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Old 02-02-2015, 11:17 PM   #1
tarik
 
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Do symbol Is aikido a budo?

Yamada sensei, in the linked interview states:

Quote:
As I said before, what is good about aikido is also the problem of aikido. I don't call aikido ‘budo' anymore because what makes Aikido so popular is its flexibility, lack of competition, no physical requirements. Anybody can practice. That is a good part of aikido. I'm always happy to see people who have a physical problem that would prevent them from practicing other martial arts enjoying themselves with aikido. That is the beauty of Aikido. If Aikido were pure budo, it wouldn't be so popular. But unfortunately some people use aikido's popularity in the wrong way, to build their own power.
I tend to agree. Much of the aikido I've encountered and seen shared on youtube does not quality as a 'budo', at least according to my slightly more scholarly approach to budo (compared to when I started on my path).

I feel that way to the extent that, even though I love the people I started aikido with and feel that for a number of them they are seeking a budo practice, I left mainline aikido and switched to an aikibudo training curriculum and approach that I felt more closely modeled my growing understanding of budo.

It seems that Yamada (and a few other shihan I've both read and had private conversations with over the years) perceive the same, that aikido, for the most part, is NOT budo any longer, even though it came from budo. I personally feel that this is perfectly fine (even if not for me), but only if practitioners and teachers understand and communicate that about their practice.

But what do you think/feel? Is aikido a budo?

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:29 AM   #2
phitruong
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

what is budo? can flower arranging or calligraphy be budo? or playing go (possibly went)?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
Cliff Judge
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

I agree that Aikido is a flexible, creative practice that allows for spontaneity and expression, and that its something that is for EVERYONE no matter what their age, physical characteristics, or background.

But this is totally in line with how I define budo, as long as the practitioner is willing to take the training seriously, and push themselves as much as they can. A budo is a system of self-refinement that is derived from systems of bujutsu. Those were also systems of self-refinement but they were geared towards very specific types of self-refinement and budo is more of a personal journey for the individual to be a better member of society.

The reason why I would argue that arbitrary, difficult endeavors like tea ceremony or drawing or playing music are not budo is that the point isn't simply that budo is difficult and you have to push yourself, it is that the dojo is a laboratory that sets up controlled stresses that evoke (but can never turly bring about, not even the older bujutsu systems) the moment of life or death during which the founders of the old systems really had their moments of enlightenment. That's sort of the topic which is "discussed" in budo training. But this is a path that should be available to anyone and everyone.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:23 AM   #4
Cliff Judge
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Tarik, what do you consider a budo? And what do you think Yamada Sensei considers a budo?
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:47 PM   #5
tarik
 
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Tarik, what do you consider a budo?
A martial way. Bujutsu are the martial science or techniques. One cannot practice budo without bujutsu, IMO. One is being, one is doing.

I think that there is a dramatic difference between saying that this is a path that should be available to anyone and everyone and that anyone and everyone is actually capable of following it.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
And what do you think Yamada Sensei considers a budo?
You'd have to ask him.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:32 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I think that there is a dramatic difference between saying that this is a path that should be available to anyone and everyone and that anyone and everyone is actually capable of following it.
I nice distinction that seems to me to apply to many endeavors in life.

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Old 02-03-2015, 10:40 PM   #7
Cliff Judge
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
A martial way. Bujutsu are the martial science or techniques. One cannot practice budo without bujutsu, IMO. One is being, one is doing.

I think that there is a dramatic difference between saying that this is a path that should be available to anyone and everyone and that anyone and everyone is actually capable of following it.
Interesting. In what way would one be incapable of following the path of budo?
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:13 PM   #8
Jonathan
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
But what do you think/feel? Is aikido a budo?
Is there some objective definition of budo to which this discussion can be held, or is the definition of budo whatever the individual decides it is? If the latter situation holds, then I would suggest that the term "budo" is largely meaningless.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:15 PM   #9
tarik
 
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Interesting. In what way would one be incapable of following the path of budo?
That's up the individual. I cannot imagine something that would stop me from practicing, even if I end up like my father (a quadrapalegic caused by a chronic illness we share). I think people are almost always capable of far more than they themselves believe, but it is entirely up to them to make the decision.

I recently had a prospective student (with past experience in the Yoshinkan lineage) decide after the first practice that he wasn't capable of the ukemi necessary to practice, even after I discussed the issue with him. His call.

I've also asked people to leave the mat because of their behavior (again, a choice) on more than one occasion. In some cases this involved drug use, in all cases it had to do with safety or inappropriateness. Some were allowed back, some were not. I don't think I need to go on.

But why would Yamada sensei himself (and he's not the first shihan by any means) say such a thing? Some shihan even dedicated their practice and leadership to "fixing" this issue, if it even needs fixing.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:50 PM   #10
tarik
 
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Is there some objective definition of budo to which this discussion can be held, or is the definition of budo whatever the individual decides it is? If the latter situation holds, then I would suggest that the term "budo" is largely meaningless.
Well, I believe that there is a legitimate, scholarly body of work to demonstrate the concept of budo.

Many do seem to maintain that they can re-define it to suit them, which of course, means that discussion is fruitless.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:53 AM   #11
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Perhaps Yamada is getting 'softer' in the sense that learning to 'fight' is no longer his prime objective. But having fun and getting people to meet eachother is. Aikido evolves into dance, for lack of better word.
I am in a traditional lineage (Nobuyoshi Tamura, Alain Peyrache) and would say Aikido is Budo.
It depends on you, the practitioner whether you are someone doing Aikido, or want to become Aikidoka.
The Aikidoka does Budo...

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 02-04-2015 at 04:06 AM.

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* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:15 AM   #12
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
But what do you think/feel? Is aikido a budo?
O Sensei called it a Budo.

He said: Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow.
But which way works for one, must not be the best for each other individual.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:00 AM   #13
tarik
 
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Markus Rohde wrote: View Post
O Sensei called it a Budo.
And I agree with him, but he is no longer with us and it's up to us to define our practice.

Quote:
Markus Rohde wrote: View Post
He said: Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow.
But which way works for one, must not be the best for each other individual.
I guess it was touched on earlier in the thread. What is a budo, and what makes something a budo or not a budo?

Apparently there is enough of a scholarly definition that exists that even high level practitioners are beginning to state that aikido may not match that definition any more. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

[Note: I've heard plenty more of this in private conversations than in public, except for the usual putting down of aikido by some.]

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:15 AM   #14
Jonathan
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Well, I believe that there is a legitimate, scholarly body of work to demonstrate the concept of budo.
Can you summarize what that body of scholarly writing indicates is budo? I have my own ideas about what budo is, but they would not, I think, be exactly "scholarly." I would be content to defer to a well-researched and well-reasoned definition of the term "budo." I suspect that if you can't offer such a definition, this thread may end up, as many do on Aikiweb, with endless quibbling over terms. Mind you, you're likely to get people who will question and argue about it regardless.

Quote:
Many do seem to maintain that they can re-define it to suit them, which of course, means that discussion is fruitless.
Yes. Essentially, you're asking for at least a partial definition of what Aikido is, which people on Aikiweb, perhaps overly-influenced by the all-pervading postmodernism of western culture, are loathe to do.

I don't think that Aikido, as it is practiced generally, can rightly be described as budo.

Regards,

Jon.

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Old 02-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #15
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

I think it is pretty easy – simply maintain martial principles in your practice, otherwise it becomes McDojo.

Example – when an attacker strikes a punch to the face, it must be a strike (with power adapted to the level of the partner) but still a strike with some power that not only reaches physically an opponent, but actually creates a physical and psychical threat. If defender does not move, a punch should be able to move his head back at least an inch. The same goes for various grabs, shomen uchi and yokomen uchi (that should move defender physically from his position). Each attack has his own martial goal to achieve.

Other example would be breaking balance before a throw. And not only pretending it (by extending his arm), but physically affecting the center of attacker in the way, that nage becomes his only point of support. If nage removes himself suddenly, uke should helplessly fall down.

From martial point of view it is not correct to simply present your arm (or any other part of your body) as a gift to your partner so he can do a technique. If an attack is not changing state of nage, it is meaningless and defender doesn’t have to do anything, there is nothing to defend against.

That’s how McDojo is created.

Nagababa

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Old 02-04-2015, 10:57 AM   #16
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
What is a budo, and what makes something a budo or not a budo?
Literally, a budo is a way of war. More expansively -- it is an approach to engaging any type of violent conflict. Historically, aiki developed as a practical art applied in warfare. Aikido engages conflict in a way that is designed to eliminate collision, force on force, and similar impact-type mechanics (even though those options should always be presently available in the application, even if this is not the purpose nor the result) -- That does not make aikido any less warlike or effective, and thus no less a budo for all that. Of course, any art of budo not taken seriously, and not practiced seriously, is deficient -- but that just makes it bad budo -- it does not mean the art is no longer budo.

Aikido is different in its strategic thrust than most other forms of budo, This much is very true. Aikido is not really interested in destroying the enemy's body or strength -- but in actively denying them any possible offensive application.

I indulge some of Sun-Tzu's observations:
-- "Therefore, a hundred fights and a hundred wins is not the best; [to win] and not fight the enemy's force, that is best."
-- "What is best is attacking the enemy's plan."
-- "Anyone sees the shape of my tactics in victory; no one sees my strategy that shapes it.

Put another way -- my attacker wants a fight -- and I mean not to give him any .. just not in the way that he expects ... and that is a very good budo...

Quote:
Apparently there is enough of a scholarly definition that exists that even high level practitioners are beginning to state that aikido may not match that definition any more.
Do tell ... I'd be interested in what that definition might be.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:06 AM   #17
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
If an attack is not changing state of nage, it is meaningless and defender doesn't have to do anything, there is nothing to defend against.

That's how McDojo is created.
"When in danger, or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout;
And when threatened, or called out,
Just start flailing, all about."


Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:25 AM   #18
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

If Yamada Sensei (or anyone) wants to practice Aikido as something other than a budo, that's fine by me. Personally, I lose interest if the martial aspect is not a priority (but not the only priority).

I think the answer is that some groups will practice Aikido as a budo and some won't. Mine will.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #19
Robert Cowham
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

For me there is a mental budo and a physical budo. Ideally the two are connected. But there are people who cannot do physical budo (for whatever reason), but who mentally are very capable.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:26 AM   #20
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Apparently there is enough of a scholarly definition that exists that even high level practitioners are beginning to state that aikido may not match that definition any more. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A budoka trains and mostly has no interest in scholarly definitions.

What I wanted to say is, that a budo is not the best way for everyone, there might be other ways to train the body or to refine the spirit, that suit better.
So if aikido is budo, maybe it's not for everyone.

But I heard also, that Ueshiba said, who can pick up chopsticks, can practice aikido.
His definition of a budo did not have unconditional support from the members of other koryu, so what budo is and what not, there are different approaches not just since yesterday.

I just read an interview with Fujimoto Sensei, in which he explains that when he became older, his thinking about this point changed, same a Yamada Sensei.
Maybe when poeple have mastered budo aspects of an art and have done it for a long time, the point of interest changes. Tohei, who was bored by "throwing people to the left and to the right" or Noro Sensei, who created kinomichi, and went a way apart from budo deliberately, although in every moment he was able to act in a budo manner, are other examples for such changes.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:34 AM   #21
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Markus Rohde wrote: View Post
A budoka trains and mostly has no interest in scholarly definitions.

What I wanted to say is, that a budo is not the best way for everyone, there might be other ways to train the body or to refine the spirit, that suit better.
So if aikido is budo, maybe it's not for everyone.

But I heard also, that Ueshiba said, who can pick up chopsticks, can practice aikido.
His definition of a budo did not have unconditional support from the members of other koryu, so what budo is and what not, there are different approaches not just since yesterday.

I just read an interview with Fujimoto Sensei, in which he explains that when he became older, his thinking about this point changed, same a Yamada Sensei.
Maybe when poeple have mastered budo aspects of an art and have done it for a long time, the point of interest changes. Tohei, who was bored by "throwing people to the left and to the right" or Noro Sensei, who created kinomichi, and went a way apart from budo deliberately, although in every moment he was able to act in a budo manner, are other examples for such changes.
I agree with you, in long term there is no interest to practice locks and throws just for locks and throws. One has to practice it many years as a way of purification his mind and forging his body to be able to achieve his spiritual journey. This kind of practice must be very austere, to eliminate all superficial elements. And austerity is possible only when you include martial aspects in your techniques. Martial aspects will lead you towards the purest state of mind and simplest and most efficient body use.

Otherwise your practice becomes some kind of healthy gymnastic or mutual admiration society where everybody taps each other shoulders saying: you are good! You are so so good….

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:18 AM   #22
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Dr David A. Hall has a decent entry on budo/bugei/bujutsu in his Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts, but it is too lengthy for me type in here.

The basic idea is that budo emerged in the Edo period and marked a shift in focus away from combative skills towards spiritual enlightenment/refinement as the goal of martial training. This is in line with how Draeger broke things down. Dr. Hall cautions about the general Japanese tendency to use terms more elastically than we analytical Western types might prefer, though.

He marks one Abe ryu, which emerged in the late 16th century, as perhaps the first koryu to overtly focus on spiritual aspects.

So IMO, if Aikido is a practice that is available to all people to work on goals of spiritual development and refinement of themselves, then it is a very advanced form of budo indeed, and its martial efficacy doesn't really enter into this analysis. In fact, if the requirements of martial efficacy restrict the types of people who can participate, that makes it weaker as a budo, and Yamada has it backwards.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:30 PM   #23
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Dr David A. Hall has a decent entry on budo/bugei/bujutsu in his Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts, but it is too lengthy for me type in here.

The basic idea is that budo emerged in the Edo period and marked a shift in focus away from combative skills towards spiritual enlightenment/refinement as the goal of martial training. This is in line with how Draeger broke things down. Dr. Hall cautions about the general Japanese tendency to use terms more elastically than we analytical Western types might prefer, though.

He marks one Abe ryu, which emerged in the late 16th century, as perhaps the first koryu to overtly focus on spiritual aspects.

So IMO, if Aikido is a practice that is available to all people to work on goals of spiritual development and refinement of themselves, then it is a very advanced form of budo indeed, and its martial efficacy doesn't really enter into this analysis. In fact, if the requirements of martial efficacy restrict the types of people who can participate, that makes it weaker as a budo, and Yamada has it backwards.
Spiritual development is not happened because of theoretical fantasy and divagations. One needs to completely transform his mind and body in very particular way. Aikido practice provides one of opportunities to do so with condition to include martial efficacy, otherwise no transformation is possible. One must be faced with the problem that is impossible to solve with actual Cartesian mind and weak body. He has to develop completely new tools to solve it -- this is a needed transformation.
I.e. Some Buddhists use a koan for the same reason.

Nagababa

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Old 02-05-2015, 12:48 PM   #24
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Spiritual development is not happened because of theoretical fantasy and divagations. One needs to completely transform his mind and body in very particular way. Aikido practice provides one of opportunities to do so with condition to include martial efficacy, otherwise no transformation is possible. One must be faced with the problem that is impossible to solve with actual Cartesian mind and weak body. He has to develop completely new tools to solve it -- this is a needed transformation.
I.e. Some Buddhists use a koan for the same reason.
Iaido is a classic example of budo though. However you may evaluate their martial efficacy - I have my opinions but I certainly respect their cuts - they believe in it, and they achieve it totally through theoretical fantasy (maybe not divagations).

And koans are actually short cuts in the same vein!
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:18 PM   #25
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Re: Is aikido a budo?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Iaido is a classic example of budo though. However you may evaluate their martial efficacy - I have my opinions but I certainly respect their cuts - they believe in it, and they achieve it totally through theoretical fantasy (maybe not divagations).

And koans are actually short cuts in the same vein!
Have you ever practice Iaido? Me I did it 15 years, 3 times a week. If you have proper instructor, I can guarantee you that your body and your mind will be totally transformed, with the help of a lot of pain and suffering. Sur thing, there is a visualization part, but it is may be 1% of the practice, 99% is a very hard physical work and tons of sweat.

I disagree that koan is a shortcut; it is a simple helper tool. What you do to solve it, transforms you, but not before your body and mind are ready.

So pattern is everywhere the same.

Nagababa

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