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Old 12-24-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Aikido as a "Budo"?

Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Hello Jun,

Thank you for making an opportunity for VOE members to respond to important questions regarding Aiki and Aikido related topics.

Perhaps there is a way to preserve the integrity of the VOE process, and still split off a thread to be continued in the general section? It would be cool to be able to do so. I recall one instance where a "response to loyalty" was successful. That was great!

A Rose is a flower, but a Flower may not be a rose.

Beauty, and "Budo", may well be in the eyes of the beholder.

From the internet, unconfirmed sources indicate that, prior to Meiji, martial arts were commonly referred to as "Koryu Bujutsu". Martial arts introduced after Meiji, were referred to as "Gendai Budo", or "modern martial arts". I have no opinion either way.

The Founder supposedly called his Aikido, the "Budo of Love", and that he felt that his was the ultimate example of "Budo". Again, I have no opinion on these definitions.

For me, any name or title given to some phenomenon should give a readily recognized clue as to what that means to the speaker If not, it should be discarded quckly, as one would a recent rumor.

Words are far more powerful and permanently impacting than most of us realize.

In a court of law. "striking testimony from the records" does not eliminate the effect on those who heard it anyway, like the jury members.

The unseen and unpredictable impact that powerful events or words, spoken in haste to children, ultimately have on these young minds, may be devastating for a lifetime.\, with no one else the wiser.

When using words to describe something both parties are trying to reach agreement on, the responsibility is huge, and imperative that all parties do whatever it takes to get it right. or at least subject to continued discussion and future correction.

For me, I agree with the Founder that his Aikido is a form of Budo.
For the rest of us, the jury will remain out, as I cannot account for how people express and execute their own version of Aikido.

My best regards to all who use terms like "Budo" to explain what they believe in, and what they do. It is that important.

In Oneness,
Hi Francis,
I think that almost everyone agrees that Aikido is a Budo. But the question is,,, what does Budo mean to people? For many Budo seems to have something to do with preparing oneself for confrontation with an external enemy. For others, the external enemy seems largely irrelevant and the focus is inwards. "We have met the enemy and he is us" - Pogo

How one defines the practice determines the focus of the training. That focus causes certain questions to be asked. What questions are asked generally determines what answers are received. So it is important how one decides to define the practice.

When the Founder stated that Budo is Love he was consciously redefining the term for his descendants. I think it is important that we keep this in mind when we define our practice for ourselves. It is easy, I think, to go back to older ways of thinking about Budo. But we have been given this great gift of Aikido, a new art with a new definition of Budo. If it seems difficult to get at the meaning, perhaps that's what the practice is about... discovering that meaning for yourself.

Anyway, we are coming into the New Year. It promises to be a great year in many ways. No matter what, this coming year should advance our understanding of Aikido, Budo and ourselves. Hopefully, by the end of the year, our current definitions of Budo will be different than they are now. That's the point of training.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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