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Old 08-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #125
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Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 401
Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Usehiba, M. - "One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." The Art of Peace, John Stevens, p. 14

I haven't seen anything related to Aikido as a vehicle for the transmission of Japanese culture. In 25 years with Maruyama sensei he never once indicated that cultural transmission was in any way relevant to our training. The dojo, clothing and rituals provide a cultural context in which training takes place but I don't see how they contribute, or their lack detract, substantively from one's ability to coordinate mind and body and get on with the business of studying Aikido.

I think this is spot-on. When Ueshiba himself explains what aikido is all about, he doesn't say anything about clothes, buildings, or rituals -- at least as far as I have read. These things are nice to have as a cultural context, and I'm certainly not suggesting we get rid of them, but they are not aikido.

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