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Old 01-10-2004, 07:03 PM   #26
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 495
We are not defending anything. We are accepting what comes and connecting to that spirit or energy. This is my understanding of what aikido is. Yes it is a Budo but aikido is unique in this respect unlike karate. This is the line of thought Terry Dobson wrote about in his "Akido in Daily Life". There doesn't have to be a winner or loser. I think that is a good Zen exercise.
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Old 01-10-2004, 07:11 PM   #27
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 495
Maresa - sorry I didn't see your reply. I think you said it better than I.
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:06 PM   #28
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
I don't see the difference between harmony and self-defense. The primary function of co-existence is existence itself....the preservation of your own interests.

To fully subscribe to zen ideals of no self, of some dramatic unfettered state, seems aweful to me. I prefer the suffering of a normal life.

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:48 AM   #29
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Asim Hanif (AsimHanif) wrote:
We are not defending anything. We are accepting what comes and connecting to that spirit or energy. This is my understanding of what aikido is. Yes it is a Budo but aikido is unique in this respect unlike karate. This is the line of thought Terry Dobson wrote about in his "Akido in Daily Life". There doesn't have to be a winner or loser. I think that is a good Zen exercise.
Just a foot note. Terry Dobson wrote Aikido in Everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way. Koichi Tohei wrote Aikido in Daily Life. Similar sounding titles but two different books by two different authors.


It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:00 PM   #30
malc anderson
Location: coventry
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 28
Hi H.S., My answer would be along the lines of, as I feed this illusory body so that I can realize my True Being in this life time I have also found a way (aikido) to defend this same body (for the same reason) without seriously hurting my attacker and also keep my body fit and healthy.

Surely as Buddhism traveled from India it was the Bodhidharma that brought M,A.s with him? I see nothing wrong with defending your body, your kids, wife, etc. but there is a twist, you will have to fight your SELF to be able to claim Agatsu. But then how about the meaning of these words : NO SELF, the best way of describing it would be to tell you about the birth of my daughter; I was left alone with her for sometime just minutes after she was born, she lay there still and quiet she had no name, no religion, no language, no idea of up, down, left, right, etc, etc all she could do was Feel. This is the state of "No self". The "SELF" is all the stuff that gets added on through life and in the end traps us in this illusion. I have and do experienced this no-self-state and understand that this is just the "open door" to that world inside, and it is so beautiful they call it divine and it leads to kensho.

If only we could take away the misconceptions in all religions and philosophies and realize what Osensei's world of harmony could be. Masakatsu Agatsu Malc

"To practice properly the art of peace, you must: Calm the spirit and return to the source"
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Old 01-11-2004, 06:02 PM   #31
Dojo: Aiki Kenkyukai
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 176

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:31 AM   #32
Ted Marr
Location: Providence, RI
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 94
Fun story along these lines...

An army was invading a town where there was a temple presided over by an enlightened sort of monk. As part of this invasion, a warrior ran into the temple, and saw the monk there in meditation. He screamed at the monk "get down on your face and acknowledge me as your master". The monk continued to meditate. The warrior continued to bluster, shouting at last, "do you know who I am? I am a man who could run you through without batting an eye!" The monk finally responded, saying "do you know who I am? I am a man who could be run through without batting an eye"

Fun stories aside, you can think of aikido and zen this way; A perfectly enlightened person without a sense of 'self' might not need to defend themselves. But they might wish to avoid dying at another's hands in order to help their attacker properly appreciate a lesson in valuing compassion.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:33 AM   #33
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12
Re: self & selfdefence

Hagen Seibert wrote:
Hi, Iīd like to know you thoughts on this:

Zen-Buddhism teaches that there is no self, or better said, that what we perceive as our self is merely an illusion.

Keeping that statement im mind, what are the consequences for self-defence? A friend of mine, who is as zen master, once asked: "If there is no self, what do you actually want to defend ?" This leads to the logic assumption, that Aikido or any other Budo were no longer sensible ???

What is your answer on this zen masterīs question?
Many identify with the ego/thinker which is the illusion which is spoken of. What we trully are is our spirit Self. In simpel words our bodies can be seen as cars and it's engine our ego. Yet do you identify with the car and it's engine? When someone comes up with a baseballbat to destroy your car, you have all the right to protect your car.


- Jop den Daas

Don't take it personal,
For it is the personal we ascend beyond.
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Old 01-19-2004, 06:38 AM   #34
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
I was just thinking...

Bujutsu is martial arts.

Budo is martial way.

None of them actually say anything about self defense, but "the way" do call for self sacrifice for a greater purpose.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 01-26-2004, 05:57 PM   #35
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
Rich Stephens wrote:
Are you sure that even the general understanding of the word "self" in English is the same as that of the word used by your Zen Master when speaking to you? And was that word the same as the Japanese and Chinese words written in zen and chan texts? And were those words exact translations of the words actually spoken by the Buddha? ("Anatman" was probably the term used).


But in the end, the statement "there is no self" isn't important to consider. In the earliest Pali texts, it is reported that the Buddha refused to answer the question. When later asked why, he said that to hold either that there is a self or that there is no self is to fall into extreme forms of wrong view that make the path of Buddhist practice impossible. In other words, he put it in that category of questions that should put aside because they do not lead to an end of suffering.
Well, as to anatman, Buddha didn't speak sanskrit or the pali the early teachings were recorded in.

Based on what I learned from my one course in Buddhism I have taken so far, I'd have to disagree with your idea about the Buddha's silence. According to Rahula, author of What the Buddha Taught, a Theravadin Buddhist, that example of Buddha's silence does not show that he never said there is no self. The example of Buddha's silence is this one: one day someone asked Buddha if there was a self, and the Buddha remained silent. One of his students, who was with him, asked him why he had not answered, despite saying multiple times before that there is not one. Buddha told him that if he has said yes, the confused person would have thought that there was a self, a wrong view. However, if he has said no, then the person would have thought, "I had a self, but now I do not have one," another wrong view.

The view that one has to get rid of one's ego or self is a wrong view, because the truth is that it wasn't there in the first place. The idea "I have no self" could be said to be wrong, though, because it originates from the idea of a self. You believe you have a self, and beginning with this belief in a self, you think, "I have no self, this self does not exist." (I guess this presumes that any idea coming out of a belief in a self is in the ulitimate sense wrong.)

Although I still have much to learn and much of what I have just said might be wrong, I don't think Buddha put that question aside because he thought it would not put an end to suffering. Unless I am mistaken, the concept of a soul or self separate or independent of the skandhas is a cause of suffering, even according to early Buddhism.


In Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, Saotome Sensei says that if one kills another person, one is committing a grevious act. But if one allows the other person to kill him or her, then that is also bad, because he or she is allowing the other person to accumulate negative karma which will result in the other person's suffering. Aikido has another way of handling the situation--mutual preservation.

Also, in Buddhism, there is ultimate versus relative reality. In the ultimate reality, there is no self, no suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path... But in the relative, we have to deal with this relative world, where we have to do banking, etc, presuming we have a self, and we have to follow this path that is ultimately also illusory.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 01-26-2004, 11:47 PM   #36
James Besenyei
Dojo: North Coast Budo
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 3
self....no self....defend....don't defend...on...off....there is no duality, defending is not defending, self is no self, and all the such.

We walk with our heads bowed not because we are afraid, but rather because we are humble.
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Old 01-27-2004, 12:22 AM   #37
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Re: Re: self & selfdefence

Lynn Seiser (SeiserL) wrote:
Slap him.

If he defends, asked to see who it was that defended. If he does not defend, ask who is it that got slapped.
I still think you should slap him on general principle


"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."
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Old 02-13-2004, 02:27 PM   #38
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9
So, basically this guy asked you a question: who are you trying to defend?

Only you can answer for yourself, but as long as we believe in a solid, substantial, enduring "self," then most of us will want to defend that self, "me."

This guy already has a premise, "there is no self," and then asks you who you're defending.

I'd first tell him to prove his assertion, then you'll tell him.

If he makes a case, think about it long and hard, or follow his advise on how to truly get what he's saying, and then see if your motivation changes.

I have a hunch that even enlightened people in some situations may see it appropriate to pull out a bit o' whipass. That doesn't mean they're bound to it. And it doesn't mean they obsess about martial arts.

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