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Old 12-11-2000, 05:54 PM   #26
Mike Collins
Location: San Jose
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Koichi Barrish is a Shinto priest? What does one need to do to qualify as a Shinto priest? Is it anything like a western religion, where there is a regular seminary or college curriculum, or does one study with a priest and serve a sort of apprenticeship? One can't simply turn up one day as a Shinto priest can they?
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Old 12-11-2000, 07:06 PM   #27
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
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A few replies

Quote:
Richard Harnack wrote:
... My main point of annoyance with some of the practices passed off as being "spiritual Aikido" is the overly mystical manner by they are "explained".

Such explanations tend to emphasize that the person giving the explanation is somehow on a different spiritual plane that the rest of us poor unenlightened ones. As if incomprehensibility is the same as depth of understanding. Consequently, the student has little idea of how to make the practice relate to them....

For me it has come down to the following test:
How well do my arts reflect my spiritual understanding, and, how well is my spiritual understanding derived and based in my arts?
I can't agree with you more. There is a big difference between "Mysticism" and "Confusion". It seems that more than one writer has used words of "...sound and fury, signifying nothing."

That's a good test. It seems to me that you have to find something useful for yourself and others, or else spiritual understanding has no real substance.

Quote:
Aikilouis wrote:
...Though we are aware that Shinto can be fully understood only by Japanese....
LR Joseph
I'm not even sure the Japanese understand Shinto. Maybe a few do. For the vast majority, it is something they do, just like most Americans celebrate primitive pagan holidays under the guise of Christianity.

Quote:
torokun wrote:
...OTOH, I've learned a lot more about shinto on my own through my research of aikido and o-sensei... Much of it has helped me understand spiritual issues from a unique and powerful perspective, and I do believe that Shinto is the _key_ to understanding where O-Sensei's abilities came from.
I've always considered Shinto a very personal religion. It seems just one step up from shamanism. While there are rituals, it seems the religion demands a personal activity. Almost a "Do-It-Yourself" theology.

Because of your personal background, it seems that you have the skills to investigate this mystical/confusing subject of Aikido and O Sensei. Most of us don't. So instead of taking a direct approach, we have to travel a spiral path to the truth.

While others are interested in Koichi Barrish's priesthood, I was wondering how he is as an Aikido instructor?

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 12-11-2000, 10:07 PM   #28
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Re: A few replies

Quote:
Koichi Barrish is a Shinto priest? What does one need to do to qualify as a Shinto priest? Is it anything like a western religion, where there is a regular seminary or college curriculum, or does one study with a priest and serve a sort of apprenticeship? One can't simply turn up one day as a Shinto priest can they?
I think you can get it in a cracker jack box. Or, if not, check out the ads in the back of magazines for a shinto priest coming your way soon. Hell, if Seagal can be a reincarnated whatever why not a shinto priest? Come to think of it, is Seagal a shinto priest?

Quote:
While others are interested in Koichi Barrish's priesthood, I was wondering how he is as an Aikido instructor?
He's an interesting guy. I have not seen him in around 10 years so my comments aren't current. The first time I saw him I thought what an arrogant putz. All he wanted to talk about was his new dojo with the bazillion waterfalls in the middle of Washington. It was going to be sooooo beautiful and he would never shut up about it during a 5 hour straight session. He doesn't get tired.

Then I saw him on video tape and I saw uke tankage, him doing Aikido blindfolded and it left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Then I felt him and I understood why they did what they were doing. He's plenty good in my opinion. The thing you do have to like about him is that he laughs a lot and seems to have a great time. He doesn't seem to come around the Bay Area much anymore, or I'm not in the loop if he does. But if you get a chance, I'd recommend catching him. Don't know what he's doing these days though.
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Old 12-12-2000, 09:52 AM   #29
Mike Collins
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Talking

Such directness!!

It is American, and that's a good thing, even if somewhat unseemly.
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Old 12-12-2000, 12:51 PM   #30
torokun
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, CO
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Do symbol Re: A few replies

Quote:
tedehara wrote:
I'm not even sure the Japanese understand Shinto. Maybe a few do. For the vast majority, it is something they do, just like most Americans celebrate primitive pagan holidays under the guise of Christianity.
I couldn't agree with you more on this point. O-Sensei was the first person I had ever heard of who seemed to have a deep understanding of Shinto, and who actually taught and talked about it publicly...

To most people, it's just as you say, something in their culture that they never really think about...

But true Shinto, I believe, is very similar to Taoism in many respects...


--torokun
(Trevor)
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Old 12-12-2000, 12:56 PM   #31
akiy
 
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Hi torokun,

Please be sure to sign your post with your real name as it is a Forum rule. Thanks.

-- Jun

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Old 01-29-2007, 10:00 AM   #32
ReggieT
Dojo: Komyozan/Boise, Boise State Aikido/ Boise
Location: Boise Idaho
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Re: A few replies

[quote=Erik Haselhofer]I think you can get it in a cracker jack box. Or, if not, check out the ads in the back of magazines for a shinto priest coming your way soon. Hell, if Seagal can be a reincarnated whatever why not a shinto priest? Come to think of it, is Seagal a shinto priest?



I don't know about the cracker jack method of priesthood, but I know Barrish is licensed with the Association of Shinto Shrines, which is the official body governing the Shinto priesthood in Japan. At first they told him that only Japanese could be priests, but he persevered in his studies and became licensed. There are several ways to become licensed, if you are Japanese. You can get a degree at one of the Japanese universities, or go for a shorter term training which gives you a fairly low position as a priest. Or, you can take an exam, which requires a great proficiency. Most priests who take the exam have worked in depth with a shrine and those priests. I think your level as a priest when you take the test is based on your knowledge and proficiency, but I wouldn't bank on it, because I'm not sure. I am pretty sure that that was the way Barrish went, as he had spent, and continues to spend a lot of time at the Tsubaki Jinja in Japan training under the head priest, as well as the other senior priests. He is not a Cracker Jack box spiritual teacher. He is acknowledged officially by the Japanese shrine association, and senior priests in Japan, as a genuine priest, both on paper and in the heart. When I had the opportunity to meet him and ask him how to go about entering the priesthood, he said that it was very difficult to get done, and that they weren't exactly saying, "OK, who's next." Like there was a line of white folks waiting to be priests. He basically told me to keep studying and practicing.
Many blessings,
Much love,
Reggie
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