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Old 04-06-2011, 03:40 PM   #52
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I do not know what aikido is.

However, I believe aikido is a technology of the self developed by Ueshiba Morihei, built on both martial techniques derived mostly from DRAJJ and religious/spiritual techniques derived from a personal mix of japanese mithology, Oomoto cosmology and kotodama.

Considering this, I do not do aikido.
Hm. A fair effort at definition, I would say.

I would not agree with "technology" -- in the way he either stated it or demonstrated it -- much to the frustration of many who want there to be much more of an "owner's manual" or under-the-hood approach to physical principles or actions, and much less so in my eyes for the psycho-spiritual aspects.

To analogize: a sacrament in Christian understanding is an act that signifies and which effects what it signifies. I don't mean to draw the comparison too far or too closely, but I think Morihei's Ueshiba's idea is much more "sacramental" in that operative sense of "what Aikido truly is."

It is a Budo -- which is a way of war. As such, a definition may bear comparison and contrast to other ways. War is not technological; though it may use technological methods. It is not essential to its effectiveness as a way of war. What does it matter if I kill the village by swords or guns, or asphyxiating each of them individually in their sleep, or merely by poisoning their well, or burning their ripe fields? Dead is dead , does it matter how? As ways of making war -- each may be equally effective, though not equally moral -- and morals become odd things in war.

Aikido sees a way of war in which "moral" is not a separate category from "effective," but not subject to trivial rule-making either. -- as with stating that in aikido there is no attack while he starts demonstrations of aikido with repeatedly initiating an atemi to the face -- which now I understand, but before was mystifying... It signifies moral, by doing moral, in effectively entering into -- rather than avoiding, and yet not escalating --- violent action. But the action is not justified by the consequences (or lack thereof) but by the mind and heart of the action which effects what it signifies.

It is just as much error to eschew "effective" aspects of the violence, as it is to cabin off "moral" concerns over the nature of violence.

We are violent.

We must deal with it.

Aikido accepts that violence in others and seeks to avoid the trap of our own imitative escalations in response to it -- both positively, by the bigger, faster, badder approach, and negatively, by the passive-aggressive lure and pounce approach. The one side prefers bombs, the other poisons -- and both make a false distinction in their moral categories.

Deterrence and evasion are simply flip-sides of the same coin, in otherwords -- to forestall the violence until it can be even MORE destructive and in favor of their side of the conflict. Modern aikido has tended to the latter error, IMO, physically and spiritually. The present fad for certain "correctives" tends to the former, and both because they are trapped in their respective categories -- and which are more alike than they are different.

Aikido is meant to be neither. There are no sides; there is only one conflict -- Aikido continually enters conflict and turns it.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-06-2011 at 03:46 PM.


Erick Mead
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