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Old 06-08-2004, 07:33 AM   #12
Robert Rumpf
Dojo: Academy of Zen and the Ways
Location: Kailua, HI
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 164
United_States
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Re: Respect for the Art of Aikido

I'm not sure that anyone besides your instructor-to-be is capable of providing precise answers to your questions. None of us know where you are planning to train specifically or what that place is like, and none of us know who your instructor is and how he or she would feel about it. You should really talk to him or her about the tone of the dojo and what they're willing to accept from you.

I have never seen spirituality or religion be brought up as an issue for conflict by either an instructor or a student. That said, you could walk into the one dojo where this is a problem... Remember, if you don't like it, you can always quit later or go somewhere else. Aikido typically doesn't involve contracts, and dojos vary dramatically in terms of tone and even technique.

I'm sure that no matter what type of Aikido you personally choose to do (rough or light, martial or ineffective, spiritual or material), someone out there will feel it profanes Aikido. Evidence for this is abundant on this board: see the AikiGolf or Aikidog (Jason Delucia) threads for two examples. I wouldn't let it bother you. After all, it's your Aikido, not theirs.

The only real things that profane the art are people lying about or fabricating credentials, or an individual deliberately choosing to seriously injure another during practice. Those destroy the atmosphere of trust that is so important if any learning is to take place.

Rob
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