Through reading this forum, I have to my delight seen alot of otherwise "almost dead" information. Philosophy is truly one of my passions. From Daoism, Confuscism, Buddhism, Shinto, Omoto Kyo ect..I love it all. To me, these teachings and martial arts are the same. Martial, medicinal,spirtitual,philosophical...I believe that they are all parts in the same puzzle, and must be studied together in order to achieve a proper unserstanding of martial arts, whether it be Shaolin or Aikido. I see O'Sensei as an individual who succeded in doing just this, a true Master. Although he was a practicioner in certain feilds doesnt mean he nessecarily should be placed with that title. I dont know if this is making any sense, but I look to O'Sensei, as yes a Master, but even more as, One who truly Understood.
I remember asking my Sifu about his Grandmaster. Now although he was a Shaolin preist, Sifu always says " Grandmaster wasnt anything. He was open to anything, as we should all be". What he is referring to was my question of due to his origins, was he "Buddhist", or "Daoist". I wanted to lable him, an all too comon mistake we humans do. Now I understand what he means by that, and I see alot of the same characteristics in O'sensei.