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Old 08-08-2009, 11:08 AM   #1
aikishrine
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The true purpose of Aikido?

Martial Art or Spiritual? Whats your opinion of the main aim of Aikido as you see it and as O'SENSEI saw it. Or do you believe that it is supposed to be both?
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
dps
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Martial Art or Spiritual? Whats your opinion of the main aim of Aikido as you see it and as O'SENSEI saw it. Or do you believe that it is supposed to be both?
Both, the martial as as a way of developing the spiritual.

David
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

I think O sensei was into different things at different times in his life.

If your practice doesn't have martial elements to it, it's simply not a martial art. If your Aikido doesn't have spiritual/mental aspects to it, then it's not Aikido.

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Old 08-09-2009, 02:35 AM   #4
Abasan
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

As I understand it, Osensei never ceased to remind his students that Budo is a way that kills. At the same time he endeavours that Aikido should bring about peace. So yes, intrinsicly Aikido is martial. Even in offering our hand to uke, we have every intent of an attack behind that, it acts as an atemi just as a punch might be considered atemi. Just so, that we do not carry out that attack but the intent is left within the psyche.

It is also spiritual, because in order to master Aikido, we have to learn to surrender our ego. Often repeated but often misunderstood. My understanding at this point in time is:

We start with the correct intention of learning Aikido. We choose aikido not for its techniques but because we agree with its philosophy that conflict can be better managed and violence is not the only way. We have every chance to take up another art that does not care for this philosophy and prefers to do away with the opponent with the greatest efficiency.

Once we are past the intent, we begin to learn aikido principles and waza and thus develop aikido power. We don't learn waza just for the theatrics, but we do it so we know how to use it well. As it is mostly derived from weapons, we begin with basic core of cutting in everything we do. The martial element is not lost but developed here. Still we do not also forget the principles underlying each waza. The key difference here is blending with the opponent and redirecting his force amongst other things. If we rely on pure mechanics and our strength/speed and etc, again we have now shied away from our intention of learning Aikido.

Before I rant on, I guess what I want to describe is that Aikido waza is martial but layered upon a spiritual intent. If you attack me, my presence into you is an atemi but I do not strike, instead I blend with you and lead your power to where it would go. I do not use aggression nor do I make you do what I want to. Its about letting go. Not easy when most of us are born as control freaks.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:02 AM   #5
James Edwards
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

If I may, this video might also shed some light on O'sensei's motivation behind Aikido and Chiba sensei's analysis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnE8NHYVDmM

I think from the video and what I've been taught, Aikido is essentially very martial but later as O'sensei took a more spiritual path, it became a way for purification/misogi. Like Chiba sensei says in the video, he came out of just practicing a fighting art and made it into something transcendant. But of course when O'sensei used aikido as a tool for misogi, it was still very martial but also free at the same time. So you can say that aikido is both martial and spiritual but of course aikido is not a religion because O'sensei also said that a religion would complement the practise of an aikido student (or something along the lines). The spirituality of aikido probably comes from its underlying philosophy and its budo roots.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

IMHO, the question is what purpose/intent do you bring to Aikido not what purpose it brings to you? You will get out of it what you put into it. You will find what you are open to. Everything is everywhere.

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 08-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #7
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Because of the difficult nature of understanding the coded language of O'Sensei had for Aikido, never the less, to me it is pretty clear that it is both. The difficultly is understanding completely that spritituality. If you ask me, it seems, O'Sensei complicated this even more by interweaving the fabrics of both the spirtitual and martial together.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
Anjisan
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Talking Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I think O sensei was into different things at different times in his life.

If your practice doesn't have martial elements to it, it's simply not a martial art. If your Aikido doesn't have spiritual/mental aspects to it, then it's not Aikido.
Or in other words, if your Aikido doesn't have martial practicality to it-and trouble finds you--you may no longer be upright and breathing and if you are not, one may find it difficult to be spiritual.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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Cool Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

**gives the randomly vague pseudo-intellectual response that's expected**
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
Or in other words, if your Aikido doesn't have martial practicality to it-and trouble finds you--you may no longer be upright and breathing and if you are not, one may find it difficult to be spiritual.
Not where I was going with that...

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Old 08-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #11
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

I think what I have been discovering lately is this. All humans have a deep need for spiritual connection. That is not necessarily to equate spiritual with religious though. I used to think that one had to be religious to be spiritual. I am discovering that aikido is giving me a deeper sense of the inner spiritual being that is connected to all things in a way I had not expected.

We are also all very physical creatures. The martial aspect of aikido connects us tot his physical need to affect things and people.

Bear with me as I think out loud....
Probably not making a whole lot of sense as this is a really new set of thoughts that is percolating through. But I believe that Aikido actually helps us to connect the two sides and brings us into balance, both spiritual and martial(physical). One cannot be balanced if we focus on one side or the other. And as I have discovered in this evenings class... technique simply wont work if one focuses on one and not the other. But if the balance between the two is found we can become centered.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:10 PM   #12
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

The purpose of ALL martial arts is to develop physical, mental and "spiritual" unity, not mutually exclusive of one or the other, nor necessarily in any specific order....

Ignatius
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:13 PM   #13
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

lol you said it way better than I did.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #14
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

The true purpose of aikido is to inspire unresolvable internet debates couched in lofty language.

Partially rhetorical question: if it turned out that aikido had no "purpose" (or at least, none beyond the simple "doing of the thing"), would that be enough for you? Why or why not?
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:32 PM   #15
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

LOL.. equally partial rhetorical question: Would I be happy doing ANYTHING which had no real "purpose", like fomenting unresolvable internet debates, couched in lofty language?

Ignatius
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:07 AM   #16
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

The Last Answer
by Isaac Asimov
In the story, an atheist physicist dies of a heart attack and is greeted by a being of supposedly infinite knowledge. This being, referred to as the Voice, tells the physicist the nature of his life after death, as a nexus of electromagnetic forces. The Voice then tells the physicist that he is to think, for all eternity, so as to amuse him. The physicist is appalled by the idea of thinking and discovering for no reason but to amuse a being capable of easily out-thinking him with a bit of effort. The physicist then wishes to be destroyed, but the Voice will not permit it; if the physicist disrupted the nexus, it would instantly be re-formed with that possibility of suicide removed. The physicist then decides that he will spend eternity devising a way to destroy the Voice. The Voice is pleased, as the physicist reaches the same conclusion that all others chosen before him have. It becomes apparent that the Voice is suffering the same fate of forced existence as the physicist and, like him, desires to learn how to end his own eternity. The Voice leaves the physicist to think upon this task.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
All humans have a deep need for spiritual connection.
I would like to disagree with this statement, hopefully without giving offence. Maybe it's just that people with a deep need for spiritual connection would agree with you and those without, would not.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:56 AM   #18
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

I think it is a little of both. I view it as you can't have one without the other.
We practice a "harder" style to which primadonnas tend to scuff at.
The "hardness" is the martial (Budo) side, but the Do is never ignored. The Do is needed to explain. Even used to give analogy's that are needed to understand.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #19
Randy Sexton
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

To me the purpose of Aikido is to provide a means to defend myself externally but in the process of learning the art internally changes will occur in my heart and spirit that changes how I view myself, others, and ultimately my place and sense of oneness in the universe teaching me to join in its loving harmony being one with the person in front of me and the tree beside me constantly living in the eternal now accepting and embracing change.

As Saotome Sensei has said to me, "The practice of Aikido will change you. It will change your life".

Food for thought.

Doc

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #20
Randy Sexton
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Now for the short version.

It is a cool martial art that helps me become a better person.

Doc

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #21
aikishrine
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Randy Sexton wrote: View Post
Now for the short version.

It is a cool martial art that helps me become a better person.

Doc
I have to agree whole heartedly with this sentiment.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:03 PM   #22
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Cool Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Not where I was going with that...
OK OK........but perhaps there is some truth in my take none the less. As far as what you said, I agree with you.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:42 PM   #23
Shadowfax
 
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Alastair Rae wrote: View Post
I would like to disagree with this statement, hopefully without giving offense. Maybe it's just that people with a deep need for spiritual connection would agree with you and those without, would not.
]

I guess it would rather depend on what your personal definition of spiritual is. As I said in that post I'm not necessarily talking religious. Personally I am talking about the connection we all share with the creation around us and the universe as a whole. I believe that O sensei spoke of this connection himself.

But you may agree or disagree as you see fit. I was only expressing my own current thought process on the subject.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:41 AM   #24
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

Survival in today's jungle:

Self-absorption: no empathy or love, could lead one to the delusion that he is the only person with free will and emotion.

Altruism: pure empathy and love, dangerous mind state leads to manipulation from self-absorbed others. Feelings of weakness, learned helplessness, and a total external locus of control.

Invulnerable Altruism: The result of proper, consistent Aiki-geiko. A moderate, chronic euphoria that words cannot further describe.

Drew
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:32 AM   #25
aikishrine
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Re: The true purpose of Aikido?

To me beng spiritual has nothing to do with religion at all. I know people who are religious and spiritual and i know people who are not religious and spiritual. As a matter of fact i know some people who are "religious" and dont know the first thing about spirituality, and i know a person or two that are not religious that are the most spiritual people i know.
It has been my experience in watching people transform over the years in Aikido, that has lead me to ask this question. I have seen some harden martial artist wanting to break people apart, transform into softer, gentler, more spiritual martial artist through there training, though they may not admit it.
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