View Full Version : Article: Aikido as Budo by George S. Ledyard

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AikiWeb System
06-23-2002, 06:13 PM
Discuss the article, "Aikido as Budo" by George S. Ledyard here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/training/ledyard2.html (http://www.aikiweb.com/training/ledyard1.html)

06-23-2002, 09:57 PM
That should be


06-23-2002, 10:07 PM
Thanks, Peter. Fixed.

-- Jun

mike lee
06-24-2002, 10:19 AM
I just quickly scanned the entire "atemi" thread and could not find anyone who specifically indicated that atemi was "unnecessary."

I also scanned most of the forums on this Web site and was unable to find anyone that did not believe that aikido was a budo. The statement "aikido as a budo" doesn't make sense since the vast majority of those who practice aikido already accept the art as a budo and want to see it maintained as a highly effective form of self defense.

The real issue here seems to be, "what kind of budo is it?"

For me, there is no question. O'Sensei clearly stated that he wanted aikido to be unlike all of the other martial arts. He did not want it to be a budo of violence, but rather a budo of love, an art of peace.

Therefore, those who seek to turn aikido into a budo of violence are clearly going against the Founder's intentions.

There are plenty of other violent martial arts in the world for violent individuals to chose from. Bringing violence into aikido is a bad idea.

06-24-2002, 11:51 AM
I find myself confused as to which resistance to give or expect from my partners, and this article was like a breath of fresh air.

Thank you.

Chris Li
06-24-2002, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by mike lee
The real issue here seems to be, "what kind of budo is it?"

For me, there is no question. O'Sensei clearly stated that he wanted aikido to be unlike all of the other martial arts. He did not want it to be a budo of violence, but rather a budo of love, an art of peace.

"Arts of war become arts of peace" ("heiho wa heiho nari").

A quote from Morihei Ueshiba? Not. The above phrase was made famous by Iizasa Choisai Ienao over 500 years ago. Iizasa Choisai Ienao was the founder of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu, which may be the oldest organized martial tradition in Japan. About 100 years later the Yagyu school started talking about the "life-giving sword". Even Jigoro Kano and Gichin Funakoshi talked about their arts as "arts of peace".

Not to belittle M. Ueshiba, but I think it's important to note that he was not alone in the "arts of peace" concept, nor did the concept originate with him.



Bruce Baker
06-28-2002, 06:46 AM
I agree with George Ledyard about the wishy washy aspects of many practicioners who have tried to make safety concerns so important that practice never progresses to any higher level than beginners.

Too many times I have simply relaxed and made my partner clean up their technique by applying proper force, or use their weight to imbalance, or just plain take the time to induce enough pain to make me move.

We have made Aikido into a game.

We have made Aikido into a business that taylors to student who can pay.

I am not saying that the entire program is aimed at these individuals, but membership would lose 50%-70% if structured purely on the martial capabilities. I guess it would be on the scale of monks, priests, nuns and other minor sects that give up most of their material goods to pursue their professions.

What really burns me up is that even when we initiate an attack, with purpose that is correctly directed as a strike/punch/ or kick, we still don't use the training we gain to go into additional options or reversals?

Maybe it is just a safety concern, and the level of the class who are trying to fathom the martial aspect verses the practice aspects verses the "That looks so cool I want to do that" aspect of Aikido? We have become so concerned with keeping the ranks full, the practice safe, we forget to take the time to make the class aware of the sharpen sword verses the blunt wooden sword used in practice?

If you have pursued pressure points, and have spent time looking into bunkai for many movements, then you know what I am alluding to. The deadlier aspect of martial arts.

I don't think O'Sensei was refering to not understanding these things, but not to let the ego change into the darkened spirit that seeks fame, fortune, and material wealth in a way that does not benefit polishing your spirit or benefit your community.

Our community depends upon law enforcement to correct the wrongs, but law enforcement depends upon the honesty, integrity of its citizens to do its job. As Aikido practitioners, our job is to understand not only the physical aspects that make Aikido a valuable martial tool, but to have the clarity of mind to maintain the morality of society.

How can we do this is we are doing "stuntman Aikido?"

Somewhere, the realization of someone being thrown across the room, verses someone who launches into a roll as they are being thrown must end. There must be a controled resistence to find effective practice.

I try to give resistence to my partner in the amount of letting them feel they are making me move, without letting my resistence cause injury or undue pain, but they damn well better be doing the technique the right way or by the third and fourth round sensei is gonna have to show them what they are doing wrong to move almost 300 pounds as I relax and take root.

Enough of this.

If you read Mr. Ledyards post, and you understand about the practical aspects of Aikido verses the practice of "Stuntman Aikido" then you have a clue.

Ride the wave of Aikido's power, and it won't be fake, but a learning experience in a martial enlightenment.

07-03-2002, 10:52 AM
My favorite part of George Ledyard's article was the first two paragraphs part of which I repeat here because I think by the end they are easy to forget

People do Aikido for a variety of reasons. There are many people who are not in this lifetime going to be martial artists. ...
I have no problem whatever with that. Your practice must be a reflection of who you are and who you'd like to be.

The rest of the article is a discussion of who George Ledyard is, and who he'd like to be, but is cast as a discussion of what he thinks we should be and what he thinks aikido should be. This part was more troubling to me. Ultimately, I find myself agreeing most easily with importance of honesty (with self and others) in aikido training, partly because I have found this to be such good practice for learning to seek honesty in the rest of my life.

As for the rest, I think I would say that my experience is that aikidoka can be good in many different ways and can teach me about things that I would not have thought were important. When I decide ahead of time what it is that I'm supposed to be learning, I usually lead myself into dead ends.


07-03-2002, 12:27 PM
The article by George Ledyard seemed to cover everything nicely, except for one point. Where is the teacher for this class?!?

When people start struggling with each other they aren't learning anything. The instructor should break up the pair and have them train with someone else.

Additionally, why is a 6th Kyu training with another 6th Kyu? Wouldn't it make more sense to have them train with people who are a little more experienced? If you get together two people who don't know anything, what do you think will happen?

This is suppose to be a class, not a free-for-all. :rolleyes: