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Michael Hackett
02-12-2010, 12:07 PM
This is the discussion thread for the AikiWiki article "Shugyo (http://www.aikiweb.com/wiki/Shugyo)".

Please add comments below regarding the article.

Keith Larman
07-07-2010, 10:50 AM
What the entry says.

Discipline. Traveling in pursuit of Truth. To pursue aikido, or any martial art, as a path to self-improvement involves more than training. The word "shugyo" connotes a continual striving for technical and personal excellence. KEIKO, or training, is only one component of such striving. To pursue aikido as a Way, requires a continual reexamination and correction of oneself, one's attitudes, reactions, dispositions to like or dislike, etc.

My take on shugyo was as hard, severe or intense practice. It takes on connotations of traveling due to the origins of the kanji, however, so I suppose it depends on how we choose definitions. Anyway, my inclination is to say that the "primary" definition would be an intense period of practice or training with the intention of self-improvement. Then in a larger sense saying what was quoted up above. I guess I'm saying the given definition is quite, poetic I guess, but I think incomplete as it misses the more direct meaning of the term.

Maybe someone fluent in Japanese and Martial Arts has insight? Cause that ain't me... So huge grains of salt and all that.

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2010, 11:25 AM
For me, Shugyo is alot about pushing yourself past your comfort zone to the point of failure or your own limits so you can better understand them, hence better understand yourself.

I have experience Shugyo in many different ways and forms in my life, sometimes in the most unexpected ways with results that I did not expect!

Keith Larman
07-07-2010, 01:48 PM

Yup, that's my take too. I think that is more the prosaic definition as contrasted with the wiki entry. The entry is reading a lot of stuff into it but not really giving a rudimentary definition.

Chuck Clark
07-07-2010, 02:42 PM
I have taken part in both the actual traveling part of shugyo and the every day full-time shugyo where the travel is outside your comfort zone where you encounter the unknown and places you have to pull out the real essence of yourself to continue... all the while learning from the experiences so you can recognize the early signs of the edges next time ...

Great stuff,

Best regards,

07-07-2010, 04:05 PM
Hi folks,

Don't forget that the original article referenced above is part of the AikiWeb AikiWiki. Being a wiki, you are encouraged to update the information in there yourself! Simply go the article while logged in then click on the "edit" tab to do so.


-- Jun

07-07-2010, 05:04 PM
The following link is an interesting explanation by Nathan Scott on Shugyo.


and a June 2000 AikiWeb thread about Shugyo started by Jun Akiyama


Keith Larman
07-07-2010, 05:20 PM

Well understood and thank you for providing the forum for the discussion. I posted what I did here simply because I didn't feel confident enough to make a change to the wiki. I hoped to generate more discussion and maybe we can come up with a consensus definition. If so, I'd be happy to edit the wiki accordingly. I just wanted to run my concerns by my peers and see what they had to say.

But right now I'll wait until the migraine goes away and I'm no longer glowing from the joys of modern medication... :freaky:

07-07-2010, 06:24 PM
Hi Keith,

I certainly appreciate your bringing up the discussion to further the AikiWiki article on "shugyo" as you've already done! I just wanted to remind people to update the article, should they wish, as it has seemed in the past that these AikiWiki article discussions become less focused on that task of updating the AikiWiki and more focused on just discussion.


-- Jun