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Old 06-07-2005, 11:41 AM   #6
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

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Monty Collier wrote:
....Lots of Aikido people run around talking about "ki", but the fact of the matter is that the teaching of "ki" is simply a mystical/magical teaching which conjures belief in superstitious nonsense.
Either that or a problem of translation (and thus, lazy student: study more.)

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Students attempt to clear their minds, chant words or syllables, breath a certain way, assume postures, and so forth in the attempt to grasp or develop a magical power that is about as real as George Lucas' "Force."
People who took UKEMI from Osensei have a different opinion, of course.

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Students and Teachers would do better spending their time in the examination of, and actual practice of technical skills, rather than pretending to direct a make believe power from their bowels to their fingers.
Assuming there's a contradiction here... Shaun Ravens has some interesting things to say about the "mysticism" of these practices...

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Another example of the useless mysticism inherent in Aikido was the recent video that appeared on one of the forum threads. The clip did a nice job demonstrating technical skills that actually make up the system of Aikido. However, from time to time one would see something like: "Aikido is love." flash on to the screen.

Aikido is love?
Please.
Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.
From the founder himself. But in Japanese it's a pun. "AI", written with different Ch. characters means both "harmony" and "love".

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The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.
Yes. A complaint of my own, actually. But read into mysticism a little bit and you find that this is a feature, not a bug.

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Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy,
Not sure he was.

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this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido claims that what he teaches will bring a moral harmony and love for mankind, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught actually accomplishes his claims.
Valid point. See essays of Ellis Amdur for a nicely fleshed out argument on this.

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If a person was not familiar with Aikido, and its mystical teachings, do you really think that such a person would conclude that Aikido was the way of peaceful harmony just by watching a demonstration of Aikido projections or neutralizations?
Yup. People see what they want to see and often what they're told to see.

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The reason it would be impossible to deduce a moral principal from a visual or tangible demonstration is because you cannot start with something you see (Aikido demo), and end up with something you cannot see (moral ideas).
Crick saw snakes and imagined DNA; Einstein saw himself on a light beam and saw Relativity.

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If I want to go to church, why would I go to Aikido class?
UPAYA/HOBEN/Skilful Means

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If I want to learn how not to fight, couldn't I just ask an Amish person? Wouldn't that be easier than all that physical combat training?
Read Saotome--Aikido and the Harmony of Nature.

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Aikido is combat training isn't it?
Precisely, no.

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If you don't need Aikido to live in harmony and peace with your neighbor, and clearly you don't, then maybe Aikido doesn't need Asian philosophy of religion in order to function. Maybe Aikido is simply a physical exercise that can be used in a self-defense situation.
Sounds like jujutsu. Aikido has a specific history and purpose. You don't know it, so aikido plays nail to your only tool, the hammer.

Fun post, though. Reminds me of myself. Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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