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I find that everything in my life spirals and returns to things. At the risk of sounding like a samurai wannabe, my life is spiraling back to Bushido.
I know all the arguments surrounding Bushido; I won't get in those except to say that I've read everything in English on the subject that I can get my paws on. I am aware of them.
O-Sensei said :"Even though our path is completely different from the warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to totally abandon the old ways, absorb venerable traditions into this new art by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms."
I suppose I was 13 or 14 when I started getting into Bushido, or reading about it should I say. Seems like a billion years ago and a totally different world.
For various reasons I certainly felt like I was living in death; there was something about Bushido shoshinbu and hagakure, the immediacy that mirrored my psychology. The bushi knew they were probably going to get killed soon, how they lived was important how they faced death was important. It translated into my life at the time. When you know you're going to get the shit kicked out of you, how you face getting the shit kicked out of you becomes important and the bits in between you learn to make the most of.
It was the only place that said that a conflict you're inevitably going to loose still has value, it could even be beautiful. You could actually win on a certain level despite physically loosing.
When I read the last statement of Torri Mototada where he says that he will hold the castle without even a hundreth of the men he needs to do it, defend it well and die a resplendent death...
I wanted that spirit. Somehow you couldn't say he was being defeated. He knew what he was doing and why and how it would end and he was at peace with that. I wanted that peace with my situation.
In Hagakure it says: "If it were not for men who demonstrate valor on the tatami, one could not find them on the battlefield either."
So I took to demonstrating valour on the tatami and it turned out that way on the battlefield too.
Now I'm somewhere else. Now it's about figuring out how to win rather than how to face up to inevitable defeat but the same lessons hold true; the same spirit is needed.