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AikiWeb System
11-05-2006, 12:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of November 5, 2006:

Does aikido contain an ethical code for you to follow?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=348).

markwalsh
11-05-2006, 06:55 AM
Non-violence

Mark Uttech
11-05-2006, 07:43 AM
Wonder

ESimmons
11-05-2006, 09:36 AM
Not implicitly.

Martin Ruedas
11-05-2006, 06:49 PM
Respect

Nafis Zahir
11-05-2006, 07:10 PM
Protect your uke.

ian
11-06-2006, 05:26 AM
Not implicitly.

Hi Eric. Interesting answer. I would say that 'explicitly' aikido doesn't contain an ethical code i.e., although people may layer on their own religious/ethical beliefs, the study of aikido doesn't require the same belief. However, I would say 'implicitly' there is an ethical code since some techniques have been altered to reduce damage, the method of training tends to be without teaching killing/maiming aspects of the techniques (or at least not training in them regularly), and the 'blending' aspect, although it can be used for applying techniques brutally, it can be used to apply techniques in a manner which is less damaging.

I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but I think if aikido is being learnt, the manner of learning tends to produce a less brutal end to the technique than learning e.g. aiki-jitsu. Therefore, is this not some intrinsic ethical code?

jeff.
11-06-2006, 08:54 AM
i think this entirely depends upon your definition of aikido. it seems, broadly speaking, people define it in one of two ways:

1. a martial art (sort of the minimum definition)
2. a martial way, which contains the full teachings of osensei and his students

in the first case, the answer to the poll would be no in the explicit sense. tho i tend to agree with ian on the implicit ethics involved (at least via most teaching methodologies).

in the second case (which is what aikido is to me), i would argue that osensei (and the bulk of his students who continue(d) to teach) had a very specific ethical code in mind. which, i would agree, revolves around muteiko. tho i'm not sure if equating this term with our western understanding of "non-violence" is accurate. at least not in the sense of non-violence = pacifism. but if we understand non-violence to be the middle ground between pacifism and belief in violence as a solution (broadly speaking), then maybe muteiko would mean "non-violence". this would explain osensei's speaking against violence, while teaching self(and other)-defense techniques that are potentially very violent. such a middle ground allows room for the gray areas, and the possibility of using lesser violence to end greater violence, etc. while still remaining critical of violence, and being aware of the slippery slope that violence is.

but yeah: i suppose what i getting at is that muteiko would, i think, be the center of the ethical code for aikido -- but that it has far reaching implications, and itself likely based in the principles of bushido.

fun!

ESimmons
11-06-2006, 02:28 PM
Hi Eric. Interesting answer. I would say that 'explicitly' aikido doesn't contain an ethical code i.e., although people may layer on their own religious/ethical beliefs, the study of aikido doesn't require the same belief. However, I would say 'implicitly' there is an ethical code since some techniques have been altered to reduce damage, the method of training tends to be without teaching killing/maiming aspects of the techniques (or at least not training in them regularly), and the 'blending' aspect, although it can be used for applying techniques brutally, it can be used to apply techniques in a manner which is less damaging.

I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but I think if aikido is being learnt, the manner of learning tends to produce a less brutal end to the technique than learning e.g. aiki-jitsu. Therefore, is this not some intrinsic ethical code?

I meant explicitly. Brain fart.

Good post.

Ron Tisdale
11-06-2006, 02:50 PM
Hi Ian,

the manner of learning tends to produce a less brutal end to the technique than learning e.g. aiki-jitsu.

I don't know about this...every time I practice Daito ryu, I have the same result as in aikido. Everyone goes home. In fact, I've seen way more injuries in aikido. Now admittedly, I don't train in Daito ryu regularly. But still...I think some of that Deadly Art (TM) stuff is ... well ... somewhat mis-placed. Sure, in Daito ryu you will see "todome" (killing strikes [even though I've never seen anyone killed by them]), but even some styles of aikido have those (yoshinkan, for one).

Best,
Ron

Erick Mead
11-06-2006, 04:04 PM
Not implicitly. Which literally means "not enfolded within" -- and thus -- I disagree. What distinguishes Aikido from -- say aiki-jujutsu is a matter of training in a certain type of motivation -- which is not "self" defense. Aikido is both explicitly and implictly ethical, and on both subjective motivational grounds and objective moral and practical grounds.
"The secret of aikido is to cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things."Aikido is fully commited action driven by karuna, agape, the unconditional spirit of loving protection -- however you prefer to describe it. Slightly built mothers lift automobiles off children from this motivation. Aikido is training in this habit of mind and soul.

It is budo and therefore should be just as aggressive as the mother is toward the car; and as fiercely tender as she toward the object of her protection. If training departs from this spirit -- in either dimension -- and lacks in either fierceness or tenderness, it is neither truly budo nor truly aikido. For the record I have seen this spirit manifest in every system of aikido I have trained in. It is there to be had.

Easy categories do not exist in budo, nor in aikido as an expresison of it.Injuries may happen in any physical pursuit, and are not the measure, standing alone, of the ethical aspects of practice, although they should be avoided in proper practice. After a couple of warnings or demonstrations of a serious problem in technique or ukemi, if uke or nage persists in a course of conduct that will get him or her injured in a serious confrontation --- it is necessary to HIT/THROW/PIN HIM -- as the only apparently effective explanation of his danger -- and for his own protection.

This is ethical, loving behavior -- it is also violent -- it is also protective. In practice, it may intend pain -- it should not intend damage.

Apart from its spiritual commendations, the spirit of loving protection is the strategic root of the disregard of one's own life that true budo should properly instill, and which is particularly distilled in and in my opinion, most distinguishes aikido from other arts.

Ethics should make sense. That is to say, it should demonstrate objectively superior advantages to unethical conduct and not merely make one "feel good" about losing.

That degree of complete and loving commitment in an encounter can overcome a host of objective advantages. Those advanatages are precisely disabled to the extent the opponent does not immediately match that degree of commitment with his own.

Aikido schools us not to calculate in our commitment to the encounter but to enter it fully (irimi). Since predatory behavior is invariably calculated behavior, even at very animalistic levels -- there are inherent flaws in the predatory strategy of attack that the ethical spirit of loving protection can reliably and routinely turn around (tenkan) even when there are vast physical advantages.

Them's my thoughts.

Gwion
11-08-2006, 02:03 AM
no, not implicitly...lNHERENTLY

I don't think "unethical Aikido" could ever be said to exist. The moment you did something unethical with the art, it would cease to be Aikido, whether you called it that or not.

Eric,
do you talk as long-winded as you write? (wondering what you're like in person)

me, i go by the 'less is more' motto.

Peter Goldsbury
11-08-2006, 04:16 AM
Hi Ian,



I don't know about this...every time I practice Daito ryu, I have the same result as in aikido. Everyone goes home. In fact, I've seen way more injuries in aikido. Now admittedly, I don't train in Daito ryu regularly. But still...I think some of that Deadly Art (TM) stuff is ... well ... somewhat mis-placed. Sure, in Daito ryu you will see "todome" (killing strikes [even though I've never seen anyone killed by them]), but even some styles of aikido have those (yoshinkan, for one).

Best,
Ron

Hello Ron,

Yes, I do not buy into the theory that one art is essentially more or less 'deadly' than the other. Actually, I know of two aikido practitioners (both of whom I taught) who are no longer with us. One died as a result of shiho-nage; the other took his own life, for reasons he did not specify beforehand.

O Sensei stated in his rules for training that aikido techniques were not to be shown to people who might misuse them. If aikido has its ethical credentials right up front and on the sleeve, so to speak, I would think that this injunction would not be necessary.

Another way of thinking would be that aikido as practised in the US does indeed contain an ethical code; as practised in Japan it does not and this perhaps has to do with the values implicit in the respective cultures.

Of course, yet another way of thinking would be to argue that the techniques themslves constitute an ethical statement, rather as some people think that aikido is essentially 'peaceful' because aikido is a budo and the kanji for BU means 'stopping spears'.

Best wishes,

Erick Mead
11-08-2006, 08:14 AM
no, not implicitly...lNHERENTLY
Eric,
do you talk as long-winded as you write? (wondering what you're like in person)
me, i go by the 'less is more' motto.More or less.

Lawyer. Third generation lawyer. Of Irish extraction. Need I say more?

I was between phone calls -- I would have made it shorter, but I did not have the time...

I train so I can, occasionally, shut up and stop thinking ...

billybob
11-08-2006, 01:24 PM
Peter Goldsbury wrote: Another way of thinking would be that aikido as practised in the US does indeed contain an ethical code; as practised in Japan it does not and this perhaps has to do with the values implicit in the respective cultures

This is a great way, by analogy or aikido as microcosm, to describe the different cultures (as I understand them, less than you and Don Modesto). We have to make the code explicit, 1. because that's the Western way, 2. more diverse culture here and more chance for misinterpretation of intentions.

Erick Mead - Gosh darn it, we like to pick on you! But I think most of us enjoy your contribution.

I voted 'yes'. Culturally our school strongly discourages over aggressiveness - nonverbally. :D Read into this what you will.

david

hapkidoike
11-09-2006, 12:15 AM
More or less.

Lawyer. Third generation lawyer. Of Irish extraction. Need I say more?

I was between phone calls -- I would have made it shorter, but I did not have the time...

I train so I can, occasionally, shut up and stop thinking ...

A lawyer with a code of ethics?!? Give me a break. (just bustin your chops Eric)

And I dont buy into the whole "aikido is your ethic" stuff. Sorting out normative ethics is a genuine pain in the arse, and I would rather do other stuff (like train, drink beer, play music, drive my motorcycle fast around sharp corners, cause a ruckus, etc.) than worry about "right action" or whatever you want to call it. Aikido is difficult enough without throwing the whole "this is how you ought to treat each other" stuff in.

Chuck.Gordon
11-09-2006, 12:30 AM
Nothing that wasn't extant in previous versions of budo. What was different is how Ueshiba synthesized his religion, budo and - um - unique vision of the world.

SeiserL
11-09-2006, 05:25 AM
IMHO, every profession/art contains a code of ethics for you to follow.
Its just seldom that people do.

(I know I have a low opinion of people. Probably projection of my own imperfections.)

Mauricio Camargo
11-09-2006, 05:36 AM
Live in peace, respect the other's right, show them that you want your rights respected too.