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AikiWeb System
03-04-2002, 06:02 PM
3/04/2002 5:00pm [from Jun Akiyama (akiy@aikiweb.com)]
Website: http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/drysdale1.html

Alan Drysdale of Enmei Dojo (http://hometown.aol.com/enmeidojo) in Titusville, Florida has written an interesting response to the questions, "Why is aikido such a spiritual art?" and "Is Aikido spiritual because the people who choose it and stick to it make it that way, or does the practice of Aikido eventually change the person who practices it?" Read his response (http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/drysdale1.html) for some thought provoking material.

Bruce Baker
03-13-2002, 06:06 PM
Aikido, a Spiritual ART?

I guess that could be said of any martial art that is used to benefit the community and social interaction of human beings. Seeking the secret energy of LOVE that holds the universe together ... that in itself is extremely spiritual.

Many different people find that training in Aikido is not only trying to find the proverbial "Sweet Spot" that makes the physical effort work so easily, but the ability to exercise this will without conscious thought of benefiting the self interest of the practitioner? In other words, we do not seek to use Aikido for self interest, or harmful purposes, while trying to find the infinite power within the universe to give us power beyond our human frailties.

I would say that is one spiritual journey, wouldn't you?

You can practice for years without embracing the lesser path of non violence, and trying to allow the greater power of the universe to give you a greater strength. Some people call it hypnotizing yourself, in a way, it is.

If you see someone like John Stevens sensei talking about Aikido, how it is organized, taught, and what meanings he has learned from Aikido, with his eyes almost closed, as if he were talking in his sleep, then go through practice with a man who seems to be shouting as if the entire building would shake in its foundations, then you begin to wonder how much spirit did this man gain from Aikido?

I tend to laugh, simply because I enjoy such things, and when the child comes out to play, it makes it so much easier to understand the spiritual side.

I personally don't believe it is all that difficult to understand the moral involvment of aikido not taking away from the your own religion ... if you see the goal of living in peace, and creating world where understanding is more important than making everyone part of your religion, then you are alligned with your god and must be able to get along with others?

How does this relate to Aikido practice?

Try doing practice without thinking about yourself, or your ability to be effective? Think about ... every technique being a part of you, your best friend. If this becomes confidence without thought of showing off, or being better than others, a secret to be used to cut through veil of darkness and evil in the hearts of others as they try to harm you or others, you are there.

Just like projecting each technique to a far point in the room, beyond uke, there will come a strength beyond your normal strength.

If that isn't reaching into the world of spiritual strength ... I don't know what is?