Likes Likes:  0
Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast
Results 76 to 90 of 128

Thread: Meik's comments on solo waza training from Jo Forum

  1. #76
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Texas
    Posts
    1,991
    Likes (received)
    122

    Talking It all depends upon what you're after ...

    If you believe that practicing a martial art will make you a better person, you would naturally expect more from a senior practitioner.
    Ah, you're one of those "attaining zen through martial arts" folks! Years of martial arts training will grant you wisdom and grace eh? If you are practicing hard for many years with that in mind, then I suppose it is possible to attain that. I know that several koryu schools as well as most kendo stresses that.

    My school is NOT one of those, nor do I practice kendo. It is my firm belief that there are benefits to long term practice of the sword arts. Automatically becoming Tesshu is not one of those. Martial artists, even long term practitioners, are merely people. They have exactly the same problems as any other group of people. They just have a different knowledge set than the norm.

    I have met a couple of long time practitioners that would qualify as much better people than I, but that's because they conciously pursued that as part of their training. I know many more that are just regular guys with lots of knowledge of esoteric arts. Beware trying to paint other arts with your art's brush!

    And finally (about time eh!) I never mentioned anything about "pretending". What I said was, if it offends you just go away! Don't bother to whine about it.

    Cheers,
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Pigeon-Holing...

    Originally posted by pgsmith
    Ah, you're one of those "attaining zen through martial arts" folks!
    I don't think my interest in the martial arts can be so easily categorized.

    I practice Kendo and Iaido because "IT MAKES ME HAPPY".

    I happen to enjoy "side-benefits" from the practice, but that's not why I do it.

    Also, as I am Christian which you should have figured out by my avatar icon "Maru Ni Jyu No Ji", I am NOT interested in attaining zen.

    Originally posted by pgsmith
    It is my firm belief that there are benefits to long term practice of the sword arts. Automatically becoming Tesshu is not one of those.
    Nor am I interesting in visiting prostitutes to further my training, if I remember correctly from reading stories of Tesshu.

    Originally posted by pgsmith
    My school is NOT one of those, nor do I practice kendo.
    No offense, but that one wasn't hard to figure out either

    Originally posted by pgsmith
    Martial artists, even long term practitioners, are merely people. They have exactly the same problems as any other group of people. They just have a different knowledge set than the norm.
    A couple of inconsistencies in your arguement.

    1. Yes...and since even SENIOR practitioners are MEARLY people, why should they get MORE slack than beginners who are also MEARLY people? If they are MEARLY people, they should be treated like people.

    2. As people become more SEASONED be it in work or social situations, you'd think they LEARN something would they not?

    Originally posted by pgsmith
    I know many more that are just regular guys with lots of knowledge of esoteric arts. Beware trying to paint other arts with your art's brush!
    I am under the impression that it is EVEN MORE PREVALENT in the koryu practice that you are ENGRAINED with the philosophy/logic/structure of the tradition, not just physical technique.

    What does a high-level senior's social display imply about the personalities of the style he practices?

    Like it or not, certain types of arts attract certain type of people.

    Originally posted by pgsmith
    And finally (about time eh!) I never mentioned anything about "pretending". What I said was, if it offends you just go away! Don't bother to whine about it.
    That, I agree with
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,654
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Perhaps I mischaracterized Charles when I paraphrased what he said.

    The original question is, "Hey, is it right for people to make these comments?"

    To which I still respond, "Sure, screw 'em."

    But Charles raises good points and I respect how passionate he is about this.

    DCPan,

    Love the new avatar and sig quote. Thou hast slain the jabberwock. I chortle in my joy.

    Yours in Christ,

    Chas.
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular. Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.

  4. #79
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Texas
    Posts
    1,991
    Likes (received)
    122

    Talking Whoosh ...

    (sound of ideas flying past overhead)

    David wrote ...
    1. Yes...and since even SENIOR practitioners are MEARLY people, why should they get MORE slack than beginners who are also MEARLY people? If they are MEARLY people, they should be treated like people.
    As I said in my earlier post, they are merely people with lots of knowledge in which I am interested! If they were just people with no particular knowledge set that I was interested in obtaining (like a lot of the folks that post here!) then I would either argue with them or ignore them. Since they do have a lot more knowledge than most, I tend to try and figure out what it is they are saying rather than worry about how they say it.

    Beginners rarely say anything worth listening to, although they tend to say alot. I suppose they are good for companionship or general opinions, but if I wanted those I would just ask some of my friends and associates.
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

  5. #80
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Posts
    2,570
    Likes (received)
    44

    Default

    So ya'll don't mind learning from people like Meik Skoss, but some of you would like to talk back to him because you don't appreciate his "style"? If you can learn from him, and talk back when you ever you feel slighted (even indirectly), that that makes you both even?

    Doesn't his contribution and sacrifices to the arts, which far exceed the vast majority of MOST martial artists currently active, go for anything?

    David seemed to say that he planned on learning things from him regardless of whether he was respectful to him or not. Kind of an "thanks for the free info, but you're still an A-hole" kind of attitude (correct me if I read this wrong).

    If you learn something of value from someone, don't you feel at least a little grateful, thankful, or indebted? If you read something of interest in Meik's AJ articles, from the Koryu Books publications, from private or public contributions, from the koryu.com webpage, or from his students and colleagues that he has influenced, there is a little something called "giri". BTW, who here hasn't benefited from at least one of the above sources?

    You don't HAVE to respect everyone, but in examples such as this, is it not appropriate to show courtesy publicly?

    I think that this subject is more relevant to the context of this forum. Meaning that this isn't just an "internet" forum, it is a forum for budo. There is an implied learning, giving/taking atmosphere here, and many people (including myself) tend to go into budo mode. I don't know what kind of dojo atmospheres all of you come from, but even if you were in a university class, the professor does not have any obligation to elevate you to the level of that of one of his colleagues or peers. Yeah, we are not in a dojo, and for most of us, members like Meik are not our (direct) teachers, but even if you were to email a professor with an information request, you would have to accept their assistance in whatever fashion they chose to extend it - without complaining publicly about it after you've benefited.

    How important is the information to you? As I stated before, if someone like Meik makes an unsolicited observation, and you, as a relative junior in the arts, don't agree, how 'bout ignoring it and/or keeping your dissatisfaction to yourself or within your own peer group. The etiquette a teacher uses towards juniors is different than the etiquette a student is expected to extend towards their seniors. But juniors often don't get this.

    **

    BTW, if one of my students was on the internet complaining about a very senior level budo-ka on the net - whether I respected the other budo-ka or not - I would ream the A out of them - and a public apology would be forthcoming.

    Just some more things to think about - feel free to disregard it,
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 9th October 2003 at 19:49.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Ahh. I understand now. Paul wants the knowledge bad enough to put up with the BS in order to get it.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  7. #82
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Posts
    2,570
    Likes (received)
    44

    Default

    Yes, that's right. And he also has the manners to keep any personal criticisms about the delivery of the information to himself.

    I just realized where we might be running into confusion, so let me propose this as well if I may:

    Hypothetically, if you met someone like Meik Skoss at a cocktail party, and he introduced himself and said "Hi, my names Meik - I think Iaido sucks", you would be in the right to call him on it and be offended. Reason being that he is just some guy you met with what you consider to be a rude opinion. What's different among all of us is that we all know each other, and to a large degree, have a sense for the various levels of initiation in the arts. At the very least, we all have an idea of the depth of budo-ka like Mr. Skoss' background. Knowing the experience and background of such a contributor, and then criticizing them publicly is where I see the problem.

    Hell, even if you don't know or can't sense the experience level of another person, it is good common sense to keep your comments to youself until you do. Saves you from foot-in-mouth syndrome.

    Hopefully that came out right.

    Regards,
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 9th October 2003 at 20:00.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Nathan. Just to pose a hypothetical, and I'll couch in it university language since that's where the comparisons have been. Say you have a professor who is an nationally renowned expert in say... organic chemistry which superficially bears a few things in common with say... nuclear physics. Let's also say you have a student of nuclear physics who knows a fair deal about the subject, but is far from an expert in the field. (For those not in the know chemistry bears a fair amount in common with atmoic physics, but they aren't the same field of study.)

    Now that the stage is set, let's say our organic chemistry expert uses his basic background in chemistry, which involves a fair amount of general physics knowledge, to criticize the direction in which nuclear physics research at the university was headed as part of a public seminar. Let's say he did so in a very offensive manner which questioned the sanity of the faculty and staff of the physics departemnt.

    Is the student allowed to post an oped piece in the school newspaper a few days later calling for more tolerance between university professors of different departements and denouncing the use of the patently offensive language?

    Isn't it a little ironic that the nuclear physiscs student, who advocated more tolerance between the student body and faculty, and indeed within the faculty, is accused of the same intolerance and offensiveness which he is trying to help to change in others?

    What does it say about the student body and faculty that many chemistry students from various fields, and even a handful of physics students from other specialties, attack the nuclear physics student who has attempted nothing more than to advocate a little tolerance between the departments?
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    I do not know Mr. Skoss, except by reputation. I have no sense of indebtedness to him whatsoever. I admire his dedication to his art and the work he has done to spread real honest-to-goodness information about Koryu in the west.

    I didn't bring this up to be rude to him or anyone else. I brought this topic up because this attitude is toxic to the community. The attitude that those with sufficient fame and experience, can get away with anything they choose, even when it is clearly offensive, is not conducive to public discourse. I think this attitude on, not only the part of Mr. Skoss, but others in this community is downright toxic to public discourse. I have decided to bring the topic up knowing full well I was gonna get roasted for it, because I think it's important enough that someone bring it up.

    To my mind if the community does not work through this issue, then it has no business being a community. It certainly has no place for students. Except those willing to put up with personal attacks in order to pickup whatever tiny spec of value can be gleaned.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    St. George, Utah
    Posts
    134
    Likes (received)
    2

    Post Food for Thought

    Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. -Marcus
    Aurelius, philosopher and writer (121-180)

    Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big,
    worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's
    the grain of sand in your shoe. -Robert Service, writer (1874-1958)

    Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. -Eleanor
    Roosevelt, diplomat, author, and lecturer (1884-1962)

    Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish
    their lack of understanding. -Ambrose Bierce, writer (1842-1914)
    Britt Nichols
    Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo USA Shibu

    AiTe wa Baka Ja Nai

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    There is a fundamental flaw in a lot of the comments here. Apparently there is an assumption that I am drowning in a sea of self pity and despair that the mighty Mike Skoss has thrust upon me. Oh the humanity.

    Is it so hard to believe that perhaps I mean EXACTLY what I say? Is it not possible that I am concerned for the health of the community in general? And don't say the community is not in some amount of difficulty. Look around. How many senior level instructors have we lost in the last couple of years? Many of which commented on the general lack of mutual respect within the community. I believe it was precisely this attitude within the community which prompted the recent article on koryu snobbery.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  12. #87
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Outside of Phila.
    Posts
    1,494
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Hi Charles (I hope you don't mind me using your first name),

    I can see a symptom of what you refer to going on at the Aikido Journal site. Two posters in particular (who should know way better) have been down right abusive and obnoxious of late. More so than usual. They seem to justify their behavior in some rather strange ways. It is interesting that I see their behavior as being very different from Meik's.

    If you look at the thread on 'changing aikido to a western martial art', I believe you will figure out what I'm refering to. These posters actually attack other posters by name, insult them, accuse them of being 'afraid', etc.

    When I read Meik's post in the thread you referenced, I laughed. I didn't see a personal attack, I saw an opinion based in many years of experience, couched in a rather funny way. Sure, I suppose you could say he was a little gruff...but then, what's so wrong with that? Meik spoke about the arts...not the people. It wasn't personal. I simply don't think what he said qualifies as what you are speaking of. That said, when I do see what I think you are refering to, it makes me sad, angry and a little tired.

    Good luck in your quest, but I think in this instance, you are tilting at a windmill...

    Ron

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Not quite!

    Originally posted by Nathan Scott
    David seemed to say that he planned on learning things from him regardless of whether he was respectful to him or not. Kind of an "thanks for the free info, but you're still an A-hole" kind of attitude (correct me if I read this wrong).
    Now, don't take my words out of context.

    I knew it was a bad idea to discuss something in general when a specific person was involved...esp someone who is very respected. I, however, find it amusing that most people don't really GET what Charles is saying.

    If you check back to the thread with Mr. Lowry earlier in the Koryu said, I did not mentioned Mr. Skoss specifically in my example re: someone who disparaged the way Kendo folks practice Kendo Kata and that somehow, he can do it better.

    It was someone else who ID'd Mr. Skoss as the non-specific someone that I was referring to.

    As for my other comments. What I was trying to say is that my "negative" opinion of someone will not keep me from gaining something from the encounter, but given the choice, I'd rather learn from someone I respect "AS A PERSON" first. Now, please don't read into as Mr. Skoss being someone that I don't respect. I was trying to make a point in general, not specifically regarding Mr. Skoss: MUCH LIKE Mr. Mahan was pointing out an issue of public discourse using Mr. Skoss as an example, but wind up being REAMED for making any sort of comment about Mr. Skoss.

    Respect isn't total submission. Nor do I recall calling Mr. Skoss an A-hole publically though knowing my big mouth, I probably have done it at some point in time on the iaido-l.

    I also mentioned in several posts earlier that I do have a lot of respect for Mr. Skoss, though I never had the fortune of meeting the man or seeing him in action.

    Originally posted by Nathan Scott
    Doesn't his contribution and sacrifices to the arts, which far exceed the vast majority of MOST martial artists currently active, go for anything?
    That, ironically, is EXACTLY the point. When you consider the weight of knowledge that he represents, I shrudder to imagine all the things that he has said in passing taken out of context by some rec.ma nut.

    Originally posted by Nathan Scott
    If you learn something of value from someone, don't you feel at least a little grateful, thankful, or indebted?
    Again, grateful doesn't mean I have to say even his farts smells heavenly fragrant.

    If Mr. Skoss is straight-forth enough to tell it like it is, I don't think any juniors expressing their honest opinion is going to graze him in any way anytime soon.

    Who knows...he may even be enjoying this thread.

    Originally posted by Nathan Scott
    but even if you were to email a professor with an information request, you would have to accept their assistance in whatever fashion they chose to extend it - without complaining publicly about it after you've benefited.
    That's the kind of attitude that leads to sexual harassment on the campuses (*focusing on the words "whatever fashion*).

    Professors can and do get in trouble for teaching class in a crass, chauvinistic, or racist way.

    Professors and sokes and menkyo kaidens are people too. It's funny how many people are helping them think that they are somehow something MORE.

    Originally posted by Nathan Scott
    **BTW, if one of my students was on the internet complaining about a very senior level budo-ka on the net - whether I respected the other budo-ka or not - I would ream the A out of them - and a public apology would be forthcoming.
    Don't get me wrong Nathan. I value your opinion a lot.

    However, in this case, DOUBLE STANDARD IS DOUBLE STANDARD.

    If my shihan/hanshi/sensei sprout ignoramous comments disparaging about another's style in a very public way and feels no remorse for it after he has had time to think about what he did, I would not hesitate to pack my bags to train elsewhere.

    Have people forgotten what the words shi-HAN mean? How do you respond when students respond with, "Well, that's why my sensei says/tells me/etc. ???"

    I will NOT take part in any form or culture or tradition that supports having a double standard for the "old boy's club".
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Given Mr. Skoss's reputation for being gruff you could be right. It's entirely possible that he didn't mean to insult all iaido practitioners. That's one of the reasons I broadened the topic, or at least tried to, to the attitude in general. Whether he intended to be offensive or not is not necessarilly the issue. The comments were, and are offensive and couched in language that is only slightly shy of being just plain vulgar.

    The point of the thread was to have the community discuss whether or not these kinds of comments are generally acceptable behaviour. I clearly feel they are not. Others see no problem. Many I think found the comments to be offensive in nature, but not enough to warrant public comment. The thread was hijacked for awhile to discuss the validity of what Mr. Skoss was trying to convey with his comments, but has miraculously been mostly on topic. Well mostly anyway.

    An interesting development in this thread, which is also somewhat distrubing is the notion that it's ok, because he's a famous and experienced budoka, so he should be cut a lot of slack. I doubt he expects to be held to a different standard of acceptable behaviour than the rest of us.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    82
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Charles Mahan:

    I did not read the topic to which you provided the link, but according to your description it concerns the question whether or not "training in MJER, MSR, and Iai in general" would benefit someone who wishes to improve their skill in jodo. Right?

    Now, in response to this question Meik Skoss wrote "I will try to be polite... [it is] not so helpful. Partners are necessary for a reasonable practice." And then Skoss concluded his post with the words: "Hope this helps."

    O.k., so we have someone who is a very experienced practitioner of jodo giving advice to other people who wish to know how to better their skills in jodo. His advice is that "training in MJER, MSR, and Iai in general" will not be helpful to jodo. Based on his next statement, the logic behind his advice seems to be that jodo requires skill in paired workouts, which iai does not teach. Since iai does not teach the skills required for jodo, it will not be helpful for improving one's jodo. If that is his logic, then it seems perfectly reasonable to me. He does not say anything insulting or disparaging about iai, although his aside ("I will try to be polite") could be interpreted as implying that in private, or in a face-to-face conversation, he might very well have done so. Clearly his goal is not to insult or disparage, but to help people who might benefit from his experience and knowledge. Hence, his closing: "Hope this helps."

    What are you complaining about? If we are not supposed to share advice on what is or is not helpful, then what is the purpose of a public forum like e-Budo.com?

    If you disagree with what Skoss said, then argue that iai is helpful for learning jodo. Or, argue that partners are not necessary for a reasonable practice. Or, argue that partners result in unreasonable practice. Etc. Those are issues about which (apparently) reasonable people can disagree.

    It is totally unreasonable, though, to insist that no one should be allowed to comment on the relative merits of different training methods because such comments could be interpreted as disparaging techniques that other people might enjoy doing. Forums like e-Budo.com exist precisely so that people can share information and can debate the merits of their options. People who enjoy doing something can explain why they find it enjoyable or helpful. People who do not enjoy it, or who do not do it, can say nothing, or they can say that they find it unenjoyable or unhelpful. They can, if they wish, even say why they find it unenjoyable or unhelpful.

    What is wrong with that?

    By the way, in regard to training methods for iai, note that Kashima-Shinryu battojutsu is performed with paired partners, using nihonto, while moving well inside cutting range of each other. Usually the cut stops with the blade touching the opponent's keikogi. It can be, and it is, done. Obviously, it requires great skill. When both partners perform at full speed it is truly a sight to behold. People watching from the sidelines instinctively hold their breath in apprehension. It is not, however, a method of practice that is suitable for large numbers of people. The years of one-on-one, face-to-face training required for this kind of practice renders it impractical for casual acquisition.

    I hope this helps.
    William Bodiford
    Professor
    Dept. of Asian Languages & Cultures
    UCLA

Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •