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Old 11-26-2008, 09:12 AM   #26
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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.
Suppose each of the oak tree and the small flower spent time concerned with the flaws in the other's way...

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Old 11-26-2008, 09:54 PM   #27
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

I don't thing there is an excessive focus on the spiritual side of aikido. IMO what we have is an excessive focus on the the late 60's-early 70's hippy movement and 80's New Age interpretations of aikido spirituality.

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Old 11-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #28
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I don't thing there is an excessive focus on the spiritual side of aikido. IMO what we have is an excessive focus on the the late 60's-early 70's hippy movement and 80's New Age interpretations of aikido spirituality.
Terry Dobson's rolling over in his grave.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #29
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Terry Dobson's rolling over in his grave.
And what a big grave that would be! LOL

"I think one of the real dangers of the New Age movement is this word "warrior", because it's presented without dark side."-Terry Dobson

"What is much more important than anything I say is that I touch you. Through me, through my touch, comes the touch of the founder of Aikido. There is no bible you can buy that says, "This is what Aikido is." It is transferred from person to person. These vibrations pass among us."-Terry

Respectfully, My Thanksgiving wishes to Terry .....I love you Terry! Thanks from the bottom of my heart! Thanks for touching me so deeply and teaching me the benefit of vibrational connection. You'd be missed if you weren't so damn present!

Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:35 PM   #30
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

I don't know how anything can be too spiritual...every moment is sacred... including aikido moments.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Mary
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #31
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I don't know how anything can be too spiritual...every moment is sacred... including aikido moments.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Mary
Much Love,
jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:21 AM   #32
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
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.
Not to be contrarian, but I think I disagree. It might draw ya to the moment, but it won't necessarily give you any insights about it...and come to think of it, I think I've seen plenty of mental loops get formed by an ass-whoopin'...not to mention in those who dished them out. In my opinion, delusion is just as likely in the guy who pontificates with his mouth as with his fists as with whatever. Simply put: people get fixated on things, whether they're "noble spiritual truths" or "realism" or whatever.
Quote:
Grant wrote:
I think the more high brow of our brother and sister students might enjoy the mental aspect too much and neglect the physical.
Grant, speaking as a person who admittedly loves to think too much (about this and any topic), I pretty much have to agree with you. To offer a counter-balance however, part of the reason I've personally tried to be as thought-oriented in my approach toward conflict as I have is due to the many people I grew up with who were as physically oriented as they were. It's crucial to include both, and either without the other is naive.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:00 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I don't thing there is an excessive focus on the spiritual side of aikido. IMO what we have is an excessive focus on the the late 60's-early 70's hippy movement and 80's New Age interpretations of aikido spirituality.
That's what I think.

The Terms used by O Sensei like love, harmony, not-fighting and so on are often interpreted in an modern western way and not the way O Sensei understood them.
Few people know enough about Oomoto kyo or shintoism to integrate that in their aikido.

And its okay because O Sensei taught only very few of his disciples his set of beliefs.
He said this wouldn't be necessary. And that one can practise Aikido independent of religous beliefs.
Wouldn't that be true, a christian or a moslem or a jew or ... couldn't practice. There are some japanese teacher who actually say that only Japanes can "really" practice aikido ...

In our Aikido there is no spiritual teaching. Only waza. To do this right is very spiritual ...

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
I was wondering if people can get lost in Aikido's spiritual side. ... Does that take away from aikido's effectiveness?
Yes. I have experienced that in several "spiritual" dojo.

On the other hand I experience that teachers who only search "the perfect technique" become very deep an spiritual by doing that.

Carsten
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:35 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Not to be contrarian, but I think I disagree. It might draw ya to the moment, but it won't necessarily give you any insights about it. [...] Grant, speaking as a person who admittedly loves to think too much (about this and any topic), I pretty much have to agree with you.
Insight---the second-to-last thing that went through the poor fellow's head... You know, right before the bokken!


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Old 11-29-2008, 07:21 PM   #35
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

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Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Insight---the second-to-last thing that went through the poor fellow's head... You know, right before the bokken!

Hmmm, seems to me there might be two sets of insight here. The insight you mentioned, and the insight which occures immediately after the bokken goes through the poor fellows head. It's not real enlightening for the poor fellow, but the people around him learn something too, eh?

My macabre sense of humor aside, I'm wondering if the title of the thread would be better as "Aikido not physical enough at times?" Mine certainly has been lately (not physical enough). Interestingly enough, my spirituality has been pretty passive as well. I've always found with greater spirituality comes greater effort in all that i do. On the other hand, I can't practice shihonage while practicing misogi in the river. Somehow we have to find a balance for all the things in our lives if we're to nurture them well enough.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:40 AM   #36
Harm-ony
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

IMHO the 'spiritual aspect' not always related to 'religions', it could be cooncerned with 'our spiritual condition' such as relax, calm, happy, angry, hate, etc. So, we must learn therelationship of this aspect to the effectiveness of our Aikido techniques... Maybe..

Aikido Indonesia Bandung Sceptic

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Old 11-30-2008, 01:23 PM   #37
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

IMO, if the goal of Aikido is to harmonize the mind,body and spirit and to connect with the invincible force, Ki, it's not possible to be too spiritual. While studying, thinking and pondering Aikido is an mental and spiritual experience, so is practicing it, but practicing it is more physical (not to mention, cross training, working out/stretching, etc), the 'body' part of the equation. My point is, I'm with Matthew, it might be an issue of not enough 'physical', making the ' Personal Trilogy' out of balance and seemingly heavy on the spiritual. I spent most of the first half of my life weight training to be bigger and stronger. I had all the usual problems- not gaining enough, injuries, frustrations with supplements, etc. Until I began training in MMA a few years ago, I found that my body responds to endurance training. I was meant to be the Willow instead of the mighty Oak. To me, that's a fundamental principle of harmonizing my mind a, body and spirit. That's why I'm an Aikidoka, 'cause it's perfect for my 'Personal Trilogy'. Is that too spiritual?

Last edited by GeneC : 11-30-2008 at 01:32 PM.

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Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:48 PM   #38
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
'cause it's perfect for my 'Personal Trilogy'. Is that too spiritual?
Ask Joseph Campbell. It worked for George Lucas. Twice.

Hey...a joke

Q: What do duct tape and 'the force' have in common?

A:They both have a dark side and a light side AND they both bind the entire universe together..

MayThe Schwartz Be With You!

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:38 AM   #39
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

If Aikido is unifying the mind body and soul- does it take away from 'the body' when one practices only compliant attacks?

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

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Old 12-01-2008, 06:33 AM   #40
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

It depends on how long you have trained....can you stay relaxed and centered or do you have to rely on muscle to deal with a non-compliant attack?
I think the spiritual comes in when we can let go of knowing and step into the question.
Mary
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:22 AM   #41
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
If Aikido is unifying the mind body and soul- does it take away from 'the body' when one practices only compliant attacks?
I would think any kind of practice (ergo, any physical movement) directly involves 'the body'.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:00 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
I would think any kind of practice (ergo, any physical movement) directly involves 'the body'.
How does delusion fit into all this?

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Old 12-02-2008, 12:03 AM   #43
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Far as I'm concerned, it don't. So what's your point?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:47 AM   #44
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Training only against compliant attacks isn't unifying ones mind body and soul.

It's pretend.

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
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:03 AM   #45
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It depends on how long you have trained....can you stay relaxed and centered or do you have to rely on muscle to deal with a non-compliant attack?
I think the spiritual comes in when we can let go of knowing and step into the question.
Mary
Well, compliant attacks help the beginners to find their way through the technique.
The more someone advances, the more the attacks should be non-compliant.
And sure should nage stay relaxed.

There ist no specific spiritual Dimension in Aikido. It ist just a vehicel to unify mind, body and soul. And to communicate not only by words but directly with your body.

This gives room to fill Aikido with our own spirituality. And to me spirituality is a religious issue.

O Sensei nearly didn't teach his own. There are very few Oomoto believers.
Nearly noone teaches the shinto which O Sensei lived. Besides other reasons: A non Japanese can't live this spirituality.
And O Sensei himself didn't want his scholars to copy it.

I don't know the US but here in Germany
some Sensei switched the theme of spirituality of Aikido from Shinto to Zen. That had a great influence on parts of the aikido-world. But that's not the spirituality of Aikido. It's the spirituality of the teachers who teach it that way.

Other Sensei interpreted Aikido in terms of the peace movement (harmony, non violance ...) or of esoteric spirituality (energy, vibrations, people connectet as one ...).

And again: That's fine, but it's not the spirituality of Aikido.
(Are there similar phenomena in the US?)

So Aikido leads to spirituality. But only through practicing the body.
Practicing waza, relaxed and free, throwing non-compliant attackers effective and consequent is the way wich leads us to unification with ourselves.
And there we meet our own spirituality wich belongs to mind, body and soul.
If we don't have one, Aikido won't give us.

Carsten
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:32 AM   #46
Stefan Hultberg
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Hi everyone

Distinctions, boundaries, differentiation. What is spiritual? What is physical? What is buki waza and what is tai jutsu. When i do shiho giri do I also practice shiho nage? I find that there is no distinction, no borders, especially between the spiritual and the physical. At the minute level the consciousness of the observer chooses the outcome of superposed quantum states - the mind chooses the physical reality. Sometimes I train with a lot of physical power, the tanto flashes towards nage, is blocked and I'm thrown with a kote gaeshi, a loud kiai and a slam against the mats, a moment of sanchin and yet another repetition of this physical dance. Physical, yes, but on my way home afterwards I'm happy, feel light and in harmony with life. That's spiritual. A sensei once said that we, when starting training, should bow towards our training comrades with a feeling of eager expectation. After training we should fill our minds with gratitude which should be projected towards our friends as we thank them for the training we just had. Is this physical or is it spiritual?? The body, the mind, and the spirit are one, no distinctions necessary and no distinctions meaningful. The children in the club are very physical, but when I tell one of them that her sword techniques looked great and that she had a great focus in her training - that's såiritual coaching as well as physical. Her techniques are physical, but her joy at being praised for her progress is spiritual - which next tuesday again turns into physical motivation and focus. The realms are intertwined in a complex dance of unity and they are, ultimately, neither physical nor spiritual - those are just words with no real meaning. Just practice, practice allways and you will improve in all directions, sometimes benefitting from the physical and sometimes the spiritual, sometimes as a confirmation of your expectations, sometimes a joyous surprise.

"Allways practice in a joyful and vibrant manner", sigh - what a man!!

Yours sincerely

Stefan
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:44 AM   #47
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
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Physical, yes, but on my way home afterwards ...

Just practice, practice allways and you will improve in all directions, ...
That's what I tried to express.

Carsten
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:44 AM   #48
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Besides other reasons: A non Japanese can't live this spirituality.
I respectfully disagree with you here.

However, i do agree with the idea that spirituality (a uniquely personal experience) is nurtured largely by how we nurture the physical reality we find ourselves in.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:49 AM   #49
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
Just practice, practice allways and you will improve in all directions

Stefan
I respectfully disagree though it might be a matter of semantics.
If every time you grab me I practically throw myself, that's not improving physically. Well, you will improve at what amounts to stage fighting but in a life or death situation will your technique work? No. Not at all.

Maybe better said is to practice in an alive manner against a resisting opponent. (Beating a dead horse? I apologize).
One would think this should be a common thing but when too much emphasis is placed on the spiritual aspect and not enough on the physical, this happens.

I think Aikido can be very dangerous to a student because it offers an increase forum (compared to many other martial arts) for students to get lost in the theory and concep of spirituality.

I think after reading all these posts (thank you for contributing) I realize there is a difference between spirituality and like i said above, the concept of spirituality.

I think new students or even seasoned ones can easily get lost in the latter.

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

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Old 12-02-2008, 10:04 AM   #50
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Aikido too spiritual at times?

Be fully present in whatever you are doing.

You can make this your entire life's practice.

Would you call this practice spiritual or not spiritual? This is a typical koan, ending with someone getting whacked with a stick either way he chooses. If we were on the mats and you asked me, I'd probably answer, "Get back to practice!"

Last edited by Joe McParland : 12-02-2008 at 10:08 AM. Reason: grammar

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