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Old 05-08-2007, 04:36 AM   #1
aikishrine
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spiritual or martial?

Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:38 AM   #2
L. Camejo
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

In Budo to find the spiritual one MUST understand the martial.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:14 AM   #3
Edward
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
In Budo to find the spiritual one MUST understand the martial.

LC
Exactly my thought. I further believe that the spiritual aspect comes as an indirect result of years of martial practice.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:43 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

IMHO, it all depends on the personal intent and intensity you bring to it. I have seen it be one or the other, both, and neither.

What do you want your Aikido to be?

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 05-08-2007, 07:38 AM   #5
crbateman
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Hard to define what Aikido is. It presents itself differently to different people, partly in accordance with their needs and perceptions, partly a result of the instructors' take and background, and partly because of what the individual makes of it. Some would say that Aikido is a martial pursuit involving spirituality. Others would say it is a spiritual pursuit involving a martial way. Others would contend (and even teach) that the two aspects are exclusive of each other, or do not necessarily involve the other. What really matters is what it means to you. Experience as much as you can, and then make up your own mind.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:28 AM   #6
Erick Mead
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

What do you think?

Quote:
Takuan Soho, Fudochishin-Myoroku wrote:
THE IMMOVABLE WISDOM OF ALL BUDDHAS

... Although wisdom is called immovable, this does not signify any insentient thing, like wood or stone. It moves as the mind is wont to move: forward or back, to the left, to the right, in the ten directions and to the eight points; and the mind that does not stop at all is called immovable wisdom.

Fudo Myoo grasps a sword in his right hand and holds a rope in his left hand. He bares his teeth and his eyes flash with anger. His form stands firmly, ready to defeat the evil spirits that would obstruct the Buddhist Law. ... For the man who can make his immovable wisdom apparent and who is able to physically practice this mental dharma as well as Fudo Myoo, the evil spirits will no longer proliferate. This is the purpose of Fudo Myoo's tidings.
http://www.shingon.org/deities/jusanbutsu/fudo.html
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...n_FudoMyoo.JPG

Or, if you prefer, from the Western canon:
Quote:
Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ wrote:
The Voice of Christ - My Child, in this life you are never safe, and as long as you live the weapons of the spirit will ever be necessary to you. You dwell among enemies. You are subject to attack from the right and the left. If, therefore, you do not guard yourself from every quarter with the shield of patience, you will not remain long unscathed. Moreover, if you do not steadily set your heart on Me, with a firm will to suffer everything for My sake, you will not be able to bear the heat of this battle or to win the crown of the blessed. You ought, therefore, to pass through all these things bravely and to oppose a strong hand to whatever stands in your way. For to him who triumphs heavenly bread is given, while for him who is too lazy to fight there remains much misery.… Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly in battle.
http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/sain...hrist.htm#3-35

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:05 AM   #7
tarik
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian
Whether I deliberately concentrate on one or the other, they are ultimately inextricable to me. But then, without being overly facetious, shitting correctly is a spiritual experience for me also.

What is it to YOU?

If you're looking for answers, are you sure that you're asking the right questions?

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:21 PM   #8
mwible
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Re: spiritual or martial?

i believe that you can only get both, you arent going to get one without the other and still have it be aikido. in Musashi's' "Book of Five Rings" he talks about how, to reach enlightenment or inner peace, you must follow your Way (the path in life you choose; I.E.- martial arts, soccer, business, etc,) as far as it goes and that is the only way to reach such spiritual states. i dont know if that gives an answer, lol, but here ya go!
-morgan
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:54 AM   #9
aikishrine
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Yes but if you look at O'SENSEI and his life, training, and teachings.i believe,

At least from my understanding that his message was a spiritual one in the end, i know that his early training was severe, and that is probably is what led to his enlightenment experiences, but i am sure that i read somewhere that he said that he went through all of that in order to find the true BUDO, so that everyone had a place to start on the spiritual path without having to go through what he went through.

Now dont get me wrong i believe that there should be an equal balance between the two, i am just trying to find what the true spirit of AIKIDO is in the eyes of O'SENSEI

thanks, Brian
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:25 AM   #10
xuzen
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian
My sensei's sensei think aikido is martial. He thinks that his sensei before him (O sensei) was sometimes a bit cuckoo...

My sensei also think aikido is martial.

I am also a believer that aikido is martial first and foremost.

Spirituality, divinity, theology, deities are optional studies on our own time; away from the mat.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:35 AM   #11
Edward
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Well, you have am entire genealogy of iconoclasts

You can add me to your list by the way. I too believe that aikido is martial first and foremost.....

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
My sensei's sensei think aikido is martial. He thinks that his sensei before him (O sensei) was sometimes a bit cuckoo...

My sensei also think aikido is martial.

I am also a believer that aikido is martial first and foremost.

Spirituality, divinity, theology, deities are optional studies on our own time; away from the mat.

Boon.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:55 AM   #12
Charles Hill
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Hi Brian

I think that if you look at the Founder's life and teachings, Aikido, for him, was a spiritual path. He was a member of Omoto Kyo, a religious group, his whole life. In Omoto Kyo, believers are encouraged to practice some art form as their path. For Morihei Ueshiba, this was the martial arts. For Naohi Deguchi, one of the Omoto's leaders, it was the tea ceremony(as another example.)

For me, I think about Picasso and the art he created. It was way out there and kind of spiritual, in a way. However, we must not forget that he worked for many years learning to control the brush, paint and canvas. He was able to paint extremely realistically. For us, this is the martial. Picasso then had the freedom to explore art. For us, this is the spiritual.

good luck
Charles
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:02 AM   #13
L. Camejo
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Good posts. Some indicated that there are other Japanese Do that are spiritual in their ultimate goal - chado (tea ceremony), shodo (calligraphy), ikebana (flower arranging) etc. If we look at each of these disciplines, one cannot be considered adept at chado if one cannot make a good cup of tea (regardles of how pretty or focused your form is), or cannot be considered a skilled calligrapher if the characters are unreadable etc.

The jutsu or science must be obtained to open the door towards the spiritual pursuit. This is part of the Yin/Yang interrelationship found in Budo. Ueshiba M. could not have founded spiritual Aikido without first finding his true self through the forging of physical, functional daito ryu etc. Imho the jutsu/science is the foundation from which the bridge to the do/way is built.

When one understands the do, the jutsu is redefined to have a new purpose. If done any other way what you get is hollow beauty and form that has no actual function, or a bridge without a stable foundation. It will collapse. We see this a lot when many Aikidoka encounter resistance, including Ueshiba M., there is collapse wherever the expression of spirit and peace is missing its foundational physical element.

I don't think we have to repeat everything that Ueshiba M. did to truly understand Aikido but if we leave out key foundational elements we will never understand it imho. We can't start at the end and hope to understand the beginning, which is where the path actually ends.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:53 AM   #14
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
or cannot be considered a skilled calligrapher if the characters are unreadable etc.
And I always thought, calligraphy means making characters unreadable - not just a joke, some are

Back to topic:
Nothing new, but in my short words:
If aikido is not martial, it is not spiritual. (See Larry's post)
And if it is not spiritual, it is not martial (BU) in the meaning of protection. Without the spirit it is just an empty killing system.

Now you can use your own utility functions, which would lead to different wightings of spiritual and martial. But if you come to the conclusion it is only 20% martial or only 20% spiritual, it is both of them nevertheless.

Best regards

Dirk
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:20 AM   #15
L. Camejo
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote: View Post
And I always thought, calligraphy means making characters unreadable - not just a joke, some are
Lol I know what you mean. I guess this is where they start going from form to formlessness.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:24 AM   #16
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:40 AM   #17
Dewey
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Hi there i was wondering if you believe AIKIDO to be more of a spiritual pursuit or a martial one, i apologize if this type of thread has been posted before, but i am looking for answers, i greatly need alot of help, in a lot of areas but i guess this is as good a place to start as anywhere, Brian
As has been said above as well as in other threads concerning this subject, it really only matters what you bring to Aikido (emotional and/or spiritual baggage, if you will) and what you want out of Aikido.

One can pursue both spiritual enlightment & martial prowness simultaneously without any sort of contradiction. In fact, this is considered the terminus of budo. In Western terminology, it's a tried & tested method of integrating (or coordinating) the mind & body. In fact, I'd say they're two sides of the same coin. Excessively focus on one "side" more than the other leads to imbalance...both metaphorically & technically.

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
Yes but if you look at O'SENSEI and his life, training, and teachings.i believe,

At least from my understanding that his message was a spiritual one in the end, i know that his early training was severe, and that is probably is what led to his enlightenment experiences, but i am sure that i read somewhere that he said that he went through all of that in order to find the true BUDO, so that everyone had a place to start on the spiritual path without having to go through what he went through.

Now dont get me wrong i believe that there should be an equal balance between the two, i am just trying to find what the true spirit of AIKIDO is in the eyes of O'SENSEI

thanks, Brian
In my opinion, we must consider the culture & the historical period he lived in and how it forged Aikido in order to accurately understand what he was saying...although O'Sensei was notorious even in his own lifetime for being an obscure teacher! That being said, perhaps we can say that technique without principle, application, awareness or forethought is not Aikido. Your guess is as good as mine...
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:22 AM   #18
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.
As far as I know, a monk is a member of a monastic tradition which has monasteries. I do not believe that Shinto is even considered a monastic tradition and I have not heard of Shinto monks. And if there is some obscure branch of Shinto which does have monks, O-sensei certainly wasn't one of them.

O-Sensei was an active member of the Omotokyo faith only until the Second Omotokyo incident in Dec 1935. It is my understanding that O-Sensei, after hiding out to escape arrest, was permitted to remain free by agreeing to distance himself from participation with the Omotokyo. Deguchi stayed under house arrest until 1942. O-Sensei's move away from Deguchi and the Omotokyo was actually the source of a falling out between himself and his closest student Inoue Sensei (his nephew). However, there were teachers under O-Sensei's direction (like the Sunadomaris) who kept their participation active their whole lives.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:46 AM   #19
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Whether I deliberately concentrate on one or the other, they are ultimately inextricable to me. But then, without being overly facetious, shitting correctly is a spiritual experience for me also.

What is it to YOU?

If you're looking for answers, are you sure that you're asking the right questions?
Tarik,
Now that you have been established yourself as the "Excrimeditation Master of Martial Arts" how are you planning to use your skills on the street?

Or is this the wrong question?

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-09-2007 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:41 AM   #20
Fred Little
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.
George Ledyard basically nailed the first part of the question.

There is a Japanese tradition of "ubasoku" (from the Sanskrit upasaka which is generally translated as "lay follower); because monastic ordination was always fairly tightly controlled by successive Japanese governments, the ubasoku were, in many cases, unauthorized monastics and since they had no authorization for their ordination, ubasoku also took on the meaning of "self-ordained."

Shinto as an entity distinct from Buddhism is a fairly modern construct, but Ueshiba's entire life was lived under the influence of that construct. Within that context, it might be more accurate to refer to someone who goes up in the mountains, performs various ascetic practices, meditates, etc, as a shugyosha.

While Ueshiba kept his distance from Oomoto for many years (and does seem to have had precisely the effects George notes), I have also read accounts of him visiting Oomoto compounds very late in his life with young uchi-deshi from Hombu accompanying him. The young deshi were apparently horrified by the spectacle of their august leader, whom they held in great reverence, kneeling and bowing before Oomoto priests like a peasant before a monk.

It also seems that one aspect of Oomoto is the doctrine that every member has a direct and personal relationship to Ushitora-no-Konjin, who is viewed as the root deity behind all other apparent deities. In this respect, every Oomoto believer is, in some measure, a "priest." Similarly, since Ushitora-no-konjin is a "hidden god" and is viewed as fully omniscient, it is quite possible that Ueshiba could have taken the view that although he publicly distanced himself from the Oomoto organization, he himself was a "hidden believer" and Ushitori-no-konjin knew this, which was the important point.

The fact that he re-established relations with Oomoto later in life, despite the opposition of his own students, might support that theory.

Best,

FL
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:56 AM   #21
saulofong
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Brian,

The point is: What do YOU want it to be ? And WHY do YOU want to be this way ?

What we have been reading here are mostly opinions and beliefs. And these opinions and beliefs are based on internal values and life experience. None is better or truer than the other. Opinions cannot be compared. Otherwise, they should be based in the same internal values.

Saulo Fong
Aikido - Instituto União
São Paulo, Brazil
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:59 AM   #22
Dennis Hooker
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Although I have not seen it for years I recall a picture O-Sensei had made of himself with a very big belly and a sword across his back. It was said (I am told) that it was his favorite picture and depicted him as Kami.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 05-09-2007, 02:44 PM   #23
mwible
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
I've seen a few posts lately that claim that Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto monk" and now one that says he was a "member of Omoto Kyo" his whole life. Are these statements true? In my understanding, they are not... but my ukemi is pretty good so I'm willing to be educated. Please help.
im not sure about being a shinto monk, but he was definitly into omoto kyo, not his whole life, but for the greater percentage of it
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:09 PM   #24
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Thanks for the info everyone.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:21 PM   #25
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: spiritual or martial?

Quote:
Morgan Wible wrote: View Post
im not sure about being a shinto monk, but he was definitly into omoto kyo, not his whole life, but for the greater percentage of it
If we can also include O'Senseis love and language towards nature we can de-dogmatize some of this discussion where it relies on connection to one 'religion' or title. While a product and adherent of many dicilines in his lifetime O'Sensei was most specifically himself. He himself describes himself as the universe and nothing else. And perhaps before we go back to the 'he belonged to this' or 'that' discussion, we can also include some thoughts or reflections on his love of nature and what he asked of us for it's cause; simply.
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