Re: Aikido as a "Budo"?
Having read through all the posts so far, I tend to agree with Francis.
Bear in mind that I am training and teaching in Japan, so everything is done in Japanese. However, I am very reluctant to explain 'the meaning of budo' to any of my Japanese students and if any of them ask me, I point them to one of the books that circulate round the dojo, or send them off to the bookstore, where they can easily and cheaply buy the discourses of O Sensei in Japanese.
One thing that is important here is that I am hardly ever asked such a question and so I hardly ever need to attempt to explain 'the real meaning of budo'. I am much more often asked why I started training--I am never asked why I continue training: this is judged to be obvious.
Once I had a long session in the Hombu Dojo with Tada Hiroshi Sensei and Okumura Shigenobu Sensei. The point of the session was to explore why O Sensei forbade competition in aikido and this, of course, led to lengthy discourses about 'the real meaning of budo'. Doshu was actually quite alarmed about the meeting, because he thought I was attempting to raise a western-style question about competition, which might lead to 'competitive' demonstrations in the IAF.
In a way I was attempting to raise such a question, because as Chairman of the IAF, I was attempting to find a rationale for aikido-as-non-competitive-budo, that would be understood by sports organizations such as Olympic Committees, and also give due weight to the undeniable moral values of sport.
Why did I choose Okumura and Tada Shihans to ask? Okumura Sensei's teacher in Manchuria was Kenji Tomiki and Tada Sensei was a student at Waseda University when Tomiki Sensei was a professor there. They would be in the best position to know what Tomiki Sensei meant by competition in aikido and also why Morihei Ueshiba disagreed with his ideas.
Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 12-30-2009 at 04:24 AM.