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aikishrine
05-08-2007, 04:36 AM
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas:) but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian

L. Camejo
05-08-2007, 05:38 AM
In Budo to find the spiritual one MUST understand the martial.

LC:ai::ki:

Edward
05-08-2007, 06:14 AM
In Budo to find the spiritual one MUST understand the martial.

LC:ai::ki:

Exactly my thought. I further believe that the spiritual aspect comes as an indirect result of years of martial practice.

SeiserL
05-08-2007, 06:43 AM
IMHO, it all depends on the personal intent and intensity you bring to it. I have seen it be one or the other, both, and neither.

What do you want your Aikido to be?

crbateman
05-08-2007, 07:38 AM
Hard to define what Aikido is. It presents itself differently to different people, partly in accordance with their needs and perceptions, partly a result of the instructors' take and background, and partly because of what the individual makes of it. Some would say that Aikido is a martial pursuit involving spirituality. Others would say it is a spiritual pursuit involving a martial way. Others would contend (and even teach) that the two aspects are exclusive of each other, or do not necessarily involve the other. What really matters is what it means to you. Experience as much as you can, and then make up your own mind.

Erick Mead
05-08-2007, 09:28 AM
What do you think?


THE IMMOVABLE WISDOM OF ALL BUDDHAS

... Although wisdom is called immovable, this does not signify any insentient thing, like wood or stone. It moves as the mind is wont to move: forward or back, to the left, to the right, in the ten directions and to the eight points; and the mind that does not stop at all is called immovable wisdom.

Fudo Myoo grasps a sword in his right hand and holds a rope in his left hand. He bares his teeth and his eyes flash with anger. His form stands firmly, ready to defeat the evil spirits that would obstruct the Buddhist Law. ... For the man who can make his immovable wisdom apparent and who is able to physically practice this mental dharma as well as Fudo Myoo, the evil spirits will no longer proliferate. This is the purpose of Fudo Myoo's tidings.

http://www.shingon.org/deities/jusanbutsu/fudo.html
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/26/Okunoin_FudoMyoo.JPG

Or, if you prefer, from the Western canon:
The Voice of Christ - My Child, in this life you are never safe, and as long as you live the weapons of the spirit will ever be necessary to you. You dwell among enemies. You are subject to attack from the right and the left. If, therefore, you do not guard yourself from every quarter with the shield of patience, you will not remain long unscathed. Moreover, if you do not steadily set your heart on Me, with a firm will to suffer everything for My sake, you will not be able to bear the heat of this battle or to win the crown of the blessed. You ought, therefore, to pass through all these things bravely and to oppose a strong hand to whatever stands in your way. For to him who triumphs heavenly bread is given, while for him who is too lazy to fight there remains much misery.… Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly in battle.

http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/saints/imchrist.htm#3-35

tarik
05-08-2007, 11:05 AM
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas:) but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian

Whether I deliberately concentrate on one or the other, they are ultimately inextricable to me. But then, without being overly facetious, shitting correctly is a spiritual experience for me also.

What is it to YOU?

If you're looking for answers, are you sure that you're asking the right questions?

mwible
05-08-2007, 01:21 PM
i believe that you can only get both, you arent going to get one without the other and still have it be aikido. in Musashi's' "Book of Five Rings" he talks about how, to reach enlightenment or inner peace, you must follow your Way (the path in life you choose; I.E.- martial arts, soccer, business, etc,) as far as it goes and that is the only way to reach such spiritual states. i dont know if that gives an answer, lol, but here ya go! :D
-morgan

aikishrine
05-09-2007, 03:54 AM
Yes but if you look at O'SENSEI and his life, training, and teachings.i believe,

At least from my understanding that his message was a spiritual one in the end, i know that his early training was severe, and that is probably is what led to his enlightenment experiences, but i am sure that i read somewhere that he said that he went through all of that in order to find the true BUDO, so that everyone had a place to start on the spiritual path without having to go through what he went through.

Now dont get me wrong i believe that there should be an equal balance between the two, i am just trying to find what the true spirit of AIKIDO is in the eyes of O'SENSEI

thanks, Brian

xuzen
05-09-2007, 04:25 AM
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas:) but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian

My sensei's sensei think aikido is martial. He thinks that his sensei before him (O sensei) was sometimes a bit cuckoo...

My sensei also think aikido is martial.

I am also a believer that aikido is martial first and foremost.

Spirituality, divinity, theology, deities are optional studies on our own time; away from the mat.

Boon.

Edward
05-09-2007, 04:35 AM
Well, you have am entire genealogy of iconoclasts :D

You can add me to your list by the way. I too believe that aikido is martial first and foremost.....

My sensei's sensei think aikido is martial. He thinks that his sensei before him (O sensei) was sometimes a bit cuckoo...

My sensei also think aikido is martial.

I am also a believer that aikido is martial first and foremost.

Spirituality, divinity, theology, deities are optional studies on our own time; away from the mat.

Boon.

Charles Hill
05-09-2007, 04:55 AM
Hi Brian

I think that if you look at the Founder's life and teachings, Aikido, for him, was a spiritual path. He was a member of Omoto Kyo, a religious group, his whole life. In Omoto Kyo, believers are encouraged to practice some art form as their path. For Morihei Ueshiba, this was the martial arts. For Naohi Deguchi, one of the Omoto's leaders, it was the tea ceremony(as another example.)

For me, I think about Picasso and the art he created. It was way out there and kind of spiritual, in a way. However, we must not forget that he worked for many years learning to control the brush, paint and canvas. He was able to paint extremely realistically. For us, this is the martial. Picasso then had the freedom to explore art. For us, this is the spiritual.

good luck
Charles

L. Camejo
05-09-2007, 06:02 AM
Good posts. Some indicated that there are other Japanese Do that are spiritual in their ultimate goal - chado (tea ceremony), shodo (calligraphy), ikebana (flower arranging) etc. If we look at each of these disciplines, one cannot be considered adept at chado if one cannot make a good cup of tea (regardles of how pretty or focused your form is), or cannot be considered a skilled calligrapher if the characters are unreadable etc.

The jutsu or science must be obtained to open the door towards the spiritual pursuit. This is part of the Yin/Yang interrelationship found in Budo. Ueshiba M. could not have founded spiritual Aikido without first finding his true self through the forging of physical, functional daito ryu etc. Imho the jutsu/science is the foundation from which the bridge to the do/way is built.

When one understands the do, the jutsu is redefined to have a new purpose. If done any other way what you get is hollow beauty and form that has no actual function, or a bridge without a stable foundation. It will collapse. We see this a lot when many Aikidoka encounter resistance, including Ueshiba M., there is collapse wherever the expression of spirit and peace is missing its foundational physical element.

I don't think we have to repeat everything that Ueshiba M. did to truly understand Aikido but if we leave out key foundational elements we will never understand it imho. We can't start at the end and hope to understand the beginning, which is where the path actually ends.

LC:ai::ki:

Dirk Hanss
05-09-2007, 06:53 AM
or cannot be considered a skilled calligrapher if the characters are unreadable etc.
And I always thought, calligraphy means making characters unreadable ;) - not just a joke, some are

Back to topic:
Nothing new, but in my short words:
If aikido is not martial, it is not spiritual. (See Larry's post)
And if it is not spiritual, it is not martial (BU) in the meaning of protection. Without the spirit it is just an empty killing system.

Now you can use your own utility functions, which would lead to different wightings of spiritual and martial. But if you come to the conclusion it is only 20% martial or only 20% spiritual, it is both of them nevertheless.

Best regards

Dirk

L. Camejo
05-09-2007, 07:20 AM
And I always thought, calligraphy means making characters unreadable ;) - not just a joke, some areLol I know what you mean. I guess this is where they start going from form to formlessness.:)

LC:ai::ki:

Chuck Clark
05-09-2007, 07:24 AM
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.

Dewey
05-09-2007, 07:40 AM
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas:) but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian

As has been said above as well as in other threads concerning this subject, it really only matters what you bring to Aikido (emotional and/or spiritual baggage, if you will) and what you want out of Aikido.

One can pursue both spiritual enlightment & martial prowness simultaneously without any sort of contradiction. In fact, this is considered the terminus of budo. In Western terminology, it's a tried & tested method of integrating (or coordinating) the mind & body. In fact, I'd say they're two sides of the same coin. Excessively focus on one "side" more than the other leads to imbalance...both metaphorically & technically.

Yes but if you look at O'SENSEI and his life, training, and teachings.i believe,

At least from my understanding that his message was a spiritual one in the end, i know that his early training was severe, and that is probably is what led to his enlightenment experiences, but i am sure that i read somewhere that he said that he went through all of that in order to find the true BUDO, so that everyone had a place to start on the spiritual path without having to go through what he went through.

Now dont get me wrong i believe that there should be an equal balance between the two, i am just trying to find what the true spirit of AIKIDO is in the eyes of O'SENSEI

thanks, Brian

In my opinion, we must consider the culture & the historical period he lived in and how it forged Aikido in order to accurately understand what he was saying...although O'Sensei was notorious even in his own lifetime for being an obscure teacher! That being said, perhaps we can say that technique without principle, application, awareness or forethought is not Aikido. Your guess is as good as mine...:D

George S. Ledyard
05-09-2007, 08:22 AM
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.

As far as I know, a monk is a member of a monastic tradition which has monasteries. I do not believe that Shinto is even considered a monastic tradition and I have not heard of Shinto monks. And if there is some obscure branch of Shinto which does have monks, O-sensei certainly wasn't one of them.

O-Sensei was an active member of the Omotokyo faith only until the Second Omotokyo incident in Dec 1935. It is my understanding that O-Sensei, after hiding out to escape arrest, was permitted to remain free by agreeing to distance himself from participation with the Omotokyo. Deguchi stayed under house arrest until 1942. O-Sensei's move away from Deguchi and the Omotokyo was actually the source of a falling out between himself and his closest student Inoue Sensei (his nephew). However, there were teachers under O-Sensei's direction (like the Sunadomaris) who kept their participation active their whole lives.

jennifer paige smith
05-09-2007, 08:46 AM
Whether I deliberately concentrate on one or the other, they are ultimately inextricable to me. But then, without being overly facetious, shitting correctly is a spiritual experience for me also.

What is it to YOU?

If you're looking for answers, are you sure that you're asking the right questions?

Tarik,
Now that you have been established yourself as the "Excrimeditation Master of Martial Arts" how are you planning to use your skills on the street?

Or is this the wrong question?

Fred Little
05-09-2007, 09:41 AM
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.

George Ledyard basically nailed the first part of the question.

There is a Japanese tradition of "ubasoku" (from the Sanskrit upasaka which is generally translated as "lay follower); because monastic ordination was always fairly tightly controlled by successive Japanese governments, the ubasoku were, in many cases, unauthorized monastics and since they had no authorization for their ordination, ubasoku also took on the meaning of "self-ordained."

Shinto as an entity distinct from Buddhism is a fairly modern construct, but Ueshiba's entire life was lived under the influence of that construct. Within that context, it might be more accurate to refer to someone who goes up in the mountains, performs various ascetic practices, meditates, etc, as a shugyosha.

While Ueshiba kept his distance from Oomoto for many years (and does seem to have had precisely the effects George notes), I have also read accounts of him visiting Oomoto compounds very late in his life with young uchi-deshi from Hombu accompanying him. The young deshi were apparently horrified by the spectacle of their august leader, whom they held in great reverence, kneeling and bowing before Oomoto priests like a peasant before a monk.

It also seems that one aspect of Oomoto is the doctrine that every member has a direct and personal relationship to Ushitora-no-Konjin, who is viewed as the root deity behind all other apparent deities. In this respect, every Oomoto believer is, in some measure, a "priest." Similarly, since Ushitora-no-konjin is a "hidden god" and is viewed as fully omniscient, it is quite possible that Ueshiba could have taken the view that although he publicly distanced himself from the Oomoto organization, he himself was a "hidden believer" and Ushitori-no-konjin knew this, which was the important point.

The fact that he re-established relations with Oomoto later in life, despite the opposition of his own students, might support that theory.

Best,

FL

saulofong
05-09-2007, 09:56 AM
Brian,

The point is: What do YOU want it to be ? And WHY do YOU want to be this way ?

What we have been reading here are mostly opinions and beliefs. And these opinions and beliefs are based on internal values and life experience. None is better or truer than the other. Opinions cannot be compared. Otherwise, they should be based in the same internal values.

Dennis Hooker
05-09-2007, 09:59 AM
Although I have not seen it for years I recall a picture O-Sensei had made of himself with a very big belly and a sword across his back. It was said (I am told) that it was his favorite picture and depicted him as Kami.

mwible
05-09-2007, 02:44 PM
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.

im not sure about being a shinto monk, but he was definitly into omoto kyo, not his whole life, but for the greater percentage of it :)

Chuck Clark
05-09-2007, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the info everyone.

jennifer paige smith
05-09-2007, 04:21 PM
im not sure about being a shinto monk, but he was definitly into omoto kyo, not his whole life, but for the greater percentage of it :)

If we can also include O'Senseis love and language towards nature we can de-dogmatize some of this discussion where it relies on connection to one 'religion' or title. While a product and adherent of many dicilines in his lifetime O'Sensei was most specifically himself. He himself describes himself as the universe and nothing else. And perhaps before we go back to the 'he belonged to this' or 'that' discussion, we can also include some thoughts or reflections on his love of nature and what he asked of us for it's cause; simply.

senshincenter
05-09-2007, 04:24 PM
I would say this - since we are all stating opinions, realizing the thread-starter, like everyone else, has to make up his own mind:

If your practice is truly spiritual, then you are going to understand the martial. If your practice is truly martial, then you are going to understand the spiritual.

If your aim is to penetrate the mysteries of the human spirit, and you sincerely take this mission to heart, you are not only going to have no problem with martial metaphors, discourses, practices, etc., you are going to see the practical validity, the potency to mature the spirit and to thus transform the self, in all such things. You will in the end be more skeptical of those that claim spiritual cultivation but that show no signs or marks of personal challenge and/or the scars that come with gaining victory over the self, vs. those that speak nothing of the spirit but that battle daily with their fear, their pride, and their ignorance.

If your aim is to penetrate the mastery of combative tactics, if it is not rank, nor title, nor sport, nor friendship, but rather to face the mortality of another with your own mortality, you are not going to have any problem with anyone speaking on the reconciliation of fear, pride, or ignorance, as these things will be at the forefront of whether or not you can or cannot face the mortality of another with your own mortality. The idea that you can just kick ass by learning technique and by conditioning is going to seem delusional - in that it is obviously not of mortal issues. (e.g. please note how many sport fighters need counseling after a bout, vs. how many soldiers of cops need counseling after a life-threatening encounter)

If you take a second look at Erik's post - you can see this all in how a monk and a sword master are talking to each other (writing to each other), and in how Kempis writes. They have no problem blending this supposed dichotomy - nor should we.

dmv

Charles Hill
05-09-2007, 11:51 PM
My understanding is the same as Fred's. When I visited Kameoka and Ayabe 10 years ago, I was told that all members are considered priests.(not monks) To join Omoto, one participates in a two week course in which you learn how to participate in and conduct rituals. Also, I believe that the priests who conduct the Taisai at Iwama every year are Omoto. This, in addition to what Fred wrote, led me to believe that the founder was a lifelong follower.

In response to Larry's post, while all the DO consider themselves to be "spiritual" this is not the same as the Omoto idea that art is the way to understanding of the universe. The idea that one must have a certain level of skill before things become "spiritual" is interesting, but I personally don't know if it follows Omoto doctrine.

Charles

George S. Ledyard
05-10-2007, 06:09 AM
although he publicly distanced himself from the Oomoto organization, he himself was a "hidden believer" and Ushitori-no-konjin knew this, which was the important point.

The fact that he re-established relations with Oomoto later in life, despite the opposition of his own students, might support that theory.

Best,

FL
Absolutely... I didn't mean to imply that he had changed his beliefs. His whole way of looking at everything was colored by his Omotokyo training and I think he always considered himself to be a "believer" if you want to call it that. I just meant that he didn't actively participate in the organization affairs as a "member" after the second purge. I've never read anything about how O-Sensei felt about the fact that the religion was crushed so decisively. I would suspect that he felt a bit guilty about being one of the figures close to the center that escaped arrest when the others, including his teacher, did not. Especially since he had basically been the head of their security.

ChrisMoses
05-11-2007, 09:53 AM
I just got my copy of Koryu Books' "Katori Shinto-ryu" a re-publication of Otake Ritsuke's long out of print, "Deity and the Sword." I'm only a couple pages in, but thought I would post a couple quotes as I find them relevant to this discussion.

From the forward, written by the current (20th) Soke, Iizasa Shurinosuke Yasusada, "More than five hundred years have passed since Iizasa Choisai Ienao founded Tenhinho-den Katori Shinto-ryu. This art is a wellspring of the Japanese classical martial arts, and it has fathered a sizeable number of other traditions and produced many expert swordsmen. During the era in which the warrior class ruled Japan, our tradition was highly esteemed for providing warriors an essential education in both technical matters and as a form of personal refinement. However, interest in the classical martial arts has declined, particularly since the end of World War II. Today, while the classical martial arts are being made open to the public and their techniques preserved, it is my opinion that the spiritual component-which should form he base of those techniques and give direction to practitioners-is missing." (p.XI, emphasis mine)

Secondly, from the author's Preface, "At the core of the tradition's admonitions is the teaching: "The art of war is the art of peace." The art is structured in accordance with the laws of nature. Training is undertaken to avoid becoming a pawn of, or be drawn into, war, so that one may "live one's whole life peacefully and humanely." " (p.XIII)

TSKSR is kind of the gold standard for budo. It has been passed down for five centuries. These statements sure sound familiar though don't they? I would argue that real Budo (of any style) is a spiritual practice whose only sacrament is shugyo (dedicated/hard training). It's much easier path to talk about the great spiritual lessons, than to train hard enough to actually get them. You don't run the risk of injury or even failure.

Edit: forgot to link to koryu books. http://www.koryu.com/store/katori-shinto-ryu.html Very worthwhile read for any student of budo.

ChrisMoses
05-11-2007, 10:54 AM
"More than five hundred years have passed since Iizasa Choisai Ienao founded Tenhinho-den Katori Shinto-ryu.

There's a typo that I didn't notice until just now, the name of the school is "Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu" my left hand took a nasty whack last night, and apparently the "s" finger wasn't working very well... Apologies.

Ron Tisdale
05-11-2007, 11:08 AM
:D Chris, you do realize how "appropriate" that is...right? :D

Just got my copy yesterday...haven't done more than drool over it yet...

Best,
Ron (stupid switches...)

jennifer paige smith
05-11-2007, 11:43 AM
This is a quote from chris's post above:

Secondly, from the author's Preface, "At the core of the tradition's admonitions is the teaching: "The art of war is the art of peace." The art is structured in accordance with the laws of nature. Training is undertaken to avoid becoming a pawn of, or be drawn into, war, so that one may "live one's whole life peacefully and humanely." "

This text mirrors O'Sensei's fundamental thesis on Budo. Kinda related to "Aikido is not a method for fighting',no?

L. Camejo
05-11-2007, 12:02 PM
Great post, and quite an apt one at that Christian.

ChrisMoses
05-11-2007, 12:12 PM
This text mirrors O'Sensei's fundamental thesis on Budo. Kinda related to "Aikido is not a method for fighting',no?

Actually, I consider it an insight into what OSensei meant. I've seen the local TSKSR group (and know a few of his students) on several occasions under Relnick Sensei and I don't think you could say that what they were doing wasn't a method for fighting. There is a difference between the goals, or why you study something, and the spirit and specifics of how you approach that thing. I believe aikido must be grounded in martial legitimacy and combative intent in order to gain any meaningful insight. If the intent is shifted from shinken shobu, it loses all spirituality, because one is no longer gaining glimpses into any deeper meaning. In my own sword ryuha, I've heard my teachers (particularly in Japan) say, "You must cut with the intent to kill!" during keiko, and then wax poetic about how shinto ryu is not about killing at all, but developing a better person over sake. The art requires the intent to achieve the lesson.

Ron Tisdale
05-11-2007, 12:54 PM
Even when what you are cutting is yourself...Correct??

Best,
Ron

ChrisMoses
05-11-2007, 01:00 PM
Even when what you are cutting is yourself...Correct??

Best,
Ron

Can't really comment on that as the "cutting down yourself" is not part of the philosophy of my ryuha. We prefer the pointy end in the other dude. :)

Ron Tisdale
05-11-2007, 01:01 PM
:D Understood!

Best,
Ron

jennifer paige smith
05-19-2007, 12:41 PM
Actually, I consider it an insight into what OSensei meant. I've seen the local TSKSR group (and know a few of his students) on several occasions under Relnick Sensei and I don't think you could say that what they were doing wasn't a method for fighting. There is a difference between the goals, or why you study something, and the spirit and specifics of how you approach that thing. I believe aikido must be grounded in martial legitimacy and combative intent in order to gain any meaningful insight. If the intent is shifted from shinken shobu, it loses all spirituality, because one is no longer gaining glimpses into any deeper meaning. In my own sword ryuha, I've heard my teachers (particularly in Japan) say, "You must cut with the intent to kill!" during keiko, and then wax poetic about how shinto ryu is not about killing at all, but developing a better person over sake. The art requires the intent to achieve the lesson.
I think were describing the same thing in different language
In terms of language mirroring is a variety of insight. I didn't say what we were doing wasn't a method for fighting, but I get your drift. O'Sensei said 'Aikido isn't a method for fighting.' So, intent is absolute and the techniques definitely reveal themselves and we practice in absolute martial structure with the intent to elevate our understanding at the same time as getting underneath 'problems' or fighting conditons. The paradox that is evident here is the paradox of the art.
I've been in a situation when self defense was required and aikido emerged in a 'spiritual' state. That in which the nature of the situation revealed itself to me because of my training and I responded physically. I never had an intent to fight. I definitely dominated that situation with the guidance of a larger presence and those guys, the 4 of them, will never pick on a young woman getting a newspaper again, most likely. Creating Peace. Effective, intentional, well trained, not fighting. That's my experience. The mirror was true. Aikido is complete.
I didn't start Aikido with a notion or trying to prove any of it. I never had mystical language. I have gathered these qualities as a by-product of experience. I couldn't deny it.

Amir Krause
05-20-2007, 01:39 AM
Great posts above!

I would like to only add one minor issue:

You can try to start from a totally martial point of view and check what happens to your own language and description of your conduct as time progresses.

I "car pool" to practice with a new student. On our way, he often asks me about situations and solutions and I, as the more experienced student (~15 yrs) answer to the best of my ability. Very often, he blames me for giving philosophic answers and referring more to states of mind then to the physical action and I am far from a spiritual person (an engineer by education and nature). Apparently, at some levels, M.A. lends itself to other aspects, regardless of your purpose.

Amir

Peter Goldsbury
05-20-2007, 08:09 AM
I just got my copy of Koryu Books' "Katori Shinto-ryu" a re-publication of Otake Ritsuke's long out of print, "Deity and the Sword."...Secondly, from the author's Preface, "At the core of the tradition's admonitions is the teaching: "The art of war is the art of peace." The art is structured in accordance with the laws of nature. Training is undertaken to avoid becoming a pawn of, or be drawn into, war, so that one may "live one's whole life peacefully and humanely." " (p.XIII)


I also have the book and note that it is written in Japanese with an English translation. The Japanese is rather more enignatic than the English suggests: "兵法は平法なり": "Heihou wa heihou nari" and the second heihou (平法) is clearly a made-up term, rather like the terms in 「合気は愛気」 "Aiki is aiki".

I am not stating in so many words that the translation is inaccurate. In fact, the balance of the English captures the balance of the Japanese rather well. Rather, it is the best that can be done, given the Japanese pun. No one has mananged "aiki is aiki" yet.