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Old 11-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #71
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: The Fear of Power

David Orange wrote: View Post
I didn't perceive Carsten to be disturbed in that. You realize, of course, that the taoist fighting arts are seriously deadly and make no bones about their purpose? They're not like aikido in that regard, but more like serious ken-jutsu. Once unleashed, serious damage is bound to happen.

People need to understand that once a human being decides on a course of serious violence, it requires serious strength to stop him or her, and make no mistake: it requires extreme power to stop such a person without injuring them. So aikido gives us a better philosophical and spiritual base than say bagua or xing yi. But without serious power behind it, that philosophy amounts to BS. And the seriously powerful bagua or xing yi artist always has the choice to destroy or to show mercy, so it might be better, for practical purposes, to study xing yi. In any case, saying we show mercy to someone is a joke if we don't have the capacity to destroy them, and most aikido people I've met talking about being merciful to an attacker...they're just jokers, to tell the truth.

Now, speaking of philosophy and spirituality, Morihei Ueshiba also spent countless hours in prayer, but I don't hear much about that from aikido people. I once posted a thread here called "The Power of Prayer," I think it was. It's been a few years ago, I guess. No one responded at all, if I recall correctly. But if an aikido person uses Ueshiba's statements on power to show that there is no need for power, why do they follow his art of "making people do what you want them to do," but they don't follow his practice of praying for hours each day? I submit that it can only be that, subconsciously at the very least, they do have a great desire for power. At the same time, the have a conscious belief that power is wrong. So they and their aikido become seriously conflicted, but rather than work it out in physical struggle, they form organizations and build up that kind of power, expressed mainly in deciding which rituals will be used and who will get or be denied rank.


Taoism is not a philosophy of exerting power - rather the opposite. It explains how nature / the universe operates and we as human beings can be one with it. This does not include exerting power or a sense of struggle. Going with the flow is the active principle. That means often being on the right place on the right time. Which we could see as a martial art strategy.
That could very well lead to a martial art that is seriously deadly, but it is not the basis of Taoist philosophy.

Norito is part of my Aikido practice. I think it deepens my understanding and helps me connect with nature / the universe / kami sama. But I do not think that it is for everyone, Ueshiba himself pointed out that it was not necessary to do this in his way, as he assumed that everyone would experience this kind of spirituality in his own way or in his own religion. It is really not a fair statement to use this now as a proof that people have a great desire for power. Praying or not praying proves nothing.

Ever considered that your thinking may be upside down? Your premise seems to start with people who want to become warrior, therefor need power, therefor need to realize that "once a human being decides on a course of serious violence, it requires serious strength to stop him or her". What about people who are already a warrior, who have crossed the line of violence, who are all too well aware of their own violent potentials. What has Aikido has to offer them? More power?
Or grace, peace of mind, a sense of being connected with nature and the community?
That is after all what Shinto is about, Buddhism, Taoism is about, even the Oomoto kyo is about. That is what O Sensei was talking about.

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