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-   -   Make spiritual side part of my training (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12904)

Battongeor227 07-15-2007 10:45 PM

Make spiritual side part of my training
 
I don't currently train in aikido, but know that as far as the spiritual side of the martial arts it's very good in that area. Currently I train in Brazilian jiu jitsu but find that there is very little spiritual taught in this art. It is however a beautiful expression of gentleness and adaptation in motion and I plan to teach the art one day. I would like to know how to implement the spiritual side into it that I used to have with the more traditional arts that I studied before.

Dewey 07-16-2007 07:37 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

George Batton wrote: (Post 183779)
I don't currently train in aikido, but know that as far as the spiritual side of the martial arts it's very good in that area. Currently I train in Brazilian jiu jitsu but find that there is very little spiritual taught in this art. It is however a beautiful expression of gentleness and adaptation in motion and I plan to teach the art one day. I would like to know how to implement the spiritual side into it that I used to have with the more traditional arts that I studied before.

Hmmm....interesting. I do have a little experience with BJJ, but limited, so I defer to those on this forum who actually study it more than occasionally. It is indeed a highly efficient grappling art, and you can't go wrong learning strong groundfighting skills. BTW, how's your "stand up game?" (as they like to call it)

I also believe your observations about it's lack of a spititual dimension is spot-on. As I understand it, BJJ is intentionally devoid of that dimension. That being said, BJJ is not anti-spiritual and there are indeed many spiritual & religious folks who train in it...it's just simply not considered an essential component.

Since this is an Aikido forum, naturally;) I'd suggest picking up the active study of Aikido. It would indeed provide fresh perspective in your personal training and challenge you to grow in ways you never before considered: between one art that is almost custom-tailored for competition (BJJ) and is universally considered a fighter's art to an art that eschews competition & fighting and constantly demands introspection concerning your motives for wanting to fight (Aikido). Besides, if you do go on to become a BJJ instructor, your time in Aikido will make you a stronger competitor. The martial concept of Aiki (blending/joining/merging) is diffrent than Jiu/Ju...as you will discover. Combine them both...watch out!

jennifer paige smith 07-16-2007 09:52 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
I'd also offer, beyond the good advice that you've already gotten, that you simply begin reading O'Sensei's words and teachings. You can apply them to any art and then adapt your understanding in spirit.

Battongeor227 07-16-2007 09:46 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Thanks for the responses. I do believe that the competitive aspect is a little too prevalent in BJJ. I don't really study bjj for self defense anymore than a kendoist trains to fight people in the streets with a sword. I do it kind of for the same reason a person would practice everyday on a violin. I also box on occasion but do jiu jitsu much more. I did one mma fight that I won, but have noticed that more and more people involved in that sport nowadays neglect true technique and are especially lacking in the spiritual side if the martial arts. To a lot of them it's just about fighting and winning trophies. I've won medals and trophies in jiu jitsu tournaments and have one from my MMA fight, but have realized that I originally got into martial arts for the long haul. The main reason that I train is because I feel that I'm an artist first and find that through the movements of any particular fighting style a certain expression of myself is portrayed every day in practice as well as in competition. I might not have invented the movements but they are still my own as I grow and learn more and more about myself everyday.

Dewey 07-16-2007 10:46 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

George Batton wrote: (Post 183866)
Thanks for the responses. I do believe that the competitive aspect is a little too prevalent in BJJ. I don't really study bjj for self defense anymore than a kendoist trains to fight people in the streets with a sword. I do it kind of for the same reason a person would practice everyday on a violin. I also box on occasion but do jiu jitsu much more. I did one mma fight that I won, but have noticed that more and more people involved in that sport nowadays neglect true technique and are especially lacking in the spiritual side if the martial arts. To a lot of them it's just about fighting and winning trophies. I've won medals and trophies in jiu jitsu tournaments and have one from my MMA fight, but have realized that I originally got into martial arts for the long haul. The main reason that I train is because I feel that I'm an artist first and find that through the movements of any particular fighting style a certain expression of myself is portrayed every day in practice as well as in competition. I might not have invented the movements but they are still my own as I grow and learn more and more about myself everyday.

Sounds like you got a head start on seeing what the "real" competition in martial arts is: that of self-development, discovering self-awareness & the spiritual realization that all living beings are interconnected. It begins with the strengthening of the body & the perfection of martial technique, which then becomes the forging of mind & spirit into purity of heart & will. You move from being a fighter to becoming a warrior. Fighters live for the moment and for the glory of victory; warriors see the "big picture" and realize their smallness in the universe and in the outcome of events...warriors only fight if they have no other choice. Mythology & folklore from all cultures tell this same tale. It's no different here in the 21st century.

What upsets so many MMA folks about Aikido is that Aikido begins with the spiritual and works backwards towards the physical...a concept that many can't (or won't) grasp, something I'm sure you observed time and again. In Aikido, competition & fighting with others ultimately become meaningless because it is with ourselves (i.e. ego, selfishness, sinfulness...however it fits into your philosophical/spiritual/religious outlook) that we really content against. That's what Master Ueshiba, whom we call O'Sensei, discovered in his martial arts journey.

Are fighting skills important? Maybe & sometimes. However, warriors never fight...they defend. Big difference.

Battongeor227 07-16-2007 11:35 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Well I do consider myself a counter fighter maybe because of the influence aikido teaching had on me growing up and reading many books on the subject. I suppose I just enjoy the evolution of my skill that comes through hours of practice sweat and perseverance. Eventually a very unique expression of myself is manifested in my movements. I've found that many of the people getting involved in BJJ didn't come from a traditional martial arts background so there was no spiritual side to what they were learning. Therefore, a lot of them are just coming into the dojo to learn how to hurt people. The thing I learned that I especially liked about aikido was that the ultimate aim of it was to subdue the opponent without causing physical harm to him.. That is my ultimate aim eventually with my jiu jitsu practice and hope that one day many years from now it will be the main objective of my students. I'm very far off from being able to teach but hope to educate my students in the more spiritual side of the martial arts.

Haowen Chan 07-17-2007 06:50 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Reigi is a big part of it for me.

You can train the same old practical stuff and not have lectures about the ki of the universe, but just having to bow on and off the mat and do the whole rei thing before practice starts really sets the tone.

Dewey 07-17-2007 06:54 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

George Batton wrote: (Post 183872)
Well I do consider myself a counter fighter maybe because of the influence aikido teaching had on me growing up and reading many books on the subject. I suppose I just enjoy the evolution of my skill that comes through hours of practice sweat and perseverance. Eventually a very unique expression of myself is manifested in my movements. I've found that many of the people getting involved in BJJ didn't come from a traditional martial arts background so there was no spiritual side to what they were learning. Therefore, a lot of them are just coming into the dojo to learn how to hurt people. The thing I learned that I especially liked about aikido was that the ultimate aim of it was to subdue the opponent without causing physical harm to him.. That is my ultimate aim eventually with my jiu jitsu practice and hope that one day many years from now it will be the main objective of my students. I'm very far off from being able to teach but hope to educate my students in the more spiritual side of the martial arts.

Right on! Aikido is a self-defense art, and not a fighting art (the difference is like between apples and oranges). The intent of self-defense arts are not to maim or kill your attacker...only to cease their attack ASAP and remove yourself from the situation/scenario ASAP in order to prevent further attacks. The first, and most effective means is to avoid engaging in fighting at all, if possible...which is morally & legally defined as two or more people willingly engaging in combat with one another with the intent of inflicting bodily harm. It's how you choose to use your fighting skills that make all the difference.:)

Welcome to Aikiweb! Hope to see you participate in the rest of the forum as well. I think you can bring a lot of insight to the folks on this forum, both members and lurkers alike.

SeiserL 07-17-2007 10:38 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
IMHO, the correct question would be, "How do your stop your spiritual side from being a part of everything you do?"

IOW, state your spiritual beliefs congruently in everything you do, including training.

ChrisHein 07-17-2007 01:00 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Depends on what you call spiritual.

My first major Aikido teacher spent lots of time on the "spiritual" side of Aikido. I was uchi deshi with him, and much of my life became a spiritual practice. I am very grateful for that time, and feel that it has made me a much better person.

My second major martial art teacher didn't spend any time talking about the "spiritual" side of the martial arts. But was himself was an amazing human being. He never talked about enlightenment, or truth of character; but he had it in spades. Just the example of his giving honest nature had a very profound effect on me.

So what is spiritual? I personally would say that spirituality is conscious participation and acceptance of the human condition. To me a highly spiritual person, knows to his core what he is, excepts it, and is always aware of his current place in the universe. It doesn't' require intelligence, or charisma. Doesn't mean always making the right decisions for everyone else. Or that you have magic powers. It just means being you, completely.

Now how do you add that to your training? It doesn't depend on the art you teach. You could be a cook, a chimney sweep or a lion tamer. Doesn't matter. Budo (the warriors path to enlightenment), in all of it’s variations is a great road to travel. The only requirement to travel this path is to stay true to yourself. Ask yourself: what you are, who you are, and why you do what you do. There are no wrong answers, only truths and deeper truths. Be true to yourself always, and I would say you are a spiritual person.

Now weather you want to make this something overt at your school, or something that just happens naturally is up to you. But if you are true to yourself, just having you as an example will greatly help your students.

Budd 07-18-2007 09:11 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Nice post, Chris. I think what goes along with what you're saying is that, no matter how "spiritual" someone comes across as "being", ultimately it's their actions and the example they set that defines their level of "spiritual" attainment (again, depending on one's definition).

jennifer paige smith 07-19-2007 09:29 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

Budd Yuhasz wrote: (Post 184011)
Nice post, Chris. I think what goes along with what you're saying is that, no matter how "spiritual" someone comes across as "being", ultimately it's their actions and the example they set that defines their level of "spiritual" attainment (again, depending on one's definition).

" And freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.";)

Budd 07-19-2007 10:53 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Nature will tell either way.

jennifer paige smith 07-20-2007 09:40 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

Budd Yuhasz wrote: (Post 184127)
Nature will tell either way.

Now you're starting to sound like me:eek: .

nice post:)

Budd 07-20-2007 09:44 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
As it is written, so shall it be, unless it's re-written . . . or unread.

jennifer paige smith 07-20-2007 10:00 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

Budd Yuhasz wrote: (Post 184206)
As it is written, so shall it be, unless it's re-written . . . or unread.

or un-written or re-read, or whatever.....:)

jennifer paige smith 07-20-2007 10:01 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

Budd Yuhasz wrote: (Post 184206)
As it is written, so shall it be, unless it's re-written . . . or unread.

mmmm...got it.... or re-tread; like a tire.

Budd 07-20-2007 10:03 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
There is nothing fouler than a stale lough of tread.

jennifer paige smith 07-21-2007 09:42 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
or a treading, late, sloth.

Budd 07-21-2007 05:19 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
or a breading slate broth . . .

jennifer paige smith 07-22-2007 10:15 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Quote:

Budd Yuhasz wrote: (Post 184274)
or a breading slate broth . . .

with gravel croutons?

Budd 07-22-2007 02:09 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Absolutely - the more green, granola rock' em sock 'ems - the better.

Keith R Lee 07-22-2007 03:03 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
You might want to check out:

http://www.roydeanacademy.com/

Roy holds dan ranks in Aikido and BJJ, plus he posts here occasionally. So it is definitely possible to do both arts (I do as well, so do many others on AIkiweb). Roy also publishes the excellent Electronic Journal of Jiu-Jitsu (EJJ) which focuses on a wide range of topics, including the mixing of Aikido and BJJ.

Budd 07-22-2007 03:39 PM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
Holy cross thread pollination, Batman! Those crazy bjjers just post about BJJ anywhere they please, don't they?

That's not very spiritual, Keith. I'm going to confess and prey er pray to my swami about you . . .

On that note about Roy Dean's Academy - it also happens to be in Bend, Oregon, which is officially one of the niftiest places on the planet. You can have all sorts of spiritual experiences with nature in that region of the United States (see, on topic!)

Darn it, I'm getting sucked in again - Ohhhmmmmmm . . .

Ian Cottrill 08-15-2007 12:41 AM

Re: Make spiritual side part of my training
 
When you go past the fighting & competition & you are still a student of the art, then you are already on a Spiritual Path. You said of your art, "beautiful expression of gentleness & adaptation in motion", stop looking for your Spiritual Path, your already on it. Enjoy it.


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