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Old 12-15-2020, 06:39 AM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,307
Re: Body, mind, and spirit

Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
Yes - body, mind, and spirit.

I have heard Isoyama Sensei several times say that if we only focus on the physical aspects of aikido, the "left" and the "right", we are letting down the aikido of O-Sensei, missing wonderful opportunities for growth. I, for one, enjoy the spiritual aspects of aikido -- and this does not stand in the way of the physical technique 😊

The quest for "internal power" could be a quest for "inner wisdom"!
Merry christmas to you all
First of all, Stefan, all good wishes for Christmas and the New Year!

When I was in the IAF, I used to meet Isoyama Sensei quite regularly, and private discussions sometimes turned to Morihei Ueshiba. And we used to argue. Isoyama Sensei was one of the two 'giants' of Iwama and had frequent and regular contact with Ueshiba. However, what Ueshiba stated about aikido is very difficult to understand without some knowledge of his own intellectual background--and even Isoyama also found it very difficult to convey what Ueshiba stated about aikido.

The problem here is the readiness to use Isoyama as support for 'spiritual' because he disparaged the 'physical' aspect, but I do not think this is quite right. 'Physical' and 'spiritual' might be convenient opposites in English, but there is much ambiguity here, as might be gathered by making a clear and sharp distinction between mental events, physical processes, and so-called 'spiritual' acts, such as shiho-nage in aikido. And it will not do to say that,"Oh well, one slides into the other, because shiho-nage has a physical, mental, and a spiritual aspect."

My awareness of these issues has been sharpened over the past four decades, by having to teach aikido in Japanese to Japanese students who are not familiar with such distinctions, which seem deceptively clear in English.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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