Re: Western religion and Aikido
Read, "In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts ," by David Lowery. Mr. Lowery does a great job to discussing the integration of Japanese and American influences in the dojo.
There is an old tale of a beggar who tricks a cook into letting him make stone soup. As the story goes, the beggar asks for food from a kitchen and he is denied. He lements about his hunger and begs at least for a pot in which to cook a soup, a stone soup. The cook, whose has never heard of stone soup, is intrigued and permits the beggar to use a kitchen cauldron on a fire. The beggar boils some water and drops a stone into the cauldron. The beggar tastes the soup and begins to amend the soup with various spices, vegetables and meats. Eventually, he finishes the soup and the cook is amazed how good stone soup tastes. In this tale, what once was water and stone becomes something entirely different right under the cook's nose.
I believe that aikido is Japanese, founded by a Japanese martial artist in Japan. Aikido is neither American nor European, it is Japanese. To preserve the history and culture of aikido, one must preserve its foundation. Do I blame a child that cannot add or subtract? No, I blame the education system that did not properly educate the child in addition and subtraction. Similarly, I wouldn't hold aikido students responsbile for not receiving proper education from their instructor of the history of aikido, I would fault the aikido instructor whose is ignorant of her heritage.