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Old 06-14-2015, 08:18 AM   #1
Sojourner
Location: Adelaide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 202
Australia
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Post Aikido and Judaism

Greetings all,

In a previous blog post I wrote about Aikido and Christianity and it seemed like an interesting idea to me to extend my field of study and to begin to look into how Aikido might relate to other world religions outside of the followers of the cross, hence here is my first effort, "Aikido and Judaism"

https://dontmakemeangrymrmcgee.wordp...o-and-judaism/
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:26 AM   #2
jonreading
 
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,121
United_States
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Re: Aikido and Judaism

Writing sometimes helps me to challenge my through process and put of positions for defense to see how they hold up. I haven't posted this in a while, but right, wrong or indifferent, I enjoyed the read.

First, most of O Sensei's instruction would be compliant and consistent with major perspectives held by the big 7 religions. "Be a good person," and "fight for world peace," are neither ground-shaking statements nor something any sane public figure would contend. Second, much of the current aikido philosophy is not based on O Sensei's personal beliefs, but rather his son and the collective wisdom of Hombu when they crafted the art for public consumption. This is neither good nor bad, just something to keep in mind because do as I say is sometimes not do as I do.

Aikido is not a religion. There are some who would differ with that fact, but that is not my point. There is experimentation about finding a desirable solution and engineering the process to obtain the solution, hence the, "ends justifies the means," format of argumentation. Aikido has been part of a social experiment for a long time. Much of what the founder did is no longer taught. Much of what the founder said is no longer taught. Much of what the founder believed is no longer taught. So I think a core aspect of your experiment will be to consider how best to adjust for the decisions made by aikido to attractively place it in a marketplace of martial arts.

The philosophical veil of aikido is currently so flimsy that I think the harder task would be to find a position aikido takes that is inconsistent with major religions.

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Old 06-16-2015, 09:41 AM   #3
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Israel
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Re: Aikido and Judaism

Hi

Interesting though I would guess you should do some further examination since as an Israeli, I feel your perspective is strongly stereotyped.

First, I suspect you are wrong as to number of aikido dojo in Israel, I can think of over a dozen, looking up for 2 minutes in google got me a list (from 2009) of 57 Aikikai affilated dojos, and we do have quite a few dojo groups related to other affiliations, each with 3 dojos or more) such as core-aikido (headed by Gadi Shor who studied Yoshinkan), Korindo Aikido (which I practice), ISTA/traditional Aikido and I am probably missing a few. So real number is probably closer to 70 or 80.

Then, most Israeli I know did not learn Krav-Maga, or at most had a couple of lessons as part of school or army service, and Krav-Maga here is splintered into so many sub-orgs, each with own agenda and preception. Any conclusions based on one should be double checked in the next. From own talks with some practitioners, this is also true related to your perception of "Krav as killing art"

And as to Judaism, you are aware most Israeli are Secular Jewish, and consider themselves Jewish by heritage and nationality or tradition. Only a minority is "truly" religious Jews (as in listen to some Rabi, pray, go to Synagogue, keep Shabeth, eat Kosher etc.) and another large group following some of those based on own interpretation of tradition etc. And even among this minority there are so many sub-streams with differing values. Which relates to your concept of human message in Judaism, especially true for some zealots when talking of people outside their community.

If you wish for a serious discussion of "Aikido and Judaism", I would suggest discussion with Isaac Lifshitz (I believe he once held aikiweb user). It will probably shutter quite a few misconceptions.
You could also talk with Zeev Erlich on Aikido and Krav.

Enjoy
Amir
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:49 AM   #4
Sojourner
Location: Adelaide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 202
Australia
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Re: Aikido and Judaism

Thanks for your feedback Amir, I am hoping to be able to visit Israel and spend some time there and hope to be able to train in both Krav and Aikido whilst I am there. You are right also about sterotypes, the very same thing happens in Australia when I get asked some very bizarre questions about live in Australia and realise that people are believing what they see on TV as opposed to how people actually live here. It often makes me laugh to see "Fosters" being sold as "Australian" beer, when no one here actually drinks it save for tourists!

I am aware that there is a massive diversity in Judaism ranging from the ultra orthodox through to reform and liberal Judaism. I am not sure that I would agree that membership in any of them makes a person more religious than another, yet that also could be my western bias at play there also.

Thanks for your feedback though, it is very much appreciated!
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:44 AM   #5
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Israel
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Re: Aikido and Judaism

Hi

Yep, up close, things are often so much more diverse and differ from the stereotypes and stories people tell of those far far away places

Quote:
Ben White wrote: View Post
I am not sure that I would agree that membership in any of them makes a person more religious than another, yet that also could be my western bias at play there also.
You are probably right, I just lack the correct English vocabulary, and current Hebrew seems to adopt a "political / religious stance " as to more Jewish

Regards
Amir
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,300
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Re: Aikido and Judaism

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
..... Only a minority is "truly" religious Jews (as in listen to some Rabi, pray, go to Synagogue, keep Shabeth, eat Kosher etc.) and another large group following some of those based on own interpretation of tradition etc. And even among this minority there are so many sub-streams with differing values. Which relates to your concept of human message in Judaism, especially true for some zealots when talking of people outside their community.
......Amir
The splintering sounds like typical group behavior for humans.

dps
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:18 AM   #7
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,162
United_States
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Re: Aikido and Judaism

Quote:
Ben White wrote: View Post
I am aware that there is a massive diversity in Judaism ranging from the ultra orthodox through to reform and liberal Judaism. I am not sure that I would agree that membership in any of them makes a person more religious than another, yet that also could be my western bias at play there also.
I don't think Amir was talking about which sect of Judaism one practices, so much as whether one is observant at all.
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