Re: Aikido and Samurai: a few questions
Samurai, I feel, can be a few things. Not only could Samurai be a warrior class that followed the way of Bushido, but it could also be a state of mind and being.
There where indeed Samurai whi did abuse their power, but their where also Samurai who did the right thing. Protected the weak, helped out where they could, and I'm sure their where Samurai who hated killing, and only killed their enimies if their was no other alternitive.
In Aikido, we follow the ideals of peace and harmony among our fellow humans. Indeed, this does, in some ways, sound like the direct opposate of the Samurai, but they do have something in common: Protect others while protecting yourself.
The Samurai trained not only in the sword, but also the spear, staff, bow and arrow, tanto, hand to hand/pins/holds/throws, much the same way as the Aikidoka.
The teachings of Bushido, also tell you to be of a calm mind, body and spirit, much as Aikido does.
But, one major difference between Aikidoka and Samurai, is that, Aikidoka do not carry around the Disho (two swords, Katana (Di) and Wakazashi (Sho)) and the Samurai did.
Long argument short, it is all a matter of your mind set. When I am in the Dojo, and we do Bokken work, I feel as though I am following the footsteps of O-Sensei and the Yugau Shinkage Ryu master who taught him. It depends on how you feel, i guess.
I feel that I am not a Samurai, but I feel that i have the spirit of one.