Re: Religion and Aikido
Myself, I find Aikido completely incompatible with my religion and dealing with that has been an interesting struggle.
The goal of my religion is nicely summed up in the title of a book by Thomas A'Kempis, "The Imitation of Christ". Or to put the question in contemporary terms, Would Jesus practice Aikido?
Let's start with the dojo fees and ancillary costs. We live in a world of hunger and want amid plenty and followers of Jesus are explicitly called to give everything that we own to the poor. "So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions." (Luke 14:33) We can't afford Aikido if we don't have any money left.
And we're on this Earth only a very short while. There is too much to do serving God and God's people to spend time at the dojo.
Refusing to see the attacker as the opponent, that's right on from the Christian perspective. But then what? In Aikido we make certain that nobody gets hurt. In my religion we're supposed to sacrificially allow the other to hurt us. We're supposed to follow an all powerful God who let himself be crucified. Jesus wouldn't, and didn't, practice Aikido.
That said, or written, I'm not going to come anywhere close to imitating Christ. The money that I spend on Aiido I'm not going to give to the poor. But the practice of disciplining the body does also discipline the mind and the spirit. And who knows, perhaps that discipline might strengthen me enough that one day I can give away all that I have.