View Full Version : Aikido and Tao Te Ching
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11-28-2008, 08:55 PM
Hello, newby beginner here with a question. I've been reading and Lao Tzu and pondering Tao and relating it to my understanding of Aikido (which is very little at this pont).
I was floored ( and this will be my life long pursuit) by verse 42: "All beings support Yin and embrace Yang and the interplay between these two forces fill the Universe. Yet, only at the still, between breathing in and breathing out, can one capture these two in perfect harmony."
My question is, what does this mean? I Mean,does it mean what the face value says? Is this true? I feel this relates directly to Aikido, but I just can't seem make the connection.
11-30-2008, 11:04 AM
I don't mean, 'what does it mean', per se, I mean, what does it mean to you? I'm mainly wanting to know how it applies to Aikido.
12-01-2008, 12:39 PM
"All beings support Yin and embrace Yang and the interplay between these two forces fill the Universe. Yet, only at the still, between breathing in and breathing out, can one capture these two in perfect harmony."
The first thing I would note is that translations of the Tao Te Ching can vary wildly. I would encourage you to look into a variety of interpretations to get more perspectives on what was originally written.
That said, the above quote is compelling on its own merits. Aikido is very much about finding a balance and right relation between Yin and Yang. As for the second part, all things that turn have a center of stillness. All things that move on a line have a source or origin of movement, and that is also a ground of stillness. All levers have a fulcrum. These are common, everyday mundane truths, and very much germane to an understanding of the mechanics of aikido.
You've asked a very penetrating question, and I will hazard an opinion that much mainstream aikido is not taught according to the above statement. By looking very deeply into your own question, I believe you can arrive at a better, fuller understanding of what aikido can be.
Finally, see also T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets:"
"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is"
12-02-2008, 06:14 PM
Thankyou sir, that is exactly what I was looking for. Even tho I'm new to Aikido, I've been studying martial arts for almost 30 yrs now, starting with "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" , of course, by Bruce Lee. One of his things was to endeavor to get ahead of the curve and intercept the attack with an attack. Most all martial arts call for some form of mind/bodyspiritual awakening/alignment. I've studied several 'Taos', but have never heard the exact spot where Ki/Chi exists described like this before. Domo arigato gozaimashita.
12-18-2008, 01:10 PM
"Yet, only at the still, between breathing in and breathing out,..."
This is where Aikido happens.
01-03-2009, 03:45 PM
Walk on the edge and balance on the sharpest of blades.
Life-or-death loses its meaning for living is a balance of both.
Act or don't act.
Attack or defend.
Still your mind.
Don't worry what lies on either side.
Thinking of what might be - you will lose your balance and fall off.
Pay attention - Senshin.
Pay attention - Tsushin.
Pay attention - Zanshin.
Balance on the sharpness of the blade.
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