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Old 03-04-2009, 08:34 AM   #32
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
Re: Aikido IS a practical contemporary martial art

Don Magee wrote: View Post
Personally, I do not want morality preached at my in martial art class. I had parents and priests for that. I want them to spend their time teaching me how to fight. If you haven't learned to be moral by now your probably going to be an asshole for life.
I agree though I do think that Aikido like many other martial arts of its time had a purpose to turn martial combat into martial art. That there is a morality, on an individual morality, but a social morality. In the 1900's in New York street fighting and street violence was a common part of society. It wasn't very civil times then in that city. Aikido and other martial arts of that time, like Judo etc. basically is geared to change that ruffian Japanese mentality that was affecting Japanese society from moving forward. All that is similar to the 1900s in New York and how a change there too had to be made for the sake of social progress. Aikido is also similar to the purpose for the birth of sports in the 1700's in this country; culturing young men in things that now have become good sportsmanship, fair play, etc. The west unlike Japan, we had many institutions and stuff to teach morality. We were long out of our feudal periods and already made that shift to a modern society. Japan was a johnny-come-latey in these area of things.

Aikido as a martial art deals with the Japanese individual in relation to their society. It really doesn't teach individual personal morals or is the mental therapy stuff across cultures. Here is the other thing, to teach any of that kind of stuff really is dependent on the moral character and personality of the Sensei. Honestly, Aikido doesn't prepare any Sensei to be in the role of therapists, moral teachers, spiritual leaders, etc. and that responsibility. It is just expected?!? Basically it is gained through the journey of training. That is one big assumption for those who are not Japanese.

Because of that stuff, Aikido is wide open to personal and individual interpretations like being discussed now. What is over looked is Aikido's societal mission to better society by to turning the ruffian into a gentlemen, and not into anything else- the general idea. Taking parts of the old moral Japanese codes and revising it to fit the purpose of Japan's new direction into (or fit into) the modern world. Really, I think any of that cant apply so much in today's western society.

If you take a cross section of those people who start Aikido, you will find that they are already gentle people. That the goal of Aikido is already achieved before they walk through the dojo doors, one in most cases. People who seek out Aikido in general well educated, intelligent, successful and contributing members of society. Who have already a general morality in place from other sources. The problem here is the goal of Aikido being already met before we actually start crates a void of sorts. Because of the strong obscure message of Aikido. So then because of that message not being understood clearly people feel that message needs to be fulfilled( even though it has been already). In that case, we find other ways of fulfilling that message resulting in the mix of other things which we then attribute to Aikido. The result of that is the personal experience stuff.
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