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Old 01-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 814
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Re: religious terminology in martial arts and implication

Demetrio - I do not <necessarily>disagree. Such things certainly exist - we've seen a fair amount among Japanese - most prominently, in modern times, in aikido and Daito-ryu factions.

However, in regards to Phi's question re koryu, the bushi were pragmatists. The actions in that video require peacetime. During the period when koryu were invented, if something didn't work, it resulted in injury or death. So, my focus in this discussion, for whatever that's worth, is going to be on religious terminology/information as it actually functioned as a practical tool.

If I were to do a fire incantation, it would be because I am afraid of fire. On one level, I hope the magic will keep me invulnerable. On a simultaneous level, that believe that I won't get burned may lead me forward into the flames, which makes me militarily useful.

A modern - but very primitive - version of this are the Mai - Mai in Zaire - who are a combination of outlaw and militia - many of whom believe that magic water keeps them from being invulnerable to bullets. They get shot. But they charge enemy positions and overwhelm them as well, because unlike a reasonable man or woman, they do irimi in the face of death.

Ellis Amdur

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