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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2001 5:04 am 
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On one forum, a salvo was fired.

I do not want to take “sides” but I have to agree that if the poster only used the title of the thread, by itself with no other supporting words, it would have been sufficient to cause a perceptional misunderstanding.

Here is one perception of the title:
Words in print, by themselves with no tone or pitch, are taken literally or can be taken as a hidden meaning.
Literally: The title may imply that the following discussion would be of godly nature, and that all the comments in the thread were to be of divine association. Of course that was not what the poster intended.

The “Holy Grail” is associated with futility. Folklore has told of many different stories about the quest for this imaginable item. When I first saw the title, I immediately knew what the poster was referring to and I knew the ramification it would cause. Clearly, I saw that a confrontation was going to occur. I am extremely disappointed that one of Uechi-ryu’s best has violated the first law of verbal self defense:
Think about the consequences of provocative phrases before you say (in this case print) them.

My opinions of what happened:
The poster was trying to bring up some questions that may have been bothering many of us in the course of our Uechi-ryu training. The poster could have asked these questions using a different title that was not going to be perceived by anyone as offensive.

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So where does that leave the style? I've heard of folks speak of "The death of the ryu." Is it dead, or more alive than ever? What is it that people are trying to preserve, anyway? Is it the way we do a technique or kata, or the way we approach it? Is it the preservation of the style or the preservation of the substance? Is it the work of art or the artist? Is it the matter or the mindset?


I can answer some of these questions. They are my opinions and my perspective about what I want.

So where does that leave the style? It is flourishing in an ever changing and evolutional path toward excellence.

Is it dead, or more alive than ever? More Uechi-ryu practitioners are willing to question the training methods that we seniors have taken for granted over the course of our training. I assume that means that it more alive than ever

What is it that people are trying to preserve, anyway? Is it the way we do a technique or kata, or the way we approach it? I would like to preserve the original methods of training but only if it makes sense and works. Evolution, just for the sake of it, is not achieving excellence. If a particular training method is performed only because it is “traditional” and has no merit, than it should evolve. . I do not perform my wauke as I did when I first learned it in 1980. Kanei Uechi made a correction during the first summer camp that he attended after observing the way we performed the technique. I thought that maybe it was my sensei’s perspective of the movement that was wrong, but then many of the other dojo’s students were doing it similar to us. Is this evolution or misunderstanding?

Scott D said something similar to this: The Model T engine worked fine and served its purposed for its period, but would you want that engine in your car today?

Another question that was raised: <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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Can you or anyone else give me the sources that document how Kanbun breathed in his kata? I'm sincerely interested.

I do not mind changing training methods if it is proven that the traditional methods were not the correct way to perform them. Many more questions come to my mind about this method of training that I want to change. Back in the days when Kanbun first learned from Zhou Ze He, did they have the modern medical devices for measuring lung capacity and valsalva? How did they know that breathing out during a strike would diminish valsalva? Did Kanei have input from the most modern medical experts of his era as to the efficiency of the breathing that he wanted to teach?
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Are there breathing methods that you or others think damage the body (other than a Valsalva while lifting heavy objects)?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Knowing what we know about valsalva and stroke, which is, it not only occurs while lifting a heavy object. It can happen while coughing, or during a strenuous horizontal movement, or sudden jerk of the neck when stressed. If we understand that this can occur while practicing our current way of breathing while training, why do we continue to do it that way?

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Am I trying to be disagreeable, Len? No. I think you know me better. Am I trying to defend a particular method? No, but I do see others developing an attitude that their way is a better way. I could agree that it is a good way, but I stop short of endorsing the practice of criticizing other possibly useful methods when the reasons for the preferences may be body type, technique preference, or lack of understanding of other methods.

Any way that is the “correct way” is the “better way” as far as I am concerned.
I would like to eliminate the “possibly useful” method if it might be “possibly dangerous” to my health.


Getting back to the title of my thread, here are my thoughts on this matter:
I feel that the poster did no irreparable harm because we can learn something about communication in these forums. I am not without faults. I learned to take a few days to think before posting this thread. I replied on his thread in a non condescending manner about the issue I was concerned with, instead of bringing up the issue that I addressed in this thread.

I have learned a little bit more about forum discussions, and I believe we all can learn to be more selective in our thoughts before we put them in print.


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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 2:09 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Len

There's one more useful piece of information to add here - you can't edit the title of a thread. There were many times I wish our software had that ability.

Actually I have used the "holy grail" term on several occasions in the past.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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grail also Grail ...n 1. The cup or chalice in medieval legend used by Christ at The Last Supper and subsequently the object of many chivalrous quests. 2. The object of a prolonged endeavor.


In the several times I used the term, the context caused no angst and the metaphor was helpful. My familiarity with the metaphor and the concept stems from my education of Western European History as well as from several novels I read as a child. In most of the novels, it wasn't the actual goal that became the icon, it was the journey that made the man or men. One sees that there are many ways to succeed in life, in spite of the lack of clarity of vision. Most of us, after all, only have 20/20 hindsight.

There are a number of reasons why things did not go well in this context. When the dust settles, we will be able to understand things better.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 3:02 pm 
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Location: Brockton, MA, USA
Bill:

Thanks for the information about editing the Title of a thread.

The only way I know is to copy all the posts delete the thread and then paste them all into a knew thread.

The fact that you wish to change the title is comforting.

However, once an arrow has left the bow you cannot recall it.

We must look to other avenues to mend this sticky mess. I beleive you are not vindictive and really meant no irepairable harm.

Your printing of the dictionary meaning of the grail cannot be disputed. I will stand corrected by my association of the "holy grail" with futility. It is the "quest" for the cup that is associated with futility and not the cup itself.

Please feel free to post any commments about anything on my forum. You need no permission from me to participate with your views.





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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 3:10 pm 
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Posts: 875
Actually - moderators CAN change/edit the title of a thread. We've had the capability from a few upgrades back. Go to the same screen on the UBB control panel that you have used to edit/prune posts and you will see the option there. I'm sure Scott can help with technical details on the computer forum.

Many's the time I've gone back and edited a post - and a thread title. For longer posts, I'll often leave it in a drafts folder and sleep on it before posting - too many times the re-read contains things that can be taken too many ways.

And words, as I have maintained since the inception of these forums, are imprecise - and colored by our individual filters of experience and perspective and perception. It is a difficult skill indeed to write in a carefully neutral manner. Even then, sticking to facts, the person reading will hone in on what is pertinent to them. It is part of the "human condition" and none of us are immune. The only answer I've seen is repeated attempts to adjust, clarify, question and explain when the waters get murky. Fortunately we have had a number of exchanges on these forums where that has happened with positive outcome. It is the negative ones that are a detriment to this site, to our style, and to the martial arts as a whole.

Certainly we don't want to turn these pages into a place where only those highly skilled in discourse can air their views - these pages are open to all - and we learn much from the questions and posts of beginning students, those of other styles, younger people and those whose English skills may not be at the level of a college or even high school graduate.

Perhaps if we went back to that first rule of the dojo as I learned it - courtesy - even questions about teachings and concepts that strike us differently, and resulting implied insults can be asked and answered with civility, and lead to more positive conclusions.


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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 4:12 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Len and Lori

Thanks for your thoughts.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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The only answer I've seen is repeated attempts to adjust, clarify, question and explain when the waters get murky.
Perhaps the following will be helpful. If one were to go to altavista.com and type in the following in the search engine <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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"king arthur" + "holy grail"
, one would find over 400 references. Included among the references are even words like...roundtable. Yes...this has always been a dominant metaphor of my forum.

Years back when there became more than one (I believe Ron Klein had the second forum), Tony and George asked that I come up with a name for my forum. Why did I choose the label "roundtable"? For a number of reasons. First of all, my dojos have a unique tradition of starting and ending classes in a circle. That is a vestage of both my academic training at Phillips Exeter (the Harkness table) and the influence of my second Uechi instructor (David Finkelstein in New York). The concept of the circle is to put more responsibility on the individual in the learning environment. It also artfully bypasses the baggage that born again Christians bring to the dojo with literal interpretations of bowing before false idols.

But it was more than that. As you read of the many references at Alta Vista, you see the volumes spent on the concept of chivalry, the quest, triumphs and failures, Celtic culture (Glasheen is the anglicized version of O'Glasin - son of green eyes) and more. Needless to say, the "roundtable" title was an easy fit for me.

As for "owning" or "having" the holy grail, well...the journey would be ended if that were the case. We would never have learned of the character (and flaws) of men who set about on a quest, living by a code. We would never have a medium to understand European concepts of respect, communication, duty and honor.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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Please feel free to post any commments about anything on my forum. You need no permission from me to participate with your views.
I am grateful. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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Certainly we don't want to turn these pages into a place where only those highly skilled in discourse can air their views - these pages are open to all - and we learn much from the questions and posts of beginning students, those of other styles, younger people and those whose English skills may not be at the level of a college or even high school graduate.
Amen, Lori. And we also learn from the mistakes of others. I guess that makes me a good teacher. Image

One of the things I admire most about some in the martial arts is that they are willing to put themselves out on a limb and willing to risk failure. Champions like Gary come to mind. We should all aspire to that kind of courage, and encourage all to take risks on their own journeys.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 7:23 pm 
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http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0713724285.01.LZZZZZZZ.gif


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 Post subject: Verbal Salvos
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2001 12:57 pm 
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Location: Brockton, MA, USA
Good post Lori

Thanks for your participation.

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Len Testa


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