PDA

View Full Version : Why to practice?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


suren
06-17-2004, 11:33 PM
Guys, I have a question.
What does aikido's philosophy say about the reasons one should practice?

My karate sensei was always concerned about the reasons people practice since karate can be easily used to harm others. I heard a lot of different answers like "self defence skills", "sport", "a way to strengthen your character or to be healthy". I was taught that practicing karate should be treated as "art".

What Aikido philosophy says about this?

JJF
06-18-2004, 01:24 AM
First and foremost I believe it should be fun. Not funny though - but that good healthy type of fun, where you get exhausted from practicing hard for a few hours and gradually develop a deeper understanding of Aikido and your self.

But that might just be me.... :D

xuzen
06-18-2004, 01:29 AM
Suren,

How about to unite oneself with the universe i.e., a method to reach enlightenment? Ha ha ha...

Regards,
Boon

suren
06-18-2004, 01:38 AM
Well, I understand that everyone has his/her own reasons of doing that and those reasons may change while person evolves. But I was wandering if philosophy of Aikido touches that matter. I remember some yoga books would describe reasons on different stages and their evolution, but they were too specific to yoga. How about Aikido? Is there such a literature or the only way is to choose one of reasons and start with it ? :) Is that Aikido's philosophy?

suren
06-18-2004, 01:41 AM
Boon, maybe...But I'm not so abstact-thinking person :) How precisely do you envision such a unification?

xuzen
06-18-2004, 02:42 AM
Karate to be practice as an art...

I like that idea too, it seems to me your sensei is showing signs of higher level of thought (enlightened mindset). In its raw form karate or aikido is a martial art, it was designed to kill/maim/disable/neutralize hostile entity. Ballet in its raw form is a series of body movement. But to execute it aesthetically it becomes an art, i.e., visually appeasing to the eyes. Similarly Aikido, if it is executed gracefully then one can say it is an art form. Have you seen some of the aikido video clips from this website yet, they show some very aesthetic moves by some well-known masters.

The shaolin monk uses kung-fu to empower their mind and therefore their body. They are Buddhist and one of the goals of a Buddhist is to attain enlightenment (reach nirvana and to end the cycle of birth and death on their soul, sorry for the digression). Practicing Kung-fu is one of the known method for achieving these, also meditation. Yoga is also one known method of this (I notice that you, Suren also practices Yoga). Similarly Aikido, when practiced in the similar state of mind can help one's vision of attaining buddhahood, if it within the seeker's wish. I believe a lot of things like flower arranging, tea ceremony, if done in the zen/ch'an state of mind, are paths to an enlightened mind.

So, back to the question, what philosophy of Aikido to be the reason to continue practice? I guess for me, it is an avenue for enlightenment.

P/S I am a born Buddhist, so such concept are second nature to me. In your profile, you stated religion, yoga, philosophy as your interest. Out of curiosity, Suren, do you find such concept as mentioned above too abstract?

suren
06-18-2004, 03:03 AM
Boon, I don't find that concept abstract at all. I was wandering what you mean by enlightenment and unification. And as I understand you express the same ideas that are described in the religious scrolls of Induism and Buddhism. Now I got your idea.
Talking about "art", my own understanding of it as a way to reveal some internal hidden beauty and make others feel it. Like when you are looking on a drawing or performance that makes you feel lighter and higher than this world, inspires you.
What do you think about internal techniques? Does Aikido have some direct techniques working solely on internal control of the force? Like in yoga practice they have breathing techniques and some excercices to wake Kundalini and make it travel to Sahasrara. Should one practice to become more knowledgable in controlling his Ki (or Chi).
Thought yogic literature discussing these matters warns from being interested in these forces, since they disturb a practioned from the ultimate target (in yoga it's God) not to speak about person's Ego and threat of becoming blinded by the feeling of force.

xuzen
06-18-2004, 03:31 AM
Dear Suren,
Suren says; "Thought yogic literature discussing these matters warns from being interested in these forces, since they disturb a practioned from the ultimate target (in yoga it's God) not to speak about person's Ego and threat of becoming blinded by the feeling of force."

Oh no, you have bought up a very strong point w.r.t. controlling one's own Ki. I have never thought about it before. Now I am only begining to feel the power of the force and it never occur to me the negative side, i.e., addiction / blinded the feeling of the force. Thanks for bringing this up, I will always keep it in my mind.

Boon

suren
06-18-2004, 03:43 AM
Boon, If you are interested, this concept is discussed in some books of Raja Yoga. I would suggest Vivekananda. I hope I did not scare you since some teachers say that power is given to a person only when he is ready for it, but there is no guarantee :) Overall rule in yoga is to remember your goal. I'm not knowledgable enaugh to teach anyone, I just repeated smth I was studying for most of my life.

So does Aikido have some practices concentrating on controlling Ki and if so how it's approached - as a way or as a goal?

xuzen
06-18-2004, 04:08 AM
Suren says; "So does Aikido have some practices concentrating on controlling Ki and if so how it's approached - as a way or as a goal?

Dear Suren,

I hope I interpret your question correctly: In my practice, we are taught some breathing exercise after class. It is somethig similar to qigong. In physiological sense it is useful warming down. In spiritual sense, it is to calm our mind after a vigourous workout. (This practise is called Mok-sho by my sensei). I guess it can be called to control ones' ki, since this exercise is used to control our breath/prahna.I am not sure if aikido per se has a specific technique to control ones' ki, maybe a lot of it are borrowed from qigong or yoga.

Any taker on this question, my fellow practitioners?

Boon.

Charles Hill
06-18-2004, 05:40 AM
Hi Suren,

The founder of Aikido talked about different levels in the art. One such grouping is that we start with Bujutsu, fighting techniques and strategies. Next, we ascend to the level of Budo, practicing martial arts to become better people. The last step is Bushin, connecting with the creative element of the universe in our particular (fighting) art.

It`s similar to Patanjali`s yoga in that we must start with yamas and niyamas before going on to asana, pranayama, concentration, and samadhi. (I`m missing a step, I think.) The steps become the foundation for what comes next and can`t be skipped.

I personally have kept with Aikido because I like beer and Aikidoists generally drink better beer than Karate and Judo practioners.

Charles Hill

suren
06-18-2004, 09:28 AM
Hi Charles,

Thanks for explanation. It seems to me I'll need to study some more about Aikido not only in dojo.
The step you missed was "meditation" between "concentration" and "samadhi".

I like your reasons :)

Suren.

Ron Tisdale
06-18-2004, 10:45 AM
I personally have kept with Aikido because I like beer and Aikidoists generally drink better beer than Karate and Judo practioners.

HA! Judoka can't drink! :)

I train in aikido because I like it.

Ron (unenlightened...sometimes happily so...)

David_francis
06-20-2004, 08:15 AM
I train in aikido for lots of reasons, to become stronger physically and mentally, for discipline, self defense and because I really enjoy it.

dan guthrie
06-20-2004, 08:56 AM
HA! Judoka can't drink! :)

I train in aikido because I like it.

Ron (unenlightened...sometimes happily so...)

Wrong, wrong wrong. You train in Aikido because you're seeking enlightenment. Your spiritual path has led you to this mystical place of peace and inner harmony. Your chakras are aligned and you can walk through walls.
Now get that through your thick head and go back to training. I mean . . . really! You people are going to make me change my meds.
What are you looking at? :grr:
:D :D
Just don't tell my sensei.

Ron Tisdale
06-21-2004, 08:57 AM
Wrong, wrong wrong. You train in Aikido because you're seeking enlightenment.

:) Hey, I'm in the yoshinkan, we don't believe in enlightenment! :)

Ron (yes, I am joking...)

happysod
06-21-2004, 09:20 AM
Hey, I'm in the yoshinkan, we don't believe in enlightenment! go sit in the Iwama corner until you can be serious! :D

suren
06-21-2004, 03:30 PM
Now get that through your thick head and go back to training.

I'm not against training and I my question was not an intension to move people's minds from training to philosophycal discussions :)

Qatana
06-21-2004, 04:16 PM
it was a philosophical question, tho.

Bronson
06-21-2004, 11:17 PM
...we don't believe in enlightenment! :)


I became enlightened a little over two weeks ago. I purchased a spiffy little keychain flashlight from one of the tool vendors at work. Now I can enlighten a whole room any time I want :D

Bronson

xuzen
06-21-2004, 11:54 PM
To all non-enlightened beings (that include me)

Just training alone can be very boring sometimes. It is healthy to engage in some spirituality discussion just to break the monotony. When we are bored with the spiritual discussion then maybe we can exchange mummy's cookie recipe before going back to talking about aikido training, yes?

:D
Boon

Charles Hill
06-22-2004, 05:32 AM
I was taught that practicing karate should be treated as "art".

Hi Suren,

What do you think your teacher meant by the word art?

Charles Hill

suren
06-22-2004, 11:25 AM
Charles, it's difficult to say. He never explained it with his words, but you could feel wat he ment when you were in dojo practicing with him. In fact I never realized why I was keeping practicing. Physically that was very difficult and painful. We practiced full contact karate without any equipment - bare feet and fists:) and besides that was a hell of a physical work... but something was inspiring me every time I was there and that something kept me in dojo until it was closed (karate was illegal in my country those days).