james bennington wrote:
I have seen aikido packaged as many things like, spiritual, cardio, self-defense, classical, true budo, etc. etc. but it all comes down to that if you are attacked in a parking garage, no amount of spiritual essence given to you by your instructor will help you out, but the fast reactions and good technique you learn will.
I've know some painters that paint and think it's a spiritual event. They might have gotten this idea from their teacher, but for me I want my teacher to show me the painting techniques and tools, and let me take it from there.
Please think a bit about that analogy: To become a great painter, you of course need to have great technique and proper tools. But if you have only
that, you won't be able to create paintings that really capture the audience. For that you need more -- you need creativity, you need passion, you need that ability to first create capturing images inside you, which then can be transferred to the canvas by your great technique.
It's similar with Aikido: Good technique will only get you so far. To be able to apply it really effectively in a real situation, you also need some things typically considered rather "spiritual" -- calmness, an unperturbable (sp?) mind, inner peace, strong intention, focus, decisiveness etc. So please don't label that "spirituality" thing as complete bullshit, but examine it and pick out the parts that are useful to you, for your goals.
Note: I don't like lectures on spirituality on the mat either and strongly prefer a good slam&dunk workout instead. Actually I don't like lectures on spirituality at all. But I do like to think about it, do like to listen to humble opinions and ideas on the matter.