're giving up and admiting defeat. On the street, this amounts to getting the snot beat out of you and, should you survive, you'll most likely be unconscious and probably have broken bones.

That's hardly a desirable conclusion, isn't it?

Now, the "Do it or die trying" is not what Clark Sensei said. He said," Don't quit and don't die." By not quiting, we're are seeing to it that we follow through on the cycle of action we have already begun. You go into a test, you better execute what is asked of you and finish the exam. Whether the exam was a proper one or not is a subject for another debate, though I'm with you on that point... that was a hairy test being talked about above. Regardless of that, finish it! You agreed to start it... so finish it!

I will not presume to know the mind of Clark Sensei. I can not explain as well as he what he meant by "Don't quit and don't die." However, what I took from that comment was this: do NOT give up on what you're doing and... don't die!

It is human nature to fight for survival. Even a person committing suicide struggles to pull the trigger or toss the pills down or what have you. It goes against everything being alive is all about: Living! To be thinking to yourself, during a fight or struggle, to "don't die" reminds you that your own life is in your hands and you better take steps to protect it. Sure, we all have to die some time. No biggie. And there's no getting around it. I don't think anyone here is saying you should. But to fight on and survive and make it through? That's a good enough goal, isn't it?

In Aikido, we work on our technique to the end of establishing Harmony again. If harmony is locking up an opponent in a standing gokyo pin and walking the guy over to the cops, so be it. If it means throwing one guy into his two other buddies and running off, that's fine too! You're not quiting when you run from a fight that is going to get you killed. You're stopping the fight by taking yourself out of the equation completely. There's no fight if your not there, is there? Does't make you a quitter, it makes you smart or wise or practical... not a quitter and not a loser.

Now, I do look forward to Clark Sensei coming back and touching on this thread again. I always enjoy his posts.

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Old 01-06-2006, 11:21 AM   #14
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Robert,

The quip, "Don't quit and don't die" was in answer to someone's question a few years ago. "What's the secret to making it over fifty years of training?" The only real truth I could give is, "don't quit", and then the facetious second part came out. The "truth" is always paradoxical... about anything. To make the journey last over fifty years, the only truth I could give is, "don't quit and don't die".

As stated in the earlier post, there's a difference, in my mind, between quitting and making a choice to stop or change. I agree one hundred percent that "being attached to any idea and refusing to abandon it is dangerous"; that very thing helps cause most of the problems we encounter as human beings. Being able to make responsible decisions, to be willing to risk, to be flexible, to change is what enables us to survive. Quitting, to me, is something entirely different. Saying, "I quit!" is different than telling your boss, "I'm giving notice (or no notice) that I'm resigning." In tactics, running away is very different than changing directions.

I suspect we're dancing around with semantics while saying something very similar.

Edit: I just saw John's reply. I agree with what he wrote. Well said, John.

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 01-06-2006 at 11:25 AM.

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Old 01-06-2006, 11:33 AM   #15
ajbarron
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Having read to original article, and the comments, it reminded me of a quote in an old friend of mine's training diary which was read at his funeral after he was killed in a cycling accident following being hit by a drunk driver. (He was preparing for the Olympics)

The quote he wrote was "Do not fear dying; fear not living"

This friend of mine lived every moment of his life. He never failed, because he loved everything he did, and did the things he loved, and therefore the enjoyment he received from the pursuit was victory in itself.

We all fail, especially if we push ourselves to the limit, because that is the only way we find out where that line is. The true test is if you are willing to try again when you have hit that wall or to make an honest decision that the test was not for you. (either at that time or perhaps never)

The only question is where each of us personally sets the bar to begin with, and what weight we place on that bar on our priority list with work, school, and family etc.

As a "mature" athlete (or so I like to consider myself being 50+) my bar has changed but the effort and honesty of effort is still there. (now a 10 min/mile pace feels the same as 6 or seven used to!!!!)

I don't know of one aikido test I have done where I was certain that I would pass but I still tested. But this is me, and I am not the other guy. One fellow I practice with, who is a couple of tests behind me, who should be at my level on the board, is not. He simply is not ready yet, and "readiness" is essential for any step in the learning process. But I blather on...........

"Don't quit and don't die".

Doesn't work for me. How about "Follow your passion, test your limits, and don't cheat yourself." (perhaps too long but you get the gist.)

Cheers

Andrew
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Old 01-06-2006, 01:10 PM   #16
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Andrew Barron wrote:
"Follow your passion, test your limits, and don't cheat yourself."
If I'd have thought of it in the moment some years ago, I'd have said, "Follow your passion, test your limits, don't cheat, don't quit, and don't die." This really works for me. If you don't mind, Andrew, I'll use a few of your words along with mine from now on.

Thanks,

Chuck Clark
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:03 PM   #17
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

I train at the Itten Dojo (where Mr. Wolfe, author of 'Fight, or Quit', is the dojocho).

We have another saying in our dojo with regard to our physical conditioning -- "Work to Failure", which doesn't mean that we should embrace failure -- or even consider it as a legitimate option, but that if you don't keep working to and beyond your limits, you're likely not maximizing your physical development.

Here's a simple example: one of the exercises we do involves a feet-slightly-wider than shoulders stance and bending on each side (keeping your back straight) as you attempt to sit your rear to the foot-heel of each side (while keeping both feet flat on the mat). We go all the way down on one side, back to neutral, then all the way down on the other side.

Rinse, then repeat.

This exercise comes towards the end of the conditioning set after several other exercises. Some people have blown through their first wind and are on their second. Others are pushing just to keep up with the group. Most everyone is sweaty and breathing heavily.

It should be noted that one of the things we emphasize is proper form because we're building the core strength and flexibility that will enable the students to appropriately move through the aiki practice with relaxed, precise and proper movement. A big point is made to beginners that the number of reps is of secondary concern, but proper form is primary.

Regardless, a number of folks (I've been in this boat myself) are so concerned with trying to match the rest of the class, rep for every rep, that the form of the exercise is lost. In the specific exercise I listed above, there are people that simply lean from one leg to the other, completely out of alignment, and not doing much of anything towards building the requisite body focus and mobility that will be required, for a basic example, when applying nikkyo as nage maintains the connection with uke as they drop straight down.

Where this "Work to Failure" axiom leads, in my opinion, is the acceptance of our built-in limitations as we constantly work towards improving our form, endurance, functional strength, body sensitivity, partner sensitivity (the latter two being more with regard to "What am/are I/they doing?" as opposed to "How am/are I/they doing?"), etc. Every person has a breaking point, this is acknowledged going in - part of what's trained is the ability to identify that point and begin to work through and expand it.

I think that "Fight, or Quit" involves acknowledging what's at stake, what your limits may be, but not allowing them to dissuade you from getting the job done. From my perspective, if you've spent time on the mat "Working to Failure", you'll be better equipped to work past it when important matters are on the line (and this applies to far more than just aikido).
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:26 PM   #18
John Boswell
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Thanks for chiming in, Budd. I see what your saying on your post and I do see the benefit to that way of training.

I will split a hair, however, and say that I think the negative connotation derived from "quit" and "failure" can leave an impint on a student that takes them down the wrong path.

It's all a matter of perspective. Had I been there and heard and seen the test committee, or participated in your training, I might have better understood what was being said. BUT...negative terminology does pay a price, example being the shodan candidate that walked away from his test twice. He was given TWO choices in his mind... and fearing the outcome of possible failure, that student chose the easier choice.

Again... I truly understand what your saying, but if it were me, I think I'd find another way to say it and avoid the negatives of "quit" and "failure." Just an opinion and nothing personal is meant or intended.

All the best!

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Old 01-06-2006, 02:28 PM   #19
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
With due respect to the idea of perserverance, etc. it is also important to know when to change...

The trick is knowing the difference between quitting because of fear or laziness and stopping because you've learned from your experience and have changed your mind for good reasons.
Gambatte!
What Chuck said!

I was playing basketball the other day during lunch. It was my 4th game and my sciatic nerve was giving me trouble.

One guy on my team said "don't quit" (because I was slowing down a little because of the pain).

I told him that 99% of the time when I got in trouble, it was because I didn't know when to quit.

A lot of people don't have anything to prove to themselves anymore, so the whole "don't give up" thing isn't really relevant to a lot of people who have already learned that lesson.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:36 PM   #20
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Thanks for chiming in, Budd. I see what your saying on your post and I do see the benefit to that way of training.

I will split a hair, however, and say that I think the negative connotation derived from "quit" and "failure" can leave an impint on a student that takes them down the wrong path.
I can split another and argue that it's just as good to make sure that the student is aware of the consequence of their actions, both immediate and over the long haul, on and off the mat.

As you said, it's all a matter of perspective.

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Again... I truly understand what your saying, but if it were me, I think I'd find another way to say it and avoid the negatives of "quit" and "failure." Just an opinion and nothing personal is meant or intended.

All the best!
No offense taken. I think that there's positives and negatives about most everything that's worth doing -- and I'm for being up front about it.

Have an excellent weekend.

Budd
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Old 01-06-2006, 03:51 PM   #21
Robert Wolfe
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Just to add a few points…

The sparring "war story" related in the Aikido Journal blog was one, discreet incident. My old karate instructor most certainly did not routinely stand on the sidelines coaching students by shouting, "Fight or quit!"

But even if he had, how would that have been different, exactly, from the "Do… or do not" quote supplied by Mr. Boswell? Seems to me both "Yoda" and my former teacher are saying the same thing. Neither one advocates merely "trying."

In the sparring incident, A.J. was effectively incapacitated. Had it been the street, he'd have been defeated, and rather than simply suffering a substantial headache consequent to the shot to the face, would likely have been thoroughly stomped when on the ground and perhaps killed.

Even within the context of contact sparring, Dave outweighed A.J. by almost 40 pounds of solid muscle; every time the gloves went on, we knew playing with Dave was a bad idea. But that's really no different from any instance of combat, simulated or real. As elaborated by Donn Draeger and others, there are only three possible outcomes when opponents engage: A is injured or killed and B survives; B is injured or killed and A survives; or both A and B are injured or killed. Meaning, two chances out of three, things are not going to turn out especially well. (This "bottom line" illuminates quite nicely the desirability of effecting O-Sensei's approach to conflict resolution, achieving, as it were, a fourth outcome.)

The dojo incidents related in the Aikido Journal blog are representative of a training atmosphere I'm glad I experienced, at least now that it's far in the past, but have no desire or intention to replicate for my students. Or certainly not to that degree. As Budd has related above, I do look for less extreme ways to discomfit students, to make it clear that something more than "merely trying" is expected.

By virtue of training in the same line of Shinto Muso-ryu Jo as a number of the Jiyushinkai seniors, I know from experience they exhibit -- hell, they radiate -- the same kind of do-or-die composure and determination seniors in the old karate dojo did. If Clark Sensei might address the question, I'd love to know what he considers the most important aspects of his training paradigm leading to that result.

Thanks!

Bob
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Old 01-06-2006, 04:49 PM   #22
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Hello Bob,

It's been awhile, eh? I think it all comes down to understanding the difference between quitting, or something that usually goes along with quitting... "dogging it" or not attempting to do your best at all times and the need for change. There is a legitimate time for change, sometimes a complete reversal of what you just did or said, for example. New info, knowledge gained from what just happened that changes the situation so drastically that you decide to change without even a nuance of quitting involved. Sometimes only the person that makes the decision knows whether they're really quitting or instead, stopping, changing tactics, reversing a decision that was made based on necessity.

That "do-or-die" composure and determination that you mention is part of good budo. It's also part of just about anything that one takes seriously whether it's music, ballet, business, etc. Nishioka Tsuneo Sensei, Menkyo Kaiden of the Shinto Muso Ryu told me that at all times in the dojo we should be in a mindset of "life and death" situation. Whether we're going slow and easy or hard and fast, it makes no difference. It's an attitude of awareness and intent. Each breath we take is one less and we shouldn't waste them on purpose. Qualities of spirit in our training that we strive for are: Kokoro no mizu, a spirit of water and Kokoro no sutemi, a spirit of being willing to risk and sacrifice. Having strong kiai that is filled with our intent to do our best is part of the mix. Quitting is not an option. Deciding to stop practicing budo is an option, quitting is not... Many people can't tell the difference.

Of course there's lots more that can be said about this sort of thing but talk isn't the thing. Experiencing the real stuff from people that have it over a substantial period of time is the thing.

By the way, Give Meik and/or Ellis a whack for me the next time you see them.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:26 PM   #23
Robert Wolfe
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Thank you, Sensei -- the reference to "kokoro no sutemi" is especially useful and timely. Just last evening, in relation to an entry Ellis taught us, I was trying to convey something very like that notion, but lacked a concise way to phrase it. In this instance, uke takes a pretty good jolt to the ribs in consequence of his attack, but nonetheless has to strike with proper spirit and intent for the entry to have the desired effect. I was trying to say that, without uke's willingness to take the shot, his or her partner can't really practice.

As it happens, we'll see Ellis next in two weekends, and Meik early next month. We'll do our level best to comply with your request!

Thanks again.

-- Bob
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:51 AM   #24
John Boswell
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread. Though there might have been a difference in understanding in things being said or taught, etc., I feel that this subject matter is of significant importance... worthy of the time we have all put in here.

To me, this is a subject matter worthy of time and contemplation by everyone involved in Budo: students and teachers alike. I, myself, have taken a lot from everything said here and feel I've learned alot.

For that and many other reasons, I just wanted to say "Thank you."

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Old 01-08-2006, 01:17 PM   #25
ElizabethCastor
 
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Re: Fight or Quit: there is no choice

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
The quip, "Don't quit and don't die" was in answer to someone's question a few years ago. "What's the secret to making it over fifty years of training?" The only real truth I could give is, "don't quit", and then the facetious second part came out. The "truth" is always paradoxical... about anything. To make the journey last over fifty years, the only truth I could give is, "don't quit and don't die".

Huh...
Its amazing what a little context will do to perceptions! When I first read that "don't quit and don't die" remark I was a little baffled. I think it was a signature Chuck Clark Sensei had for a while.
I decided to chew on the thought and puzzled out my own meaning: "you don't quit, but that doesn't mean that you pursue a bad choice to your own detriment and loss." Kind of like that ikkyo example:
Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
If I'm trying as hard as I can to do ikkyo (and refuse to quit), than how can I easily switch to kotegaeshi when it will actually work?
(I'm not gonna keep applying the ikkyo if its leaving me open for a counter-attack... I'm going to flow/change direction/continue into the applicable and effective kotegaeshi so that I can save my sorry butt. )

Anyway thanks for the food for thought!
Elizabeth

PS) I did make a mini-poster for my classroom to remind me and my students of our choice.
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