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Old 06-02-2005, 11:29 PM   #26
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Dojo: Senshin Center
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Re: Poll: Is the spiritual component of aikido inherent in the physical techniques?

Would not a "spirituality" be somewhat noticeable within one's social actions - one's interactions with others? Do not such interactions by default range along a spectrum of fear/love, selfishness/compassion, ignorance/wisdom, etc.? Would not a "spirituality" manifest itself as a kind of maturity regarding love over fear, compassion over selfishness, wisdom over ignorance? In other words, would not the more spiritual be less plagued by fear, less driven by selfishness, and less burdened by ignorance? If this is so, don't those who claim that Aikido waza is inherently spiritual have to explain why the Aikido world, from federation to federation, to dojo to dojo, is so plagued by fear, so driven by selfishness, and so burdened by ignorance? If Aikido waza was inherently capable of cultivating the spirit, and if the spirit must show itself in social aspects related to love, compassion, and wisdom, why are there not more saints or sages in the Aikido ranks? Why do such ranks seemed to be as equally represented of both jerks and nice folks as any other collection of people that don't do Aikido or anything "spiritual" at all? Why don't we even see a sharp distinction concerning the social aspects of one's spirit regarding long-time practitioners and newbies within the art? Alternately, if spirituality is inherent within the waza, how do we explain the one ***hole who has been training for twenty or thirty years -- staying just like they were when they came in?

I vote, "no way" is the cultivation of the spirit inherent to the practice of Aikido waza. Moreover, I would say no practice has inherent spirituality to it. Such a position is more superstition than it is valid insight into our own humanity. Such a position is better known as "talismanic." Rather, Man brings his/her own spirit to the practice or he/she risks having the practice remain impotent concerning such things.

David M. Valadez
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