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Old 08-23-2000, 06:53 AM   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Sure ... training is important. However, to train aikido without understanding its philosophy is to put the cart before the horse.

A person may be a deadly fighter after years of training, but what is his values if he is not developed in character and spirit? In that case, what is the difference between him and a wild, ferocious tiger? Both are equally capable of fighting.

To let a person learn a deadly art without refining his spirit is as good as giving a machine gun to a bandit. That is why O-sensei changed the art from aiki-jujitsu to aikido. Incidentally, people are supposed to realise at least some aspects of the philosophy after years of training in aikido.

One can probably read up some books by John Stevens on the philosophy of aikido. An alternative book is "The spirit of aikido" by the late Doshu, Kissamaru-sensei, written just before his death.

The focus of attention in this discussion should be on the actions, and not the persons behind the actions. Outright criticisms of the founder, regardless if it is done by Tohei or any other Tom, Dick or Harry, are just not acceptable. If anybody miss this point, he probably miss the entire discussion altogether.

Whether Tohei splits from aikikai or not, whether Tohei has bad blood with aikikai or not, whether the culprit is Tohei or some other fellow, whether O-sensei is a god or not, are not the issues here.

For clarity sake, these actions (especially when directed to people outside the field of aikido) are deemed to be very aggressive. There are little differences in their spirit as compared to making attempts to start a fight, especially with outright proclamations that others' concepts are wrong when they are not even provoking oneself in the first place. Again, this is going directly against the Budo spirit, or aikido spirit for that matter.

By the way, I used to train with Tohei-sensei until I broke away. My reasons are similar to Suenaka-san ... he deviates too much from O-sensei. But these are personal reasons that should not interfere with the discussion here.

Finally, may the Budo spirit be with you!
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