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Old 06-09-2005, 12:26 AM   #97
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Monty Collier wrote:
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.
Makes sense to me. Good thought.


Take for example the teaching of "Ki."

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.
Interesting. I have never had this experience in my 20+ years of Aikido. I wonder where you got it...where did you train anyway?

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."

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.
Interesting. I have found that people who come to Aikido with this attitude usually leave within a few weeks since it obviously doesn't work like that. Usually they are smart enough to figure this out and either get with the program or run away.

Where have you seen this - yourself - happen? I would like to know so that if I meet any students from there I can be careful with them.

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?
Good point. That bothered me, too. On the other hand I did enjoy the Aikido in the clip itself. Some of it was similar to what I study and some different...but the principles were there to see.

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.

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.

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.
Okay...makes sense to me.

One can practice ethics in Aikido class, but one cannot deduce ethics from Aikido.

If ethics are taught at Aikido class, then they did not come from Iriminage or kotegaeshi, but from Asian philosophy or religion. Since that is clearly the case, why should I pay homage to such Asian religious philosophy? Why not some other religion? Why not deontology? Why not utilitarianism?
Not sure what you are getting at here. Why would ethics have to come from Asian philosophy or from religion at all. I would guess that it would be the ethics of the instructors that would mold the dojo culture...but I don't see religion getting into it.

Where you trained, was religion an integral part of the teachings of the dojo? Where did you train, anyway?

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.
Makes sense to me.

Just out of curiousity, where did you train and how long have you been training. You said a couple of things I haven't experienced and I'm wondering what style and what lineage shaped your obviously strong opinions.

Looking forward to your response.


Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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