Gene Martinelli wrote:
Ahh... I understand your point and yes it can always turn into a danger if "religion" is pushed or the main focus of Aikido. I and where I train/teach is a dojo noted for never loosing site that Aikido is a martial art.
A religion is often defined as a service or worship of God. Like David dancing up to the temple to honor God, perhaps that would more accurately describe what I am writing about to a degree. If you had walked up to the road and saw David's dance, you would simply see someone dancing or celebrating something. A deeper eye might see a person, dancing, temple ... and conclude this is for this man a religious or spiritual expression, and for someone else they may simply walk slowly and softly on the same road and for him/her that is expression to God. It is in the transformation of ourselves and the manifestation of that effect on the world that is the religious/spiritual path, the DO. Oops, okay so now I'm preaching. Sorry.
In order to get up that next level into the "Aiki" for me, I have to use the foundations that exist within my Catholic upbringing, my Christian Faith to draw the spiritual connect to O-Sensei's teachings. You must believe in something (In my opinion) in order to make that next jump. And yes, I do know or have heard of some of O-Sensei's uchideshi becoming members of his religious sect -just cannot remember the names (perhaps someone else can help here)- for I believe the very same reason. The other example given was Chiba becoming a practitioner of Zen B. -and he had explained why in an interview somewhere (I think AJ).
Oh and BTW, the offer to visit and train at Jihonjuku was real. We love having visitors come train with us on the mat and join us off the mat. Which reminds me, thanks to all who came and trained at the ASU Winter Intensive last week. It was awesome training and meeting old and new friends.
Oh! I understand what your point is as well. It also takes that extra something for me to understand the Aiki on a more moral and off the mat way. I personally believe (and did before practicing Aikido) in a lot of the beliefs that O-Sensei had so it is easy for me to understand.
I completly understand what you mean by using religion to help you understand the Aiki part. I like how you have made the adjustment to do so and have not lost the meaning of Aikido. I would definetly love to visit and so how this is achieved! I am very interested in this now... i never realized how differently one can percieve the
part of Aikido. Thank you again for your invitation, I think the next time I am around there I will definetly visit.