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Peter Boylan
01-25-2016, 10:42 AM
I got fascinated by some advertising claiming all sorts of character building attributes for budo. How can budo create this great character? How does your aikido practice improve someone's character? IS it spontaneous? A natural effect of just doing the techniques? Or is it something else? I wrote this blog with my thoughts on it.


What do you think?

01-26-2016, 08:34 PM
A very good piece. After reading it, I Googled "benefits of martial arts" and it made for great entertainment, especially an image search of posters. Scholastic excellence, improved memory, lose weight, become a human weapon, work out "every muscle in my body"(c'mon bladder spasms! Now let's vomit!).

While I could smile at an image of kids practicing groin strikes with the caption that this was going to mold them into respectful, calm, spiritually minded leaders of tomorrow - more than other martial arts, Aikido does profess to create better people.

"The Art of Peace is medicine for a sick world." O Sensei. "Now more than ever, we need to recover what it means to be truly human and truly caring" Second Doshu. War in the Middle East, terrorist attacks, fill-in-the-blank Lives Matter- what is our role? What are we doing, what are we called to do, what do we as martial artists feel called to do? What did we learn to do that actually creates a better world one person at a time?

Also a good examination of unbalanced virtues i.e. Self confidence minus insight, empathy, respect or training that doesn't reflect the difference between following orders and self discipline.

More than once, when a challenge to Aikido's martial pedigree was raised I have seen students respond that their goal was self development rather than martial skill. So, does it happen? And how do we do this?

01-30-2016, 09:31 AM
There is some academic evidence for the social and psychological benefits of traditional martial arts training which I guess could be defined as character building.

The articles by Twemlow et al (link here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Stuart_Twemlow/publication/227785884_Effects_of_participation_in_a_martial_artsbased_antibullying_program_i n_elementary_schools/links/09e41510ef47ab4f1d000000.pdf ) and Trulson (http://hum.sagepub.com/content/39/12/1131.abstract) are worth looking at as well as this one (just published) https://journals.beds.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/jpd/article/view/166/257