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10-04-2005, 04:25 PM
I am just starting my second month in AIkido classes with my 11yo son here in Boise, I am 35yo!
I have fallen in love with this art form and the philosophy of Aikido being an "Art of Peace". I have also been intrigued with the gracefulness of this art.
I am trying to understand the philosophy first, and then the moves will come naturally later ( With lots of practice!).
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10-04-2005, 11:21 PM
Mostly Arts come first then Philosophy follows. Just keep on training, then you'll find something.
Take things in the appropriate time. Don't get indoctrinated, and think critically about what you are learning and compare this to experience. I agree with Jaemin. I believe that the philosophy/spiritual aspect of aikido is intrinsic to the good physical practise of aikido and is not seperate. It's pointless trying to understand yin & yang from a detatched way, you need too be able to relate to it in a practical and real manner. Things that are often considered 'mysticism' is someone attempting to communicate something which is very real but the reader is unable to see the context in which the writer is communicating.
Obviously read what you want, but real knowledge comes from direct experience... unfortuntely just training (and reflection)...
However, for the sake of interest, I find a nice background (without too much hype) is Ueshiba's biography by John Stevens. John Stevens has written lots of other stuff, but I can't help thinking he is pushing his own buddhist philosophy. On that note, great books I have discovered indirectly through aikido and I don't pretend any direct link include 'Lieh Tzi' by Eva Wong (great simple Taoist philosophy classic), 'Essays on Zen' (DT Suzuki), or an easier read is 'The Way of Zen' by Alan Watts. Also, one of the best books I've read on developing internal energy is 'The Way of Energy' Lam Kiew Kitt. I tend to find much of the aikido publications view on ki tends to be quite restricted and fails to recognise the depth and wealth of chinese literature on ki development and understanding. My all time favourite is 'Chuang Tzu' (by Palmer - another taoist classic).
I suppose if you want to understand Ueshiba's philosophy you have to get into Omote-kyo, though I don't really think many aikidoka are interested in that?! (maybe a good poll question?)
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