Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-17-2008, 04:38 AM   #1
Guilty Spark
 
Guilty Spark's Avatar
Location: Flordia
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 300
United_States
Offline
Aikido too spiritual at times?

I'll probably get raked over the coals for this.

I was wondering if people can get lost in Aikido's spiritual side. Aikido deals with balance. Do you think some students travel too far into the spiritual parts of aikido and neglect the martial & physical side?
Does that take away from aikido's effectiveness?

When I first started aikido I got swallowed in all the literature and books. Art of peace, non-violent martial art. I bought into a lot of these buzzwords. I started calling/considering myself a pacifist until someone from work sorted me out.

Quote:
"What do you do hen someone cocks their fist to throw a punch?"
Move forward and hit them, try to knock them off balance.
"What do you do when someone aims a gun at you?"
Shoot them before they shoot me.
"What do you do when your squad or team is ambushed?"
Turn towards the ambush, charge towards them, kill them.

"Does that sound like a pacifist?"
No I suppose not.
He then quoted something, I'm not sure if he made it up or found it somewhere else but I've thought about it often.

Quote:
A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to.
It got me to thinking. I've read here one account that O'sensei's plan was that Aikido was the perfect martial art. He spent his younger years learning all these violent martial arts and physical stuff only to develop aikido so that you and me could reach the point he reached without all that other stuff.

I don't know how accurate that was. The founders early years were just full of fighting, violence and even killing. IS it truly possible to reach (hypotheically speaking) where he is without being subjected to the kinds of environments he was?

It seems to me that some people are all too anxious to forget that he was a soldier. That he "closed with and destroyed the enemy" That he was a killer.
Many aikido students accept and preach non violence, pacifism and such, but is that really aikido? Or is aikido being physically able and mentally prepared to kill someone but being able to chose not to at the last moment?

In students accepting "the art of peace" so much so that they chalk everything violent or aggressive up as bad automatically, is that becoming too spiritual to the point where they are forgetting about the physical aspect if Aikido and it's roots?

I know some students can talk forever about philosophy and peace, love respect non-ego and protecting your attacker, but what happens when they can't physically protect themselves from said attacker? When someone who can win any debate fails to hold their own against someone 10 times their junior in terms of training?

I guess I'm wondering what happens when there isn't a balance between physical and spiritual. Too much of one makes the other suffer right?

I read what O'sensei writes in some of his books, say about sometimes teaching a lesson involves taking a life, and compare it to what I read today from various points of view on Aikido and somethimes they really don't match up at all.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2008, 05:45 AM   #2
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 591
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

This is from http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthrea...&Main=16017783

Quote:
I recall a presentation 2nd Doshu gave to the Japan Martial Arts Society in the 1980's, and someone raised his hand as asked just when it was that Osensei became a pacifist. After the translation, Doshu looked rather puzzled, and asked for clarification, and the question was asked again.
Doshu seemed to be suppressing giggles, and said, in effect, that his father was never a pacifist, nor was aikido a pacifist practice. "After all, it is a martial art", he said.
He then continued on to say, vaguely but accurately that his father created something new, that was outside the dualism of violence and non-violence.
I think spiritual vs. martial/effective is a false dichotomy though.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2008, 09:01 AM   #3
salim
Location: Greensboro North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 370
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

With all due respect to O'sensei's religious belief of Omoto, Aikido personally serves a better purpose without the religious aspects. Religion in this case, becomes divisive. I'm fortunate the dojo I attend,
genuinely is more interested in learning application of technique, self defense and having good clean fun. I agree with the sentiment of religion in Aikido often overshadows it's true martial potential.

It's one the many reason Aikido is bastardized as not being a true martial art. Over zealous fascination with being a pacifist, is an unfortunate attribute of modern Aikido. Extremism of any sort, without balance is blame worthy. That's one of the meanings I take away from your friends quote.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Read Amdur and Goldsbury for the founder's intentions/behavior and interpretations thereof. Search here on aikiweb.com, especially, but also read Amdur's book, Dueling with O-sensei: Grappling with the Myth of the Warrior Sage available at http://ellisamdur.com/buy.html.

Also, for the broad framework of the mapping of spirituality onto mundanity--here martial art--see Chapter 10 Honji suijaku at work: religion, economics, and ideology in pre-modern Japan by FABIO RAMBELLI in Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm Book by Mark Teeuwen, Fabio Rambelli; Routledge, 2002. 373 pgs.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
I'll probably get raked over the coals for this.

I was wondering if people can get lost in Aikido's spiritual side. Aikido deals with balance. Do you think some students travel too far into the spiritual parts of aikido and neglect the martial & physical side?
Does that take away from aikido's effectiveness?

When I first started aikido I got swallowed in all the literature and books. Art of peace, non-violent martial art. I bought into a lot of these buzzwords. I started calling/considering myself a pacifist until someone from work sorted me out.

He then quoted something, I'm not sure if he made it up or found it somewhere else but I've thought about it often.

It got me to thinking. I've read here one account that O'sensei's plan was that Aikido was the perfect martial art. He spent his younger years learning all these violent martial arts and physical stuff only to develop aikido so that you and me could reach the point he reached without all that other stuff.

I don't know how accurate that was. The founders early years were just full of fighting, violence and even killing. IS it truly possible to reach (hypotheically speaking) where he is without being subjected to the kinds of environments he was?

It seems to me that some people are all too anxious to forget that he was a soldier. That he "closed with and destroyed the enemy" That he was a killer.
Many aikido students accept and preach non violence, pacifism and such, but is that really aikido? Or is aikido being physically able and mentally prepared to kill someone but being able to chose not to at the last moment?

In students accepting "the art of peace" so much so that they chalk everything violent or aggressive up as bad automatically, is that becoming too spiritual to the point where they are forgetting about the physical aspect if Aikido and it's roots?

I know some students can talk forever about philosophy and peace, love respect non-ego and protecting your attacker, but what happens when they can't physically protect themselves from said attacker? When someone who can win any debate fails to hold their own against someone 10 times their junior in terms of training?

I guess I'm wondering what happens when there isn't a balance between physical and spiritual. Too much of one makes the other suffer right?

I read what O'sensei writes in some of his books, say about sometimes teaching a lesson involves taking a life, and compare it to what I read today from various points of view on Aikido and somethimes they really don't match up at all.
I our paths and think are very similar here. I say yes, some people do. Some people struggle with what O'sensei said and trying to make sense of it, make it their own instead of keep it as his. Some people just drop the whole thing and replace it with their own interpretations etc. or their own ideas etc. But I think it is taken out of context (easily done, often not on purpose) because it is taken too seriously. You can do Aikido without the religious stuff. I mean there are very few who understand O'Sensei's religious ideas. I mean a few. And then there is the rest of us spread out between the extremes. Yes, there are those who take it too seriously and most don't understand it compeletly. But that is also a challenge of Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 01:10 AM   #6
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,628
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

You can never be too spiritual. However you can pretend to be too spiritual. Most Aikidoka couldn't define what they would call spirituality, but they can spout everyone else's. They pretend so much, that even they don't know they are pretending anymore.

Spirituality is a natural part of daily life. We all partake in it all the time. Most don't think about it though, because it's so natural. When we first start to take notice of it, it seems strange. When we hear others talk about it, it sounds magical. It is common place however, and you can never go "too far". You can only delude yourself with fantasy.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 03:47 AM   #7
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Kinda agree with Crhis Hein on this one.

I am not sure how you define "too spriitual". I mean spirituality is really an individual pursuit. I think within the philsophical context of aikido, there is plenty of room for spiritual, philosophical, moral, and ethical interpretations.

I think it is pretty easy to define when you cross the line into la la land though and start to become decieved or deluded, or at least clouded by the issue.

It is when you met a physical response and a spiritual response does not work.

Simply put, if someone physically attacks you, and you do not respond appropriately with the right level of physicality....then you might want to reconsider your spiritual position and/or approach to what you are doing.

The tough part is, the deception and delusion are very, very tricky. There a folks that will go on for years convinced that they just need to reach a deeper understanding of the spiritual foundations of the art.

In a way they could be right. I mean, if their spirituality finally leads them to understand that the attack and respond appropriately eventually then it could be right!

Might have been able to accomplish the same thing much earlier simply by observing the attack for what it really was....an attack....but each person is different.

Don Quiote had his windmills right?

Each of us learn differently for sure. Some find deep meaning and spiritual interpretation in aikido. Others only see the physical attack.

I think there is a middle road in there somewhere. For me, aikido can be spiritual in a way. Not mystical, but spiritual.

The irony of it is that my spirituality requires me to strip away all delusion and see the true essence of the situation void of all emotion and preconception.

That is, simply looking at the present...which means at the moment of an attack...I am dealing with an attack.

Spiritually that requires me to respond in an honest way to that attack, whatever it may be.

I really think, in my heart that O Sensei had this in mind when he discusses spirituality as it relates to budo.

This is much different than mysticism which has connotations of teleportation, transmitting KI, seeing the attack and moving way before it actually occurs, or what not.

Stripping away all preconception and being in the moment...mushin.

For me, that is what budo spirituality is all about. Nothing more, nothing less.

You can be spiritual and seek deeper meaning all the way up until the time of the attack, but at that point...you must be there in the moment.

So, not sure you can be too spiritual....but certainly you can get confused, allow dissonance and delusion to override common sense....and get blasted in the face by a full frontal assault!

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 06:25 AM   #8
AsimHanif
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 479
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Grant,
I think Yamada Sensei said it best...'time to put the harm, back in harmony'.

Asim
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 07:47 AM   #9
Voitokas
 
Voitokas's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 377
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Not much to add to what Kevin and Chris said. I think of myself as a pacifist, and while I disdain violence, I have never hesitated to use force when necessary. Maybe my semantic distinction between force and violence would seems silly to some, but one's spiritual journey is one's own... I'm not sure that it's the case that "too much of one makes the other suffer": any philosophical ideas about aikido or conflict or whatever have to be borne out in training and practise, and the more physical practise I have only enhances my philosophical journey.

I guess I'd say that the physical practise of aikido is what enables me to enter through a threat, and the philosophical practise of aikido is what enables me to smile while I'm doing it.

There is a la-la land, and there are armchair aikidoka, but most students of aikido I meet, I meet on the mat. The 'bunnies and armchair sages aren't really so common, that I've seen anyway. Or maybe they don't go to seminars, I don't know, but surely a little honest ukemi would dispel a lot illusions, right?

I am not an expert
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 08:14 AM   #10
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Throughout the history of mankind (personkind to the PC crowd), there are countless recorded instances where people who have had life -and-death encounters (typically military people) have been profoundly effected by those experiences and have developed a deep sense of spirtuality. I am not talking about the new-age noodnicks. I am talking about people who have developed a profound sense of awe about this world and the preciousness of one's life experiences. This deep spirituality has nothing to do with idealistic pacifism. I tend to view O'Sensei's spirituality within this realm, not what new-age (aka- hard-body, soft-mind) seeks to turn Aikido into.

Then again, just by 2 cents, worth less than that now due to our great economy

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 10:15 AM   #11
Walker
 
Walker's Avatar
Dojo: 光道館・叢雲道場
Location: Pacific Wonderland
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 217
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to."
Your quote is from the interview of Takamura Yukiyoshi of Shindo Yoshin ryu and it was aimed directly at aikido. But I'm not too sure it is a question of being too spiritual, but rather not martial enough. Stan Pranin said an interesting thing along the lines of Ueshiba was both more spiritual and more martial than people understand.

The real problem I see is not so much a lack of martial desire on the part of aikidoka in general, but a lack of tools surviving within aikido to make desire an attainable goal.

Shirata would say when he was alive that we are doing a budo and it must function as such or it won't work as a spiritual vehicle either.

It is up to each practitioner in whatever stream of aikido to ask themselves if their aikido is functioning as a budo. Then the hard part is that if it is not, it is close to impossible to fix it. I think people are far better served seeking an intact tradition that maintains it's martial context than spending years trying to fix what isn't working.

-Doug Walker
光道館 高村派新道楊心流
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 10:55 AM   #12
Joe McParland
 
Joe McParland's Avatar
Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

From one point of view, anything or any activity is an opportunity to discover spirituality; once outfitted with that perspective, everything and every activity is an expression of spirituality.

If that's your belief, then there is no reason that spirituality cannot be discovered in poor aikido practice, and there is no reason that poor aikido practice cannot be a spiritual expression.

For what it's worth, I suspect that someone is more likely to find and to maintain a course of spiritual development with "proper practice"---whatever that means. I also suspect that an instructor with deluded spirituality can do much more harm to a student than a bad martial arts instructor ever could with poorly transmitted physical techniques.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 05:57 PM   #13
gregg block
 
gregg block's Avatar
Location: bethlehem PA
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 127
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Your question was "I was wondering if people can get lost in Aikido's spiritual side?"

It would depend on your definition of "lost".
In my definition my answer(s) would be "yes", "maybe" and "no" .
My opinion on this issue is in a state of flux. My training and skills are not. Does that help answer the question or create more? Either way its good.
Thank you..
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 05:41 AM   #14
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 345
England
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

I have felt for a long side that the spiritual and physical aspects of aikido are very closely related, and that the spiritual side is a natural product of correct training, rather than something that needs to rely on chanting and bowing rituals separate from the keiko. Kanshu Sunadomari, in his deeply impressive Aikido Friendship Demonstration, said that in his opinion the spirituality in aikido lay in becoming one with the partner, and that aikido was "Divine movement manifested on a physical level". Sunadomari was uchi-deshi in the wartime years, and his aikido is highly effective and far from wishy-washy, but totally devoid of the "pseudo-samurai" trimmings and hints of violence that I find unpalatable in some teachers.

I strongly recommend anyone to watch his demonstration: every time I see it the more it resonates with what I am trying to learn from my own teacher.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 11-19-2008 at 05:54 AM. Reason: spelling
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 06:01 AM   #15
Enrique Antonio Reyes
Dojo: Yuugou Aikido Kaisho
Location: Manila
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 132
Philippines
Offline
Talking Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Asim Hanif wrote: View Post
Grant,
I think Yamada Sensei said it best...'time to put the harm, back in harmony'.

Asim
+ 1
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2008, 10:12 PM   #16
Luc X Saroufim
 
Luc X Saroufim's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 135
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

the stronger your technique becomes, the stronger your martial spirit becomes. and the stronger your martial spirit becomes, the stronger your technique becomes.

i've experienced both extremes, and didn't like either one. one seminar i went to felt more like yoga than aikido. i've also trained with some people that think nikkyo is nothing more than dislocating and hyper extending someone's wrist.

i would like to fall somewhere in the middle, and that's how i orient my training.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2008, 10:23 PM   #17
senshincenter
 
senshincenter's Avatar
Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,422
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post

I was wondering if people can get lost in Aikido's spiritual side. Aikido deals with balance. Do you think some students travel too far into the spiritual parts of aikido and neglect the martial & physical side?
Does that take away from aikido's effectiveness?
In my opinion, it takes away from Aikido's spiritual cultivations - which in time limits Aikido martial effectiveness.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 01:46 AM   #18
Enrique Antonio Reyes
Dojo: Yuugou Aikido Kaisho
Location: Manila
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 132
Philippines
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
In my opinion, it takes away from Aikido's spiritual cultivations - which in time limits Aikido martial effectiveness.
Amen to that!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 08:01 AM   #19
Guilty Spark
 
Guilty Spark's Avatar
Location: Flordia
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 300
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

I think there is two kind's of lost.

The kind where you know you're lost. And the kind where you THINK you know exactly where yo are and where you're going-but are wrong.

IMO the latter is the worse of the two.

Gregg, not to pick on you but let me please use you as an example.
Quote:
My opinion on this issue is in a state of flux. My training and skills are not. Does that help answer the question or create more? Either way its good.
Thank you..
This reminds me of many comments I see from people who I get the feeling are trying to go out of their way to look and seem smart. Or perhaps enlightened is a better word. Answering questions with questions then tapping the side of their nose and nodding.

Quote:
Will Aikido work in a street fight?
*wise sage* True aikido means the fight was never truely started-nor finished..
Stuff like this. Yes it might be fun to play aristotle but I wonder when the last time said person trained against someone really trying to hit them and not in a pre-arranged attack.

That's what I mean by lost in the spiritual side. I think the more high brow of our brother and sister students might enjoy the mental aspect too much and neglect the physical.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 03:10 PM   #20
Joe McParland
 
Joe McParland's Avatar
Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Stuff like this. Yes it might be fun to play aristotle but I wonder when the last time said person trained against someone really trying to hit them and not in a pre-arranged attack.

That's what I mean by lost in the spiritual side. I think the more high brow of our brother and sister students might enjoy the mental aspect too much and neglect the physical.
Well, suppose you asked a high-brow intellectual question about spirituality and, in response, a master beat you senseless with a staff and twisted you into a pretzel? Would that be better?

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 04:14 PM   #21
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Well, suppose you asked a high-brow intellectual question about spirituality and, in response, a master beat you senseless with a staff and twisted you into a pretzel? Would that be better?
Worked for me. But, paradoxically this lead to a deeper spiritual base.

Go figure.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 04:35 PM   #22
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,751
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Well, suppose you asked a high-brow intellectual question about spirituality and, in response, a master beat you senseless with a staff and twisted you into a pretzel? Would that be better?
you get more spiritual if you say "thank you sir! may I have another!"

one man's spiritual is another man's delusional
one man's spirits is another man's liquors
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 07:14 PM   #23
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Well, suppose you asked a high-brow intellectual question about spirituality and, in response, a master beat you senseless with a staff and twisted you into a pretzel? Would that be better?
Graphic and severe, but I do think it to be a more honest answer spiritually in many ways.

This is the irony I think that budo is all about. You are constantly reminded of your place in the food chain, accountability to self is important. We need others to remind us of that!

Once we understand that point, we begin to see interdependence. I think once we awaken deeply to the realization of this fact, we begin to grow. That growth, IMO is spirituality at it's finest!

That is, understanding our place in the universe.

So, I'd rather ask the question, and have the teacher hit me over the head either physically or intellectually and tell me the truth from his perspective, than to offer me some useless words of pontification.

I find it to be much more honest and authentic!

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 09:09 PM   #24
Joe McParland
 
Joe McParland's Avatar
Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I find it to be much more honest and authentic!
And, indeed, so do I.

I think I may have went a bit too clever in my response to Guilty Spark. The beatings, of course, are recorded as old school methods by the Zen patriarchs. Nothing will call your attention to this very moment---fully integrating your mind and your body, knocking you completely out of any thought loop---faster and more completely than having the shit kicked out of you.

lt'll knock the mu out of whatever you think mushin means, leaving you with the real deal. That's when you'll know spirituality

The Aikido version of all of this is facing that guy screaming fiercely from the bottom of his belly, swinging that big slab of hardwood at your skull, or facing a handful of thugs rushing at you from the other side of the mats, coming to take you out, with you just trying to survive for a maybe a minute... These are the opportunities to practice this same flavor of spirituality: We practice finding and operating from a place of peace and harmony within these chaotic situations. Eventually, we may even begin to realize at a very deep level (vice intellectual understanding) that these dojo situations are analogous to other situations in our lives.

But mine is just one view... And although I would have loved to answer Guilty Spark's original question with 30 blows, this AikiWeb is a forum of words... Alas.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 02:59 AM   #25
Guilty Spark
 
Guilty Spark's Avatar
Location: Flordia
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 300
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
. And although I would have loved to answer Guilty Spark's original question with 30 blows, this AikiWeb is a forum of words... Alas.
When I roll it's a two lane firing range

I consider myself quite lucky.
Not only did my Sensei (who is also military) not fill my head with bullshit being upfront with the draw backs and disadvantages of Aikido but my actual training partner (who owned the dojo) was one of those martial arts rockstars. Blackbelts in Kempo Karate, Judo, Ninjitsu, Aiki-jitsu and Jujitsu. (Taught Tai Chi but I'm not sure what he was at).

Try pinning a 3rd degree blackbelt Judo guy who's competed professionally and been studying martial art for longer than you've been alive. I had it rough. If I messed up it was painful, but I think he used pain as a teacher. Both my partner and Sensei did really. It was never done with malice though, I think it is because both of them were military too. (Along with my Sensei's instructor).

Being a combat veteran studying Aikido and MMA as well as army hand to hand you couldn't pay me enough to try and fight my 60 year old partner twice my age.
What am I going on about?

There was never any spiritual chit chat in my class. My Sensei would sit us down and relate stuff he was taught or told while he trained in Japan but that's it. It seemed all physical. Any spiritual enlightenment I've came across has been through reading on my own.

I think about the students who I speak with who haven't had a martial up bringing. I think it's dangerously easy for them to fall into an "Aikido is the perfect martial art, master it and you will become invinceable talk". With this and compliant training comes over confidence and maybe a black eye or two. Their buying into one side of Aikido which at times seems to prompt forgetting about he other. The art of peace. Forgetting sometimes to HAVE peace you do violence.

I find the same with the intellectual crowd.
"A mighty oak tree will break in a hurricane but a small flower will simply bend in the wind and return upright".
Heck it can be all true, but if they lack the physical understanding on how to apply it then it's just hot air.

Quote:
So, I'd rather ask the question, and have the teacher hit me over the head either physically or intellectually and tell me the truth from his perspective, than to offer me some useless words of pontification.

I find it to be much more honest and authentic!
Bang on.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If you could buy just ONE book about Aikido techniques, what would it be? Karol Kowalczyk Techniques 45 01-31-2014 11:35 PM
Yoshinkai - Beyond the "Hard Style" Label Susan Dalton Columns 8 11-16-2011 06:53 AM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
sceptic on the spiritual side of aikido Apoy Spiritual 68 10-14-2006 05:09 PM
Dilution of aikido eugene_lo General 40 02-07-2006 11:22 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:21 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate