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Old 05-18-2011, 06:44 AM   #26
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: In a quandary

My interest in aikido is to practice in my daily life. If I am having a conversation I turn, face the person I am speaking to and pay close attention to what they say and then give my response. For me aikido is about "not fighting". If a conflict becomes physical I am ready because I am paying close attention to the situation at hand. Technique is just one manifestation of aikido. Good posture, correct distance, relaxation and positive mind are principles I can practice at any time.

I see no separation of these ideas from the concept of self -defense.
Mary
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:33 AM   #27
lbb
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Re: In a quandary

When I cook dinner, is that aikido?

When I weed my garden, is that aikido?

When I watch TV, is that aikido?

I do believe that aikido is more than just attacks and defenses, but I don't believe that it encompasses all of life, no matter how much you want it to. Further, I believe that this attitude is disrespectful of life. There are so many things that are worthy in their own right. Aikido has no place in appropriating all that is good in the world.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:03 AM   #28
graham christian
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
When I cook dinner, is that aikido?

When I weed my garden, is that aikido?

When I watch TV, is that aikido?

I do believe that aikido is more than just attacks and defenses, but I don't believe that it encompasses all of life, no matter how much you want it to. Further, I believe that this attitude is disrespectful of life. There are so many things that are worthy in their own right. Aikido has no place in appropriating all that is good in the world.
Hi Mary.
You post got me thinking. My immediate response was 'Why not?' However you probably know I have that view already.

No, what it got me thinking about was something I observed over the years in the dojo. When observing how people address their training, how they 'perform', how they interact with each other, how they face up to difficulties etc. Then you get a good idea of how they address their own life and thus where they would have difficulties.

The point is that it gives a reflection of how they are in life and so from that angle there is a great connection.

On seeing this connection I found that when a student had a specific fear or angst. in training it also represened something in their life and so getting them through that 'barrier' on the mat always led to them acting differently and better in their life and indeed getting better results.

The more you learn in your chosen discipline then the more you can share with your friends and the more you can help in life. Is this not so?

I think sometimes we can put ourselves down too much and fail to see we are improving life.

Just my 10 cents.

Regards.G.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:08 AM   #29
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Re: In a quandary

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I just wonder: Do you really call "being aware" aikido?
Hi Carsten -

Correct distance, being centered, a calm mind, connection, correct posture, progressive relaxation, extension of Ki, and positive mind all affect one's state of awareness and are all inherently Aikido. In that sense "being aware" is Aikido.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
In my understandign aikido begins when all this doesn't work. When a conflict get's physical.
Aikido doesn't begin or end in any real sense; Aikido is the cultivation of a particular state of awareness that one can apply to any situation. Should the situation turn physical Aikido technique (or any technique applicable to the situation) can be used where applicable. One's state of awareness is a determining factor in one's ability to negotiate an encounter that may or may not turn physical.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
And that's why I'm confused to some extent: Being aware, dealing with a conflict before it becomes physical or being "non-aggressive" (whatever that means) is not, what "is called" aikido in my context.
Contexts vary. That's what makes Aikido so wonderfully diverse; what gives it such a wide range of applicability.

Best,

Ron

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Old 05-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #30
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
When I cook dinner, is that aikido?

When I weed my garden, is that aikido?

When I watch TV, is that aikido?

I do believe that aikido is more than just attacks and defenses, but I don't believe that it encompasses all of life, no matter how much you want it to. Further, I believe that this attitude is disrespectful of life. There are so many things that are worthy in their own right. Aikido has no place in appropriating all that is good in the world.
If you cook dinner with mindfulness Weed your garden with mindfulness watch TV with mindfulness then yes the "way" of Aikido may have have a part to play in your development. Budo is an expression of "awareness" Aikido can be a vehicle to help you cultivate mindfulness... not a way to "appropriate" anything.

Mindfulness is a good way to encompass all life.

William Hazen
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:51 AM   #31
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Correct distance, being centered, a calm mind, connection, correct posture, progressive relaxation, extension of Ki, and positive mind all affect one's state of awareness and are all inherently Aikido.
Really? What about crossing the street?
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:05 PM   #32
Mark Freeman
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Re: In a quandary

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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
Really? What about crossing the street?
Especially crossing the street!

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:24 PM   #33
graham christian
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Re: In a quandary

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Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Especially crossing the street!
Mark.
A test for you. Does it work on the ultimate battle ground for that would be the true test.

Marriage!

G.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:33 PM   #34
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Mark.
A test for you. Does it work on the ultimate battle ground for that would be the true test.

Marriage!

G.
that's a whole different art, marital arts. the rule for that art is very confusing, constantly changing by the minutes, and battle usually rage every 20 or so days, follow by sort period of confusion on the man part, then follow with fear and trepidation. men had, in the history of mankind, gone to war rather than dealing with marital art. It's a terrible curse inflicted upon mankind.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #35
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Re: In a quandary

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Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Especially crossing the street!
then got run over by a person in a powered wheel chair that has turbo charger. those wheel chair folks are a menace to aikido society.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:40 PM   #36
graham christian
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
that's a whole different art, marital arts. the rule for that art is very confusing, constantly changing by the minutes, and battle usually rage every 20 or so days, follow by sort period of confusion on the man part, then follow with fear and trepidation. men had, in the history of mankind, gone to war rather than dealing with marital art. It's a terrible curse inflicted upon mankind.
I think you've hit upon the cause of all wars. It's actually escapism!

G.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:41 PM   #37
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Re: In a quandary

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
If you cook dinner with mindfulness Weed your garden with mindfulness watch TV with mindfulness then yes the "way" of Aikido may have have a part to play in your development. Budo is an expression of "awareness" Aikido can be a vehicle to help you cultivate mindfulness... not a way to "appropriate" anything.

Mindfulness is a good way to encompass all life.

William Hazen
Aikido is not synonymous with mindfulness. Aikido may be the way that an individual pursues mindfulness (although it's a pretty roundabout way), but it is not mindfulness. To claim that aikido = mindfulness is to disparage all the disciplines that directly cultivate mindfulness and that were doing so long before aikido existed. Aikido may be the only source of virtue in your life, but aikido does not have a monopoly on virtue. Let's not forget that.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #38
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Re: In a quandary

Aikido is my mindfulness practice. I disparage no one. I disrespect no one. These are my practices. Your judgements are your own.
Mary
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:26 PM   #39
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Aikido is not synonymous with mindfulness. Aikido may be the way that an individual pursues mindfulness (although it's a pretty roundabout way), but it is not mindfulness. To claim that aikido = mindfulness is to disparage all the disciplines that directly cultivate mindfulness and that were doing so long before aikido existed. Aikido may be the only source of virtue in your life, but aikido does not have a monopoly on virtue. Let's not forget that.
Perhaps you can someday explain why the practice of Aikido somehow disparages "all" disciplines that cultivate mindfulness including all other Martial Arts which Bodhidharma specifically founded and developed to cultivate mindfulness through physical (aka Skill Means) expression.

"The Art of Peace functions everywhere on earth, in realms ranging from the vastness of space down to the tiniest plants and animals. The life force is all pervasive and it's strength boundless. The Art of Peace allows us to tap into that tremendous reserve of universal energy." -O' Sensei "The Art of Peace."

William Hazen
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:05 PM   #40
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Re: In a quandary

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
Perhaps you can someday explain why the practice of Aikido somehow disparages "all" disciplines that cultivate mindfulness
I'll explain that someday -- the day after I make that statement. Not having made it, I'm off the hook for explaining it.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:39 PM   #41
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'll explain that someday -- the day after I make that statement. Not having made it, I'm off the hook for explaining it.
Did I misread this Mary?

Quote:
To claim that aikido = mindfulness is to disparage all the disciplines that directly cultivate mindfulness and that were doing so long before aikido existed.
I may have... what with all my recent semantic difficulties... however this seems pretty straightforward as far as being 'on the hook goes."

William Hazen
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:37 PM   #42
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Mary wrote:
When I cook dinner, is that aikido?

When I weed my garden, is that aikido?

When I watch TV, is that aikido?

I do believe that aikido is more than just attacks and defenses, but I don't believe that it encompasses all of life, no matter how much you want it to. Further, I believe that this attitude is disrespectful of life. There are so many things that are worthy in their own right. Aikido has no place in appropriating all that is good in the world.
I'm guessing not for you, but why not for others? Also in what way is it disrespectful to "life?" Can people "do Zen" while gardening? I've seen books that suggest they can. They can do math and dynamic stretching, why not Aikido?
If not, what exactly IS Aikido behavior?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 05-18-2011 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:54 PM   #43
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Re: In a quandary

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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
Really? What about crossing the street?
To get to the other side, of course; preferably without being run over by a bus. Awareness helps with that.

Ron

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Old 05-18-2011, 11:22 PM   #44
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
To get to the other side, of course; preferably without being run over by a bus. Awareness helps with that.
OK. Lets be serious. Budo for me is a process of chasing perfection. Obviously there are real advantages and disadvantages of it. The worst thing is creating an illusion. The best, the self-complacency.

I accept the fact that I may be practicing useless skills, but it is a better use of time than, for example, Internet browsing, watching TV, or drinking beer in a bar. Isn't it?
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:26 AM   #45
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: In a quandary

Wow!!!

This sounds as if to some of you aikido is the only "tool" to live, to understand, to enjoy or appreciate (in a real deep sense) your daily life???

I'm doing aikido everyday for a real lot of years now. And it is one of the most important things and priority in my life.

But. I can't imagine to meisure everything I do through aikido. Or to use aikido as a "tool" for everything I encounter in live.

True. Awarness is learned during practice. But it is also learned in other situations in our life. Or should be. Or could be. Same with being centered, distance, ... all those other things mentioned.

Yes. We learn them at the dojo. But also in other contexts of our life. And there are lots of methods and tools which can also be used to learn.
I mentioned NVC as one example. This gives specific advise when dealing with a verbal conflict. It works, it helps, it brings situations forward.

Why transporting "aikido" into a context it isn't (in my eyes ) made for? Why not use what is just there?

Quote:
For me aikido is about "not fighting".
Well, but in class we practice and learn to deal with a physical attack? We learn to control an opponent using aiki, which is a physicall and psychological connection to the attacker?
We definitely don't learn to control someone using words, body language or something like that? We don't deal with situations before a conflict becomes physical?
We learn and practice a very distinguished form of physical control of another individual. Ereytime we practice?

Mary, please excuse me for taking one of your sentences as an example but it struck me:
Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
If I am having a conversation I turn, face the person I am speaking to and pay close attention to what they say and then give my response.
Isn't this something we teach our children in the kindergarten (elementary school?), i.e. beginning when they are three years old.
And maybe this is learned in a different way when doing a job, where talking is part of the business. Especially when using words to deal with conflicts, mental illnesses, pastoral counseling etc.
We definetly don't use aikido in both case but "natural" behavior / courtesy. Or a proffesional method just as complex as aikido.

I see two difficulties when looking at aikido in such a wide sense:

Aikido may be thought usefull in contexts where there exist other tools, which do better fit to the given situation.

And aikido may loose it's specific qualitiy of dealing with physical conflicts dangers when applied in contexts it isn't made for.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:34 AM   #46
graham christian
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Wow!!!

This sounds as if to some of you aikido is the only "tool" to live, to understand, to enjoy or appreciate (in a real deep sense) your daily life???

I'm doing aikido everyday for a real lot of years now. And it is one of the most important things and priority in my life.

But. I can't imagine to meisure everything I do through aikido. Or to use aikido as a "tool" for everything I encounter in live.

True. Awarness is learned during practice. But it is also learned in other situations in our life. Or should be. Or could be. Same with being centered, distance, ... all those other things mentioned.

Yes. We learn them at the dojo. But also in other contexts of our life. And there are lots of methods and tools which can also be used to learn.
I mentioned NVC as one example. This gives specific advise when dealing with a verbal conflict. It works, it helps, it brings situations forward.

Why transporting "aikido" into a context it isn't (in my eyes ) made for? Why not use what is just there?

Well, but in class we practice and learn to deal with a physical attack? We learn to control an opponent using aiki, which is a physicall and psychological connection to the attacker?
We definitely don't learn to control someone using words, body language or something like that? We don't deal with situations before a conflict becomes physical?
We learn and practice a very distinguished form of physical control of another individual. Ereytime we practice?

Mary, please excuse me for taking one of your sentences as an example but it struck me:

Isn't this something we teach our children in the kindergarten (elementary school?), i.e. beginning when they are three years old.
And maybe this is learned in a different way when doing a job, where talking is part of the business. Especially when using words to deal with conflicts, mental illnesses, pastoral counseling etc.
We definetly don't use aikido in both case but "natural" behavior / courtesy. Or a proffesional method just as complex as aikido.

I see two difficulties when looking at aikido in such a wide sense:

Aikido may be thought usefull in contexts where there exist other tools, which do better fit to the given situation.

And aikido may loose it's specific qualitiy of dealing with physical conflicts dangers when applied in contexts it isn't made for.
Hi Carsten.
I see you are quite surprised by the view of using Aikido in all of life. Well the principles extant in Aikido are principles of life in my opinion and so apply to anything.

A physical conflict or danger is merely a part of life and and actually a result of mental/spiritual conflict.

When it comes to mental illness, pastoral counselling etc. I must say that the principles are excellent for those activities and I may say even essential for good results. Thinking too physically is what blinds us from a lot of what's happening. For instance........

Counselling: Communication is not just words, that is a minor part of communication. Communication is first and foremost a two way flow and thus forms a circle. You com. to me, I acknowledge and then com. back to you. A circle. It contains giving to and receiving from. Just like Aikido. As with Aikido if you lose that connection then you lose that circle and get stuck or go into contention or struggle. In fact if you observe communication in action in life from the view of it being a circle then you will notice the main causes of upsets. It's when the circle is broken, when that principle is discarded. eg:Someone interrupts you when speaking, someone fails to acknowledge you as if your not there, someone answers you before youv'e finished, someone won't let you get a response in. All examples of preventing the circle of communication and this is the basis of upset and annoyance.

In Aikido we practice be willing to receive to center and then give back from center. A circle, a two way flow, communication. The most important part of this is the willingness to receive without resistance at which point the assailants energy has no more adverse effect. The same goes for communication and shows us that LISTENING is the most important part of communication rather than the words spoken and clever ways to use words. All good counsellors know this and also know the importance of keeping center, being there comfortably with the person, letting them complete their communication without interference, ( just like letting a punch complete it's misssion without trying to catch it or block it) So many applications yet do we see them.

A good counsellor can then lead the person to the realization they are looking for which lies somewhere within them. Meeting, staying with, leading, all great Aikido.

Thought I would take up that point to clarify how for some it leads to seeing the same principles they are learning are indeed present in all situations in life itself.

Food for thought?

Regards.G.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:38 AM   #47
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Perhaps you can someday explain why the practice of Aikido somehow disparages "all" disciplines that cultivate mindfulness including all other Martial Arts which Bodhidharma specifically founded and developed to cultivate mindfulness through physical (aka Skill Means) expression.
And these Martial Arts Bodhidharma specifically founded and developed to cultivate mindfulness through physical expression are?

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Old 05-19-2011, 04:50 AM   #48
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Wow!!!

This sounds as if to some of you aikido is the only "tool" to live, to understand, to enjoy or appreciate (in a real deep sense) your daily life???

I'm doing aikido everyday for a real lot of years now. And it is one of the most important things and priority in my life.

But. I can't imagine to meisure everything I do through aikido. Or to use aikido as a "tool" for everything I encounter in live.
Maybe is all what they have.

Maybe they mix correlation and causation.

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Old 05-19-2011, 04:55 AM   #49
graham christian
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Re: In a quandary

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
And these Martial Arts Bodhidharma specifically founded and developed to cultivate mindfulness through physical expression are?
Hi Demetrio.(or DJ?)

I don't know the facts of Bodhidharma but was taught something about him( which may or may not be true)

I was taught that he started what was to become shaolin kung fu and that he started with teaching kempo. Thus I was told that Aikido can trace back in lineage to Kempo and it was indeed that art which was adopted by the sohei monks of Japan.

You're more scholarly than me and so you may correct it as you please.

However, I was also told that Bodhidharma was fed up seeing monks meditating and doing nothing in particular and told them that if they can't face conflct and disturbance and physical discipline then they would never reach enlightenment. Thus the aim to remain calm etc. in the face of conflict and even physical aggression was his test of your spiritual well being.

Be it true or not it's a nice story that stayed with me for it has that certain ring of truth.

What do you think?

Regards.G.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:42 AM   #50
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: In a quandary

Hi Graham,

Quote:
You're more scholarly than me and so you may correct it as you please.
Only an aficionado (and you can be one too, it is not something outside of the possibilities of any ordinary person). Don't take the following as a correction but as offering an alternative point of view.

If you are interested in a scholar approach I recommend you to read The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts by Meir Shahar.

Also:
Quote:
Some Chinese accounts describe Bodhidharma as being disturbed by the poor physical shape of the Shaolin monks, after which he instructed them in techniques to maintain their physical condition as well as teaching meditation. He is said to have taught a series of external exercises called the Eighteen Arhat Hands (Shiba Lohan Shou), and an internal practice called the Sinew Metamorphosis Classic.[60] In addition, after his departure from the temple, two manuscripts by Bodhidharma were said to be discovered inside the temple: the Yijin Jing (易筋經 or "Muscle/Tendon Change Classic") and the Xi Sui Jing. Copies and translations of the Yi Jin Jing survive to the modern day, though many modern historians believe it to be of much more recent origin.[58] The Xi Sui Jing has been lost.[31]
While Bodhidharma was born into the warrior caste in India and thus certainly studied and must have been proficient in self-defense, it is unlikely that he contributed to the development of self-defense technique specifically within China. However, the legend of his education of the monks at Shaolin in techniques for physical conditioning would imply (if true) a substantial contribution to Shaolin knowledge that contributed later to their renown for fighting skill. However, both the attribution of Shaolin boxing to Bodhidharma and the authenticity of the Yi Jin Jing itself have been discredited by some historians including Tang Hao, Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi. This argument is summarized by modern historian Lin Boyuan in his Zhongguo wushu shi as follows:
As for the "Yi Jin Jing" (Muscle Change Classic), a spurious text attributed to Bodhidharma and included in the legend of his transmitting martial arts at the temple, it was written in the Ming dynasty, in 1624, by the Daoist priest Zining of Mt. Tiantai, and falsely attributed to Bodhidharma. Forged prefaces, attributed to the Tang general Li Jing and the Southern Song general Niu Gao were written. They say that, after Bodhidharma faced the wall for nine years at Shaolin temple, he left behind an iron chest; when the monks opened this chest they found the two books "Xi Sui Jing" (Marrow Washing Classic) and "Yi Jin Jing" within. The first book was taken by his disciple Huike, and disappeared; as for the second, "the monks selfishly coveted it, practicing the skills therein, falling into heterodox ways, and losing the correct purpose of cultivating the Real. The Shaolin monks have made some fame for themselves through their fighting skill; this is all due to having obtained this manuscript." Based on this, Bodhidharma was claimed to be the ancestor of Shaolin martial arts. This manuscript is full of errors, absurdities and fantastic claims; it cannot be taken as a legitimate source.[58]
The oldest available copy was published in 1827[61] and the composition of the text itself has been dated to 1624.[58] Even then, the association of Bodhidharma with martial arts only becomes widespread as a result of the 1904–1907 serialization of the novel The Travels of Lao Ts'an in Illustrated Fiction Magazine.[62]
(emphasis mine)

This is taken from wikipedia but you can check the source: Lin, Boyuan (1996), Zhōngguó wǔshù shǐ 中國武術史, Taipei 臺北: Wǔzhōu chūbǎnshè 五洲出版社

I'd say what you've told about Bodhidharma as originator of Shaolin martial arts is useful myth and legend, but historically unaccurate. In this sense, of useful myths and legend in martial arts history, I'd also recommend "Sense in Nonsense: The Role of Folk History in the Martial Arts" by Thomas A. Green in Martial Arts in the Modern World

I personally don't have any problems whith using myths, legends or fiction to illustrate a point or teach a lesson, as long one is aware of it and makes it clear to the audience. One should do not try to pass legends as historical facts and viceversa if we are after virtue. Get my point?

And you can call me DJ if you want, of course.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 05-19-2011 at 05:49 AM.

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