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Hagen Seibert
11-06-2016, 04:01 AM
Hi there,

my newly edited and translated book "The Elements of Zen in Martial Arts" is available.
You can get a free trial reading on the authorīs hompage.
(pdf download at the bottom of the page)

http://hagen-seibert.jimdo.com/english/books-and-ebooks/

The sample is quite large (80 pages), though of course it is only an excerpt to give a better view if you will find it interesting enough to purchase.

The book is available via Amazon as ebook and paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Zen-Martial-Arts/dp/153738418X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475186823&sr=8-2&keywords=hagen+seibert
(The link to Amazon is also on the authorīs homepage.)

Though adressing martial arts in General, the text has a special reference to Aikido (since that is where the author comes from).
Please have a look and share your comments.

Hagen Seibert
11-30-2016, 12:04 AM
and hereīs an image of the cover

Carsten Möllering
11-30-2016, 05:07 AM
... the text has a special reference to Aikido ...Since Ueshiba Morihei, like most of his students*, had no background in zen Buddhism and the spirituality of aikidô therefore lacks any zen elements, in which way do you refer to aikidô in your book?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-30-2016, 07:19 AM
IMO, the relationship between Zen and Japanese Martial Arts, both classical and modern are tenuous at best. It seems to me is western Zen practitioners who see Zen in everything, even in Aikido regardeless of being based in a completely different spirituality.

PeterR
11-30-2016, 08:25 AM
IMO, the relationship between Zen and Japanese Martial Arts, both classical and modern are tenuous at best. It seems to me is western Zen practitioners who see Zen in everything, even in Aikido regardeless of being based in a completely different spirituality.

Well the connection between Buddhism and the Martial arts tend to be though the more esoteric styles (Mikkyō) but as I understand it there is not that much difference in meditative practice so take that as you will. If one wishes to connect Zen meditation with their martial arts practice - and many have done so - no problem. Some of Ueshiba's major students did.

Ueshiba himself had some education in Shingon (Esoteric) but his main thrust was neo-shintoism which is even further removed - but we all ready know that.

What I found personally annoying is the insistence that closing your eyes in seiza is Zen Buddhism and that by adhering to this outer form somehow helps your aikido. I am all for a book which explains Zen in more depth and how it could be connected to your practice.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-02-2016, 06:25 AM
I am all for a book which explains Zen in more depth and how it could be connected to your practice.
I'd like to read a book about Zen and Budo but more academically oriented. Something that could be put in e.g, Brill's catalog.

Hagen Seibert
12-02-2016, 10:00 AM
Hello Carsten,

please do not ask me to rewrite all which is in the free pdf excerpt, which you obviously did not look into.
Es gibt übrigens auch einen Auszug auf deutsch, wenn Dir das lieber ist:
http://hagen-seibert.jimdo.com/bücher-und-ebooks/
:-)

Let me start with telling about an incident instead.
I once was selling books at a seminar, when a guy came to me, looked at the title and solemny declared;
"There is no Zen in Aikido."
Sorry, but this man conveyed a very narrow-minded attitude.
Of course, as we know O-Sensei was in Omotokyo-Shintoism. But this does not at all eclude all other influences, like when you are Catholic you cannot be Protestant. Thatīs a very digital, western approach.
Therefore I would like to state, that although we may want to assume that during the development of Aikido no influnce of Zen was added, it had already been in the martial arts from which Aikido derived.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-02-2016, 10:05 AM
Therefore I would like to state, that although we may want to assume that during the development of Aikido no influnce of Zen was added, it had already been in the martial arts from which Aikido derived.
You mean Daito Ryu has Zen Budhhism influences or are you thinking about another art? Could you ellaborate?

Hagen Seibert
12-02-2016, 10:25 AM
Hello Demetrio,

specifically in the context of Zen and Martial Arts, I would see Zen not really as a kind of spirtuality or as a Religion but rather as an attitude or a way of doing things.
For example, I do not really like ironing my shirts. If I would ask my wife to do it for me, I would not be satisfied with the result. Therefore I have no choice but doing it myself.
To make this activity more sensible, I have transformed this work to a Zen practice: Concentrating on the present moment, not letting the mind wander.

As with ironing shirts, it is up to me with which attitude to practice Martial Arts.
A Zen-like attitude can be applied on anything, and mostly with a benefit.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-02-2016, 10:33 AM
Hello Hagen


specifically in the context of Zen and Martial Arts, I would see Zen not really as a kind of spirtuality or as a Religion but rather as an attitude or a way of doing things.
Fine.

For example, I do not really like ironing my shirts. If I would ask my wife to do it for me, I would not be satisfied with the result. Therefore I have no choice but doing it myself.
To make this activity more sensible, I have transformed this work to a Zen practice: Concentrating on the present moment, not letting the mind wander.
You are too attached to your shirts. I'm going to kill a cat.
:)

As with ironing shirts, it is up to me with which attitude to practice Martial Arts.
A Zen-like attitude can be applied on anything, and mostly with a benefit.
Sure.

However I was asking a different question.

Hagen Seibert
12-02-2016, 10:33 AM
I cannot pinpoint it on Daito-ryu, but if not Daito-ryu then itīs predecessors -> I mean Samurai Martial Arts in general

Hagen Seibert
12-02-2016, 10:37 AM
ah, youīre online
I was still answering the previous post ...

Demetrio Cereijo
12-02-2016, 10:38 AM
I cannot pinpoint it on Daito-ryu, but if not Daito-ryu then itīs predecessors -> I mean Samurai Martial Arts in general
Understood, thanks,

ah, youīre online
I was still answering the previous post ...
No worries.

Hagen Seibert
12-02-2016, 10:42 AM
Hello Peter,

> "I am all for a book which explains Zen in more depth and how it could be connected to your practice."

Well here it is. Please let me know if it meets your expectations.
:-)

Hagen Seibert
12-02-2016, 10:46 AM
> "I'd like to read a book about Zen and Budo but more academically oriented."

Then I would recommend the works of D. T. Suzuki e.g. "Zen and Japanese Culture"

Demetrio Cereijo
12-02-2016, 10:49 AM
> "I'd like to read a book about Zen and Budo but more academically oriented."

Then I would recommend the works of D. T. Suzuki e.g. "Zen and Japanese Culture"

Another cat killed.

PeterR
12-02-2016, 11:00 AM
Hagen - I read your online material and could not help thinking that you were lumping several different Buddhist traditions under the term Zen. Is that a fair statement? No issue if that is the case - that is just semantics.

Quite a few martial art concepts are described in Buddhist terms (as covered in your book) and the connections in my opinion predate the rise in popularity of Zen Buddhism. But since Zen is a form of Buddhism it stands to reason that the overlap remains.

I don't think practices or attitudes unique to Zen Buddhism had any effect on aikido specifically, at least at the level of the Ueshiba(s) or the ancestor arts. I also think that's true of other Japanese marital arts although perhaps you can find exceptions.

Hagen Seibert
12-03-2016, 01:28 AM
Hello Peter,

I understand your remark.

I certainly do explain general Buddhist concepts. But then I also speak of Buddhism and not of Zen Buddhism. I think it is important, to adress my readers properly, which are not to be experts or scientists but martial artists, to have this general approach. (So maybe the title is not perfect in this respect, but I would not want to call it "The Elements of Zen and Buddhism in Martial Arts" either.)

Let me also say that it is difficult to refer exclusively to Zen Buddhism without becoming academic and getting into elaborate conceptual delimitations. Because then you need to explain this from Zen but this is from xxxx. Some readers would find this boring. Itīs not what I wanted.

As you were saying:
-> "But since Zen is a form of Buddhism it stands to reason that the overlap remains."

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts !!

Hagen Seibert
12-03-2016, 01:32 AM
> "Another cat killed."

miaouww..

PeterR
12-03-2016, 03:28 AM
Hello Peter,

Let me also say that it is difficult to refer exclusively to Zen Buddhism without becoming academic and getting into elaborate conceptual delimitations. Because then you need to explain this from Zen but this is from xxxx. Some readers would find this boring. Itīs not what I wanted.

Yes you need to know and write for your intended audience - and it is hoped your critics understand that.

That said there is a whole new subject about Buddhism and the Martial arts beyond which particular version had the more defining influence. Did Buddhism influence practice or were concepts borrowed to explain existing precepts. A real chicken and egg problem in my opinion but very interesting.

The early samurai were all flash and painted horses - the opposite of what we now associate with zen-like state.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-03-2016, 04:09 AM
I think it is important, to adress my readers properly, which are not to be experts or scientists but martial artists, to have this general approach.

So martial artists need sophisticated intellectual matters to be dumbed down. Thank you very much.

Let me also say that it is difficult to refer exclusively to Zen Buddhism without becoming academic and getting into elaborate conceptual delimitations. Because then you need to explain this from Zen but this is from xxxx. Some readers would find this boring. Itīs not what I wanted.

Go meditate about what you really wanted.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-03-2016, 07:22 AM
That said there is a whole new subject about Buddhism and the Martial arts beyond which particular version had the more defining influence. Did Buddhism influence practice or were concepts borrowed to explain existing precepts. A real chicken and egg problem in my opinion but very interesting..
Peter, have you read this Oleg Benesch's recent article (http://apjjf.org/-Oleg-Benesch/4921/article.pdf)?

Hagen Seibert
12-03-2016, 09:28 AM
> "So martial artists need sophisticated intellectual matters to be dumbed down. Thank you very much."

???
Whatīs this?
I never said something like that.
I said I do not expect my readers to already know everthing about Buddhism, therefore I needed a general approach and talk about general concepts.
No offense in that ...

sorokod
12-03-2016, 12:48 PM
The obligatory link to the "The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery": http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/The_Myth_of_Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery.pdf

PeterR
12-03-2016, 03:55 PM
Peter, have you read this Oleg Benesch's recent article (http://apjjf.org/-Oleg-Benesch/4921/article.pdf)?

No but similar texts where Herrigel was eviscerated.

Peter Goldsbury
12-03-2016, 07:05 PM
No but similar texts where Herrigel was eviscerated.

The article by Benesch draws on the book he published recently (Inventing the Way of the Samurai). Shoji Yamada has also published a book, entitled Shots in the Dark -- Japan, Zen, and the West. The two books by Brian Victoria (Zen at War; Zen War Stories) are also noteworthy. There is also an earlier work, The Myth of Japaneese Uniqueness, by Peter N Dale (1986), in which he subjects D Suzuki's 'neat ideology of mystical justification' to some criticism.

My aikido teacher, the late K Chiba, practiced zen and his students did so, too (including myself -- every week on Saturday mornings immediately before practice), but he explained that he practiced zen because he could not stomach the 'militant' Shinto that Morihei Ueshiba embraced.

I have ordered Hagen Seibert's book and look forward to reading it. A review might appear if I have the time to write one.

Hagen Seibert
01-10-2017, 01:40 PM
And Iīll be indeed looking forward to read your review. Thanks for your interest.

Bernd D
01-14-2017, 10:03 AM
I can fully recommend this book. I have the german original since a few years, and it gave me a lot of insights. It is concise to the point, but still pleasant to read and with good explanations. One of my most valuable martial arts books.

Congratulations on the release of the English Translation of your book.

Hagen Seibert
01-30-2017, 12:52 PM
Thanks, Bernd, glad you enjoyed it.

Ethan Weisgard
01-31-2017, 08:41 AM
Any plans of an e-book/Kindle version? This would be greatly appreciated!

MRoh
02-01-2017, 07:04 AM
Any plans of an e-book/Kindle version? This would be greatly appreciated!

Here:


The book is available via Amazon as ebook and paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Zen-Martial-Arts/dp/153738418X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475186823&sr=8-2&keywords=hagen+seibert

Ethan Weisgard
02-03-2017, 11:05 AM
Here:

Great! Thank you.

Hagen Seibert
03-04-2017, 01:46 PM
Reading through the recent posts I wonder why many people, hearing "Zen" and "Budo", then jump in at Herrigel and express their dislike.

Actually, I had his book in my hands once, but put it down after a few pages because I found it ... well ... of little inspiration to me. I never read it, so i cannot comment any further.It also had no influence on the book presented in this thread.

Nevertheless, it seems he gave some inspiration to other people. Maybe he was inaccurate, maybe the inspiration these people had through him was still positive. Thus, I would not condemn him too much.

For further discussion on Herrigel I would suggest to start a seperate thread, that would be the better place. Thanks!

tlk52
03-05-2017, 09:34 AM
re zen and aikido...reference the story of K. Chiba serving tea while O'Sensei met with D. T. Suzuki and his later comments on their conversation ie justifying the art with some form of Buddhism because no one understood the Omoto references

arturolczykowski
03-21-2017, 03:50 PM
Hi,
The concept of Zen in Aikido doesn't seem too far streached for me from theoretical point of view. Of course we all know that O'sensei wasn't a Buddhist and didn't even like it but some concepts found in Aikido (for example ki) are found also in Buddhism, Daoism and Confucionism as Yuasa Yasuo explains in his brilliant The Body, Self-Cultivation and Ki-Energy. Another book that I can recommend on this subject would be Zen and Aikido by Shigeo Kamata and Kenji Shimizu.

Peter Goldsbury
03-21-2017, 04:23 PM
Hi,
The concept of Zen in Aikido doesn't seem too far streached for me from theoretical point of view. Of course we all know that O'sensei wasn't a Buddhist and didn't even like it but some concepts found in Aikido (for example ki) are found also in Buddhism, Daoism and Confucionism as Yuasa Yasuo explains in his brilliant The Body, Self-Cultivation and Ki-Energy. Another book that I can recommend on this subject would be Zen and Aikido by Shigeo Kamata and Kenji Shimizu.

Hello,

Morihei Ueshiba was certainly brought up as a Buddhist. He came from Kii Tanabe, which is on the coast, but the mountains to the north are part of the Kumano Sanzan mountains, which was a centre of Shingon Buddhism. He joined Onisaburo Deguchi of Omoto, but this religion itself is a blend of older elements, including Buddhism and even Christianity.

You will probably be aware that Yuasa wrote another book. The Japanese title is 『身体論』 (Shintai-ron) , which appeared in 1977. This has been translated as The Body: Towards an Eastern Mind-Body Theory. This was published by SUNY in 1987.

Best wishes,

arturolczykowski
03-21-2017, 05:02 PM
Yeah,
My bad. I meant Zen Buddihist. I am aware of his ond Omoto relation to Shingon....

arturolczykowski
03-21-2017, 05:14 PM
What I wanted to say is that some "internal" experiences are difficult to explain and depending on our culture, language, religion and so on we tend to explain them in terms familiar to us. So someone from Jewish tradition will talk about ruah (spirit, breath) and someone from "the East" about ki, chi and so on. This is why I do not see any problem with finding Zen in aikido if for some one the experience found in aikido is the best explained in terms familiar to their tradition, religion, system of thoughts....

I hope you get my point

senshincenter
05-31-2017, 02:36 PM
The obligatory link to the "The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery": http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/The_Myth_of_Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery.pdf

I've critiqued this critique online somewhere. It might even be posted here. Shoji's critique is terrible in my opinion - fyi.

I have not read the suggested book yet, but just ordered it online and will do so. However, regarding the usual on "Zen and Aikido," I think there are some things folks should consider before they outright dismiss the concept:

- Late 19th century and early 20th century Japanese religious did not have cultural distinction between schools/traditions as we do now.
- Japan still does not have cultural distinctions between schools/traditions as we have within academic settings and/or within intellectual exercises such as discussion.
- Japanese culture, especially for the more invested, such as warriors or aristocrats, tends to be mostly influenced by whatever religious tradition is under political and economic favor at a given. There are very few equivalent examples of evangelical and/or zealot-like attachment to a given tradition.
- There were times Japanese history when Mikkyo was a dominant cultural force, but there were times when the Theravada and other Mahayana traditions, such as Zen, as well as cultic traditions that did not really survive Meiji, were also dominant cultural forces.
- The philosophical concept for a martial way, or for a means or a path to act as a technology of the self that encompasses the totality of reality and of the given practitioner, something we see in Osensei's Aikido philosophy and discourse, is reliant upon praxis developments in Chan (Zen).
- History should not really be seen as an artifact. History is an ongoing living thing. Black and white statements or clear-cut answers are things for politicians and for folks trying to sell something. Historians should define their terms, and apply them to a given time and space, and not speak out in once-and-for-all statements. Meaning, for example, we should learn to say that there was a time when some, not all, of a given warrior culture had a certain, not a universal, relationship with a given temple/shrine complex that today we'd call Mikkyo, and that Budo's history did not end with Nitobe but evolved through in via the same kind of muddy specificity.

That said, it is more outrageous to suggest that Osensei's thought and practice was totally devoid of Zen. Historically, culturally, that would be impossible. To suggest so is like an American today saying he has no influence by John Locke because Locke was not an American.

senshincenter
05-31-2017, 02:38 PM
Hi there,

my newly edited and translated book "The Elements of Zen in Martial Arts" is available.
You can get a free trial reading on the authorīs hompage.
(pdf download at the bottom of the page)

http://hagen-seibert.jimdo.com/english/books-and-ebooks/

The sample is quite large (80 pages), though of course it is only an excerpt to give a better view if you will find it interesting enough to purchase.

The book is available via Amazon as ebook and paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Zen-Martial-Arts/dp/153738418X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475186823&sr=8-2&keywords=hagen+seibert
(The link to Amazon is also on the authorīs homepage.)

Though adressing martial arts in General, the text has a special reference to Aikido (since that is where the author comes from).
Please have a look and share your comments.

Thanks for the book suggestion and congratulations on writing it!

bothhandsclapping
06-08-2017, 09:22 PM
I've been practicing both Zen and Aikido for nearly 30 years. Here's all you need to know about the subject ... in less than three minutes.

First, Zen is not that complicated. It is a loose framework for transmitting the fundamental principle of Buddhism (Buddha nature) from a teacher to a student through a progression of insights. To that end, Zen requires three things. You absolutely need:

1.) A teaching to provide a common vocabulary for future discussions and to initially instill a skepticism about all that a student supposes to be true.
2.) An enlightened teacher to shape a student's experience (in the effort to prompt insight) and to then provide feedback to the student's responses.
3.) A practice to initially calm the student's mind and to then provide a mechanism that allows the student to reconcile the teaching with the experiences and feedback provided by the teacher. (Of course zazen (seated meditation) is the tool of choice in Zen.)

The question then, where might an Aikido practice fit within this framework?

In my mind, Aikido training might be useful in the hands of an enlightened teacher in shaping a student's experience and then providing immediate feedback. (An attack followed by a throw that is deemed spontaneous, natural and appropriate.) In a formal Zen practice, this is usually done in sanzen (a personal interview with a Roshi). So, from this perspective, you might consider an Aikido practice as 'moving Zen' - but it's definitely a stretch.

Zen and Aikido? I guess it's possible, not likely. It's just that what most call Zen is simply not.

phitruong
06-09-2017, 08:31 AM
I've been practicing both Zen and Aikido for nearly 30 years.


so what do you actually do when you are practicing Zen? do you go into the wood and slap yourself silly to see if you make a sound? or do you go into a cave to meditate, and be prepared to beat the crap out of folks who sneak into your cave and ask questions such as "does human taste like chicken from the shark point of view?"

bothhandsclapping
06-09-2017, 09:03 AM
so what do you actually do when you are practicing Zen? do you go into the wood and slap yourself silly to see if you make a sound? or do you go into a cave to meditate, and be prepared to beat the crap out of folks who sneak into your cave and ask questions such as "does human taste like chicken from the shark point of view?"

Po: Will you walk with me, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: Yes, Master. Master? The man to whom you spoke, Lee-You? Is he a confused one?
Po: What is your view?
Young KCC: He is a beggar, like the rest. I can see he is greatly in need of food. But he does not eat.
Po: He seeks to satisfy a stronger hunger.
Young KCC: He values what is worthless. (Broken pieces of pottery, which Lee-You uses to decorate a monument he is making for a public area)
Po: To you, to me, perhaps. Not worthless to him.
Young KCC: Bits and pieces that cannot be put back together.
Po: Not to understand a man’s purpose does not make him confused.

Hagen Seibert
08-31-2017, 01:13 PM
Hi,
The concept of Zen in Aikido doesn't seem too far streached for me from theoretical point of view. Of course we all know that O'sensei wasn't a Buddhist and didn't even like it but some concepts found in Aikido (for example ki) are found also in Buddhism, Daoism and Confucionism as Yuasa Yasuo explains in his brilliant The Body, Self-Cultivation and Ki-Energy. Another book that I can recommend on this subject would be Zen and Aikido by Shigeo Kamata and Kenji Shimizu.

Thanks Artur.
I have read the book "Zen and Aikido" by Shimizu/Kamata, since I followed Sensei Shimizuīs style of Aikido at that time, and my piece is signed by him. Yet from my point of view I was not quite satisfied with the book. The part about Zen by Kamata is very profound, absolutly correct and academic in every point. The part by Shimizu is mainly picture sequences. There is little connection between both parts and Kamataīs style of writing was, for my personal taste, too academic. There is single paragraph I recall where he leaves this style and tells about personal experience, that since he practices Aikido he sometimes feels like writing with his hips.
In "The Elements of Zen in Martial Arts" my approach was to focus on a practical view, which I hope I managed to maintain at least for the first part of the book, and to directly connect anecdotes of martial experience with Zen aspects.