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Old 12-25-2002, 04:13 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Mr Tibbetts,

I also congratulate you for having the courage to discuss such a sensitive subject in such a 'public' arena.

Four things which had the most spiritual influence on my life in aikido are:

(1) Doing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola (I have done this a number of times, but the full 30-day retreat is something very special);

(2) Majoring in philosophy at university and taking it seriously, seriously enough to teach it here in Japan;

(3) Practising aikido at the hands of Kazuo Chiba Shihan, getting to know him, and discussing with him many of the matters you raise in this thread;

(4) Digging up my roots in the UK and deciding to make Japan my place of permanent residence.

This last was a major wrench in many ways and I would suggest that you test any fascination with Japan and its culture by coming here and seeing for yourself. Actually Chiba Sensei was in two minds about my coming to Japan. On the one hand, Japan was the source of aikido; on the other hand, much of aikido 'mythology' would be seen for what it is: actually you used a cruder term in your first post. In fact, however, he did the same thing in reverse, but for different reasons, of course. Not long after I arrived here, he went to live in San Diego.

Finally, I would ask if you have established a good relationship with a Japanese teacher, with whom you can discuss Japan and Japanese aikido/culture, and/or a teacher who fully understands and appreciates the value (and the depths) of aikido as a spiritual exercise?

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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