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Old 08-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #102
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
Why-oh-why must we break Aikido down in terms of "martial" VS. "philosophical"(or "spiritual")...

Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?
Are we so historically inaccurate that we do not realize that the founder of aikido was dualistic?

Q: When Morihei Ueshiba lectured to his students, what did he say?
A: He spoke in archaic, spiritual terms that no one could understand.

When Morihei Ueshiba talked about his spiritual ideology, he used what "religion" as his base?
A: Oomoto kyo

When asked, Morihei Ueshiba stated he was a man of ??? and not a religious man.
A: he was a man of *budo*

Q: When other people came to Morihei Ueshiba to learn from him, they came because of ??? and not because of ???
A: They came because of his martial skills and not because of his spiritual ideology. They felt and experienced the former and wanted it for their own. They listened and heard the latter and did not understand nor were they interested.

It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who ushered in the new, modern aikido that removed the dualistic nature of his father to create one martial system comprised of an ideal of peace, harmony, and techniques that was acceptable to a world wide audience.

Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
In the case of aikido the peaceful philosophy springs from the way that the technique requires being relaxed and in harmony with the attacker in order for it to be effective.In that way the practical aspect of aikido, the waza, gives birth to the philosophy,so if your aikido is correct on a technical level the philosophy is already there.That means that if one would strip aikido of its philosophical aspect he would actually be performing joint manipulations and wrist locks using brute force, violence and a lot of...ignorance of ki and kokyu thus redusing to a fighting method that is no longer an art.And the magical thing is that it would also be less effective on a practical level, that's how aikido works,you have to be one physically, mentally and aware of your ki and the way to extend it.
And that is directly opposite Morihei Ueshiba's vision of aikido. He rarely showed a technique twice. When asked to perform a technique again, he would either answer no or they are all the same. He would become irate if people thought of him as being religious. He was a man of budo. He stated his art was formless. Ueshiba stated one must become the Universe, be an avatar of the kami, etc and not that one must use techniques to reach some peaceful philosophy. Pre-war students practiced joint locks as a body developing method and not as techniques. Only after Kisshomaru came along did joint locks become techniques. Only after Kisshomaru came along did aikido change to become a complete vision of spiritual peace and harmony by practicing techniques.

Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
The same applies to the avoidance of a punch or a kick.You "sweep" what's coming in the same direction that the attack was going(no blocking), while simultaniously you make sure that you are not there anymore.That way you never resist,
And how do you reconcile the fact that Ueshiba could stand or sit and have people push on him and he didn't have to move to neutralize the "attack"? He didn't have to "get out of the way" to make his aikido work.

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Carsten this sounds like very confused thinking. Perhaps you could explain the spiritual nature of atemi to the larynx.
Perhaps someone could also explain the spiritual nature of breaking an elbow joint with an atemi, too. Because even in his old age, Ueshiba can still be seen delivering that kind of atemi, among others.

Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
Doesn't this mean you have to be clear about which spirituality you already have and bring to the dojo?

I interpret it as meaning that O Sensei did not think it mattered what one's religious background was, one could still develop spiritually through practicing Aikido.
Ueshiba said that whatever religion you chose, aiki would make it better. Not that you could develop spiritually through practicing aikido. There is a big difference there. Kisshomaru's Modern Aikido changed and added that one could develop spiritually through practicing aikido.

Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
There is only one aikido and that is o'sensei's aikido, based on the basic principles that he taught. Everybody who say that they are teaching another style, they don't know what they're saying! And then of course, they engage in endless discussions wondering about the magical secret of o'sensei's skills...Beats me!
Historically, that isn't true. Ueshiba's martial abilities and skills were replicated by his peers, who were also students of Sokaku Takeda. Spiritually, pretty much all his students (with a few exceptions) had no idea what he was talking about.

Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
As for the second question, "who is they?"...The teachers who are claiming that they are doing another style of aikido than the original of course. They chopped aikido to pieces and then chose to study only what they like. They are not practicing the way o'sensei taught and then they are wondering why it is so difficult to achieve his level in aikido. Where's the logic in that? It really beats the hell out of me!
And what of Morihei Ueshiba, who chopped his teacher's art to pieces to reduce the number of techniques taught? Is he then not practicing aikido? Remember, Takeda called his art aikijujutsu, the precursor to aikido and Ueshiba only agreed to the name aikido -- he never named it himself.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Niall made a comment about techniques that kill being the antithesis of aikido.
If we look at Daito ryu as a martial system that taught people the ability to capture center on contact, bring them in, down, and then deliver a blow to hurt/maim/kill, then we can look to Ueshiba adding one more option ... instead of in and down to the feet for harming the attacker, Ueshiba allowed for the possibility to take the attack and allow it to be redirected away.

But, Ueshiba never removed atemi from his aikido. The question is whether or not he thought of the atemi as a "killing blow" or just one that maimed/injured.
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