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Old 08-18-2011, 04:06 PM   #51
graham christian
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I no longer practice Aikido in a dojo, I do it at home. My spirituality comes from my religious beliefs and practices that I have had since a child. My philosophy about violence, peace, fighting, not fighting I got from my Dad when I was in grade school. He taught me how to box and when to fight that put an end to being bullied in grade school.

Am I practicing Aikido even though I do not practice Aikido philosophy or Aikido Spirituality?

dps
Wouldn't that be more Aikijutsu?

Regards.G.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:04 AM   #52
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Wouldn't that be more Aikijutsu?
So you do think aiki jujutsu means aikido minus spirituality/philosophie?
I wouldn't agree.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:45 AM   #53
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
In thinking about this some more, I'm a little more unsure of my remarks. So rather than say I disagree, I think I'm more comfortable with suggesting that, because almost none of us shares the same exact philosophy as O Sensei, it starts to beg a lot of question when we ourselves start imposing our own standards on other folks. So someone like David, who feels his philosophy or spirituality comes from other places, can be said to be still doing Aikido. (I hope you don't mind my using your example directly, David)
...Two bits.
I don't mind you using my example. I agree with you. The philosophy and spirituality that a person has is their own.

I didn't start practicing Aikido until I was 32 years old. By that time I had my spirituality and philosophy about life in place. Both of these are/has been influenced by a lot of things including Aikido.

Even though I don't practice the philosophy and spirituality of Aikido the techniques and principles of the Aikido I have learned has served me well.

By Yannis's definition I have never been practicing Aikido and that is alright. It simplifies things for me. I do not have to argue about how or why to practice Aikido because, I never have.

dps

p.s. Now when Jun posts another survey I can honestly say "d. I don't do Aikido".
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:53 AM   #54
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
So Aikido is a martial art, spiritual path and a philosophical practice.

What is the Aikido spirituality and Aikido philosophy that you must practice to make your martial art Aikido?
Hm, I thought the spirituality connected with aikido would be mikyo and shinto, or oomoto kyo to be more precise?
I don't practice something like this. hm...
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:13 AM   #55
ryback
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I no longer practice Aikido in a dojo, I do it at home. My spirituality comes from my religious beliefs and practices that I have had since a child. My philosophy about violence, peace, fighting, not fighting I got from my Dad when I was in grade school. He taught me how to box and when to fight that put an end to being bullied in grade school.

Am I practicing Aikido even though I do not practice Aikido philosophy or Aikido Spirituality?

dps
I get your point, but you see martial arts have nothing to do with religious beliefs.Even though o'sensei was considered a deeply religious person in Japan, one doesn't have to belong to omoto kyo to practice aikido.Its non-resisting nature and peaceful philosophy is expressed through the techniques, where using your ki and becoming one with the attacker you neutralize him without using force or aggression.Is not a matter of faith, you don't have to believe it just practice it.And if the principles and the techniques are correct, then the philosophy is there, you can't separate it from the rest.But my suggestion would be: train in a dojo.The right environment, the appropriate clothing, the correct guidance and instructions and the contact with multiple, different uke are elements of the utmost importance that help awarness and focus during the practice.I hope that my post helped you in some way...
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:30 AM   #56
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
So you do think aiki jujutsu means aikido minus spirituality/philosophie?
I wouldn't agree.
I think you are right.If one considers aikido's philosophy to be a separate kind of religion that teaches peacefulness(such as omoto kyo) he might think that aikijutsu is aikido without the spiritual aspects, because its developement is believed to be more martial.But in my opinion daito ryu aiki jutsu and aikido are practically the same thing, aikido being a modern expression of aiki jutsu but sometimes the line that separates them becomes very thin, depending on the way one practices.So i believe that since aiki jutsu is an "aiki" based martial art, the philosophy of non-resistance is there, which actually leads to a peaceful attitude.I trully think that there is no signifficant difference practically or esoterically between the two...
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:32 AM   #57
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
... Its non-resisting nature and peaceful philosophy is expressed through the techniques, ...
Hm...
Different styles/dojo/sensei teach very different ways to do certain techniques.

Just to give one example we deliver nakadaka ippon ken to the larynx as one basic form of atemi. On the other side there are styles which doesn't use atemi at all.

Or our techniques live from controlling uke, taking over his body and movements by the connection. Other styles of aikido even don't aim to break the balance of uke, because this would be to aggressive.

And there are countless esamples I think of understanding and performing techniques different.
So on which way of doing a certain technique do you rely for forming your spirituality of aikido?

Don't you think your spirituality is forming your way of doing the techniques?
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:52 AM   #58
Anita Dacanay
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

[quote=David Skaggs;290610]"I don't mind you using my example. I agree with you. The philosophy and spirituality that a person has is their own.

I didn't start practicing Aikido until I was 32 years old. By that time I had my spirituality and philosophy about life in place. Both of these are/has been influenced by a lot of things including Aikido."

I did not have my spirituality and philosophy "in place" at age 32, because to me my mind and soul are always changing and growing in one way or another. I started practicing Aikido at 42, and am now 45... I don't think I'm done forming either philosophical or spiritual beliefs, and probably won't be until I'm either dead or have reached complete Enlightenment. In other words, I feel that I still have plenty to learn.

But I'm confused - in what way did your Aikido practice influence your philosophical and spiritual life, if your Aikido practice has nothing to do with either of those?
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:34 AM   #59
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hm...
Different styles/dojo/sensei teach very different ways to do certain techniques.

Just to give one example we deliver nakadaka ippon ken to the larynx as one basic form of atemi. On the other side there are styles which doesn't use atemi at all.

Or our techniques live from controlling uke, taking over his body and movements by the connection. Other styles of aikido even don't aim to break the balance of uke, because this would be to aggressive.

And there are countless esamples I think of understanding and performing techniques different.
So on which way of doing a certain technique do you rely for forming your spirituality of aikido?

Don't you think your spirituality is forming your way of doing the techniques?
Well...actually no, it's the other way round.I totally agree that different schools teach slightly different ways, but there is only one aikido, so the basic principles are actually the same.Little details such as the use of atemi don't change these basic principles, nevertheless let's not forget that o'sensei was teaching that atemi waza is a very important element in aikido.Breaking the uke's ballance is not aggressive if done correctly because at the exact moment that he moves you "take" him inside your sphere but in harmony with his move.You "agree" with his attack and you overextend it, thus breaking his ballance without using extra force.The same applies to the avoidance of a punch or a kick.You "sweep" what's coming in the same direction that the attack was going(no blocking), while simultaniously you make sure that you are not there anymore.That way you never resist, and if you use atemi during the technique,well..aikido is still a martial art, it has to work, its not against its peaceful philosophy.So i believe that the philosophy springs by the way aikido's techniques are "designed" to work, in accord with the attacker and not against him.And then you take that feeling and you apply it in all aspects of life...
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:21 AM   #60
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Just to give one example we deliver nakadaka ippon ken to the larynx as one basic form of atemi...

Other styles of aikido even don't aim to break the balance of uke, because this would be to aggressive.
Carsten this sounds like very confused thinking. Perhaps you could explain the spiritual nature of atemi to the larynx.

And please tell us tell us the names of any styles of aikido which don't aim to break the balance of uke.

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Old 08-19-2011, 09:48 AM   #61
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

This is a tough question for me. When I consider these types of questions I try to remember several things:
1. The difference between Eastern and Western culture in the realm of spirituality is considerably different. It is tough for me to consider any response which equates Eastern spirituality with Western spirituality.
2. Old Japan had a nationalized religion. Religion was embedded into the culture of of Japan. I think it hard to consider any response which does not account for that consideration.
3. Religion is not spirituality is not philosophy is not principle. These terms are not inter-changeable.

I think ultimately historians and interpreters need to weigh in on this issue to create an apples-to-apples comparison. I am neither a historian nor an interpreter.

The leading response for me at this time is that all martial arts prioritized practicality over philosophy. The arts were developed for warriors and first and foremost they needed to work. We now live in a [relatively] peaceful time and have the luxury of study an art for purposes other than combat. The art is the same, but we are allowed a freedom to choose for what purpose we are studying it. However, I believe you cannot perform good aikido without learning and transcending the martial aspect of the art.

I training with several seniors whom I respect, I have noticed a philosophical and spiritual awareness that takes off the harsh edge to their interaction with me. They do not bring a fight, so we do not have to train to fight. They still have the martial intent and in an instant they can introduce the fight to our interaction. I can honestly say that for those whose only purpose in training is the spiritual side and whose education never included the martial side, their technique feels hollow and dependent upon collusion from their partner. It's great dance, but not a martial way.

Truthfully, I have never seen a compelling argument that O'Sensei ever advocated aikido to be anything other than a collection of principles, to be integrated into one's spiritual and personal belief system. In that sense, we seem to infer aikido has a spirality and religious belief system, rather than depending upon ourselves to integrate the principles into our belief systems.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:08 AM   #62
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
This is a tough question for me. When I consider these types of questions I try to remember several things:
1. The difference between Eastern and Western culture in the realm of spirituality is considerably different. It is tough for me to consider any response which equates Eastern spirituality with Western spirituality.
2. Old Japan had a nationalized religion. Religion was embedded into the culture of of Japan. I think it hard to consider any response which does not account for that consideration.
3. Religion is not spirituality is not philosophy is not principle. These terms are not inter-changeable.

I think ultimately historians and interpreters need to weigh in on this issue to create an apples-to-apples comparison. I am neither a historian nor an interpreter.

The leading response for me at this time is that all martial arts prioritized practicality over philosophy. The arts were developed for warriors and first and foremost they needed to work. We now live in a [relatively] peaceful time and have the luxury of study an art for purposes other than combat. The art is the same, but we are allowed a freedom to choose for what purpose we are studying it. However, I believe you cannot perform good aikido without learning and transcending the martial aspect of the art.

I training with several seniors whom I respect, I have noticed a philosophical and spiritual awareness that takes off the harsh edge to their interaction with me. They do not bring a fight, so we do not have to train to fight. They still have the martial intent and in an instant they can introduce the fight to our interaction. I can honestly say that for those whose only purpose in training is the spiritual side and whose education never included the martial side, their technique feels hollow and dependent upon collusion from their partner. It's great dance, but not a martial way.

Truthfully, I have never seen a compelling argument that O'Sensei ever advocated aikido to be anything other than a collection of principles, to be integrated into one's spiritual and personal belief system. In that sense, we seem to infer aikido has a spirality and religious belief system, rather than depending upon ourselves to integrate the principles into our belief systems.
Well said, nice post!I totaly agree with you.I hope that my posts are making the same sense.You see, english is not my mother tongue...
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #63
graham christian
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
So you do think aiki jujutsu means aikido minus spirituality/philosophie?
I wouldn't agree.
Yes. Minus O'Senseis you get daitoryu I would say. It is precisely his spiritual and philosophical change that brought Aikido into being and thus took it far away from daitoryu or earlier jutsus.

When people think of religious they should think of spiritual instead of name of religion for all religion is about your spiritual well being.

The principles O'Sensei used and promoted as Aikido were spiritual principles found in all great religions. Thus the principles it's based on are different to all the other jutsus, in fact almost opposite to and the purpose of it is also totally different.

Thus to me they arn't even close in usage or purpose or application.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:28 AM   #64
Anita Dacanay
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

I agree with Graham's post, and wanted to share a couple of quotes that I came across this week. Both are from Remembering O-Sensei, which is a gem of a book edited by Susan Perry, and which I just happen to have been reading this week.

To the point of what is or isn't Aikido, here are a few words from Hikitsuchi Sensei which are food for thought:

"We cannot understand Aikido without studying the essential spirit of Aikido. The object of this study is to create a person who is sincere and kind, who has a true heart. Physical technique exists as Aikido discipline. Putting aside the spirit and only doing physical technique, no matter how many times it is practiced, will not lead to understanding the heart of Aikido and will not lead to true technique..." ~ Michio Hikitsuchi

Regarding the difference between spirituality and religion, Okumura Sensei had this to say:

"When O~Sensei did certain exercises, he invoked the God of purification, but he himself said to his students that they didn't have to do the same. His view was that his students should be thinking about whatever God or Gods are sacred to them."
~ Shingenobu Okumura

I actually think both of those quotes are pretty clear, and I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen, nor question their authority to speak on the subject of Aikido. I think I will take their words to heart.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #65
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
Well...actually no, it's the other way round.I totally agree that different schools teach slightly different ways, but there is only one aikido, so the basic principles are actually the same.
I think, this a very common opinion. But I am not sure whether I agree.

Not only when I compare different schools like shodokan , aikikai, aiki no michi, ki aikido. But even when I train in different dojo of the aikikai here in Germany it seems to me that the different branches of the "only one aikido" are develloping in different directions. That the different styles or schools or aikido are drifting apart.

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Carsten this sounds like very confused thinking.[
I'm sorry fot that! I will try to make my point clearer.

Quote:
Perhaps you could explain the spiritual nature of atemi to the larynx.
I refered to the statement of yannis, that just practicing aikido creates a certain spirituality or leads to a certain spirituality.
"And if the principles and the techniques are correct, then the philosophy is there", he wrote in the same post.


I stated that I see different ways of aikido. And just to illustrat this I said: One way delivers dangerous atemi. The other way even does not break the balance of uke (see below), because it is considered to be to aggressive.

My point or better my question: Is it possible, that such different ways of practice will lead to the same spirituality? Will they create an identical thinking or feeling? An identical philosophy?
And you may add: Will delivering dangerous atemi lead to a certain spirituality at all?

You are right, I should have been clearer:
I don't think, just practicing aikido leads to a certain spirituality. At least not to what I understand a such.
I think, it is the other way round: You bring it with you, you bring your spirituality to the dojo.

Less confused/confusing?

Quote:
And please tell us the names of any styles of aikido which don't aim to break the balance of uke.
A friend of mine practices Ki Aikido in the line of Yoshigasaki Kenjiro doshu. This is the line which represents Ki-Aikido in Europe (and South America and South Africa). When there was the split of Ki Aikido in Europe only very few dojo followed Tohei sensei. In Germany there are only one or two of them, I think.
This line of aikido thinks it do be too aggressive to break the balance of uke. I can't really explain to you, how their aikido works. I don't unerstand it.
Quote:
And when I practiced in a dojo of that style it just didn't work on me. For what reason ever.
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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Yes. Minus O'Senseis you get daitoryu I would say. It is precisely his spiritual and philosophical change that brought Aikido into being and thus took it far away from daitoryu or earlier jutsus.
Do you mean, O Sensei represented a different spirituality or philosophy? Or do you think he was the first one to integrate spirituality and philosophy into the martial ways?

If he was just different, what do you think did he change? And can you verify this (I mean to yourself, your understanding) when comparing his meanings with the spirituality /philosohy of other teachers of budo?

[quote=Anita Dacanay;290677 The object of this study is to create a person who is sincere and kind, who has a true heart.[/QUOTE]Don't other budo aim for the same?

Quote:
... His view was that his students should be thinking about whatever God or Gods are sacred to them."
Doesn't this mean you have to be clear about which spirituality you already have and bring to the dojo?

Quote:
... I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen, nor question their authority to speak on the subject of Aikido.
Well, I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 08-20-2011 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #66
graham christian
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

[/quote]Do you mean, O Sensei represented a different spirituality or philosophy? Or do you think he was the first one to integrate spirituality and philosophy into the martial ways?

If he was just different, what do you think did he change? And can you verify this (I mean to yourself, your understanding) when comparing his meanings with the spirituality /philosohy of other teachers of budo?
[quote]

Hi Carsten.
I don't think he represented a 'different' spirituality but that he did represent spirituality.

He certainly wasn't the first person to integrate spirituality into a martial art in fact I would say all martial arts origins are indeed spiritual disciplines. (That's my opinion)

I don't think he was just 'different' as I believe he was a bit exceptional. He changed the whole purpose of what he was previously doing. Thus he worked on changing subtly the techniques to fit his new way, philosophy, spirituality.

Prior to this the aim was to win, to kill, to dominate, to win, to defeat, to overpower etc. Now it was to harmonize, to approach with the spirit of loving protection, to be at one with the universe and thus through non-resistance have no enemy even within self.
A much greater discipline.

On understanding this view then we can see that 'entering' in Aikido takes on a different meaning. Why are you entering? You are entering in order to Be With rather than to avoid or do something to. Just one example of the change which comes about through the spirit of loving protection.

Then you may see that tai sabaki is in fact just another way of entering in order to be with, to share, to blend. It is entering on a curve into the circular space of the 'opponent' in order to join and be the centre of the joint space. Being as one. So this is part of my understanding which comes from those spiritual principles.

If by verifying the spirituality you mean quotes then:

'Aikido is ai (love). You make this great love of the universe your heart, and then you make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish these things must be the true budo. True budo means to win over yourself and eliminate the fighting heart of the enemy... No, it is a way to absolute self perfection in which the very enemy is eliminated. The technique of Aiki is asctic training and a way through which you reach a state of unification of body and spirit by realization of the principle of heaven.'
Quote:
O'Sensei "The Aiki Path is Infinite"
'He was trying to teach us to rid ourselves of the desire to fight to win over an opponent- to replace it with the desire to bring forth harmony and peace. Aikido is the budo of love.'[quote] Hikitsuchi Sensei.

'Before the war the purpose of waza was to kill the attacker; we practised like that. After the war he urged us not to attack opponents or to think of defeating them. 'If you do that' he said 'it will be the same as before. I have changed how we do everything.'

O'Sensei told us that we must give our opponents joy. To do this, he said, we must become able immediately to see, sense,and lead their Ki.'......

This method of practice was the opposite of what it had been.[quote] Hikitsuchi Sensei.

Thus I say that an attacker is already devoid of his true nature, already out of alignment with his true self and the universe, already operating from a disunited spirit mind body and so Aikido is the way to restoration which must come first in order to bring about harmony and joy. Now that's quite a discipline. That's quite a budo, far different from the budo of most martial arts and the budo of fighting or competition.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:14 PM   #67
Anita Dacanay
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Carsten:

Don't other budo aim for the same?

Perhaps, I thought that the quote was relevant to our discussion regarding whether Aikido practice is still Aikido practice if one does not fuse all aspects of the practice.

Doesn't this mean you have to be clear about which spirituality you already have and bring to the dojo?

I interpret it as meaning that O Sensei did not think it mattered what one's religious background was, one could still develop spiritually through practicing Aikido.

Well, I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?[/quote]


I think perhaps a language barrier is coming into play, because I am not sure that I understand what you are asking. But to restate: I was simply saying that I choose to give the opinions of the people who trained directly under O~Sensei a lot of weight when it comes to defining Aikido and the purpose of Aikido. That was really my only point with that comment about respecting their authority. I didn't mean that I am not interested in hearing other's opinions.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:21 PM   #68
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?
You're saying that only if you respect someone's authority are their thoughts worth discussing, right? Love this.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I stated that I see different ways of aikido. And just to illustrat this I said: One way delivers dangerous atemi. The other way even does not break the balance of uke (see below), because it is considered to be to aggressive.

My point or better my question: Is it possible, that such different ways of practice will lead to the same spirituality? Will they create an identical thinking or feeling? An identical philosophy?
And you may add: Will delivering dangerous atemi lead to a certain spirituality at all?
<hobbyhorse>

I'd ask rather, will practicing an Aikido that doesn't even break balance because it's "too aggressive" lead to any spiritual growth at all? And I'd answer: hell, no.

Will practicing a potentially killing atemi to the throat lead to spiritual growth? Very possibly.

Spirituality is not fluffy bunny rabbits. Spirituality is not about everybody feeling good, or being affirmed and validated. Spirituality is not about refusing to engage with each other and the reality of the world around us. True spirituality deals with the world as it is and teaches us how to be fully human within it.

Not so long ago a friend of mine gave me a severe scolding for something I'd done (not to him). We had a fine argument but parted friends: I expect my friends to tell me when I'm screwing up. If they won't, who will?

Atemi to the throat says: You're vulnerable. You're over-extended. Your actions are bringing about your own destruction. You have chosen badly. Aren't those good things to know?

Where Aikido differs from jujitsu and other martial arts is that in Aikido, the message doesn't end there. In Aikido, the message is: You're open, but I don't need to exploit it. You're over-extended, but I remain centered. Your actions and choices do not constrain me--even if you choose aggression, I am free to choose a different path.

Don't you think those are spiritual lessons? Do you think you can practice them for hours every week and not internalize them to some degree?

</hobbyhorse>
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:49 AM   #69
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
Well, I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?
I think perhaps a language barrier is coming into play, because I am not sure that I understand what you are asking.
Yes, maybe it's about the language barrier. I try to use other words.

Your statement soundet to me:
If someone is an authority, I will not question his words. ("... I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen ...")

I wanted to express:
If someone is an authority (or if I accept someones authority) it makes great sense, to discuss his view, if my own competence leads me to a different understanding of the issue. Instead of just "believing" the authority.

For example:
I would have liked to have a conversation with O sensei who stated that kotodama is just another way of expressing, what the bible wants to say in Joh 1,1. I ( being a theologian) don't think, he is right ....
A (over here) famous french aikidoka who studied under O sensei talked to him about whether a christian could truly study aikido. And O Sensei gave him the answer, which you cite Okumura sensei with. Noquet was content.

@ hugh: I try to respect the words of everyone who expresses his or her opinions to me. But some seem to be more challenging then others.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:24 AM   #70
Anita Dacanay
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Yes, maybe it's about the language barrier. I try to use other words.

Your statement soundet to me:
If someone is an authority, I will not question his words. ("... I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen ...")

I wanted to express:
If someone is an authority (or if I accept someones authority) it makes great sense, to discuss his view, if my own competence leads me to a different understanding of the issue. Instead of just "believing" the authority.

For example:
I would have liked to have a conversation with O sensei who stated that kotodama is just another way of expressing, what the bible wants to say in Joh 1,1. I ( being a theologian) don't think, he is right ....
A (over here) famous french aikidoka who studied under O sensei talked to him about whether a christian could truly study aikido. And O Sensei gave him the answer, which you cite Okumura sensei with. Noquet was content.
Carsten, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I think I now understand what you were asking. No, I am not the type of person to accept what someone says simply because they are in a position of authority. In fact, my first political memory is one of watching President Nixon resign on television, and I think that embedded the idea into my brain to always question authority, in fact!

In the end, I suppose we all have to listen to our own inner voices to answer the deeper questions - in Aikido and in life. But we can certainly seek guidance from others, and probably should. In that process, we can also weigh the experience and authority of those speaking.

I do think that the fine point of not confusing "religion" with "spirituality" is a very important one. If O Sensei had thought that only those who practice omoto~kyo could practice true Aikido, then a lot of us would be wasting our time! But from what I have heard and read, his desire was to share Aikido with as many people as possible. I think he truly believed that the spiritual awakening which people could achieve through Aikido would break down religious and ethnic barriers, and create more of a feeling of Unity among people.

Aikido has been so transformative for me because in practicing I have to deal with my patterns of relating to others. It is all fine and well for me to meditate or go do yoga in a quiet room with candles - I can relax pretty well when I am by myself. But that still doesn't mean that I will stay relaxed as soon as life confronts me with chaos and conflict! When I practice Aikido, I have to work through my relational patterns to find a way to connect with my partner. I find this process to be very profound.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:00 AM   #71
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

... and still something else about language and using of words ...

Quote:
Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
... I do think that the fine point of not confusing "religion" with "spirituality" is a very important one. ...
After reading some posts again it comes to my mind, that the word "spirituality" seems to have a different meaning in english, than it has in german.

In my context you couldn't split "spirituality" from "religion". Simply because spirituality is defined as one of the manifold manifestations of religion.
In a broader sense spirituality can be seen as a way of practicing the conection with the divine. (With no determination of what/which divine is meant.) Or with the supernatural or transcendency or ...

So what ist called spirituality in German can be clearly distinguished from institutionalised forms of religion, like certain churches or temples or communities. But it can not be separated from religion as a such. Because it is a part of it.

To be honest I think, Ueshiba Morihei also didn't see spirituality unconnected to the cerain religions he had in mind when talking or writing about this issue.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 08-23-2011 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:43 AM   #72
niall
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Thanks Carsten. In English spiritual does not exclusively have a sense of the divine so of course an atheist or an agnostic can be spiritual and do things or experience things in a spiritual way. It might be better to make a distinction between spiritual and philosophical anyway. But your point is very interesting. If someone who did not have any sense of spirituality (your example of a person coming to the dojo without it) did aikido for a long time would that person develop one?

Hugh I disagree about techniques for killing. They are the antithesis of aikido. It does seem a little patronizing to have showing openings to your partner as an aim of your aikido instead of an incidental result of sincere training. But it implies that keiko is a kind of conversation which is a very interesting point.

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Old 08-23-2011, 02:24 AM   #73
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I think, this a very common opinion. But I am not sure whether I agree.

Not only when I compare different schools like shodokan , aikikai, aiki no michi, ki aikido. But even when I train in different dojo of the aikikai here in Germany it seems to me that the different branches of the "only one aikido" are develloping in different directions. That the different styles or schools or aikido are drifting apart.
Yeah, that may be the case indeed, but that doesn't mean that is correct. There is only one aikido and that is o'sensei's aikido, based on the basic principles that he taught. Everybody who say that they are teaching another style, they don't know what they're saying! And then of course, they engage in endless discussions wondering about the magical secret of o'sensei's skills...Beats me!
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:31 AM   #74
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
If someone who did not have any sense of spirituality (your example of a person coming to the dojo without it) did aikido for a long time would that person develop one?
Correct: I don't think such a person would develop a certain spirituality or philosophey. At least when coming to a dojo like I know it and practicing in a way which is comparable to the way I am used to.

I saw some very committed students fail who where seeking for something like spirituality or philosophy for their life in aikido practice. One of them was my first teacher.

When you bring something with you, aikido can be a great tool, to work on it.

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
There is only one aikido and that is o'sensei's aikido, based on the basic principles that he taught.
Who defines then what this really aikido is?

Quote:
Everybody who say that they are teaching another style, they don't know what they're saying!
I tried to say that I understand it just the other way round: The name aikido is used for many ways of practice. But this ways of practice have become more and more different.

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And then of course, they engage in endless discussions ...
Who is "they"?
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:40 AM   #75
phitruong
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Hugh I disagree about techniques for killing. They are the antithesis of aikido. It does seem a little patronizing to have showing openings to your partner as an aim of your aikido instead of an incidental result of sincere training. But it implies that keiko is a kind of conversation which is a very interesting point.
huh? how do techniques for killing antithesis to aikido? aren't most aikido techniques are for killing and maiming (not necessary in that order)? wouldn't iriminage to someone, on concrete, who doesn't know how to take ukemi, maiming or possibly kill him/her/it? i show openings to my partners all the time, and they do the same to me in return; that's how you learn in martial arts, right? find the openings and plug the openings. find the openings, exploit the openings. martial arts sole purpose is for killing and maiming. it's a tool, no more and no less. similar to a knife. it designs for cut and stab. in the hands of a killer, it takes life. in the hand of chief, it nourishes life. in the hand of a doctor, it saves life. in the hand of a jewish doctor, it shaves part of male life.
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