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Old 09-16-2005, 12:25 PM   #52
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Omoto-kyo Theology... Relevant?

Hi Ted,

I liked your latest post. It was straight to the point and directly related to the healthy training philosophy you obviously hold up for yourself. I posted a few comments, most of which is me cheering on what you said.

Ted Ehara wrote:
Many times when we run into difficulties, we take a look around and see what others have done in our place. When we study Aikido, problems arise and it is natural to be curious about the founder and see how he overcame his problems.
True. True. This is certainly a place we can look. Our teachers, seniors, heck even our juniors are our best source for information.
Ted Ehara wrote:
However this is a budo. It is not about the theoretical concept of the martial art. It is about the martial artist. It is about the practitioner, not the art. A person is real, an art is an abstraction.
True. True. It is the abstraction that leads us to seek out something within ourselves as human beings. In the end all martial artists who train (and continue to train throughout their lives) whether they do or do not ever confront someone in battle are always human beings. In some ways we train for an encounter on a day that we hope will never come, in other ways we train for what we encounter on a day to day basis. In the end all we ever really have is ourselves.
Ted Ehara wrote:
The solution of problems are not in the history of the art. It is in the practice of that art. The martial artist is not only the problem but also the key to the solution. It is through training that the solution can be found.
True. True. One must practice to find solutions. However the practice is at one level the solution, but it merely begins there, it does not end there. I am not so interested in the historical perspective that dominates the mind of the academic, or the academic-sage that so heavily weighs down many of the posts in this thread, along with an entire other website noted in one recent post. For me, it is counter intuitive (which is redundant, really) because O-Sensei's message was very simple, Train and then train some more... However his particular path was unique in some ways, but when I say unique I do not mean new or even improved as there are many examples we can find in various cultures around the globe which would mirror O-Sensei's to a "T".
Ted Ehara wrote:
Knowing the history of the art and understanding the viewpoint of the founder is a valuable aid. Yet I've read too many Aikido Spin Doctors who would use their interpretation of the facts, to misinform you into a false position. Their history of Aikido follows their own agenda. I'm not writing about anyone who has posted here BTW.
True. True. Whole arts have done so maintaining some connection to O-Sensei by keeping the name aikido (snicker) when they are clearly not based upon the Founders thinking or his process. However it is for exactly this reason why it is important that we ask ourselves, "What is this art (from the perspective of what am I doing that is not of this art)?"
Ted Ehara wrote:
O Sensei was a Shinto mystic. One of the properties of a mystic is that they cannot be entirely captured in words. If you have a definition of a mystic which completely describes them and categorizes them in their proper niche, then you know you're wrong. This applies to people like Black Elk, Bankei, Meister Eckhart or O Sensei. For those of you who would like to try, I wish you "Good Luck".
Well, I knew it was too good to all be true...

I do not see O-Sensei as any sort of mystic. The silliness of the argument reminds me of an occasion when I was listening to a fascinating dissertation on some mystical way I should approach my life and training as interpreted by someone whom I deeply respect. When finished, I asked, "Did you base that upon some deeply studied religious text upon which one needed to spend long hours meditating to discover its true meaning?" Answer: "No, this is just simple common sense!" I felt stunned, as if I had received a slap on the forehead. I was so busy looking for the Asian "mystique" that I had completely "missed" the simplicity of the solution.

Having said all of the above, my initial point in chiming into this thread is with regards to a historical redressing of O-Sensei's art by the author of the thread. He indicated in his last post that he bases his opinions on the preponderance of the evidence he read somewhere else, evidence which is in my opinion nothing more than the purely speculative effort of the academic historian. His is but one example which points out the importance of addressing what is found on the internet. I do so for the casual reader who does not know the history of aikido might have counter opinions to balance out his thinking before he is encouraged to go off on some tangent that has yet to be proven to have any positive results with regards to training in the art. Sure, weightlifting, Pilates, skiing and shodo (calligraphy) are all things that might help to improve my aikido, as might the studying of Omoto. However these things are not aikido. Any attempt at calling them "pillars" of the art, or even pillars of the Founder's life should be met with a blank stare, a non-committing nod and a smile, but not much more.


I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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