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Old 10-26-2005, 08:19 PM   #18
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,237
Re: Poll: How often does your aikido instructor discuss the philosophy of aikido during class?

Aikido should be for everyone, regardless of religion.
I don't think philosophy and religion are the same thing. I tended to shy away from anyone expressing religious sentiment when I was first beginning my training. I might be misunderstanding this but to me simply describing the principle of using someone else's force is in keeping with describing Aikido philosophy in that it teaches the idea of taking something malicious/malignant and making it good..."lemonade from lemons" is the basic philosophy of Aikido as I understand it. It's that abstract idea which can be applied to more than just a brute-force, self-defense situation which i think is universally applicable.

If religious practices or discussion are brought into the dojo, it might turn some students away if it conflicts with their beliefs

I agree, and it's a shame when this happens. Studying where I usually do, I've seen this plenty. Despite there being no requirement of adhering to Shinto, some cannot see past the giant shrine that is the shomen.

Exploring the other facets is fine on your own time, but it is not really the focus of training/keiko. And even in so far as keiko may lead to these other areas, it is indeed the physical practice that gets you there, not the talk.
I essentially agree with the latter part of this. I disagree about the prior. I would say a point of keiko is physical self-defense, but that it is one means to an end, not the end itself...per the ideals of Osensei as I "understand" them at least.

Philosophy is best discussed over beer.
Ok now I'm sold! Seriously, I do think this sentiment reflects the ideal situation, but considering many people only see each other on the mat, I do think at least some understanding of the "-do" in Aikido should be included. Aikido should be open to anyone, but I do think there's something to be said for nurturing a peacefull intent, and not just training people in how to be leathal. I know people who I would never teach Aiki-waza to right now. Not because I don't like them personally, but because they're, frankly, brutal people who'd not hesitate to do someone in this sense at least, I'd give a full dose of the philosophy and minimal dose of the technique. In this light I don't think "anyone" should be taught, but that anyone should have the opportunity, provided they're responsible enough. I'm describing an extream situation, but I think the principle is valid.

Each dojo has it's own culture, and there are times when someone may be reminded of the culture in not so wonderful (in the moment) ways
I agree. And I hope I didn't sound too harsh when I offered my thoughts on the post. I understand it's easy to inject presumption into online conversations and that ultimately i have no idea what message was conveyed or the intent behind it. It just struck me a little funny and I'm sure my personal experiences were behind my interpretation of it. Some of my closest friends scoff at the "lovey dovey" Aikido philosophy, and, snickered at me when I asked them their rational thoughts about the philosophy.
Take care,

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