Re: How is aikido related to your spiritual path?
[quote=Don_Modesto]Saotome has stopped in with senior students during seminars, taught them some particularly nasty variation of the current technique, and then said kind of dismissively, "But, this is BUJUTSU" as if it were more vulgar, less advanced than aikiDO.QUOTE]
The last time I was with Saotome Sensei he was talking about "Aikido Bujutsu"; this apparently being how he refers to the applied martial side of Aikido or what he also has referred to as the "dark side". While I think he really does believe that the live affirming side of the art is the so-called higher practice I would also say that he, more than most Aikido teachers, emphasizes understanding and being able to execute Aikido technique from this standpoint. I don't think he believes that they can effectively be separated as they are two sides of the same thing.