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Old 11-06-2016, 05:01 AM   #1
Hagen Seibert
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new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hi there,

my newly edited and translated book "The Elements of Zen in Martial Arts" is available.
You can get a free trial reading on the author´s hompage.
(pdf download at the bottom of the page)

http://hagen-seibert.jimdo.com/engli...ks-and-ebooks/

The sample is quite large (80 pages), though of course it is only an excerpt to give a better view if you will find it interesting enough to purchase.

The book is available via Amazon as ebook and paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Zen-...=hagen+seibert
(The link to Amazon is also on the author´s homepage.)

Though adressing martial arts in General, the text has a special reference to Aikido (since that is where the author comes from).
Please have a look and share your comments.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:04 AM   #2
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

and here´s an image of the cover
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:07 AM   #3
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
... the text has a special reference to Aikido ...
Since Ueshiba Morihei, like most of his students*, had no background in zen Buddhism and the spirituality of aikidô therefore lacks any zen elements, in which way do you refer to aikidô in your book?
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:19 AM   #4
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

IMO, the relationship between Zen and Japanese Martial Arts, both classical and modern are tenuous at best. It seems to me is western Zen practitioners who see Zen in everything, even in Aikido regardeless of being based in a completely different spirituality.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:25 AM   #5
PeterR
 
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
IMO, the relationship between Zen and Japanese Martial Arts, both classical and modern are tenuous at best. It seems to me is western Zen practitioners who see Zen in everything, even in Aikido regardeless of being based in a completely different spirituality.
Well the connection between Buddhism and the Martial arts tend to be though the more esoteric styles (Mikkyō) but as I understand it there is not that much difference in meditative practice so take that as you will. If one wishes to connect Zen meditation with their martial arts practice - and many have done so - no problem. Some of Ueshiba's major students did.

Ueshiba himself had some education in Shingon (Esoteric) but his main thrust was neo-shintoism which is even further removed - but we all ready know that.

What I found personally annoying is the insistence that closing your eyes in seiza is Zen Buddhism and that by adhering to this outer form somehow helps your aikido. I am all for a book which explains Zen in more depth and how it could be connected to your practice.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:25 AM   #6
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I am all for a book which explains Zen in more depth and how it could be connected to your practice.
I'd like to read a book about Zen and Budo but more academically oriented. Something that could be put in e.g, Brill's catalog.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:00 AM   #7
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hello Carsten,

please do not ask me to rewrite all which is in the free pdf excerpt, which you obviously did not look into.
Es gibt übrigens auch einen Auszug auf deutsch, wenn Dir das lieber ist:
http://hagen-seibert.jimdo.com/bücher-und-ebooks/
:-)

Let me start with telling about an incident instead.
I once was selling books at a seminar, when a guy came to me, looked at the title and solemny declared;
"There is no Zen in Aikido."
Sorry, but this man conveyed a very narrow-minded attitude.
Of course, as we know O-Sensei was in Omotokyo-Shintoism. But this does not at all eclude all other influences, like when you are Catholic you cannot be Protestant. That´s a very digital, western approach.
Therefore I would like to state, that although we may want to assume that during the development of Aikido no influnce of Zen was added, it had already been in the martial arts from which Aikido derived.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
Therefore I would like to state, that although we may want to assume that during the development of Aikido no influnce of Zen was added, it had already been in the martial arts from which Aikido derived.
You mean Daito Ryu has Zen Budhhism influences or are you thinking about another art? Could you ellaborate?
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:25 AM   #9
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hello Demetrio,

specifically in the context of Zen and Martial Arts, I would see Zen not really as a kind of spirtuality or as a Religion but rather as an attitude or a way of doing things.
For example, I do not really like ironing my shirts. If I would ask my wife to do it for me, I would not be satisfied with the result. Therefore I have no choice but doing it myself.
To make this activity more sensible, I have transformed this work to a Zen practice: Concentrating on the present moment, not letting the mind wander.

As with ironing shirts, it is up to me with which attitude to practice Martial Arts.
A Zen-like attitude can be applied on anything, and mostly with a benefit.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hello Hagen

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
specifically in the context of Zen and Martial Arts, I would see Zen not really as a kind of spirtuality or as a Religion but rather as an attitude or a way of doing things.
Fine.

Quote:
For example, I do not really like ironing my shirts. If I would ask my wife to do it for me, I would not be satisfied with the result. Therefore I have no choice but doing it myself.
To make this activity more sensible, I have transformed this work to a Zen practice: Concentrating on the present moment, not letting the mind wander.
You are too attached to your shirts. I'm going to kill a cat.


Quote:
As with ironing shirts, it is up to me with which attitude to practice Martial Arts.
A Zen-like attitude can be applied on anything, and mostly with a benefit.
Sure.

However I was asking a different question.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:33 AM   #11
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

I cannot pinpoint it on Daito-ryu, but if not Daito-ryu then it´s predecessors -> I mean Samurai Martial Arts in general
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

ah, you´re online
I was still answering the previous post ...
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:38 AM   #13
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
I cannot pinpoint it on Daito-ryu, but if not Daito-ryu then it´s predecessors -> I mean Samurai Martial Arts in general
Understood, thanks,

Quote:
ah, you´re online
I was still answering the previous post ...
No worries.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:42 AM   #14
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hello Peter,

> "I am all for a book which explains Zen in more depth and how it could be connected to your practice."

Well here it is. Please let me know if it meets your expectations.
:-)
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:46 AM   #15
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

> "I'd like to read a book about Zen and Budo but more academically oriented."

Then I would recommend the works of D. T. Suzuki e.g. "Zen and Japanese Culture"
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:49 AM   #16
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
> "I'd like to read a book about Zen and Budo but more academically oriented."

Then I would recommend the works of D. T. Suzuki e.g. "Zen and Japanese Culture"
Another cat killed.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:00 PM   #17
PeterR
 
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hagen - I read your online material and could not help thinking that you were lumping several different Buddhist traditions under the term Zen. Is that a fair statement? No issue if that is the case - that is just semantics.

Quite a few martial art concepts are described in Buddhist terms (as covered in your book) and the connections in my opinion predate the rise in popularity of Zen Buddhism. But since Zen is a form of Buddhism it stands to reason that the overlap remains.

I don't think practices or attitudes unique to Zen Buddhism had any effect on aikido specifically, at least at the level of the Ueshiba(s) or the ancestor arts. I also think that's true of other Japanese marital arts although perhaps you can find exceptions.

Last edited by PeterR : 12-02-2016 at 12:07 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:28 AM   #18
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Hello Peter,

I understand your remark.

I certainly do explain general Buddhist concepts. But then I also speak of Buddhism and not of Zen Buddhism. I think it is important, to adress my readers properly, which are not to be experts or scientists but martial artists, to have this general approach. (So maybe the title is not perfect in this respect, but I would not want to call it "The Elements of Zen and Buddhism in Martial Arts" either.)

Let me also say that it is difficult to refer exclusively to Zen Buddhism without becoming academic and getting into elaborate conceptual delimitations. Because then you need to explain this from Zen but this is from xxxx. Some readers would find this boring. It´s not what I wanted.

As you were saying:
-> "But since Zen is a form of Buddhism it stands to reason that the overlap remains."

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts !!
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:32 AM   #19
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

> "Another cat killed."

miaouww..
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:28 AM   #20
PeterR
 
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

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Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
Hello Peter,

Let me also say that it is difficult to refer exclusively to Zen Buddhism without becoming academic and getting into elaborate conceptual delimitations. Because then you need to explain this from Zen but this is from xxxx. Some readers would find this boring. It´s not what I wanted.
Yes you need to know and write for your intended audience - and it is hoped your critics understand that.

That said there is a whole new subject about Buddhism and the Martial arts beyond which particular version had the more defining influence. Did Buddhism influence practice or were concepts borrowed to explain existing precepts. A real chicken and egg problem in my opinion but very interesting.

The early samurai were all flash and painted horses - the opposite of what we now associate with zen-like state.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:09 AM   #21
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote: View Post
I think it is important, to adress my readers properly, which are not to be experts or scientists but martial artists, to have this general approach.
So martial artists need sophisticated intellectual matters to be dumbed down. Thank you very much.

Quote:
Let me also say that it is difficult to refer exclusively to Zen Buddhism without becoming academic and getting into elaborate conceptual delimitations. Because then you need to explain this from Zen but this is from xxxx. Some readers would find this boring. It´s not what I wanted.
Go meditate about what you really wanted.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:22 AM   #22
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
That said there is a whole new subject about Buddhism and the Martial arts beyond which particular version had the more defining influence. Did Buddhism influence practice or were concepts borrowed to explain existing precepts. A real chicken and egg problem in my opinion but very interesting..
Peter, have you read this Oleg Benesch's recent article?
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:28 AM   #23
Hagen Seibert
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

> "So martial artists need sophisticated intellectual matters to be dumbed down. Thank you very much."

???
What´s this?
I never said something like that.
I said I do not expect my readers to already know everthing about Buddhism, therefore I needed a general approach and talk about general concepts.
No offense in that ...
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:48 PM   #24
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

The obligatory link to the "The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery": http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/...of_Archery.pdf

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Old 12-03-2016, 04:55 PM   #25
PeterR
 
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Re: new book on Zen and Martial Arts

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Peter, have you read this Oleg Benesch's recent article?
No but similar texts where Herrigel was eviscerated.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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