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Old 09-16-2003, 02:02 PM   #1
Ari Bolden
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Dojo: Victoria Jujitsu Academy
Location: Victoria BC
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 67
Without me, there is no aikido.

This post was spawned by the "how spiritual one" and "see the light" post in particular.

It can be of no doubt that O sensei was a mysterious man trying to incorporate religious and spiritual beliefs (Omoto kyo religion) into his martial system.

It is documented that he use to read poetry in class and teach the foundations of the universe to his students(READ: the Spiritual Foundations Of Aikido by William Gleason).

O Sensei was also a man of contradictions. He said "WITHOUT ME, THERE IS NO AIKIDO."

It is difficult to understand what he meant by such a statement.

He then also said "Aikido comes from within."

After the founder's death, did Aikido fragment into many different schools or GROW into many different schools (Styles). Depends on how you look at it...

Food for thought...


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Old 09-16-2003, 03:35 PM   #2
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 113
We have all heard both the "for" and "against" argument whether Aikido is a unique art form or merely synthesized from others (particularly Daito-Ryu Jujutsu).

I look at it this way, while someone can certainly claim to be the person who "taught" Elvis how to sing (i.e. voice coach, or singing lessons), and it may help them gain some fame -- learning from them will not make you Elvis.

So did O-sensei really mean, "without me, there *would be* no Aikido"? I think so.

Is he right? I think so.

While many other people had many of the same influences, background, education, environment, etc. none of them became Elvis. Only Elvis had it in him to create his music, and only Morihei Ueshiba had it in him to create Aikido.

I believe the "Aikido comes from within." Statement was a response. He wanted people to reach within themselves to create their destiny (that's what Budo is all about), without blinding worshipping him as deity.

Just my opinion though.


Bruce Kimpel
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Old 09-17-2003, 01:12 PM   #3
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Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
IMHO, O'Sensei pointed the way so without him there would be no Aikido as we know it. Yet, part of his pinting was for each of us to find it inward. In a world of external dependency, we often need someone externally to remind us to look internally and to make the art our own.

While there is only 26 letter in the English alphabet, their are many gifted and unique writers.

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 09-17-2003, 02:30 PM   #4
Dojo: aikido of park slope
Location: brooklyn, ny USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 62
he also said something like "i am the universe."

i think it's safe to say that without the universe there would be no aikido.
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Old 09-17-2003, 02:59 PM   #5
Ari Bolden
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<laugh> good point evan....

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Old 09-18-2003, 08:13 PM   #6
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Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
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Could it be that Osensei means that we are all Aikido? Could he mean that we all must have that attitude? Not being arrogant, but it's probably something like, "I think therefore I am."

Aikido could not exist by itself, it needs sometype of entity to channel it, in this case humans.

I believe many people probably perceive that as arrogance. I believe it's actually a saying for people to grow beyond forms and techniques.

Forms and techniques could be written and drawn in a book but Aikido could not.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 09-20-2003, 08:25 AM   #7
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Ari Bolden wrote:
...It can be of no doubt that O sensei was a mysterious man trying to incorporate religious and spiritual beliefs (Omoto kyo religion) into his martial system....O Sensei was also a man of contradictions. He said "WITHOUT ME, THERE IS NO AIKIDO."...Cheers

I don't agree that he wanted his spiritual beliefs in his martial arts system. It was simply an outgrowth of his spiritual nature that became expressed in aikido. The first case is a conscious effort of expression. The second case is an unconscious expression. There are incidents where he stated you didn't need his religion (Shinto) to do aikido.

Without me, there is no aikido. Is an understanding that the spirit of aikido needs to be actualized through a person. You can't talk or write about aikido in the abstract. You have to do it. I believe this is what Iriawan was writing about.

BTW, to say "I am the universe." can be interpeted as an indication of spiritual identification. The speaker identifies, or relates to everything. This is the same basic idea of religion. The word religion comes from a Latin root word, religio, meaning "to be connected to."

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:43 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
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To me "with out me there is no Aikido" is kind of a Zen Koan.

Without "ME" the world does not exsist. At least to me it does not exsist. Again, as Iriawan states "I think therefore I am".

As far as coupling aikido with shinto/omoto kyo...who am I to say what his motives were.

I have to imagine though that if O'Sensei truely mastered himself, the world, and aikido as many claim he did, then you become ONE with everything, trival concepts of religion, dogma, etc really become meaningless.

I think O'Sensei used the totality of his experiences to try and pass along to others the lessons he learned to reach his state of being.

Westerners always seem to need to "label" and categorize everything such as "religion", "martial art", "business", "sport". does it really matter???

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