Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward
This thread has really been enjoyable for many reasons. It has allowed me to reflect about the first days of training in Judo. It was required that we learn the Japanese terminology, bow, and listen to the sensei about how to behave on and off the mat. This training helped teach me how important it is to respect what we are doing and who we are doing it with. It allowed me to open my mind and realize that just because I didn't understand something, that there was value to what I didn't understand.It is easy to chalk up what we don't understand as being some "mystical" concept not worth our time or efforts. I have found that respecting others and respecting what we do has actually been beneficial in allowing me the frame of mind needed to acquire the most from my training. I would never think of disrespecting my Aikido teachers and fellow students by claiming that the things I don't grasp are mystical bull that are best left out of practice. I would also never be proud to have been thrown out of a dojo for being disrespectful. I look forward to many more years of practicing, knowing that there is a lifetime of things to learn. Grateful for the things I have learned and respectful of the people who have helped me get here, I try to teach my students the formalities, to help them get the most out of their journey. They should be able to go anywhere and not offend someone accidentally or embarrass themselves. Learning the names of the techniques will give them a universal background for understanding what is being taught all around the world. An open mind will allow us all to discover the things that we are trying to find.My early days in Judo and Aikido were filled with questions about the validity of the things I was being shown. The patience and respect that were shown helped me find answers to these questions and have kept me involved ever since. It is with this respect that I hope we can all gain a better understanding of each other and attain a better understanding of Aikido.