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Old 06-07-2005, 11:56 AM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 106
Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

When considering how to improve any Martial System it is necessary to take inventory, and examine if what is being taught is logically consistent and beneficial to the system as a whole.
O'Sensei would agree:

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter"

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.
愛 or 合? Maybe they were mistaken.

Just because a teacher, or a founder of Aikido was a nice guy, this is no basis for concluding that what he taught was the source of this kindness.
I believe O'Sensei was not particularly wrapped up in the western concept of good and evil but I could be wrong. I think he was more interested in what was appropriate.

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? Of course not.
They may be impressed, but no such moral assertion will be made from watching such a demonstration.
You can't know it until you are in it. Even then it is difficult. An outsider drawing conclusions about what it is and what it isn't is probably doing himself a disservice.

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).
Aikido techniques are supposed to be very solution oriented with just the right thing with nothing more and nothing less. From this you could find that this principle is useful in other areas.

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? Aikido is combat training isn't it? The Amish manage not to fight without Aikido. The Amish manage to live in harmony without Aikido. Maybe Morihei Uyeshiba should have joined an Amish community instead of the religious school of Omoto-kyo.
Amish people don't fight back as far as I know. This would leave them very vulnerable. They may appear non-violent but the self-violence they potentially open themselves to seems to make them rather violent in a way. This is against Aiki principles and therefore being Amish has nothing to do with Aikido.

Anyway, I hope I haven't stuck my head in the elephant too deeply.
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