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Old 04-05-2002, 03:11 PM   #1
Magnus
Dojo: Hashidate Aikido
Location: Sweden
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 5
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How is Zen, O-sensei, and Aikido connected?

O-negai shimasu!

Since this is my first posting on this forum, I'd like to start with saying "thank you" for all the interesting and inspiring posts I've had the privilige to read the last days.

Unfortunately I haven't had the time to go through all postings in order to find answers to the questions I'm about to ask - if you have already discussed these topics please let me know where I can find these discussions .

I am really a beginner of Aikido (haven't trained a year yet), but still I'm really interested in some philosophical issues concerning this wonderful art:

Zen-buddhism and budo seems to be closely related to each other. The short "mokso" part of the training session for instance appears to be rather reminiscent of "zazen". Still it appears O-sensei based Aikido on some other philosophical/religious system (gathering all religions into this "concept")?
Which is the relation between Zen,O-senseis religion (O... something) and Aikido?
Should it be considered beneficial for my Aikido training to do meditational exercises or even koan studies in addition to the training in the dojo? (Aikido sometimes appears to be a beautiful koan itself: A martial art with the goal of utmost harmony)
Is the understanding of concepts as "Kami" etc necessary in order to fully understand O-sensei's Aikido, and to attain the harmony we all seek to find?

Hope that someone who has "walked the path" before me could give some advice on this.

domo arigato gozaimashita!

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
- Chuang-Tzu
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Old 04-05-2002, 04:25 PM   #2
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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Re: How is Zen, O-sensei, and Aikido connected?

Quote:
Originally posted by Magnus
Which is the relation between Zen,O-senseis religion (O... something) and Aikido?
KAMI : None. Some students of O-Sensei tried to link Aikido with Zen. Some people like it, some do not.

Quote:
Originally posted by Magnus
Zen-buddhism and budo seems to be closely related to each other. The short "mokso" part of the training session for instance appears to be rather reminiscent of "zazen". Still it appears O-sensei based Aikido on some other philosophical/religious system (gathering all religions into this "concept")?
KAMI : Not always and MOKSO and ZAZEN have some differences between them. O-Sensei based Aikido on Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu AND Onisaburo Deguchi's Omoto Kyo. For him, Aikido and Omoto Kyu were one and the same.

Quote:
Originally posted by Magnus
Should it be considered beneficial for my Aikido training to do meditational exercises or even koan studies in addition to the training in the dojo? (Aikido sometimes appears to be a beautiful koan itself: A martial art with the goal of utmost harmony)
Is the understanding of concepts as "Kami" etc necessary in order to fully understand O-sensei's Aikido, and to attain the harmony we all seek to find?
KAMI : It all depends on you. Some people have excellent Aikido without any spiritual leaning. Other people find the two things necessary.

Quote:
Originally posted by Magnus
Hope that someone who has "walked the path" before me could give some advice on this.
KAMI : Anyway, you'll have to walk YOUR path.
Good luck and good Shugyo
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"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
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Old 04-07-2002, 01:40 PM   #3
Magnus
Dojo: Hashidate Aikido
Location: Sweden
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 5
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Thanks a lot for the answer, still it of course leads to new questions.

Quote:
Originally posted by KAMI
... and MOKSO and ZAZEN have some differences between them.
Which are the differences? Is the breathing technique different, and/or the mental focus? (in other words: how is MOKSO performed?)
I really feel I would like to be able to do some meditational exercise at home in addition to training - does this mean that exercise ought to be MOKSO and not ZAZEN?

best regards,
Magnus

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
- Chuang-Tzu
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Old 04-07-2002, 03:46 PM   #4
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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Question NEW QUESTIONS...

Quote:
Originally posted by Magnus
Thanks a lot for the answer, still it of course leads to new questions.
Magnus
KAMI : Take a look at this thread in E-Budo :
http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...1&pagenumber=1

You'll find not just my (poor) opinion but the thoughts of some heavy weights, like Dr. William Bodiford, Prof. Peter Goldsbury, Nathan Scott Sensei and quite a few others. Mokso and Zazen were discussed. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
Good reading

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

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Old 04-10-2002, 04:14 PM   #5
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
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O'Sensei and religion

You are gonna have to read, and read, and read on that one.

There are different thoughts on the importance of Zen Buddhism, and Shinto religion and how they affected O'Sensei's interpretation / evolution of Aikido. Adapt, overcome, change all are the evolution of Martial Arts, so too based on ones approval of peers in a society does that change over ones lifetime.

Look at the way we take what we need to understand the religious and social implications of our own lives in relation to practicing and understanding Aikido? I have found bits of meditation in Hindu philosophy, and Chinese teachings, eventually finding their way to Japan and Ryuku islands (okinawa), from a historical perspective. No one wants to admit that they are less superior to another Martial Art, but still meditation, techniques, and martial arts cross boundarys and timezones as history passes us by?

No. You are gonna have to read, and research. Too many people have different versions of the same story.

There are some neat Text interviews of O'Sensei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba online from the 1950's early 1960's, check them out and decide for your self.
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Old 04-11-2002, 07:33 AM   #6
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
United_States
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You do not have to practice zen in order to practice zen. Practice, and you practice.
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