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Old 08-15-2011, 01:03 PM   #25
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: When is Aikido a Non-Aikido martial art?

Alec Corper wrote: View Post
Agreed but what I was trying to open up in a not very articulate ways a notion that is stuck with me, which I believe you have expressed in other ways. The notion is that the spiritual and technical sides of aikido cannot be seperated. However the general meaning of "spiritual" as Western people mean it is somewhat different in the East where spirituality is a technical science, and values and ethics emerge from the practice and not the other way round.
In Chen Tai Chi, possibly the last combat oriented from, yielding isa way to gain mastery over an opponent. It is not that giving way to the will of another should be equated to love, peace and harmony. However it is very difficult to really learn to yield at the deepest levels of muscular and skeletal structure, whilst winning through strength is still a fundamental world view governing our mental and emotional approach tp life. I Chuan, mind/body boxing stresses intent as the pathway to power but ultimately defeating others leads back to the roots of conflict in oneself and we arrive back where we began.
Aikido is supposed to be about Mind / Body, Spirit integration... At least that's what I was always taught. I used to think that was some sort of process of going from here to there... an addition process of acquisition of special skills that took someone there. I have come to see that the whole thing is much more like the Zen idea that you are already Enlightened and that you aren't trying attain anything, you are already there.

Mind / Body / Spirit are already completely and utterly connected. They cannot be disconnected. Training is about realizing that this is true and ceasing to act as if it weren't. At a certain point it isn't so much about adding new skills or knowledge but more a process of getting rid of what interferes with ones understanding and ability to manifest that understanding on the mat and in ones life. That's how I understand misogi. It is polishing away ignorance rather than adding more stuff. O-Sensei always said that keiko was supposed to be "misogi". I think that's what he meant.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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