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Old 12-09-2007, 12:39 AM   #1
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Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of December 9, 2007:

How religious is aikido to you?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Critically religious
  • Very religious
  • Somewhat religious
  • Not very religious
  • Not at all religious
Here are the current results.

Cast your vote at the top right of this page.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:56 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

This poll may reflect the difficult ideas people have about religion. This is the thought that came to me when I surveyed the results. It seems to me that when you are 'devoted' to something, that something is like religion to you, it is the 'Do'.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:46 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Religious? Not at all.
Spiritual? Absolutely, but so is everything else.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:58 AM   #4
roadster
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

At my dojo, we hold an eight week "learn about Aikido" class through the college. At the first class, bowing is explained as a sign of respect and not a religious thing. Of course you leave room to interpret the spiritual parts as the individual will.

The city in which I live harbors one metric ton of religions from atheist (yup, that's a religion too) to the far extreme. Explaining Aikido in generic terms off the bat is usually a good way of keeping people from running for the hills thinking that they are joining a cult.

Although one guy (who didn't stay very long) had a real problem with bowing to anybody. Said it was against his religion. I don't know what religion that was though.

I don't find it to be religious. We have Buddhists who are senior students but never have I seen them integrate their beliefs into the class curriculum. Just the same with other religions as well at the dojo. I suppose like many things, you can take it and make it your own or adapt it to your beliefs at will without corrupting the core of what Aikido is.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:14 AM   #5
James Davis
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Aikido is not a religion for me per se, but it does make me better able to behave myself. I live in a competitive and potentially violent place, and aikido helps me to avoid getting sucked in.

Our dojo meets in a gymnasium attached to a baptist church. Some members of the church, when observing Aikido classes through the windows, were concerned about our rei to O'Sensei at the beginning of class. They felt uncomfortable, thinking that I was running a cult, even though their pastor is one of my students! For weeks, the parishioners were asking Pastor Dave about what we were doing, and voicing their concerns. One night, Dave looked uncomfortable and I asked him what was bothering him. He told me what his congregation had been saying, and that he didn't want me to have to change what we do in class because he knew about my Christian faith and that we weren't worshipping O'Sensei when we performed zarei. I thought for a moment and said, "Well, O'Sensei's picture can just stay in the closet." He was apologetic, and told me that he felt bad about my having to adjust my class to accomodate people who didn't even attend. I told him that Jesus and O'Sensei have in common the fact that they want us to get along. I told him, "I don't think that O'Sensei really cares if we put his picture out for every class, and even if he did, he would be just fine with it being put in the closet if he knew it would create harmony." I told Dave to never let something like this bother him and deal with it alone when he can come and talk to me about it. I still take O'Sensei's picture out every once in a while during class to explain to the newbies who he was and what he started. The people of this church have been wonderful about letting us rent their facility, and I'm glad that the lines of communication are open. Some might be disappointed for my having "caved" and changed the way the class is run, but I think that Jesus and O'Sensei would be happy with what I've done.

Wow. Pretty longwinded for a poll response!

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Quote:
JamesDavis wrote:
Our dojo meets in a gymnasium attached to a baptist church. ... concerned about our rei to O'Sensei at the beginning of class. I told him, "I don't think that O'Sensei really cares if we put his picture out for every class, and even if he did, he would be just fine with it being put in the closet if he knew it would create harmony." ...
Take a roll of white butcher paper and some black tempera paint. Believe it or not, thin tempera paint is very close to the ink used in calligraphy.

If you want you can do calligraphy practice with it. Butcher paper is cheap, white, tough and comes in long rolls. Calligraphy is good for budo training.

Write the following characters with a round brush in thin black tempera paint, vertically.




Take some dowels and roll them with glue and wrap the ends of the paper around them to give something to hang it from and some weight on the bottom end. -- Hang it prominently in the center of the kamiza, and then place O Sensei's picture at the foot of it.

When they ask next time about your "idolatrous" ways point out the characters -- "juu--ji-dou" "Way of the Sign of the Cross". It is another name O Sensei used for Aikido in the Doka. If they ask what that is, exactly, tell them it's advanced lessons in turning the other cheek.

If Baptists object to that, they have other issues, and you need to engage them in deeper teaching. If they press as to the nature of the observance, tell them it is dulia -- not latria. Then they'll have to get out their Strong's Concordance and Greek parallel bibles -- and you will gain immense respect for your scriptural knowledge. Be careful to use the Greek -- if you use the equivalent English term for dulia -- "veneration" -- they will suspect secret Catholic leanings.


Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:52 AM   #7
James Davis
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Be careful to use the Greek -- if you use the equivalent English term for dulia -- "veneration" -- they will suspect secret Catholic leanings.

Thank you very much for sharing that, Erick. I love learning new stuff. They already know that I'm Catholic, and I don't think they hold it against me. I'm not worried about them trying throw us out or anything; I just want them to stop bothering their pastor so much about things that don't even interest them. Since I made the changes, everything's been honky-dory.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:46 PM   #8
beanchild
Dojo: Aikido Academy, Columbia, SC
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

I wouldn't say that Aikido is religious for me. I agree that it is spiritual though. I see it as a way of life, both physical and mental, and I know I use it outside of the dojo on a regular basis. Lol.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:24 AM   #9
Tharis
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Really, it depends on what you mean by "religious"...
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:51 AM   #10
Will Prusner
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Definitely spiritual, and religious only to the extent that out of respect for the past and present followers of the Shinto tradition, those practices which link Aikido practice and Shinto belief, I feel should be maintained and observed.

Like they say about other Deities:

"If you don't believe in the Kami, you better be right."

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:43 PM   #11
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

According to the Founder and to some of his direct students aikido is Misogi. It is true on personal level as well on general level. As aikidoka we suppouse to be between sacrum and profanum.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:45 PM   #12
dps
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
According to the Founder and to some of his direct students aikido is Misogi. It is true on personal level as well on general level. As aikidoka we suppouse to be between sacrum and profanum.
I agree with Szczepan.

Szczepan I tried to view your movie (Tenkan of Steel ?) but it has been removed from YouTube.

David
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:04 AM   #13
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I agree with Szczepan.

Szczepan I tried to view your movie (Tenkan of Steel ?) but it has been removed from YouTube.

David
well, probably it was too hardcore for viewers

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:11 AM   #14
Aiki x
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Re: Poll: How religious is aikido to you?

I find it is spiritual but in no way religous. Japanese Budo build spirit but I think religion is best kept out of the dojo.
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