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Old 06-12-2005, 04:56 PM   #216
Red Beetle
Dojo: Ithaca
Location: Tennessee
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 97
Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Red Beetle,

Why do you think the Army and the Marine Corps are putting a big emphasis on Martial Arts training right now????
After "don't ask--don't tell" the armed services will try just about anything.

For the Army at least, those things are Leadership, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service,Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage.
This can all be taught without mysticism, and without Aikido. Our armed services have done so long before the 20th century.

If you read a few books on Aikido you will also find that many view the seven pleats in the hakama represent the seven values of aiki spirit.
Aikido is just cute, but do we really need it to teach it?

You will find that the claps we do at the beginning of class serve as a reminder.
You can remind students without using the clapper.

In the military we have customs and courtesies...we salute, we call each other sir and sergeant. We do many things that make the system work.
But where is the Army mysticism?

You don't study them for the technique you learn, but for the friendships you gain, the values the art emulates, the spirit it evokes so on ans so on.
This mysticism you talk about is tied up in that.
And we can untie it and get rid of it.

Trust me, I have very little room for wasting my time. I find the way we practice aikido relevant to my profession. Not sure what you do for work, but I can vouch it works for me personally.
But how does mysticism improve Aikido. I claim that it doesn't. It can be disregarded.

There are much more to Martial Arts and Budo than technical skills to be gained.
I challenge this.

I find it ironic that there is a picture of you in a swariwaza pose "thinking bout judo and jujitsu".
It would be ironic if I was performing some mystical trance, but I was not.

Also one of you in seiza doing what looks like a "heaven and earth" and posture related to kokyu...the very essence of KI.
This was done on purpose. In order to show the contrast of what most think of when they consider a martial system, and what a martial system really is. The statements at the bottom of the picture are the main point.

What do these two pictures have to do with the technical skills of judo?
The pictures, it could be argued are wrestling postures, but I think the point is the statements that are made at the bottom. Read them again please.

You also have several pictures of you striking a pose with "attitude".
The "attitude" pose is an inside joke. But I suppose it could serve to encourage mental toughness.

The one where we challenge striking systems is no joke.
We accept challenge matches at our school.

Are they technical skills, no they are mental skills....those mental skills can be learned through training.
I would say that all skills are mental, or intellectual.

They make you feel good and strong.
Maybe, sometimes they make you feel otherwise. Feelings are subjective, but technique is objective.

That my friend is "mysticism" at it's best.
Sorry, but your wrong.

what we have is ourselves and what makes us up as a whole person...and it is more than techniques.
I would say that we are the sum of propositions that describe us.

Red Beetle
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