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Old 05-19-2005, 04:14 PM   #43
Dojo: formerly Windward Aikido, formerly at Keewenaw Schools of Aikido (ASU)
Location: Formerly Hawaii Pacific University, formerly at Michigan Technological University
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 71
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Ian Dodkins wrote:
I would really compare it with having to know what religious beliefs Newton had to understand how he developed the theories. Sure it must have had an influence, but it doesn't mean that understanding it is in any way dependent on knowing his religion.
Actually, it is interesting to observe the bias/insight great physicist and astronomers had because of their religious beliefs. Perhaps religious influence on physics could even be compared to the religious influence on a martial art (A => B; A => C).
I agree, but stand by my first comparison (A => B; C => D). My reason is not that I desire to be right (although I do have a healthy one), but that I was trying to show similarity in experiences during the development process (or what each would commonly reference when explaining ideas within formulation), where you are showing a true common influence (like whether they were both male or wore beards). Without a metric to determine which of our comparisons is better (and as they are different types), it is an empty argument. If the point was to parallel the influence of religions on two very different bodies of knowledge, then mine is quite deficient having not made that comparison in both cases.
If I knew more about Bruce Lee's religious beliefs, then I could compare apples to apples (A => B; A => B), but I don't know what new insight that would show.
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Admittedly I was one of those who James suggested leapt onto their soap-box. And doing aikido has undoubtedly opened me up to eastern philosophy. However, although changing someone's perception to enable aikido to be understood better may be useful (e.g. discussions on yin/yang) - I don't think omote-kyo as a specific religion has any relevance for understanding aikido - only for understanding Ueshiba.
I'm willing to agree with you here if when you write "aikido" you mean just the physical (but not the whole of the art) and when you write "understand" you mean to have competency (but not total mastery of the entire subject).
A person can be a pro-basketball player without knowing who invented it (James Naismith) or why, but that doesn't mean the persons education is complete without that knowledge (of course, that knowledge doesn't help me enough to play in the NBA). Before saying that the inventor is irrelevant to play... actually, go right ahead, but I would bet that some would have a lot of trouble with that statement if it were applied to living a Christian life without knowing Jesus. Then again I suppose some people have ignored that Jesus was a Jew when it was convenient (then again, Jesus wasn't a martial artist).
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Personally I agree with Ueshiba, when he said "aikido is a flower that just happened to bloom in Japan".
I agree totally (as brave as it is to agree with O-Sensei).
It just seems to me that there is nothing gained by then trying to omit that it came originally from Japan.

I appreciate that you treated my post with respect. I disagree on minor points out of respect and to bring attention to when the query is subtly changed to support the answer. I don't think that my statements are incompatible/incongruent with yours. I'm just putting it out there for people that it is a lot harder to say what is meant and mean what is said than it might seem. Most conflict and erroneous ideas snowball from these misunderstandings. Hopefully practitioners of aikido are prepared to move straight ahead and turn that part of society around.

To summarize, I still think that the results of the poll boils down to a semantic argument of what is meant by the question. Since it is not clear, if interpreted in one way it has only one logical answer, but if interpreted the other the other answer is the only one that makes sense.

In one camp:
a is an element in set A
A has elements other than a
Should a be listed if all the elements in A are being listed?
They vote yes. I personally believe the poll question is closer to this form.

In the other:
a is an element in set A
A has elements other than a
Is the listing of element a necessary for the listing of all the other elements in A?
They vote no. This is a qualified interpretation of the poll question. The first question is skipped as trivial in the mind and it is ignored that this is also trivial.

Then there are the questions of whether A exists without a (trivial) or if A' has all the elements of A other than a if it is more or less valuable than A.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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