Bjorn Saw wrote:
"Breaking the will of the ego will never be an acceptable practice to the ego. Self-surrender means letting go of fixed ideas, even good ones. It is my role as a teacher to point out these personal strongholds until they are all surrendered and given up. This is Aikido discipline. It is deeply spiritual."
Marc Abrams wrote:
"You sound more like a cult leader than an Aikido instructor. If ANY one told me that a martial arts instructor was acting and speaking in this manner, I would tell them to not to join that dojo, or if he/she were already a student, leave ASAP! Your first post on "peace" I considered nothing more than someone "waxing poetic" about a topic with little real-life experience regarding the realities of peaceful and violent encounters. Your post is something that I find disturbing and needs to be talked about. I would be surprised to find even a good size minority of teachers who would support your views."
Interesting thoughts - however it sounds more like folks using different words to say something very much the same.
From: Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai
"Training in this dojo is based upon two philosophical "pillars." The first, is "Mu Shin," which can be translated to mean "empty mind." It is important to clear our mind from the day and focus upon the immediate experience when entering the training area. At a deeper level, all of us must put aside our preconceived notions about what we can and cannot do, so that we can open ourselves up to truly learn from the training experience.
Our ability to execute Aikido techniques will greatly improve, when we can learn to "be in the moment". The second philosophical "pillar" is "Sho Shin," which can be translated to mean "beginner mind." All of us, including the instructors, must put our egos aside and be open to learn from all that we experience in the dojo
However you say it, perhaps Breaking the Will of the Ego is a strong part of Aikido.
As we all know, if our cup is already full nothing new can enter
I can only hope that you can notice a big difference between the idea of emptying one's mind and having to surrender one's ego.
When I talk about putting one's ego aside, I am simply referring to being open to learn from all experiences regardless of the rank of the person with whom you are training with.
Jeff I simply disagree with your suggestion that" However you say it, perhaps Breaking the Will of the Ego is a strong part of Aikido." What I do believe is that using your self to connect with other's in the moment can lead to very good and effective Aikido. Maybe, just maybe it is my training as a psychologist that leads me to look at the terms "ego", "self", .... differently than a layperson might.
That being said, I would never advocate what Bjorn wrote nor is anything that I have written about remotely similar to Bjorn's statements (regardless of how you might want to find some some perceived similarities).