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Old 01-04-2010, 12:26 PM   #10
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 345
Re: Aikido as a "Budo"?

Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi everyone,
I am sure that all of you in your classes do repeat many physical movements and exercises. What do you do in your classes that elevate the training past just that? What do you infuse into your training that makes it into "budo"?

I appreciate your patience into my questions.

-- Jun
It's sifting through our answers that requires real patience...

There are, predictably, a number of levels to your question. Now, I'm not a zen guy, but some might say the point of sitting in zen is the sitting. Nothing more beyond that. In that spirit, we could say that there is no point to our movements in aikido beyond the movements.

However, in both cases I believe that a certain mindfulness is necessary in order for sitting or moving to be meaningful, even in and of themselves. Perhaps by paying attention, we learn to pay attention.

Having said that, I do include a number of exercises specifically designed to facilitate attentiveness, for both solo practice and partnered. It's important to be able to state clearly what it is we are paying attention to and why it matters.

Nothing special needs to be done to infuse aikido with the spirit of budo if we are really paying attention. The spirit of budo is unavoidably there.

If we look closely, we will see that there is conflict and the potential for conflict everywhere. This, in turn, provides the opportunity to realign forces so that relationships are less at odds, and more in accord.

We can find this in the movements of aikido, both problem and solution. But only if we are looking. The motions truly are sufficient unto themselves, but not if we are only going through the motions.

Does this make sense?

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