i have a question...
I don't practice Aikido (yet), and I don't presume to know anything about martial arts. Still, I have a few questions that I would like cleared up about this martial art.
1) Does one need a strong spiritual life to master Aikido? I know this question is probably very difficult to answer, but it is very important to me.
2)Is Aikido related to Taoism? It would seem so, judging by the enigmatic description of Ki. Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching, had an interesting way of describing the Tao, or the Ki. I'm paraphrasing, but it goes something like 'where the pot is empty, is where it's most useful. Where the room isn't, is what makes gives it a purpose.' Forgive me if I'm blatantly wrong, but the Ki seems to be the essence of nothingness. This is a paradox, but its about the best way of describing it that I can think of. The Tao Te Ching calls it "the mother of all things," an intangible, self-sustaining energy that is God, although without the personification of an old man with a long beard sitting a golden throne, throwing lightning bolts.
3)What religion, if any, did the founder of Aikido cling to?
4)I live in Lansing, MI. Could someone tell me of a nearby Aikido dojo, or tell me where to go to find out that information. I would prefer a sensei who practiced Aikido exclusively; the idea of a sensei who's given every martial art a 30 day "speed learning" and then supposes he/she can teach it does not interest me. I exaggerate, but I want to get my point across.
5)I'm not exactly a very coordinated person, and I have astigmatism quite badly in my right eye. Would these relatively minor setbacks be a large problem in my learning Aikido? Forgive me for the "Hollywoodish" allusion, but I've seen Karate Kid, and with vision like mine, there is no way I could murder a fly with chopsticks.
6)Aikido is a purely defensive martial art, right? What kinds of weapons would an Aikido practitioner use? Presumably only those which would prevent the opponent from attacking.
7)Aikido is a very serious martial art, just like any, but would it be immature or inhibitive for someone like me whoconsiders the idea of preventing an opponent's attacks humorous? I've thought of this situation a few times: an angry person with a very bad temper attempts to attack me repeatedly because he falsely thinks his ego has been insulted. Am I limiting myself by finding it funny that every attempt is effortlessly dettered? All in all, I would consider myself a mature person, but I need to know whether a mindset like that would prevent my development both with my spirituality and my Aikido skills.
8)This question is more religious, and not really related to Aikido, but do do any of you believe that meditation can bring about enlightenment(i.e. CORRECT answers to philosophical questions)? Or, more directly asked, do any of you believe in listening to intuition as a valid method?
I have tried to keep from forming any opinions about these questions, as I do not know the answers yet, but nevertheless there may be subjective qualities in my questions. They are not intentional.
Sorry for the length, but I've been running these questions over in my mind for quite some time, and this is my first chance to ask qualified experts.