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Old 05-26-2005, 01:34 AM   #20
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
Re: Poll: Should spirituality play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Charles Hill wrote:
I, too, like Guy`s post. Here are just a few comments;

The Japanese word for "spiritual" is seishin. Seishin has a bit of a different nuance than spiritual. To my mind, seishin means spiritual, psychological, and mental attitude. For example, "mental illness" in Japanese is "seishin byo" seishin sickness. I think something like, "You`re in good spirits today" reflects a good parallel between the two words. It seems that the word spiritual is divorced from everyday life in the west. So, not just "religious" but also "spiritual" has a different meaning between east and west.

I don`t think a lack of seishin is a defining point of "jutsu" arts. Respecting the seishin of one`s partners is close to essential in developing superior martial skills, in my opinion. (However reading Sugino Sensei`s (KSR) comments on a demonstration of Takeda Sokaku`s, I realized that it may not be 100% essential.)

We have to remember that the Founder did "preach" constantly during practice sessions and in fact quoted the Bible. He didn`t overtly attempt to convert people, but he did say things like, "you guys can`t understand Aikido because you don`t read the Kojiki," which to him had specific religious meaning.


Excellent post and a really good reference to Sokaku Takeda Sensei too.

The exact same could be said of O'Sensei too, though. He was asked to demonstrate Aikido for the Crown Prince of Japan and refused, saying he would have to kill someone, but later agreed to a "demonstration". He trashed his first Uke with the first technique, who was unable to continue and was carried away! Another Uke came forward, Gozo Shioda Sensei, who lasted the demonstration, but was bed ridden for 6 weeks!

I think these events remind us that O'Sensei was a hard and extreme martial artist. Remember his dojo was known as Jigoku Dojo (Hell Dojo). This is contrary to the strange gentle opinion that so many people have come to develop of Aikido.

Thanks, Charles. I liked that post.


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