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Old 11-28-2005, 04:11 PM   #31
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Religion and Aikido

Charles Scheid wrote:
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?
I suspect that Thomas Kempis would say "Yes."
In the Imitation of Christ, he wrote:
" The Voice of Christ - MY CHILD, in this life you are never safe, and as long as you live the weapons of the spirit will ever be necessary to you. You dwell among enemies. You are subject to attack from the right and the left. If, therefore, you do not guard yourself from every quarter with the shield of patience, you will not remain long unscathed. Moreover, if you do not steadily set your heart on Me, with a firm will to suffer everything for My sake, you will not be able to bear the heat of this battle or to win the crown of the blessed. You ought, therefore, to pass through all these things bravely and to oppose a strong hand to whatever stands in your way. For to him who triumphs heavenly bread is given, while for him who is too lazy to fight there remains much misery. Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly in battle."

A Christian statement more consonant with the practice of Aikido I cannot imagine -- except -- perhaps these:

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." St. Matt., 10:34

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." St. John, 14:27

It is no concern whatsoever that the source of the teaching and practice of Aikido is not explicitly Christian.

"All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said, is from the Holy Spirit." St. Thomas Aquinas, cit. 1 Cor. 12:4-11.

In this context, compare the above statement in the Imitation of Christ with the words of O-Sensei:

"The Way of the Warrior [budo] has been misunderstood as a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.
Morihei Ueshiba, 1942.

There are many struggles for us in the world, I agree, but your concern over such a struggle between Aikido and Christian teaching is not among them.

Pax Christi,

Erick Mead

Last edited by Erick Mead : 11-28-2005 at 04:25 PM.
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