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AikiWeb System 02-08-2004 12:01 AM

AikiWeb Poll for the week of February 8, 2004:

How important is "faith" in your aikido training?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Critically important
  • Very important
  • Somewhat important
  • Not very important
  • Not at all important
Here are the current results.

SeiserL 02-08-2004 11:44 AM

I have "faith" in Aikido. I have "faith" in O'Sensei and my Sensei. I have "faith" in my training community. I have "faith" that I can do this.

"Faith" is very important.

Anders Bjonback 02-08-2004 04:08 PM

What do you mean by faith? I don't think you mean the religious kind of faith, or blind faith, but I could be wrong. Do you mean, you believe this stuff works out blindly without thinking about it and finding it out for yourself, or something else? It seems like a broad term that many people could interpret differently.

The very question of faith in aikido training doesn't even make sense to me, but maybe that is because I'm a beginner.

rachmass 02-08-2004 05:24 PM

can you rephrase the question?
Hello Jun,

I don't understand what you mean in this question; can you possibly either explain what you mean or rephrase the question?

Thanks, Rachel

Jamie Stokes 02-08-2004 06:09 PM

Hi Guys,

I interpreted this as "Religious faith".

having been dissatisfied with Christianity since I was nine, Aikido has largely replaced it. With trappings from other beliefs that I steal and use as I best see fit ie Zen.

I still have a healthy respect for religions, but like everything else in the human sphere, is open to both brilliance and perversion ( and all shades in between)

So, I use my "religion" to polish myself. Thats hard enough, let alone start trying to change the world.



PS: I think this is a good question. you have to think about the question as well as the answer.:D

rachmass 02-08-2004 06:11 PM

There are a lot of ways you could interpret the question, so the most logical way to go about answering it is to find out the intentions of the person asking the question.

Jeanne Shepard 02-08-2004 07:17 PM

I interpret it as "faith I won't break my neck during my latest attempt at a high fall."


Lan Powers 02-08-2004 10:25 PM

Lots of faith in your partner ie: that the limits will be adhered to....

My interpretation, so a lot in this context.

Religous faith?...umm no


erikmenzel 02-09-2004 01:07 AM

Being of the non-native english speaker persuasion the complete meanings and implications of the word faith are not clear to me.

I do trust my teacher and my trainingspartners. I believe in me and I am convinced of the humanity of o sensei.

shihonage 02-09-2004 01:55 AM

If you do not believe in Jesus, then Mel Gibson will come to your house and personally kick your ass.

Amelia Smith 02-09-2004 02:17 AM

As a student of religions, this is how I interpreted the question.

Aikido is a spiritual path and process. Do you have faith that this path leads towards spiritual realization/enlightenment/maturity?

I don't think it can be a question of theistic faith(relating to god/God/gods), but as means of spiritual development, sure.


Chad Sloman 02-09-2004 07:07 AM

I'm not sure what this question is asking either, but....

if we mean faith as in trust, then I think trust is very important in aikido, trust in our partners, trust in our sensei, etc...

but if we mean faith as in religious faith, then I don't think that it has anything to do with it. Aikido can be practiced without regard to western or eastern orthodoxy (or orthopraxy for Islam). I can be atheistic, agnostic, or believe in my "taco bell burrito god", and still practice aikido just the same.

rcoit 02-09-2004 07:16 AM

Interesting that this question follows on the heels of whether Uke is ever "wrong". The most pertinent response to that question suggested that "right & wrong" in Aikido is likely related to whether there is injury in practice or not. Morality is therefore dependent upon whether the "result" is intentional or not. However faith might be the belief that whatever happens will always be "right" and never "wrong" result.

Ted Marr 02-09-2004 07:16 AM

Faith is something I need to make a technique work sometimes, but never something I can afford to rely on. When I don't believe that a technique can/should work the way my teacher shows it, it doesn't work very well until I stop doubting and sincerely try it without reservations. At the same time, faith can blind you to problems with your technical execution, so often enough it's good not to have it. Doubt yourself constantly! Doubt your teacher! Question it all!

DanD 02-09-2004 10:24 AM

I don't have "faith" in it...Aikido is simply not my religion.... "trust" it to work though.... is this question out of track??;)

AsimHanif 02-09-2004 01:51 PM

Something tells me Jun is being intentionally vague.

But since it doesn't say "how important is YOUR faith" I will interpret it as faith in what I am practicing.

The only faith I have is that if I keep training, certain things will be revealed to me. But that's faith based on experience which to me is really trust. I only trust based on history. I'm from the "show and prove" school. Prove it and I'll believe it. So in a general sense I have faith in the value of aikido training based on experience. Regarding individual aspects or interpretations of the art that I have not yet experienced or mastered, time will tell.

John Boswell 02-09-2004 02:14 PM

If Jun IS being vague, then that means any and ALL interpretations are correct and thus... this poll serves only one purpose: to spark a good dialogue!

How important is "faith" in your aikido training?
Faith in my religious beliefs are often times touched by my training. Through training in aikido two years, I believe I now know what O'Sensei meant by becoming "one with the universe," though that doesn't mean I've achieved it or even tried to.

Faith is my instructor or sempai (teammates? I think that's the word) is more Trust than faith. I trust them all very well. It's trusting in my own ability that I need to work on more than anything.

Faith in the technique and physical dynamics of aikido goes without question in my mind. How many times do you need to see someone thrown into kotegeishi before you get that it is effective??? Duh!

So... take it as you will. I have many answers to chose from. Still, I'd like to hear from Jun on this one.

/poke Jun

/bonk Jun

/taps my foot in Jun's general direction

/taunts Jun a second time!! :D

Doka 02-09-2004 05:36 PM

NO! Faith has nothing to do with a physical activity!!! :disgust:

Doka 02-09-2004 05:41 PM


Robert Coit (rcoit) wrote:
Interesting that this question follows on the heels of whether Uke is ever "wrong". The most pertinent response to that question suggested that "right & wrong" in Aikido is likely related to whether there is injury in practice or not.

No, it is not about the result, but the intent! IE: The difference between (1)murder and (2)manslaughter!

(1) I meant to throw you hard and hurt you!

(2) I meant to throw you hard, but not hurt you!


Doka 02-09-2004 05:45 PM


John Boswell wrote:
/poke Jun

/bonk Jun

If I were Jun I would be worried!!! :freaky:

stuartjvnorton 02-09-2004 09:23 PM

If you mean faith in a religious sense, then personally it has no meaning at all.

One of the reasons I like Yoshinkan is that when I was first looking to start training, it was the only dojo I found that didn't spend half the class doing ki exercises or sitting around while Sensei read bits of books to people & discussed it.

I was there to train, not sit around & talk about training... lol

As for faith in the techniques themselves, I think you have to have faith in them. When you doubt your technique, you start to tense up & do unconsciously doing little things that cause your technique to fall to bits totally. It seems like a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ghost Fox 02-10-2004 06:50 AM


There are two kinds of faith, … Like Freedom there is the kind which is easily kept but proves not worth the keeping, and there is a kind which is hard-won."
Michael Moorcock

I think Aikido depends very much on the latter.

In one case, as one begins to progress in the Way, one must begin to do a lot of "soul-searching" on the meaning of harmony, love and what is the true meaning of the art of peace, and the answer is different and personal for every artist.

In another case, I'm sure there are a lot of scholars (religious and secular) on this board who are more better equip to explain how's one faith, disposition, intent, has an effect on involuntary muscular tension, posture, and demeanor. All of which have an effect on one's performance.

Lastly, one's faith, perceptual filters, has a strong influence in how we as individuals relate to the world, and interact with our partners.

For myself all of these things make up one's faith, whether it is in Science, Allah or the Tao.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

happysod 02-10-2004 07:35 AM

Yeah tho I shikko through the valley of hakama I shall fear no atemi, for I am the biggest baddest hara in the land…

There really are some interesting answers on this one, I just can't help being reminded of the "is aikido a cult" thread. As for trusting senseis, this is meant as a joke yes? Trusting their teaching, ok, within reason, but trust the little darlings...

SeiserL 02-10-2004 10:19 AM

Webster says, faith: 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing. 2. belief that is not based on proof.

According to 1, my answer stands that I have faith in Aikido, my Sensei, my training partners, and myself.

According to 2, I have no faith. I have proof.

IMHO, faith in each other is spiritual though it may not qualify for religious.

Maria Isabel Martins 02-10-2004 03:44 PM

Could you please explain me what does "faith" mean? Is it different from faith with no comas? Or from Faith with a capital F? Does this question makes sense or we just have to have "faith" in it?

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