Don Magee wrote:
Well my point is you can get theses things from martial arts, but you also get a lot of wheel spining becaus there are better ways to get those things. The best way to get in shape would be working with a personal training and diet coach who can help you get into shape and cut pounds by using scientific methods based on your body type. Yes you could get into shape with aikido, bjj, basketball, etc. But thats not the best method.
Of course the best method to spiritiality is a lot harder to quantify. I just tossed it out there for fun. I guess the point is I'm a big fan of finding the best method to get something done. I'm not the kind of guy who likes to clean up a pile of sand with chopsticks. Sure it works, but I have this broom over in the corner.
There are a couple of more points to remember that I learned in anthropology classes. One is that spirituality and religion are not the same thing. Spirtuality is inside you; religion is outside, the belief system, texts, places of worship, etc. You can be a very spiritual person and never go to church; you can know the Bible backwards and forwards and be a dirtbag without a hint of spirituality about him.
The other point is that preindustrial societies didn't distinguish religion/spirituality from other parts of their daily life. In the west, we industrialized a long time ago so we put all that stuff in church on Sundays and that's where it stays. But Asian countries like China and Japan only did it within the last 150 years or so (anyone want to correct me on this, please do!), so they haven't "warehoused" spirituality yet. Guro Dan Inosanto says that when (older?) Filipinos see a talented person, they credit not that person but "the Creator," because that's who put the talent in you.
So from these perspective, a spiritual martial art is not necessarily an oxymoron; O Sensei certainly didn't think so (there's the system rearing it's ugly head again). We in the industrialized West may have a problem with a concept, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid one.