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Old 11-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #14
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: A Christian perspective on Budo

Thank you for sharing this interesting blog!

Personally I think that O Sensei was right - Aikido can complete and enrich a religion.

Accept for perhaps the rituals in a catholic or orthodox church I do not see much of a link between Christianity and medieval knighthood. I think that much of the chivalry and traditions of that time has gone lost. I do know of two martial arts that do not have an Eastern background, but a Christian background; Systema and Shintaido. As far as I understand it Systema does seem to make an historical connection with the medieval knights.

In all times and in every culture the path of a warrior has always been a spiritual path. So why would this be any different for Christians?

The way you describe your faith seems to be very much in line with O Sensei's teachings and also with that of his spiritual teacher Onisaburu Deguchi.

And I agree with what you say about the martial arts; it is not just about learning to fight and I agree with what you say about the goal of the martial artist.

But it is my observation that martial arts in general over time have become more aggressive, more violent and less spiritual. It is the more common image that films an t.v. shows us. And I see it in many dojo as well. The emphasis is on results, physical strength and on winning. Might is right seems to have become a Budo-rule.

Although I know of several dojo that have a sincere and committed community, Aikido in general is not a great example of a way to build a constructive community. It is more about politics and gaining power. We can even see a reflection of this here on this forum.

It seems difficult enough for a traditional Aikido dojo to explain the real purpose of Aikido - would it not even become more difficult when you start teaching Aikido or another Budo to a Christian community that as its core has a teaching of love, peace, community, gratitude, hope,?

Any thoughts about this?

Thanks for starting this thread!

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