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Okay, so I know that this launches me fully into Nerd territory, really I was already there now I'm fully out of the closet.
I saw Return of the King a couple days ago. I've read the books, but it just hits me more when I get to see it.
What I love about Lord of the Rings: Yes, yes, neat costuming special effects, and lots of action scenes, but the movie is about friends and strangers coming together and doing what must be done against all odds. The bickering and foolish mistakes are overcome for the cause. The first to fall from grace (Boromir) is forgiven and his body ceremoniously given an honorable farewell. Over and over and over Pippin screws up and receives great objurgation from Gandalf, and over and over again Pippin perseveres. He remains with the group with the honest intent to help, even if not appreciated.
Then there is Sam and Frodo. Though Sam is rough and quick to jump to conclusion, Frodo has great love (-sigh-platonic) for him. As the story goes on, Sam sees Frodo turn farther and farther from him and still he remains his friend until a moment of rejection causes a moment of retreat only to turn and find his good friend again.
Lastly, and very well illustrated in the most recent movie, there is a time of seemingly eminent destruction. All members are faced with rediculous opposition and yet they keep going with what they believe in. Sam believes Fordo will destroy the ring; Frodo redeemed only by Golum. The rest of the group believing that Frodo and Sam must still be alive goes to the very gates with assured defeat in their minds. Watching them stand their ground as they are slowly surrounded by vastly greater numbers and still determined to have it out was awesome.
How is this complimentary to Aikido
LOTR: Love and forgive
Step up for what must be done to make a change.
Try your hardest even when others might think you are a bumbling idiot.
Fight the good fight even when the odds say you could fail.
Fudo Shin -The mind which can accomodate itself to changing circumstances without compromise of ethical principles.
"The Art of Peace is based on Four Great Virtues: Bravery, Wisdom, Love, and Friendship, symbolized by Fire, Heaven, Earth, and Water."
"The penetrating brilliance of swords
Wielded by followers of the Way
Strikes at the evil enemy
Lurking deep within
Their own souls and bodies"
"The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor."
"Free of weakness,
The sharp attacks
Of your enemies:
Step in and act!"
"Your spirit is the true shield."
These two influences (aikido and LOTR) to me compliment what I hold important. There are times when I feel saddened, and do not see such values manifest in the world at large. Thankfully, many of the aikidoka I practice with also hold these values. So I am reminded and reinspired.