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osaya's aiki-musings Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 10-26-2009 05:06 PM
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 18
Comments: 29
Views: 68,588

In General the aikido dichotomy Entry Tools Rating: 4 Stars!
  #16 New 08-12-2012 06:56 AM
every time i think i've moved on the classic debate about whether aikido is primarily a martial art or a spiritual/philosophical pursuit, something happens, and i feel myself getting dragged back into it. more often than not, i meet someone who feels particularly strongly about it being one or the other, and the arguments appear to make sense, then i start doubting my original conclusion. yet, given some time and more contemplation, i then find a comfortable philosophical spot to sit in, and my 心 is calm again for a while.

i wonder whether this is an eternal to-and-fro, like the change in tides; or do i simply need more time to cement my opinion? well, as i was just typing those thoughts here, whilst unsettling at times, i actually prefer the former than the latter, as the latter would imply that i am no longer receptive to what is, but simply what i have chosen to believe.

but anyways, before i digress even further, my most recent internal contention has been about whether it is more important for aikido to be perceived and practiced as a bona fide martial art - or just as a means to end, a spiritual transcendence of sorts.

i reckon i would like to have my feet on the ground, whilst having my head (and/or spirit?) in the heavens above. yes - i want to have my cake and eat it too, and i think that it is very possible. in fact, i wonder whether that both are essential for a true, well-rounded and competent aikidoka. as people grow and evolve, their needs and focus may change, but that does not negate the importance of each of these elements. an idealistic aikidoka with a poor martial foundation, will end just doing aiki-bunny dances, whilst a purely martial aikidoka with no inclination toward achieving harmony and self-discovery is little more than a brutish fighter. nonetheless, trying to find this place in-between though is not simple...

...it is strange how the further one travels along the path, the lonelier the path seems. peers that start off with you seem to veer off to their own paths, whilst others simply decide to stop altogether... when one treads the path not taken, one generally does wonder if one is not simply lost in the bush and engaging in self-deception to comfort one's self...
Views: 2153 | Comments: 3

RSS Feed 3 Responses to "the aikido dichotomy"
#3 10-11-2012 02:13 PM
As I understand it with my still very modest experience, certain spiritual concepts of ancient Japan were appropriated by the Samurai and therefore took on a more martial character in contrast to their purely religious counterparts. Thus while Aikido contains deep spiritual principles, they are expressed and defined within the context of Budo and not religion. As such the connection between the martial and the spiritual can never be truly separated.
#2 08-12-2012 02:43 PM
James Sawers Says:
Nice blog........Personally, I believe that aikido should be practiced as a martial art, with the philosophical/spiritual underpinnings/goals, otherwise it becomes, as you said "brutish", or just a nice dance. But, the prior response also makes a good point about just focusing on your own practice and accept other aikidoka as being on their own path of discovery, whether or not it agrees with yours.
#1 08-12-2012 09:29 AM
aikishihan Says:
Why choose? True Aiki is inclusive, not exclusive. Even as terra firma manifests in a mulitude of ways, can we not simply appreciate the contrast, and know that ulitimately, it is all one? To decide for one vs. another, is to simpy allow ourselves being trapped in amber, akin to the prehistoric fly. Be free to feel fellowship with all who practice Aiki, each in his own way, and know that the best is yet to come.

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