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12-16-2003, 08:40 AM
I like all the O'sensei quotes and find him to be an utterly fascinating and colorful life to look at. I do wonder though, how westerners view giving compassion for the enemy, and more so, to what degree? Was O'Sensei meaning that he would put hellish pain on his enemies or break their bones instead of killing them, I truly believe so,and these actions still could be considered compassionate. Anton Lavey remarked that "How can you love the bloodsplashed jaws of an enemy that strives to rip you limb from limb?" I don't claim to know the answer but its worth pondering. And hey, I have been influenced by henry rollins !!

12-16-2003, 08:47 AM
IMHO, kindness can be using as little as possible but as much as necessary to resolve a conflict as peacefully as possible.

Of course, in the early days, I was trained by people who said kindness was killing swiftly instead of slowly beating someone to death.

12-16-2003, 08:56 AM
Anton Lavey remarked that "How can you love the bloodsplashed jaws of an enemy that strives to rip you limb from limb?"

Isn't he the founder of the Church of Satan?

In the "Art of Peace" O'Sensei says that to injure your opponent is to injure yourself, and that any pain you cause them is wrong. I have also heard that folks (here) have stated a very different view point by O'Sensei; maybe it depends on what's at stake. Anyone, that has a better understanding of sensei'd teachings care to enlighten us?

12-16-2003, 10:45 AM
An anecdote that I retained of the book of saotome sensei, nature and harmony, is interesting to understand partly what makes aikido an art of nonviolence. According to the statement of the author, Ueshiba was fascinated by the constant demonstrations of remorse of his teacher master sokaku takeda, who in the past had killed with his own hands, in my opinion surely had an influence on him.

O sensei was confronted with the war, lived any kind of adventures, I think that these experiments associated, and his interest since all its youth for the spirituality, the religion, the two compounds almost "naturally" had as for result the principle of nonviolence of Aikido, that's my opinion.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
12-16-2003, 01:41 PM
At a recent seminar, George Ledyard Sensei gave an excellent, short lecture. He stated that he believed aikido itself to be a 'koan', or (in my limited understanding) a paradoxical saying with no 'logical' answer. He believed it was summarized when O-Sensei said "Budo is love."

In one of his most articulate books, Saotome-sensei says that true Budo is understanding the enemy, and when you truly understand someone, it is impossible to hate them.

To bring in a Christian perspective (hey, if we can quote Anton Levay, surely Jesus is fair game), it's said that to love a friend is only natural; the worst tyrants and murderers loved their friends. The real strength of love is seen when you are able to love an enemy.

Aikido, I think, is the study of controlling aggression without becoming an aggressor yourself.

12-16-2003, 10:05 PM
At a recent seminar, George Ledyard Sensei gave an excellent, short lecture. He stated that he believed aikido itself to be a 'koan', or (in my limited understanding) a paradoxical saying with no 'logical' answer. He believed it was summarized when O-Sensei said "Budo is love."
IMHO, Budo is love because most of us fight not because we hate the enemy but because we love the people we are protecting. What may be thought of as "unkind" towards one person may be an act of protective "kindness" towards another.

12-17-2003, 01:39 AM
I think when talking about osensei, it would be great to quote him as well as the date/time that he spoke that quoted subject.

Because i think timeline is a relevant issue here. Osensei didn't inherit aikido in a manual/book that says aikido for dummies a-z. he developed it through a process of experience, learning, trial and error and along the way... aikido was born. so maybe things he said at one time, was superceded by something else he said at a later time. to me, that process of growing up would also serve as a frame/benchmark on how our aikido can mature as well.

just my thoughts.

Ghost Fox
12-17-2003, 06:31 AM
Oh, oh now me.

Do what thou Wilt

Shall be the whole of the law.

Love is the Law Love under Will.

Aleister Crowley

I think the compassion found in Aikido is a natural outgrowth of the training. If you practice and study Aikido correctly (IMHO) during a situation thoughts and personal feelings should disappear and the correct level of force should manifest itself. So if injury or death occurs it is a natural manifestation of natural principles, not intentional or unintentional malice.

I remember reading an interview of Bruce Lee in which he said (paraphrasing) if he ever got in to an altercation and someone died he would simply tell the judge that it wasn’t him who killed the person. That it was simply his training manifesting itself. Anyway, it went something like that. Interesting thought though, if as an Aikidoka you truly seed your spirit with the ideals of Aikido can you were held accountable for the damage caused to someone attacking you.

Ted Marr
12-17-2003, 08:21 AM
Yes... my understanding is that Bruce Lee quote came in regards to talking about the role of concious thought in the martial arts. He was saying that really, if you get good, then when you have to use it for real you don't think, you just do what your training dictates. On the subject of compassion, I'm reminded of something my teacher said... I'm going to have to paraphrase and misquote, but it went something like "when you train really hard, and start to become really martially competant, then other people and their violence starts to be like little kids. Adults just aren't threatened by little kids who are being violent, and such. They just can't really be hurt by it. So, the responsibility falls on the adult to keep the kid from trying to hurt people, and reeducate him or her, but without hurting the kid in the process. Hurting someone who is powerless is just cruel." Talking about how Aikido inspires "kindness" brings this to mind. It is the very responsibility itself that lends itself to kindness. But it presumes an element of having a core set of values that precedes the training. Aikido doesn't make "better people", it only allows the good in people to express itself.

12-17-2003, 12:20 PM
it seems to me that some of you are smoking way to much herb! injury and pain are two different entities entirely, just like fat and muscle are entirely different chemical compounds, one does not convert to another! I am inclined to belive the senseis I talk with, who have lived in japan and are more aware of the cultural differences and old time mentalities, that O'Sensei was of a fierce warrior culture where men fought bayonet to bayonet!! and O'Sensei definely put the pain on. I keep watchin those old vids 1-6 and wonder how much it would have hurt to feel his lovin touch?

Ted Marr
12-17-2003, 12:28 PM
Ah, but he wasn't giving them more pain than they could handle, which is an important distinction... pain, you have to expect in training, and as you train more, you can withstand more.

I'm guessing that a good chunk of teaching ukemi to students is so that teachers can build a good core of people who they can "play" with, and practice on to improve their art without actually having to go out to a battlefield and kill people.

Anders Bjonback
12-19-2003, 10:49 PM
The real test for compassion is towards one's enemy, someone who wishes one harm, or who one simply does not like.

Personally, if I'm attacked by someone, I'd probably do some lame attempt at my martial arts training. I'd be surprised and afraid for my own life, and wouldn't be thinking that much about compassion at first.

Training would hopefully give me some degree of self control in a situation like that so I would not blindly give into my own impulses, not go into a fight/flight responce.

I hope that in a situation like that, in my final moments before death (i.e., before the other person pulls the trigger, or whatever), I would be able to fill myself with compassion towards the other person. I think that martial arts training could help in that objective not because it's some path to peace (I'm not sure aikido is that, regardless of what people say), but because I could hopefully keep a clear head in a life-threatening situation.