C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
Someone asked me, some time ago, to summarize this. All I could come up with is "Make your outsides match your insides, uplift all beings, and do as little harm as possible."
The "make your outsides match your insides" part reminds me of "Aikido Jinsei" - Gozo Shioda commented on how M. Ueshiba was always telling him to become "sunao".
Anyway, your answer made me think of another issue, which is the way in which such concepts are expressed. Your statement isn't materially all that different from what M. Ueshiba was saying - even the things that Kano and Funakoshi said were, in essence, very similar to M. Ueshiba's statements. The main difference, I suppose, is that his method of expression was couched in heavy spiritual/religious terminology, while Kano and Funakoshi where much more down to earth.
In "Aikido Ichiro" K. Ueshiba recommends that you subsitute "shizen" ("nature") for "kami" when reading M. Ueshiba's writings in order to make them more understandable/accessible. How much do you think M. Ueshiba's method of expression has helped Aikido? How much do you think that it has hurt Aikido? Ought that method of expression be altered to suit the more modern/western world? And if so, how much?
It seems to me that M. Ueshiba's method of expression has been one of the major deterring factors in a slide towards a commercial approach (that you often see in strip-mall Karate) or a sports oriented approach (that you often see in sport Judo or Kendo). On the other hand, I often think that people get a little too caught up in the philosophical aspects and start sliding away from the Budo oriented aspects. Also many people find (and have found) M. Ueshiba's language dense or inaccessible. Still I worry about altering things too much - sliding too far away from the center concepts that M. Ueshiba expressed...