Dojo: Leaky Roof Cottage
Location: Olympia, Wa
Join Date: Jan 2003
You ask "What about loyalty to O'sensei and his art?"
I never trained with o'Sensei, And what I know of the art, that this practice is something other than a practice of domination, is that it has a rich and complex history dating back thousands of years. O'sensei honored them also. Should we stop at him? O'sensei was a great teacher, and one who lived close enough to our time of life to have a powerful impact- Indeed, his wisdom and creativity revisioned the "art of war" into the "art of peace". Frankly, I am still amazed at Sun Tzu and the amount of pacifist energy he conjured in his highly militarized times. What O'Sensei has done is in many ways beyond my vision: he passed from our side of the veil a year before I was born, and even his most senior ranked students admit that they do not capture the complete teachings- many were left on the sidelines by his mysticism, and could only mimic the movements. And they are beyond me.
The old Irish adage "one must teach the boy to dance before giving him a sword" suits me, I work within and press my limits where I am able: I gratefully (and sometimetimes begrudgingly) accept a good teacher. The sword is a good teacher with whom I have a good thing. My loyalty to O'sensei and his art is to seek to embody "True Victory is Self Victory". I find this to some small degree in weapons. It is for me. I answered yes to the question regarding weapons being necessary. I answer for me. What fulfills your training? What practice do you make that allows you to say, "I have changed, I am able to move with something today that I conflicted with yesterday"? I Find this in Jyo, Bokken, Ki aikido Taigi, Suwari Waza, Kokyuho, and many other arts. If I do not find that (I did not find that in trombone practice, for instance)then I do not make it a part of my regular practice. Other's experience is theirs. REQUIREING others do things will not likely engender a love in them for the practice. A good teacher helps a student want a practice, so that the student does it for themself, not for the satisfaction of rules. Watch "Red Beard" with Tashiro Mifune, directed by Akira Kurosawa.
A skilled cellist holds the instrument softly, yet with firmness, able to play feirce and gentle in the movement of a single breath. Is this not aikido? The Spirit that moves it, not the choreography, makes it in harmony with the energy of the universe. Choreography is the basest form of our art, necessary, but in the end, throw it away ( I am still clinging to it, but I have seen...) Watch videos of O'sensei as he is attacked on all sides by the Senior students of his dojo. He is Old, and often appears to fall, rather than doing a technique. Yet he is untouched, and the eight shihan are unknowing of his whereabouts. Weapons? Aikido?
an old man having a stumble at a fortunate moment? I can't say. Its a film. A short, poor quality one at that. In aikido I seek to expose myself, and more and more aikido is walking, or riding my bicycle, or doing my work, as well as being on the mat. Follow your love, and inner expeditionaries. I suggest Do not cling too tightly to ideals. They lie outside of us, and are often placed there by others expectations, and not our own truths. More powerful than the sword, the intention that holds it. The sword is vehicle for polishing the soul and spirit. A good one for me. I focus that intention through the sword, and the pen. Bunbu Ichi, they say, Pen and Sword in Accord.