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Old 05-31-2010, 10:44 AM   #80
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Anonymous User
Re: The purpose of Aikido?

When something is so hard to pin down it either loses credibility, or it gets more unclear as a result of interpretations and opinions.

After re-reading the thread, it becomes obvious, to me anyway, there are many different individual opinions people hold to, to be the purpose for Aikido. Rational thinking tells us to sort this out to look at O'Sensei and go with what he says.

That ain't easy, it is a daunting task to do look at the purpose of Aikido that is clear as mud. O'Sensei was crystal clear. O'Sensei's tightest students had a hard time understanding much of what he said about Aikido, as one person mentioned. Aikido like many other things in the same boat, having an unclear purpose seems to motivate us to get a clear answer to the purpose. Some say it is obvious, it is a martial art and you have to be effective in using it. While others say, it is for humanitarian purpose, and his message of peace. Many of the experts say it works along the Japanese line of thinking that a purpose is less important then realizing the purpose through years of training. It is a Zen approach and process of reaching satori through practice/experience. The purpose is not laid and explained in black and white. I would argue the Japanese thinking isn't Aikido's intended purpose. Instead is the method of obtaining the purpose. In contrast to a clearly stated purpose written on paper.

When an object doesn't have a clear purpose credibility (until satori) is lost. When a leader doesn't have a clear object, the followers abandon the leader and elect one that does have a clear object. A purpose works the same way, but the difference when a purpose isn't clear the is some lose of credibility. Suffice it to say works on a group dynamic where there is a leadership structure, and when a purpose isn't clear it opens the door for everyone to debate and question the purpose. The turnkey is loss of credibility. Everyone can throw in their 2 cents and be equally valid what the purpose is. The debate rather than clarifying the purpose it becomes more complicated and unclear when there is no unarguable purpose.

We as people need a clear purpose to whatever the degree or process when it comes to an organization. In Aikido, not having a clear purpose has opened it up to questioning its credibility because there isn't a single solid unquestionable purpose. Was that intended by O'Sensei, maybe because of the way Japanese think. It is enough for them to have a purpose not absolute crystal clear as in time those willing to do the distance will have a satori. But, Aikido is international now and a clear set purpose is needed, maybe. If that is correct, than I think it needs to come by the current Doshu. Even if it doesn't match his grandfather's thinking.

Maybe he could declare a purpose. The benefits to not having a clear purpose allows the individual a personal experience, thereby giving people allot of room for personal growth and freedom. Even if these benefits where intended or not it points to a clearer purpose. Then again too much freedom is like anything else, best done in moderation. Growth left unattended or trained can end up not being all that beneficial.

I don't know if Aikido is supposed to have a clear purpose. Maybe that is the purpose. What ever the way Aikido was set up or will be set up it basically be default comes down to the thinking of "what every works for you" line of thought. I don't see the arguments of what the purpose of Aikido to tapper off anytime soon. I wouldn't bet a clear purpose will ever be establish as long as O'Sensei and his beliefs are held high reverence. Until then, for me the purpose of Aikido is an opportunity to get some exercise and get away from all the stress and demands of daily modern life. It is a few hours a week to get some peace of mind, and enjoy what am doing.
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