Re: Aikido and Preserving Ego
Takashi Kushida-sensei once phrased it something like the following. Aikido's origins in bujutsu make it intimately related to self-defense, and this is correct, but it is important to realize that there is self in the other person as well. This reminds me of a phrase Joel-sensei used to explain aikido when I was beginning (not long ago) - if you are completely one with the other person (or as he might say, "Not one /with/, just /one/" it is impossible for them to attack. Hence the saying, "Aikido is where someone tries to fight you, but you don't let them."
I remember O-Sensei talking about "I am the universe" On the one hand, that's a powerful expression of self, which perhaps explains the incredible presence he was known to possess. On the other, it's a far broader conception of self than most people subscribe to. Kirkegaard once admonished readers who focus too much on "self-improvement", saying that if you place your trust there, you will only have what strength you can gather yourself, which is inherently weaker than divine or universal strength.
I'd say that if you live a selfish, ego-centered life, then your aikido will probably only be used for selfish ends. (This is not just physical self-defense, but other applications of what you will learn in aikido.) I believe the saying is "ni to, ni men" - a sharp sword has two faces. In another saying, "setsu nin to, katsu jin ken" - the killing blade, the life-giving blade - traditionally, I believe, printed on the same sword.
Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 08-31-2004 at 03:17 PM.