Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-17-2004, 10:33 PM   #1
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Why to practice?

Guys, I have a question.
What does aikido's philosophy say about the reasons one should practice?

My karate sensei was always concerned about the reasons people practice since karate can be easily used to harm others. I heard a lot of different answers like "self defence skills", "sport", "a way to strengthen your character or to be healthy". I was taught that practicing karate should be treated as "art".

What Aikido philosophy says about this?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 12:24 AM   #2
JJF
 
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 780
Denmark
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

First and foremost I believe it should be fun. Not funny though - but that good healthy type of fun, where you get exhausted from practicing hard for a few hours and gradually develop a deeper understanding of Aikido and your self.

But that might just be me....

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 12:29 AM   #3
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Suren,

How about to unite oneself with the universe i.e., a method to reach enlightenment? Ha ha ha...

Regards,
Boon
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 12:38 AM   #4
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Well, I understand that everyone has his/her own reasons of doing that and those reasons may change while person evolves. But I was wandering if philosophy of Aikido touches that matter. I remember some yoga books would describe reasons on different stages and their evolution, but they were too specific to yoga. How about Aikido? Is there such a literature or the only way is to choose one of reasons and start with it ? Is that Aikido's philosophy?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 12:41 AM   #5
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Boon, maybe...But I'm not so abstact-thinking person How precisely do you envision such a unification?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 01:42 AM   #6
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Karate to be practice as an art...

I like that idea too, it seems to me your sensei is showing signs of higher level of thought (enlightened mindset). In its raw form karate or aikido is a martial art, it was designed to kill/maim/disable/neutralize hostile entity. Ballet in its raw form is a series of body movement. But to execute it aesthetically it becomes an art, i.e., visually appeasing to the eyes. Similarly Aikido, if it is executed gracefully then one can say it is an art form. Have you seen some of the aikido video clips from this website yet, they show some very aesthetic moves by some well-known masters.

The shaolin monk uses kung-fu to empower their mind and therefore their body. They are Buddhist and one of the goals of a Buddhist is to attain enlightenment (reach nirvana and to end the cycle of birth and death on their soul, sorry for the digression). Practicing Kung-fu is one of the known method for achieving these, also meditation. Yoga is also one known method of this (I notice that you, Suren also practices Yoga). Similarly Aikido, when practiced in the similar state of mind can help one's vision of attaining buddhahood, if it within the seeker's wish. I believe a lot of things like flower arranging, tea ceremony, if done in the zen/ch'an state of mind, are paths to an enlightened mind.

So, back to the question, what philosophy of Aikido to be the reason to continue practice? I guess for me, it is an avenue for enlightenment.

P/S I am a born Buddhist, so such concept are second nature to me. In your profile, you stated religion, yoga, philosophy as your interest. Out of curiosity, Suren, do you find such concept as mentioned above too abstract?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 02:03 AM   #7
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Boon, I don't find that concept abstract at all. I was wandering what you mean by enlightenment and unification. And as I understand you express the same ideas that are described in the religious scrolls of Induism and Buddhism. Now I got your idea.
Talking about "art", my own understanding of it as a way to reveal some internal hidden beauty and make others feel it. Like when you are looking on a drawing or performance that makes you feel lighter and higher than this world, inspires you.
What do you think about internal techniques? Does Aikido have some direct techniques working solely on internal control of the force? Like in yoga practice they have breathing techniques and some excercices to wake Kundalini and make it travel to Sahasrara. Should one practice to become more knowledgable in controlling his Ki (or Chi).
Thought yogic literature discussing these matters warns from being interested in these forces, since they disturb a practioned from the ultimate target (in yoga it's God) not to speak about person's Ego and threat of becoming blinded by the feeling of force.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 02:31 AM   #8
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Dear Suren,
Suren says; "Thought yogic literature discussing these matters warns from being interested in these forces, since they disturb a practioned from the ultimate target (in yoga it's God) not to speak about person's Ego and threat of becoming blinded by the feeling of force."

Oh no, you have bought up a very strong point w.r.t. controlling one's own Ki. I have never thought about it before. Now I am only begining to feel the power of the force and it never occur to me the negative side, i.e., addiction / blinded the feeling of the force. Thanks for bringing this up, I will always keep it in my mind.

Boon
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 02:43 AM   #9
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Boon, If you are interested, this concept is discussed in some books of Raja Yoga. I would suggest Vivekananda. I hope I did not scare you since some teachers say that power is given to a person only when he is ready for it, but there is no guarantee Overall rule in yoga is to remember your goal. I'm not knowledgable enaugh to teach anyone, I just repeated smth I was studying for most of my life.

So does Aikido have some practices concentrating on controlling Ki and if so how it's approached - as a way or as a goal?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 03:08 AM   #10
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Suren says; "So does Aikido have some practices concentrating on controlling Ki and if so how it's approached - as a way or as a goal?

Dear Suren,

I hope I interpret your question correctly: In my practice, we are taught some breathing exercise after class. It is somethig similar to qigong. In physiological sense it is useful warming down. In spiritual sense, it is to calm our mind after a vigourous workout. (This practise is called Mok-sho by my sensei). I guess it can be called to control ones' ki, since this exercise is used to control our breath/prahna.I am not sure if aikido per se has a specific technique to control ones' ki, maybe a lot of it are borrowed from qigong or yoga.

Any taker on this question, my fellow practitioners?

Boon.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 04:40 AM   #11
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Hi Suren,

The founder of Aikido talked about different levels in the art. One such grouping is that we start with Bujutsu, fighting techniques and strategies. Next, we ascend to the level of Budo, practicing martial arts to become better people. The last step is Bushin, connecting with the creative element of the universe in our particular (fighting) art.

It`s similar to Patanjali`s yoga in that we must start with yamas and niyamas before going on to asana, pranayama, concentration, and samadhi. (I`m missing a step, I think.) The steps become the foundation for what comes next and can`t be skipped.

I personally have kept with Aikido because I like beer and Aikidoists generally drink better beer than Karate and Judo practioners.

Charles Hill
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 08:28 AM   #12
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Hi Charles,

Thanks for explanation. It seems to me I'll need to study some more about Aikido not only in dojo.
The step you missed was "meditation" between "concentration" and "samadhi".

I like your reasons

Suren.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 09:45 AM   #13
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
I personally have kept with Aikido because I like beer and Aikidoists generally drink better beer than Karate and Judo practioners.
HA! Judoka can't drink!

I train in aikido because I like it.

Ron (unenlightened...sometimes happily so...)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2004, 07:15 AM   #14
David_francis
 
David_francis's Avatar
Dojo: St Ives Aikidojo
Location: Cambridge
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 41
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

I train in aikido for lots of reasons, to become stronger physically and mentally, for discipline, self defense and because I really enjoy it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2004, 07:56 AM   #15
dan guthrie
Dojo: Aikido of SLO
Location: Morro Bay
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 139
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
HA! Judoka can't drink!

I train in aikido because I like it.

Ron (unenlightened...sometimes happily so...)
Wrong, wrong wrong. You train in Aikido because you're seeking enlightenment. Your spiritual path has led you to this mystical place of peace and inner harmony. Your chakras are aligned and you can walk through walls.
Now get that through your thick head and go back to training. I mean . . . really! You people are going to make me change my meds.
What are you looking at?

Just don't tell my sensei.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2004, 07:57 AM   #16
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
Wrong, wrong wrong. You train in Aikido because you're seeking enlightenment.
Hey, I'm in the yoshinkan, we don't believe in enlightenment!

Ron (yes, I am joking...)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2004, 08:20 AM   #17
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
Hey, I'm in the yoshinkan, we don't believe in enlightenment!
go sit in the Iwama corner until you can be serious!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2004, 02:30 PM   #18
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
Dan Guthrie wrote:
Now get that through your thick head and go back to training.
I'm not against training and I my question was not an intension to move people's minds from training to philosophycal discussions
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2004, 03:16 PM   #19
Qatana
 
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

it was a philosophical question, tho.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2004, 10:17 PM   #20
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
...we don't believe in enlightenment!
I became enlightened a little over two weeks ago. I purchased a spiffy little keychain flashlight from one of the tool vendors at work. Now I can enlighten a whole room any time I want

Bronson

"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."
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2004, 10:54 PM   #21
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

To all non-enlightened beings (that include me)

Just training alone can be very boring sometimes. It is healthy to engage in some spirituality discussion just to break the monotony. When we are bored with the spiritual discussion then maybe we can exchange mummy's cookie recipe before going back to talking about aikido training, yes?


Boon
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 04:32 AM   #22
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Quote:
Suren Baghdasaryan wrote:
I was taught that practicing karate should be treated as "art".
Hi Suren,

What do you think your teacher meant by the word art?

Charles Hill
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 10:25 AM   #23
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: Why to practice?

Charles, it's difficult to say. He never explained it with his words, but you could feel wat he ment when you were in dojo practicing with him. In fact I never realized why I was keeping practicing. Physically that was very difficult and painful. We practiced full contact karate without any equipment - bare feet and fists and besides that was a hell of a physical work... but something was inspiring me every time I was there and that something kept me in dojo until it was closed (karate was illegal in my country those days).
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I think I'm done with Aikido mortaltortle Anonymous 82 10-18-2009 05:42 PM
Weapons training leads to good aikido. Tubig Weapons 75 07-13-2005 07:58 AM
The Living Way: Thomas Merton and Budo senshincenter Spiritual 0 03-01-2005 12:54 PM
Article: Lack of Spirituality by George S. Ledyard AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 23 09-11-2004 02:20 AM
Misogi Practice in NY Misogi-no-Gyo Spiritual 3 01-27-2004 04:22 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:27 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate