Spirit to intention to breath to physical movement to physical strength. As you know most of us start at one end, either spiritual or the strength, and never reach the other and never see the connection. We never put them all together. So to talk just about spiritual power leaves out the others.
There is no doubt about the positive effect aikido has on people. I've said before that I have encountered so many people in the art who approach it for different reasons; some for martial effectiveness, others who while quite competent in other venues enjoy the de-escalation, others for the fun of the connecting and air time, and others who feel a sense of spirituality to it. The umbrella is big enough for everyone.
If it is not valid to say it HAS to be martially viable.
Then it is equally invalid to say it has to be spiritual.
Is there a way to be both at once?
Interestingly the historical hinge pin was how the Asians
tied their spiritual beliefs to physical processes, not how postmodern Caucasians
are seeking to do so. Unfortunately we see few people interested in pursuing what the Asians
saw as important in a joined process. What we have left is many people with little to no real power, nor real ability to connect and control without hyper cooperation or they resort to cranking and hard throwing, who are also utilizing a re-write of a spirituality over Ueshiba's that is almost completely divorced from its origins.
One wonders why they use the word Aikido at all.
I would posit based on experience in the world and as a longtime health professional that a lot of those who habitually act from jealousy, greed or vindictiveness DON'T in fact recognize they are "incorrect" feelings.
They are their feelings, they perceive them as legitimate, they embrace them as old familiar friends, and they act on them.
Hence my lack of acceptance of "correct" or "incorrect" feeling as being very useful constructs.
Good points, Janet and in a similar vein;
I would posit based on my experience in the Aikido world and as a longtime martial artist that a lot of those who habitually act from feeling and unorganized guesswork of notions of aiki connection do not in fact recognize their feelings are "incorrect" feelings that simply will not work on someone who actually knows what aiki is.
They perceive them as correct and legitimate, they embrace them as old familiar friends, and they act on them, yet they cannot define them and do not in fact have a clue as to what they really are. Hence, my questioning "correct" or "incorrect" feeling as being useful teaching constructs for anything meaningful in Budo. At the end of the day if people cannot define it themselves, then what does that mean? Hoew does it really help? Is it guesswork and hope? It is obvious that assigning a spiritual component to it would be a logical step.
1. They don't know how they did it.
2. They can't explain it.
3. it's a mystery to them as they search for that feeling to happen again, so it is a wonder
4. So some erroneously assign an unknown to it-like spirituality.
As they say "No beans to me." But it is damn curious as a training tool.
Change of subject as it relates to teaching the art of Aikido™, or Aiki...do (the way of aiki)
What does it say, when a group of people have not read and cannot explain what their founder discussed and defined as aiki and movement and yet continue to state that what they are doing is
his way of aiki? By their own admission they have no part in the discussions of what Aiki...do originally was.
Kisshomaru did quite a bit to formulate a blank canvas; a bland non distinctive aikido form that could be used as a standard people could play off of. It is the logical explanation for Shioda, Osawa, Shirata, Tomiki, and all the old guard distancing themselves from this new art (Aikido™). Shirata's return (at O sensei's pleading) and what happened with his work being banned from hombu (work which highlighted O sensei's solo work and movement), fit in line with Tohei himself being distanced from Hombu. In the end, the broad brushed plan was to retain a bland distinctiveness that fit with what Kisshomaru himself perceived as his role as administrator. I think that this, combined with the poorly trained, young toughs, sent out with five or six years training as 5th and 6th dans all but sealed the deal.
It really isn't anyone's fault that Aiki...do is all but gone. The advent of Aikido™, divorced from the true words and practices of O sensei was a well designed and broad based plan, executed intentionally.
Can the two camps meet?
Just recently a Shihan in Japan (a close friend of Doshu) announced to his students that he was suspending aikido practice at his dojo because he had discovered aiki. His training (I am not at liberty to say in what) is now focusing on internal/aiki work to change his body. He later went to Doshu with excitement. Doshu, while complimenting the teacher on his improving skills, told him in no uncertain terms that he himself could never do this stuff "They would kill me. I have to do what my father did."
So if we see a divorce from the very top of the art, where does that leave us to discuss it? The heart of the discussion must, by its very nature, change to what the way of aiki has become versus what it was. Those pursuing Ueshiba's aiki, the way of aiki are going to have to struggle to find talking points to relate with those deeply immersed in the later, since functionally they are not going to be able to interact with the modern Aikido-ka. I suggest they do it less and less on the web, and reserve it for face-to-face encounters.
Clearly most of those in Aikido™, including the teachers, do not know what Ueshiba was talking about. Debates, while interesting, really only offers a venue to be heard and a chance to include unproven curiosities like "correct feeling"
and "energy changing in the room"
as having equal validity to the very real road map of concepts of heaven/ earth/ man, spiral energy, six directions, In/Yo ho, etc, that the founder was discussing. Thus the majoirty of the unknowing can contest/ argue without having to deliver. Where they cannot do that- is in person. There they must demonstrate; a) this is what he said b) this is what it means c) this is how it is done.
So if we reserve the meat of the argument for face to face discussions, then everyone gets to prove, disprove their ideas and correct feelings about things. And it usually ends in a friendly manner. Make no mistake though. We all know how this is ending up. Ueshiba's teachings always win...its no contest.
Because O sensei knew what he was talking about.
Those pursuing what is akin to a physical sport, with individualized overlays of western belief systems is not Ueshiba's Aiki…do and has no real part in what Aikido really is....or in fact ever was.
"Sensei, why can we not do what you do?"
Because you do not understand in yo
I suspect he would not recognize what most people are doing or talking about as having anything at all to do with him or his art.