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Old 10-15-2008, 08:57 AM   #6
John Matsushima
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Location: Miura, Japan
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 226
Re: Acceptable Aikido Vices?

I have heard of people bad-mouthing a certain Japanese shihan because he smokes, drinks, and chases women. I think a point to be made is that as practitioners of budo we expect some kind of moral standards from those who claim to be serious about it, since the "goal" of budo has been said to be self-victory. When I first started Aikido, I was very disappointed to see people I respected on the mat, to be harassing women, getting drunk and making an arse of themselves at parties, showing of their power and hurting people, etc. off the mat (and sometimes on it). I decided to avoid those people and go my own way.

When we practice Aikido, we practice respect, compassion, love, harmony, and we all know that the ones who are really good at it learn by practicing in everything they do.

I think that as one progresses higher up the ranks, more is expected morally, especially if you are a teacher. It isn't an easy road, but can one claim or even say he is on the road to self-victory if he or she is an alcoholic, drug addict, or habitual gambler? I don't think so.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
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