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Old 03-02-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
dps
 
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Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

"I consider Aikido as a whole system that as been well thought."
Christian Tissier

From a link at Aikido Journal, http://dublinaikido.com/wp/2008/02/2...h-dan-aikikai/

As an insider ( one who is currently practicing Aikido) do you think the Aikido you are practicing is a whole system?
Is everything O'Sensei wanted his students to learn available to you, the modern day practitioner?

David

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

It strikes me there's a couple of questions in there
1. Is Aikido a whole system - whole in what sense? All that is needed? All that is needed to accomplish what?
2. Do we currently have access to everything Ueshiba offered. I think that's an interesting question by itself. As is the possibility that there exists an Aikido beyond what O'sensei practiced.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
It strikes me there's a couple of questions in there
1. Is Aikido a whole system - whole in what sense? All that is needed? All that is needed to accomplish what?
All that is needed to pass on what you think O'Sensei wanted to be passed on?

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
2. Do we currently have access to everything Ueshiba offered. I think that's an interesting question by itself. As is the possibility that there exists an Aikido beyond what O'sensei practiced.
No, as in what you think O'Sensei left for us to learn?

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:05 PM   #4
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

O'Sensei repeatedly said his model was nature. Nature is still alive and is still the wellspring of aikido. So, the answer is YES. where there is aikido the system is whole.
There just might be extra junk to wade through, kinda like a left-over hillbilly camp.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
"I consider Aikido as a whole system that as been well thought."
Christian Tissier

From a link at Aikido Journal, http://dublinaikido.com/wp/2008/02/2...h-dan-aikikai/

As an insider ( one who is currently practicing Aikido) do you think the Aikido you are practicing is a whole system?
Is everything O'Sensei wanted his students to learn available to you, the modern day practitioner?

David
My belief is that yes, the Aikido I am learning is "whole." Certainly at Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja we get the spiritual side O Sensei seemed to want, but the physical waza itself is both soft and powerful in my opinion. I'm guessing that in many places it isn't a matter of whether or not it's all there, it's a matter of what the proportions are. Some places are more concerned with energy play; some are more concerned with creating a pleasant place to get some healthy activity; some are more concerned with physical mechanics. It might be hard to get a good balance of everything, but considering not everyone trains for the same reasons, that might not be an issue for many folks.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:07 AM   #6
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
As an insider ( one who is currently practicing Aikido) do you think the Aikido you are practicing is a whole system? Is everything O'Sensei wanted his students to learn available to you, the modern day practitioner?
IMHO, yes, Aikido as taught to me is a whole system. As I progress I see more and more that was hidden in plain sight from the beginning. I don't expect Aikido to be just given to me. I train, I sweat, I steal it.

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 03-03-2008, 06:37 AM   #7
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
"I consider Aikido as a whole system that as been well thought."
Christian Tissier

From a link at Aikido Journal, http://dublinaikido.com/wp/2008/02/2...h-dan-aikikai/

As an insider ( one who is currently practicing Aikido) do you think the Aikido you are practicing is a whole system?
I do not know in which sense Christian sees Aikido as complete. For me ( as an insider ) it is. It teaches self defense - not as a first goal, but as the most obvious one from an external view. It teaches self confidence, humility and humanity, it teaches fighting, fight avoidance and conflict solving. It teaches physics, psychology, metaphysics and parapsycholgy. I could probably continue forever - in short term it is all about nature (see Jennifer)
Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Is everything O'Sensei wanted his students to learn available to you, the modern day practitioner?
I would say, obviously not. Morihei Ueshiba did rarely explain in detail what he wanted his students to learn. And much of what he said was contradictory to other explanation. And some people say, he wanted everyone of his students learn something different. So as nobody can define this "everything" how can it be available to me? Well unless I take it on a very high level. O Sensei wanted his students to learn 'nature' and nature is available to each of us, evrey day, all day, and everywhere.

Best regards

Dirk
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
All that is needed to pass on what you think O'Sensei wanted to be passed on?
...and Ouroubourous swallows its tail. Aikido is something that Ueshiba made up, and our whole purpose in training is to faithfully regurgitate whatever he was putting out? You could say the same thing about an individual known as Jim Jones, and we all know how that ended up.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:53 AM   #9
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

aikido makes my other systems and many other things I do along with my view of the world whole. kind of like a sword sheath and i am the sword (actually, i viewed myself as a meat cleaver that has functions and purposes; and folks are more afraid of the cleaver than the sword).
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:01 AM   #10
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
O'Sensei repeatedly said his model was nature. Nature is still alive and is still the wellspring of aikido. So, the answer is YES. where there is aikido the system is whole.
There just might be extra junk to wade through, kinda like a left-over hillbilly camp.
Great post Jennifer.

Here is how I would define "nature" and the "left over stuff". In fact, here is what I suspect, O'Sensei knew from his hardscrabble experience in Jujitsu systems.

Humans are fighters by nature. If we weren't, we would not have survived the big beasts we ate for dinner. The "Warrior" is part of our atavistic cellular memory. And the "Monk" is as well.nd the

No matter how much your training acquires warrior weaponry, you will be something else unless your purpose is to be a warrior.

Being a bum on the Budo bus, I would stress that a complete aikido system must initially train the Atavistic mind (the subconscious mind) to be all it can be (First Warrior and then Monk).

Your conscious mind is a Helluva mess, kind of a house pet. Usually we just let it run around on its own. Actually it belongs to the neighbor as much as it does to us. Once in a while we play with it… even train it to sit up and lie down or roll over. Otherwise it doesn't do much for us, except get under foot when we are trying to do something important.

The subconscious mind is something else. It rules our lives with an iron fist. It hold onto reality. It is brutally honest, knowledgeable and astute. It controls 80-90# of our behavior. It may even be everywhere at once. If you want to change what you think you are, this is the mind you have to deal with.

If you are closer to your conscious mind, you are civilized and socialized. You are a herd animal. You have within the "conscious mind" a mixture of yourself and the rest of society. You live on things like "psyching", "motivation" and social hype -- i.e. an unrelenting diet of mind numbing lies (remember H.G. Wells.)

Allot of the time this mind has no idea of who or what he is or thinks until society lets him know. Right now the flavor of the month is, "If I can only reach out and do a better style of Ki training, I will be whole."

Thinking you are a warrior with the conscious mind does not make it so. This is "social hype". That's like counting up the armor you actually have before a big battle and then multiplying it by two -- for morale purposes.

The second kind of fighter is atavistic. His fighting character is formed by his subconscious. The atavistic mind does not need to be motivated. Neither does it compete in sport for points or wins. It is more about survival and the quest for purifying its nature into a respectful communion with all things (The Holy Grail).

This mind is what produces Nietxsche's "uber mensch" superman.
You cannot lie to the subconscious. You cannot, for instance say, "I am not afraid." This subconscious mind knows all about your bad habits and doubts. In fact, it probably greatly concerns him and he is ready to change them when you are willing.

Relaxed and fixed concentration is the key that opens our real discussions with our subconscious mind. Reprogramming our focus from the "left over stuff" to an honest communion with the subconscious mind is what Budo is about. If anything, this would be the first step in determinning how or where an Aikido system should self-evaluate. Without this, you end up with socially-manipulated fluff.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Nice direction Chris.

I am in resonance with this post as it rings so true for me.
The thought I'm having, really a recollection of sorts, is the 'condition 'I was in when I began Aikido. I can honestly say I didn't go into aikido because I needed to learn to fight because I was an out and out brawler from a bad neighborhood (yeah, you find em even in New Age saturated CA) with an intense survival attitude and mind. So when I got to the dojo and I was instructed to do things so counter-intuitively and so contrived,sometimes being told 'don't grab like that. you'd never do that on the street ' by a gynecologist, well I had to suspend my fighters mind on a number of levels and sink into the whole thing like it was a foreign language class so I could re-contextualize the lessons to an available place in myself where I could learn them for themselves.
In a nutshell,at last, my warrior abilities were already on and firing when I started. The major place that was available to learn was really the subconcious, oh so hungry, to put my 'nature' back in place. Maybe this is the atavistic element.
But truly by being an effective 'warrior', not cuz I call myself that but because that is what you call what I was, I was in a position to absorb lessons that flowed like transmission fluid throughout my entire machine and I stepped into a realm of ' the monk' and that state became my sub conciouses preference.
Now life being what it is, you can always get your ass kicked, and someone (aka nature personified or not) can put you back in the ring and pull you out of the temple in a flippin' second. So back to warrior nature. Back and forth, in and out, same and different. That is the name of the dance I dance now.
As for self-evaluation of the art: my experience is that people tend to put familiar labels on things before they even know what they are looking at, and in so doing, subvert their ability to identify a 'new' experiential level that would sing to their subconcious, if it could ever get there. So, I say, resisit temptation and let the techniques and the practice speak of their own wholeness. After all, they are all of our sempai.
Go With God. Amen, brother. and by the way, Get my rifle.............:-)

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 03-03-2008 at 08:49 AM.

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Old 03-03-2008, 08:52 AM   #12
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Jennifer,

I concur. I might add that Training for martial performance and fighting are totally different things. You cannot train in a real fight and how we train is often counter-intuitive to our basic fighting style.

Training has a conscious element to it. In a fight, the conscious mind often puts its hands over its eyes and ducks out of the experience, allowing the atavistic mind to take over.

Training with mental muscle, on the other hand is what I am talking about. Having a discussion with your subconscious mind to determine what you need in your training is what I am talking about. Of course, I presuppose that all budoka are ultimately responsible for their own Aikido.

Once we have the discussion with ourselves, we may choose to train in specifically in KI for a while or in just waza for a while. Perhaps we will find something missing that is not currently being talked about. The key is that we are not allowing emotion or social pressure to make the decision for us.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:05 AM   #13
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Jennifer,

I concur. I might add that Training for martial performance and fighting are totally different things. You cannot train in a real fight and how we train is often counter-intuitive to our basic fighting style.

Training has a conscious element to it. In a fight, the conscious mind often puts its hands over its eyes and ducks out of the experience, allowing the atavistic mind to take over.

Training with mental muscle, on the other hand is what I am talking about. Having a discussion with your subconscious mind to determine what you need in your training is what I am talking about. Of course, I presuppose that all budoka are ultimately responsible for their own Aikido.

Once we have the discussion with ourselves, we may choose to train in specifically in KI for a while or in just waza for a while. Perhaps we will find something missing that is not currently being talked about. The key is that we are not allowing emotion or social pressure to make the decision for us.
God Morning Chris,
I follow you. Well taken.
There is an element of deconstruction that I'm also implying and that seem to go with the territory. Not looking for the 'answer', but focusing on something specifically for it's own inquiry and lessons. I have met resistance to this process on the mat by others who are, perhaps, socially/goal oriented. That is a another piece of the pie. Anyhow, I think I'm digressing and I agree with your post.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:07 AM   #14
Stefan Stenudd
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More whole than most

I found the question in the headline more interesting than:

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
"Is everything O'Sensei wanted his students to learn available to you, the modern day practitioner?
About the latter, I'd say that I really have no idea. But I like to think that wholehearted practice of aikido is the only way to understand Osensei at all - though far from a guarantee.

Still, to me aikido is meaningful even if it might deviate from what Osensei had in mind. We go on, and we do what we can.

Aikido is the most whole system within one and the same martial art that I have found. Look at all the attack forms included, also with weapons and multiple attackers. Look at its basic strategy, applicable to just about anything in the world. Look at its focus not only on the moment of attack, but way ahead of it, and long after it.
In so many ways, aikido is as whole a system as can be imagined.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:32 AM   #15
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Ha-ha. My aikido is barely functional, let alone complete. Yet, it is what I love.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:39 AM   #16
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

hi Ricky,

I know you are speaking a bit tounge-in-cheek.
but if we do sense doubt, the first place to start the discussion is in meditation. Let the atavistic selfvtell you where you lack depth or substance. Then put out the intention to find a resource that can provide it for you. You may findvthat there is a resource in your own neighborhood. Maybe you will find one here on the web. Then keep your eyes open. When a teacher is needed, one will emerge.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:34 AM   #17
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
"I consider Aikido as a whole system that as been well thought."
Christian Tissier

As an insider ( one who is currently practicing Aikido) do you think the Aikido you are practicing is a whole system?
Is everything O'Sensei wanted his students to learn available to you, the modern day practitioner?

David
Hi David S,

I practise at various dojo so I see Aikido is a whole system in one dojo and is not at other.

At the end of the day, I go to one that I consider to have a whole system. How many of us have this "luxury" of picking dojo?

It was posted here that the teacher will appear when one is ready. IMHO, this is morely to happen when one has a choice. Can someone trained and having the qualifications only to teach pre-school kids take his/her charges all the way to senior high? One can if he/she choose to operate his/her own school and issue his/her own school certificates. Is a China-made Mickey Mouse watch water-proof up to a depth of 15M?

Just my 2 sen.

David Y

Last edited by David Yap : 03-07-2008 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:29 AM   #18
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Hmmm...

In comparing and contrasting, if aikido is whole, what does that say about the other martial traditions? Are chinese internal martial arts with pressure points, kicking, iron shirt, iron hand, somehow missing the point.

Perhaps...the more you systematize the more you create mass. Your energy becomes dead. Perhaps, you have defined your system into a corner where it then becomes a shadow of what the founder himself was searching for.

The taoists believe that in even in naming something you not only give it the attributes that come with the name. You also give it it's limitations.

Every true master understands, that there is always more to uncover. The more you uncover, the more you must sacrifice what you were holding onto. The christian world attempted to ex-communicate Galleleo, because he went against, their system, their structure (that the sun revolved around the earth). In the end, the herd beat him. He recanted his scientific proof that the earth and all planets in the solar system revolve around the sun.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:43 AM   #19
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Let's take a poll. Hmmm...when will this thread be closed?
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:24 AM   #20
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The name

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
The taoists believe that in even in naming something you not only give it the attributes that come with the name. You also give it it's limitations.
Nice with some Tao Te Ching, one of my favorite books.
Indeed, the name and identity means limitations. In the case of aikido, I like to see the name as describing both a strategy and a purpose.

I also like to think that this strategy/purpose is enough to make aikido a whole system - applicable to all that it claims to manage.
Actually, I regard aikido as quite a taoistic martial art. It fits well with what Lao Tzu said about yielding, softness, and naturalness.

And I am sure that there are many other systems, equally whole, although based on other strategies/purposes.

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Old 03-07-2008, 09:58 AM   #21
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Re: The name

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Nice with some Tao Te Ching, one of my favorite books.
Indeed, the name and identity means limitations. In the case of aikido, I like to see the name as describing both a strategy and a purpose.

I also like to think that this strategy/purpose is enough to make aikido a whole system - applicable to all that it claims to manage.
Actually, I regard aikido as quite a taoistic martial art. It fits well with what Lao Tzu said about yielding, softness, and naturalness.

And I am sure that there are many other systems, equally whole, although based on other strategies/purposes.
Stefan,

It is still a rose by any other name.

Sweden eh...I'd like to go to your country some day.

Best wishes,
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-07-2008, 11:04 AM   #22
Stefan Stenudd
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Re: The name

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
It is still a rose by any other name.
And now Shakespeare, another favorite! You make my weekend
If you're ever heading toward Sweden, let me know.
We'll talk Strindberg.

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Old 03-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #23
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Re: The name

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
And now Shakespeare, another favorite! You make my weekend
If you're ever heading toward Sweden, let me know.
We'll talk Strindberg.
Stefan,

Now,as to Strindberg, you have gone a bit over my head! I will have to educate myself a bit, before our talk. Likewise, if you are ever in the SF Bay Area I would welcome the visit.

Can you tell me more about your aikido experiences? The aikido crowd have always seemed to be a pretty bright bunch of people. In this sense, their is a wholeness as it applies to all aspects of our life.

(I liked what you said earlier, about being in accord or going beyond what O'Sensei intended. In terms of the evolution of society we must be flexible. What worked then, may not be practical today and yet, there are certain unalienable truths that continue to be truth.)

Sincerely
Joe

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Old 03-07-2008, 11:40 AM   #24
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Re: Is Your Aikido a Whole System?

Hi David,

In answer to your original question. I don't think Aikido is a whole system as such - well I've been doing it for eight years and have been among people who have studied for over 30 years. Does it train you to kick? Punch like a boxer? Grapple like in Judo/Wrestling? No. Aikido is its own thing and has weaknesses like any other art - Karate, Judo and Wing Chun to name but a few. Depends whether you are training to learn a martial art or to defend yourself in the street.

Any bit of martial art will make you a better fighter than before unless you rely on it completely. If you just wanted to learn to hurt someone then you could probably learn that in a few weeks. I certainly see where Aikido could be used e.g. to get behind someone and hit them as hard as you can before running off etc but I'm not so sure about some of the longer moves in say a crowded area. You pick your art and accept its weaknesses.

As to your second question - yes to a degree. Aikido is developing all the time. So, no it is probably not exactly 100% the same as O'Sensei's but I think we are lucky to have such a great network of instructors who really care about the art. We have the benefit of such a tight young lineage. I think it makes students into better people also. I think O'Sensei would be pretty pleased if he was still alive.

Ask the questions again in another 30 years, or maybe you won't need to?

T

Last edited by Tomlad : 03-07-2008 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:11 PM   #25
Stefan Stenudd
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Knowing the parts

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
Can you tell me more about your aikido experiences?
Concerning this wholeness question, I was fortunate to start my aikido practice in a budo club, where there were several other martial arts, too, and we had a lot of exchange going on all the time.

That's true for my present dojo, as well - Enighet in Malmö. It is one of the few remaining budo dojos, with several martial arts in cooperation. I like it.
My path happens to be aikido (well, and iaido...), but I still feel that it is budo I do, so I like to be able to relate aikido to the other stuff - and I insist that my members respect the other arts, simply because they are always the best at what they do.

In aikido, because of all that we are supposed to be able to do, and the many attack forms we practice, we borrow from other martial arts - and that is definitely a good thing.

I was fortunate to study for Nishio sensei, who was extremely skilled in several different budo arts. He always expressed a genuine respect for them all, and insisted that the more we learned about them, the better.

I believe that to be a good way of trying to ascertain some kind of whole.

PS: Strindberg was really at his best as a playwright, but you might also enjoy for example his Occult Diary.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Aikidostenudd
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