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Alfredo sheppy 02-09-2007 02:09 PM

"Aikido is Misogi"
 
Water Misogi

I believe misogi and the natural running water really is the key Osensi used to develop his Aikido. It may be a powerful form of energy cultivation.

"Misogi is a Shinto practice involving purification in a waterfall or other natural running water. Water-misogi may be likened to dousing practices." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogi

Sensei got up and said, "You youngsters have no discipline nowadays…" and then continued, "Anyone among the young guys who thinks he can (take me on) just step up here." With that three people pushed their way to the front and immediately jumped to the attack. How it happened, I don't know, but they all ended up being thrown. This time they took jo (fighting sticks) and were told to come from any angle they wanted… This time they were thinking, "This old grandpa sure talks big." But again with no indication of how it was done, look to the left, look to the right, and all you could see were those three fellows flying through the air. Everyone was impressed by what wonderful techniques they were….
"There I asked Ueshiba Sensei, "How did you ever learn such a wonderful budo?" He answered, "Through misogi" . http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=151


Ki and science are not mutually exclusive. The connections can be seen in works of physicist Bruce Depalma, Ed Leedskalnin, and naturualist Viktor Schauberger. Viktor Schauberger has been called the water wizard.

"Schauberger was not technically educated. He was a naturalist, a forester. He observed nature. He watched rivers. He watched the way water flowed. He wondered how it was that fish, with very little exertion of energy, could be moving upstream in a fast-flowing river, and he started to put things together in his head. That was how he discovered the principle of implosion and the energy of the vortex.. Another phenomena that captured Viktor's imagination was gathered from his observation of the trout's ability to jump high watercourses with apparently so little effort. Again this phenomena occurred during the moonlight hours of the night….
Viktor concluded that a natural watercourse allows for a natural build up of energy that flows in the opposite direction to the water, it is this energy that is used by the trout. "In a suitably formed waterfall this energy flow can be distinguished as a channel of light within the streaming water."
http://lightnet.co.uk/frontier/viktor.htm

Inside of a water-vortex there is an amplification of two streams of energy (yin and yang) running counterpose to one another. Now ki, energy is all around us everywhere in everything, but natural flowing water "allows for build up of this energy". This is what I believe Osensi was tapping into. Just like the trout he was able to use this energy to effortlessly through his opponents. Viktor Schauberger was also able to tap into the energy, creating energy devices utilizing water vortices.

I have practiced some Aikido as well as Bagua. Bagua is a chinese internal martial art known for its twisting spiraling motion. Because of the similar motion and extraodinary feets peformed by Osensi, some Bagua practitioners such as Bruce Francis (whom met Osensi) speculate that Aikido may have come from Bagua. Knowing the less than friendly relationship between the Japanese and Chinese this is unlikely.

The connection between Bagua and Aikido is the energy vortexes (really it's a connection between everything. As above so below). Where the energy vortex of water is utilized in Misogi, Bagua uses circle walking as a means of creating this vortex (note the walker, humans are mostly water). This walking meditation is a prerequisite of the art. Bagua master of old were known to have students circle walk for a year, hours a day, before any technique was learned. This practice is used spiritually, for clearing energy blockages, and developing power for martial arts.

"The simple act of walking the circle creates a vortex that allows the practitioner to amplify, mix, and control the natural energies that keep coming up from the earth and down from above. The twisting actions of bagua create spirals of these energies according to the will of the practitioner. Also, these spiraling energies can involuntarily move the practitioner's chi and body. In later stages of practice, you are able to create energetic vortices that spiral up toward the sky and down toward the ground simultaneously." http://www.universal-tao.com/article/martial_arts.html


I once noted to a teacher how his demonstration of an old style karate looked similar in motion to Bagua. Unlike the hard style karate most are familiar with, this was relaxed and had a twisting motion in the kata. My teacher explained that at very high level all these arts start looking similar. This is because once a person has accumulated enough energy, the energy begins to move the practioner and energy moves in vorticular motion. The energy quite literally flows like water as does the practicioner.

Victor Schuaberger was an environmentalist he saw a connection between the state of our water and the state of our physical and spiritual beings. Very few rivers are unpolluted and allowed to flow in a natural vorticular ways. The water in our pipes is not allowed to flow in vortex motion. Victor would say much of the water present is degraded and sometimes dead. I often wonder if pollution is part of the reason martial artists of the caliber of the old rarely exist today.

There are countless ways in which to draw life energy into our life. Simple meditation will change the body energetically. The chinese have numerous techniques. The simple act of performing taichi with correct alignment will draw energy. Just being in the presence of a master will amplify effects. The use of circle walking and water misogi are ways to amplify the energy.

Osensi was a great man he didn't hide how he accomplished what he did, it is just hard to believe how such a seemingly simple practice such as water-misogi can do so much. When I put this together I first wanted to immediately go out in nature and meditate under a waterfall during the moonlight hours and practice misogi. I have never practiced water Misogi so really all this is just theory maybe someone out there will confirm it.

"There I asked Ueshiba Sensei, "How did you ever learn such a wonderful budo?" He answered, "Through misogi"

Alfredo Sheppy

Upyu 02-09-2007 02:28 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Uhhh... you might want to use the search function before you commit to a post about a topic that has content that's been beaten to death on this forum.

Tim Fong 02-09-2007 02:34 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Rob,
no no no, the beating IS the misogi.

=)

DH 02-09-2007 06:27 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Wonderful sounding words and descriptions aren't they?


Dan

eyrie 02-09-2007 06:45 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Tim Fong wrote:
Rob,
no no no, the beating IS the misogi.

=)

Only if you're Catholic Tim... :D

Michael Young 02-11-2007 12:25 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Ignatius Teo wrote:
Only if you're Catholic Tim... :D


No... to be Catholic, you'd have to feel guilty too :D

eyrie 02-11-2007 12:37 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Guilty... as charged... :D

C'mon... with a name like Ignatius??? ;)

acot 02-11-2007 01:08 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
I don't mean to pick on anyone on this thread, because it happens a lot on Aikiweb. Why is it so wrong to bring up a topic that has been discussed before on a forum? If one not interested in the topic why do they insist on reading it or posting on that thread?
Personally I enjoy it when topics are come up again. Sometimes after a few more years of training it has more meaning, more depth, and from a different angle.
Someone who took the time to do a search they might discover that the topic 600 posts on the subject already , and be discouraged from adding a new angle.

Thanks for reading my vent.. and sorry if I offended anyone.

Ryan

Tim Fong 02-11-2007 01:36 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Ignatius:
I'm just not going to touch that =)

senshincenter 02-11-2007 02:29 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Nice post Ryan - no offense taken here.

Upyu 02-11-2007 04:53 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Ryan Bertram wrote:
I don't mean to pick on anyone on this thread, because it happens a lot on Aikiweb. Why is it so wrong to bring up a topic that has been discussed before on a forum? If one not interested in the topic why do they insist on reading it or posting on that thread?
Personally I enjoy it when topics are come up again. Sometimes after a few more years of training it has more meaning, more depth, and from a different angle.
Someone who took the time to do a search they might discover that the topic 600 posts on the subject already , and be discouraged from adding a new angle.

Thanks for reading my vent.. and sorry if I offended anyone.

Ryan

It's not that it's wrong so much as the guy was simply regurgitating whatever stuff he'd been fed without any actual "physical" understanding of what was going on. (Not to mention that from the description he gave his teacher has zip knowledge as well) Maybe that sounds harsh, but it is what it is.

Here's the other thing, I think those kind of uninformed and half assedly formed posts do more harm in that they potentially point some beginners in the wrong direction.
Other than that I couldn't care less about vortexs of water swirling meaningleslly in the body :D

Kevin Leavitt 02-11-2007 05:59 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Guys...chill....people learn and discover things in different ways and in different stages than maybe you do.

Many in aikido may not "get it" as much as some of you guys apparently do.

Frankly I don't really understand why some of you extremely advanced guys hang out with those that don't get it, and probably never will.

Your right about one thing, electrons and words are very cheap and easy...it applies to all of us.

Aikido is also about patience, virtue, compassion, and understanding as well...but then again, maybe some of us just don't "get it".

Mike Galante 02-17-2007 02:28 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Dittos, Kevin

One can read ad nauseum about technique on other forums, why should it be any different in this one?
The spiralic dual motion, was described to me by Nakazono as Izanami and Izanagi, ascending and descending, clockwise and counter at the same time. So, in projecting positive ki, one cannot help but also be receiving it simultaneously.
In my opinion, the vortex, the microcosmic reflection of the universal, the small universe inside, should be brought up and discussed and mentioned, more and more. It is real and can make your aikido real. Otherwise it is just newtonian physics, what a bore.

Mike Galante 02-17-2007 02:30 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Dittos, Kevin

One can read ad museum about technique on other forums, why should it be any different in this one?
The spiralic dual motion, was described to me by Nakazono as Izanami and Izanagi, ascending and descending, clockwise and counter at the same time. So, in projecting positive ki, one cannot help but also be receiving it simultaneously.
In my opinion, the vortex, the microcosmic reflection of the universal, the small universe inside, should be brought up and discussed and mentioned, more and more. It is real and can make your aikido real. Otherwise it is just Newtonian physics, what a bore.

Josh Reyer 02-17-2007 03:12 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Frankly I don't really understand why some of you extremely advanced guys hang out with those that don't get it, and probably never will.

Replace "internal skills" with "alive training", and I'm sure you'll get some kind of idea. :) ;)

Despite a wide variety of interests, I think most people here are essentially like-minded. Whether aikido in specific or martial arts in general, people post here because they want to share their ideas, and help those with less experience on their way. Some people, they aren't going to change their minds. But there are a vast number, the silent majority, who might still be open to other ideas, or undecided on some of these major cruces.

When someone posts things to the effect that "Competition is bad for aikido" or "Just practicing the techniques in kata is enough to become martially effective," or "BJJ/MMA are just ego-driven sports, with no real connection to budo or the real world", I'm sure you are compelled to respond. Even though the subject has been beat to death. Because such ideas run directly counter to your own experiences, and what you feel is good for aikido and the martial arts. And so you speak up, and post. Why? I'm sure for the same reason Mike, Rob, et al post when someone suggests things counter to their own experiences, and what they feel is good for aikido and the martial arts.

Erick Mead 02-18-2007 01:04 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Robert John wrote:
It's not that it's wrong so much as the guy was simply regurgitating whatever stuff he'd been fed without any actual "physical" understanding of what was going on. (Not to mention that from the description he gave his teacher has zip knowledge as well) Maybe that sounds harsh, but it is what it is.

... Well, ... ill-informed, presumptuous, mean, condescending, cheap and generally un-neighborly -- but "harsh" -- no, not really ...
Quote:

Robert John wrote:
Here's the other thing, I think those kind of uninformed and half assedly formed posts do more harm in that they potentially point some beginners in the wrong direction.
Other than that I couldn't care less about vortexs of water swirling meaningleslly in the body :D

Seeing as neither you nor I nor any of our interlocutors here are the arbiters of the "right direction," try being a bit kinder, even when trying to correct. Even when you mean well, your words may not be taken as intended.

This place is as much for his exploration as it is for yours. More so, maybe ...

And since this will seemingly devolve into the same eternal conflict you guys cannot seem to put to one side -- let me sum up and close, for the record, with the perrenial advice given for such interminable obsessions:

"... ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam."

I doubt that "internal skills" will aid you in grasping the immediate significance of that. Google might, -- but the deeper issue driving it will likely remain hidden, as always.

mathewjgano 02-18-2007 02:01 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Alfredo Sheppy wrote:
I have never practiced water Misogi so really all this is just theory maybe someone out there will confirm it.

"There I asked Ueshiba Sensei, "How did you ever learn such a wonderful budo?" He answered, "Through misogi"

Alfredo Sheppy

I have practiced water misogi for a relatively short, but still fairly pronounced number of times and would say it certainly added a unique element to my training. Your assertions seem a bit strong to me though for someone who has never practiced it. I'd say the act of shocking the system with cold water has a meditative quality which can relax the nervous system quite nicely when done regularly...plus I tend to be affected by the cold a bit less than most when I practice it regularly enough. It's really quite an envigorating experience and perhaps it conditions the senses to a certain sharpness over time, I haven't practiced it long enough to say with much certainty, but I'm inclined to think it couldn't hurt. Besides, there's something to be said for the psychosematic act of ritual to put the mind into a sort of mild hypnosis through which the mind can experience some interesting phenomina. I think the greatest benefit I gained from it was a generally improved focus. When you're stepping into glacial water in the middle of winter...or spring or fall and often enough summer, for that matter, if you can relax your body, breath and mind easily, you can do the same in another situation with a similar degree of shock to the system. Approx. 33 degree F water (on particularly cold days) wearing little more than a loin cloth and a headband can cause quite a bit of shock.
Aside from that, I wonder at the range of meanings Osensei could have had when refering to the term "misogi." Misogi, if I recall correctly, is a general term describing a process of refinement, with an emphasis on removing accumulated bad habits and the like. Perhaps I didn't understand the context of the scenarios you gave but it seems to me Osensei could have been refering to the act of training in aikibudo when he described how he became as proficient as he did.
I don't know...I'm probably speculating with just the right amount of information to get me in trouble.
Anyhow...my two bits.
Take care,
Matt

Kevin Leavitt 02-18-2007 02:47 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Seeing some of us in only a loin cloth and a headband might be all the shock that is needed. forget the water!

Mike Galante 02-18-2007 08:00 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
We used to do Misogi in a mountain stream in Big Indian, NY. Was middle of the winter right after Zazen, Kototama, Aikido. Invigorating!
But, to me the concept of Misogi, is a spiritual cleansing. The purification necessary for a spiritual body to be unable to have "room" to exist. We all know the impurities needed to be cleansed but in the end, the body itself needs to be surrendered, so why not build good karma, strengthen the spirit, and prepare now for that eventual transition? My .02$

Kevin Leavitt 02-18-2007 11:26 AM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
How do you build Karma from standing in cold water? My thoughts on Karma is that it is a result of actions you do that influence other things.

Certainly it is a part of karma, but not sure how you would build good karma simply from this.

I could see it as a part of a process that helps you in the three areas of mental, spiritual, and physical.

There are lots of ways to achieve the same results. For me hiking on the appalachin trail for 100KM for 5 days and not talking to anyone was a very spiritual process.

Certainly the effect it had on me, might influence the actions I took later on after it and that would translate to a karmic influence.

Shugyo is a wonderful thing sometimes. I went to Ranger School about 10 years and hoped to have a very enlightening experience from that as an extreme form of shugyo. I laughed a few weeks into the course when I learned that it just plain sucked! Not much enlightment going on.

Now the lessons I learned in the past 10 years that I have drawn from that experience have been very worthwile.

My point is I guess that standing under cold water can be a good thing, it might work for some, not for others, and for all of us, it will make us cold and definitely wet! :)

To eaches own!

I would be game to do it someday though, as I think it would help form a strong bond between the participants which leads to greater understanding and interdependence...which is what I think true enlightment is all about anyway....so maybe it does develop good karma after all :)

tedehara 02-18-2007 12:10 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Misogi is spiritual purification. Shinto doesn't believe in sin, but does believe that you can pick-up spiritual impurities though daily living. When you get dirty, you can take a bath. When you pick-up spiritual grime, you can perform misogi. Therefore it becomes important to purify yourself spiritually on a frequent basis.

Misogi is not only done through water. You can do misogi though other ways like bell ringing and chanting. So water misogi is not the only form of purification. This brings us to the founder's statement, "Aikido is misogi."

I think he is actually trying to express the idea that the practice of aikido is a form of spiritual purification. This viewpoint reflects his shinto background and understanding of aikido as a spiritual practice.

When he says, "Aikido is misogi", he means the practice of aikido is an act of spiritual purification. Hopefully he is right and we are all better people for it.

mathewjgano 02-18-2007 02:00 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Seeing some of us in only a loin cloth and a headband might be all the shock that is needed. forget the water!

lol! For me it was almost more shocking being in the loin cloth...my swim shorts have always tended toward the baggy side of things. :D But really, it's no worse than all those speedos my American, puritain eyes were assailed with when on holiday at the beaches abroad. :p I still have the nightmares! :eek:
I agree with your other post about the ability to get similar results from other activities. For me a good day of skiing can put more right with the world mentaly than just about anything else. And physically I get obvious benefits in the form of stronger legs and the like. It's a form of meditation in and of itself.
To my mind, the most important thing is that we're learning and refining our abilities: growing...if we're talking about our training, at least. Just as folks have different learning styles, so too are there different activities which different people will best interact with. Then of course there's the matter of personal taste. The Polar Bears Club isn't for everyone. However, it is also my understanding that people with kidney disease or other health issues shouldn't do cold water misogi. It can shock the immune system or the kidneys themselves, according to one yudansha of my dojo, clearly not everyone should practice this form of meditation. Still, i'd recommend it to anyone who's curious and healthy enough. It's nicer on warm days though, I must admit. :cool:
Take care,
Matt

Mike Galante 02-18-2007 06:33 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara wrote:
Misogi is spiritual purification. Shinto doesn't believe in sin, but does believe that you can pick-up spiritual impurities though daily living. When you get dirty, you can take a bath. When you pick-up spiritual grime, you can perform misogi. Therefore it becomes important to purify yourself spiritually on a frequent basis.

Misogi is not only done through water. You can do misogi though other ways like bell ringing and chanting. So water misogi is not the only form of purification. This brings us to the founder's statement, "Aikido is misogi."

I think he is actually trying to express the idea that the practice of aikido is a form of spiritual purification. This viewpoint reflects his shinto background and understanding of aikido as a spiritual practice.

When he says, "Aikido is misogi", he means the practice of aikido is an act of spiritual purification. Hopefully he is right and we are all better people for it.

Kevin, Ted put it well above. Misogi with water, when icy cold, strengthens the nerves, the tanden, concentration, and the constitution.

But as Ted so well described, Misogi can be a multitude of practices.

Nakazono said Misogi is washing out. Or cleansing.

Your 100 Km hike sounds like a Misogi type practice, with silence.
How can you not get even a little bit in tune with God through nature after 5 days of that.
Coming back to civilization after that must be a little shock.

So, any action/thought/practice which builds you body/mind/spirit
and purifies your being is Misogi and builds good karma. They are all very general terms, to me.

Alfredo sheppy 01-05-2008 07:36 PM

re "Aikido is Misogi" waterfalls youtube
 
Here is an martial art from japan that uses waterfalls as part of their training to develop a sixth sense. Looks similiar to stuff scene in aikido.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMe_CGdF-zc

Thanks for the responses,
Alfredo

George S. Ledyard 01-07-2008 05:59 PM

Re: "Aikido is Misogi"
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara wrote: (Post 169034)
When he says, "Aikido is misogi", he means the practice of aikido is an act of spiritual purification. Hopefully he is right and we are all better people for it.

The practice of Aikido, if done with the proper spirit, is misogi. It isn't inherently misogi, I think. There needs to be a degree of pushing through or going beyond for it to be true. There is an element of effort and there is an element of being totally "present". Then you can say that the practice is a form of misogi.

I also think ones attitude comes into it. Practicing and acquiring technique merely to defeat another person is not what was meant. Practicing as a form of self cultivation was. In other words, it would be possible to train with the wrong set of goals and it wouldn't be the kind of misogi O-Sensei meant.


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