Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward
Separation of Church and Class!?
I have a very hard time with this same concept. So far, this is about all I can say:
Religion exists in aikido because the founder was very religious (in many eyes fanatical). The interaction of religion and aikido is important to training because concepts, ideas, and philosophies of aikido are derived from religious beliefs; just as many physical techniques were derived from daito ryu.
Aikido people are required to understand the religious interaction of aikido to excel in training; they are not required to believe it, live it, or do anything else with it. Aikido people are required to understand the physical interaction of aikido to excel in training; they are not required to practice it, live it, or do anything else with it. This is the balance of aikido. To remove the spiritual component would leave you with a collection of techniques that resemble daito ryu. To remove the physical component would leave you with religious doctrine. Together, you have a martial art called aikido.
That said, I have found that aikido is growing in spiritual zealots unbalancing aikido practice. If taken out on context, many of O'Sensei's comments would seem fanatical or mystical (heck, even taken in context some of his quotes and ideas are "excentric"). To that extent, I agree that we need to pay closer attention to what the aikido community protrays is aikido, but I don't think that was the focus of the thread. Aikido a a budo; an ideology to improve life in all aspects, not just fighting...