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MitchMZ 06-21-2004 12:45 PM

Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
I recently went on a cruise and met one of the nicest girls (and most attractive) I've ever seen. I went to visit her twice after the cruise...but all is not well. Mainly because of Aikido and my beliefs. She is a strong Southern Baptist and I'm a firm believer in a supreme being (God), philosophy, and staying open minded. My views are much like O' Sensei's. My views were like that before I found Aikido, so it seems like I've found the perfect art/activity for myself. It makes me feel better about myself and God than going to church ever did. It is my way of praying.

Well anywho, I told her I was willing to attend her church whenever I was there and that I repsected her views (which I did)...not agreed with them, but respected. So I went to church with her and payed close attention...and really liked some of the messages, and really didn't like some of the things the minister (whatever they are called in the Baptist church) had to say. He was talking bad about other religions and systems of government. Thats a big no no for me. I was honest about this when she asked me about how I liked it. But, it seems since I was not willing to be converted and baptized (sp?) I'm a heathen and now she doesnt like me anymore. Apparently now she likes this guy who does some other martial art and has trohpies from competitions, I think hes a regular church attendee too :freaky:

Thats the difference, I'm not looking for glory or trying to convert people...I'm just trying to be the best Aikidoka and human being possible. Maybe not quite in that order, lol. Aikido does that for me, it keeps me in line. I don't care if she doesnt understand what I believe, I think if she was a decent person she would have repsected Aikido and O' Sensei's traditions and views, just as I respected hers. Funny thing though, she was talking to her friend throughout the whole service, whereas I actually paid attention. Kinda hypocritical. ;) Sorry about that rant, I really liked her...but she definitely wasnt worth giving up Aikido or my beliefs....no one is. So I have this question. Have your beliefs influenced or reinforced by Aikido ever pushed someone away unintetionally? I would like to read some other stories if there are any.

shihonage 06-21-2004 03:16 PM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
MPAA advisory: this material is biased, not well researched, and may be offensive to some viewers. Discretion is advised.

Some Russian girl (surprise!) invited me to some sort of church gathering, promising cake.
I dropped by right after Aikido, because it was not far from my path.

It was a smallish church. There were a lot of men and women, dressed more for restaurant than church. I think I repressed most of the experience, but here's some pieces of what I do remember.

At some point in the beginning an obese man with a tiny voice squeaked "Thank you God for our physical health" and everybody repeated the above after him, as well as a couple of similar statements I can't bother to recall. Two pretty girls sang some supposedly church-related song. At some point everyone dropped to their knees. There was something about seeing attractive women with all their makeup on and fancy stockings drop on the dirty wooden floor. Something incredibly gimmicky and irritating.

At the same time I was talking to the girl who invited me. At one point it got to "what do you like to do" so I conveniently showed her the gi that was in my bag, briefly mentioned Aikido, blah blah.
I must admit that at the point where everyone dropped on their knees I could barely suppress a chuckle. It was pretty arrogant of me to come into someone else's ceremony and act like this, but I tried my best not to.
I just felt like I was being suffocated by all these people. And I couldnt just get up and leave in the middle. It was very obvious that they were not kneeling because of respect for a higher power, they were kneeling because they wanted to "feel" humble. I kept my comments to a minimum, but I guess the girl sensed my attitude.

Somewhere closer to the end, this girl I was talking to, looked at me with this pity, and said that she now understands how outsiders are different.
I didn't really know what I could say to that, so I said nothing.
After some tasteless cake, some Russian parents nudged their pretty, young daughter toward me, probably because from distance I looked like an ethnically acceptable specimen for marriage.
We exchanged introductions and then I quickly backed away, only to be sandwiched between two other girls who were consuming cake at an alarming rate.

At that point, I very rudely, in the mid-sentence, grabbed my bag and ran out of the building. I ran until I turned the corner, and I felt like I could breathe again.

Mind you, this is not my only experience with religious girls, but it just stands out.
I think there's an unwritten rule - if you see a young girl who almost immediately lets you know that she "dedicates her life to [insert religious figure here]", you should run far, far away.

xuzen 06-21-2004 11:49 PM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
Dear Alek,

(Ha ha ha) x 3, very funny story.

Dear Mitch,

What is a Southern Baptist? Are there Northern, Eastern and Western baptist as well? I am a non-christian so appreciate if you could explain a little. Many thanks, if you have the time, appreciate it.

Boon.

SeiserL 06-22-2004 10:44 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
I find that my study of the martial arts in general has pushed people away. People seem to like us if there is a crisis to handle, but then will disagree with our study and judge us if somehow they feel it does not support their belief in peace which was won by somebody going to war.

IMHO, higher levels of perspectives are more inclusive and accepting.

Some people will like you and some won't. They have the absolute right to live their lives and make their choices on whatever criteria they want (even if its based on ignorance and immaturity). So do you and I.

Accept it's not a match. Get back to your training.

ian 06-22-2004 11:22 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
Yep - I agree Lynn.

I think all the religous facade is a waste of time. You (usually) know when you meet and get to know someone whether they are a genuinely kind and loving; and they don't have to be of any particular religion (or even religious) to be like that. I've seen so many people corrupted by religion into weird predjudices.

This girl sounds like she still lives at home with her parents or at least hasn't had to or wanted to question her own beliefs. Be true to yourself dude.

As for me, I know some people who are pascifists and have criticised it, but I think it is best to be less bothered with image and more bothered with substance.

I think it is often funny the way people look at things; I was criticised for drinking a can of alcohol on the street once, saying I was bringing house prices down in the area. The amusing thing now is that, since the area I live is such a touristy place people are buying second homes, which is pushing up the house prices and driving alot of the people that work in the area elsewhere! - sometimes things that appear bad are good and vice versa; we can just do what we think is best at the time, and if we are honest with ourselves we are our only true judge.

Ian

Misogi-no-Gyo 06-22-2004 09:10 PM

Gasp... Think of the children!
 
Gasp... Think of the children, the ones you two would have had and the arguments over how to raise them. Then, count to three and run as far away as you can from her and any remnant of the fantasy you may be holding on to. When you are feeling lonely and mistakenly thinking fondly about what might have been, try this five step sure-fire exercise for ridding yourself of the any urge to contact her:

1. Stand up.

2. Make some room around you with some aikido-like hand movements.

3. Along with making frequent, sharp, bokken-tsuki thrusts with your index finger out at towards your absent, imaginary future ex-wife, say the following line (with gusto) using your best Jack Nicholson voice,
You can't handle the truth!"

4. Smirk widely for a second.

5. Resume whatever regularly scheduled programming you tend to run in your head.


...spare me any grief...

Walid Sinno 06-23-2004 09:52 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
I was lucky to meet my fiancee on the mat during a Kokyu Dosa practise.. There are so many lovely people in the Aikido community, the chances are you might already know the right person for you and you practise with her everyday!

Walid

MitchMZ 06-23-2004 01:52 PM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
haha thanks people...you are great. I'm actually going to start training in Jodo and Iaido along with Aikido now that I have more time for myself. I love Aikido and no one could ever take that away from me. I think about it 24/7 haha

Lorien Lowe 07-06-2004 02:55 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
to Aleksey's conclusion, I would add that, 'I'm a born again [whatever],' is also a good indicator of a personality you might want to avoid. In my area we not only have born again christians, but also born again pagans, buddhists, and (believe it or not) atheists.

Johann Yaeger 10-18-2004 03:30 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
Christianity and religion are not the same thing. I am not going to qualify this statement in length. So religion is bondage and Christianity is a way of life. It is also tolerant and slow to anger, it is forgiving and accepting though not condoning of acts or things outside of its dogmas. Which I think is reasonable. I am Christian and I practice Aikido. But sometimes I keep it to myself so that others might not trip on what I do or what they perceive that i do. Because plenty God squaders do it. Its great. Some just live in cotton wool worlds and aren't open minded enough.
I'm pretty fundamental when it comes to the Bible and its teachings, but I am liberal in the delivery of this fundamentalism. People have feelings, or so I'm told, so we have to be gentle. Christ was gentle, is gentle. It is not an option for me it is a call to love everyone, disregarding what they say or do, to me, themselves or others. And there is the key word "others". It is not about "me". Too much has been blamed on religion and America for that matter. It is not a case of religion or country, colour, race, creed. But an ego thing.
Yes. No. Go away?

Anders Bjonback 10-19-2004 02:37 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
You know, I don't think that a relationship is impossible between someone who has dedicated their life to a certain religion or path, and someone who doesn't share that same path, as long as there is a sense of mutual respect and well, love. Being really into your faith doesn't necessarily mean you're fundamentalist. I mean, I'm Buddhist and want to devote my entire life to my spiritual path. But that doesn't mean I consider any one else's point of view wrong... but I do think that, personally, I would have a hard time being in a relationship with someone who had views about the world and how to live one's life that were totally opposite of my own. But that doesn't necessarily have to do with the label Buddhist, per se.

craig chapman 10-19-2004 04:00 AM

Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido
 
I couldnt of said it better myself, as a psychic medium my GF has just came round to believing in what i do, and for the martial arts side she doesnt believe that your life can follow a truly spiritual path, but we do love each other and I couldnt live without her. Anything is possible where love is involved.

Take Care


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