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Old 08-20-2011, 06:03 PM   #66
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

[/quote]Do you mean, O Sensei represented a different spirituality or philosophy? Or do you think he was the first one to integrate spirituality and philosophy into the martial ways?

If he was just different, what do you think did he change? And can you verify this (I mean to yourself, your understanding) when comparing his meanings with the spirituality /philosohy of other teachers of budo?

Hi Carsten.
I don't think he represented a 'different' spirituality but that he did represent spirituality.

He certainly wasn't the first person to integrate spirituality into a martial art in fact I would say all martial arts origins are indeed spiritual disciplines. (That's my opinion)

I don't think he was just 'different' as I believe he was a bit exceptional. He changed the whole purpose of what he was previously doing. Thus he worked on changing subtly the techniques to fit his new way, philosophy, spirituality.

Prior to this the aim was to win, to kill, to dominate, to win, to defeat, to overpower etc. Now it was to harmonize, to approach with the spirit of loving protection, to be at one with the universe and thus through non-resistance have no enemy even within self.
A much greater discipline.

On understanding this view then we can see that 'entering' in Aikido takes on a different meaning. Why are you entering? You are entering in order to Be With rather than to avoid or do something to. Just one example of the change which comes about through the spirit of loving protection.

Then you may see that tai sabaki is in fact just another way of entering in order to be with, to share, to blend. It is entering on a curve into the circular space of the 'opponent' in order to join and be the centre of the joint space. Being as one. So this is part of my understanding which comes from those spiritual principles.

If by verifying the spirituality you mean quotes then:

'Aikido is ai (love). You make this great love of the universe your heart, and then you make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish these things must be the true budo. True budo means to win over yourself and eliminate the fighting heart of the enemy... No, it is a way to absolute self perfection in which the very enemy is eliminated. The technique of Aiki is asctic training and a way through which you reach a state of unification of body and spirit by realization of the principle of heaven.'
O'Sensei "The Aiki Path is Infinite"
'He was trying to teach us to rid ourselves of the desire to fight to win over an opponent- to replace it with the desire to bring forth harmony and peace. Aikido is the budo of love.'[quote] Hikitsuchi Sensei.

'Before the war the purpose of waza was to kill the attacker; we practised like that. After the war he urged us not to attack opponents or to think of defeating them. 'If you do that' he said 'it will be the same as before. I have changed how we do everything.'

O'Sensei told us that we must give our opponents joy. To do this, he said, we must become able immediately to see, sense,and lead their Ki.'......

This method of practice was the opposite of what it had been.[quote] Hikitsuchi Sensei.

Thus I say that an attacker is already devoid of his true nature, already out of alignment with his true self and the universe, already operating from a disunited spirit mind body and so Aikido is the way to restoration which must come first in order to bring about harmony and joy. Now that's quite a discipline. That's quite a budo, far different from the budo of most martial arts and the budo of fighting or competition.

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