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 > AikiWeb System

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 05-16-2005, 08:45 AM   #26
rogueenergy
Dojo: Aikido of Lincoln
Location: Lincoln, NE
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 32
United_States
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

From Dictionary.com:
re·li·gion
n.

1. a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Should religion be part of an Aikido curriculum? According to the definition of religion, yes. Remember that to include something in a curriculum does not require grading on that item. I'm included in all of my dojo's functions, I am not required to be there.

What religion? Aikido, an activity that is clearly pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion. All things we as human beings do can become a religion. All things we do can lead to a lack of appropriate reasoning when it comes to ethics. It depends on the core principles of the thing and the teachings of the one who inspired you to do the thing. Lastly, it is colored by your own personal views of the world.

What would Aikido be w/out religion? Would we still extend? Would we use Ki? Would Osensei have used the Kami in descriptions of Aikido? Would Osensei have been able to teach Aikido? Would Budo exist?

Should religion be part of an Aikido curriculum? Yes, but only in as much as it is required for us to be able to practice Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 10:23 AM   #27
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

I voted 'yes'.
It might be a bit too wicked an interpretation of the question, but the moment I knew O-sensei created aikido for a large part inspired by his religious beliefs, religion became part of what I thought of aikido.
So yes, religion should play a part, in my opinion every aikidoka should have some notion of O-sensei's religious beliefs (e.g. Omoto-kyo, 20th centruy, lots of kami). What they then do with that knowledge, is entirely up to them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 11:35 AM   #28
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
England
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote:
I voted 'yes'.
It might be a bit too wicked an interpretation of the question, but the moment I knew O-sensei created aikido for a large part inspired by his religious beliefs, religion became part of what I thought of aikido.
So yes, religion should play a part, in my opinion every aikidoka should have some notion of O-sensei's religious beliefs (e.g. Omoto-kyo, 20th centruy, lots of kami). What they then do with that knowledge, is entirely up to them.
Of course O'Sensei didn't really "create" Aikido, but evolved it.

Osu!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 03:26 PM   #29
ChristianBoddum
 
ChristianBoddum's Avatar
Dojo: Aarhus AiKiKai
Location: Aarhus,Denmark
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 263
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

I voted no , the word religion makes no sense to me -
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 07:56 PM   #30
NagaBaba
 
NagaBaba's Avatar
Location: Wild, deep, deadly North
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,122
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Spiritual aspect of aikido is developed in long term simply by practicing aikido techniques under a right instructor. I believe a big majority of very advanced instructors one day or another face a situation how to handle increasing sensitivity for spiritual dimension of aikido. Only very few of them decide to speak out loudly about their experiences. May be, cos these are very personal things and students can't simply copy Master. That will be cheating.

So Master let students evolve themselves (remember Japanese concept that every person has his own mission to fulfill on the Earth, so they prefer not influence it), some will find right path, others will stop their development at certain level.

Spiritual aspect of aikido it is not to force others to follow certain kind of religion, and that's why questions in the pool aren't well thought. That will be childish. Spirituality is serious matter.

O sensei saw himself as a shaman, shaman that can connect with some deities (as M. Eliade put well: connect "profane" with "sacred"), and this role existed more then 5000 years ago and still exists in every society. Founder developed the techniques in this context. Serious study aikido techniques can prepare you well for it.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 08:03 PM   #31
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

No.

Because Christ didn't wear a hakama.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 09:42 PM   #32
Nathan Gusdorf
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 14
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Religion should have very little to do with Aikido. Religion typically serves to separate people over large issues as well as minute details or interpretations that often start wars. The Crusades were a result of religion, as was the Spanish Inquisition. A lot of terrorism is inspired by religion. The list of religion inspired crimes essentially goes on forever.

As it is religion has far too large a part in our social affairs and government. I live in Saint Louis where this Archbishop Burke is a leader in this whole practice of denying communion to people who vote pro-choice. (Not to offend anyone however one of my favorite t-shirts says "Jesus was a liberal Jew. thats actually true) I find that religion is often not beneficial and I believe it has no place in an Aikido dojo. That said there are more peaceful religions such as Buddhism however my impression of Buddhists is that they would not be very adamant about bringing their religion into the dojo.

In Aikido we seek answers and try to achieve goals of being more peaceful and knowledgeable. Oftentimes religion seeks to answer complex questions with simple answers. This is essentially a method of control. Politicians use the same tactics with short overused sound bytes such as: "we need to stop frivilous lawsuits" and "Kerry's a flip-flop" or "Kerry's the lesser of two evils". I had a long list, but it escapes me now. Im sure you alll know of some though. These are simple answers to complex problems that require serious thought and plannign to overcome yet politicians convince people that there is a simple answer. Many religions do just this, they answer complex questions that are hard to explain or unknown with a simple sound clip about how a mysterious powerful being up in the sky made it that way. To do implement this system in Aikido in my opinion would be contrary to the nature of the art. If we seek to become more enlightened per se, then in general religion must not be incorporated. It can repress thought and when it doesnt it can serve to separate people.

Aikido can be spiritual however. I find many aspects of Aikido to be meditative in a way and this for me is spiritual. Spirituality is a kind of personal growth or improvement whereas a lot of times religion is following a set of beliefs meant to control large groups of people.

If you arent easily offended, I highly reccomend George Carlin's bit on religion. Its hilarious and true.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005, 10:30 PM   #33
Rupert Atkinson
 
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: Japan, Kodaira
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 759
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
I am shocked and disappointed that people said religion should play a part in aikido. Ueshiba specifically said that he was not teaching any religion.
...

Sorry to rant - I get offended when people believe that religion is more valuable than reasoned argument.
Glad to see a sensible voice exists out there. What do I think? Straight to the point: Man made God in his own image.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 01:14 AM   #34
xuzen
 
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

[quote=AikiWeb System]AikiWeb Poll for the week of May 15, 2005:

Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?[quote]

It was definitely a NO vote from me. Assuming if it is a YES vote, then what religion does one want to teach in an aikido dojo? For the sake of argument, let us assume the group of practitioner are predominantly Roman Catholic, who is going to teach the religion part? Assuming the aikido sensei is going to teach religion, is he qualified to do it? Unless the person teaching aikido and religion (using Catholicism as an example) is a certified aikido teacher and a church sanctioned priest; I won't be listening to him about Catholicism and aikido.

In aikido, I learn budo. To study religion, I'll go to either church, mosque, synagogue or temple etc. I'd keep them separate.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 01:53 AM   #35
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
England
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
No.

Because Christ didn't wear a hakama.
No.

Because Zeus didn't wear a hakama.

Osu!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 02:19 AM   #36
ShugyoSystems
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 56
Australia
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
Si Wilson wrote:
No.

Because Zeus didn't wear a hakama.
Hehehehehe

PS I love the pic from your sig man!!

New Aiki-religion: Disney-Bashiologism! Who's with us?
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 02:53 AM   #37
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
England
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
Todd Worth wrote:
PS I love the pic from your sig man!!
Well, he deserved it.

Osu!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 08:32 AM   #38
rogerw
 
rogerw's Avatar
Dojo: www.Aikidojo.ca
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 11
Canada
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

There are three concepts: spirituality, religion and church (or synagog, or temple). Spirituality represents a personnal growth or path. Religion is an answer to philosophical or essential questions adressed to the people, to every man that wants to ear it. Church - or the institution that materializes religion - is an application of religion with the objectives of controlling and manipulating peolple, history has prooved it.
As O-Sensei said, Aikido is not for Japanese or for Omoto-Kyo members, it is for everyone. He was a very spiritual person and I think the way of Aiki should be combined to spirituality. He dedicated his practice to some Kami or superior strenght and created the principles of Aikido with "divine shapes".
Spirituality is a personnal path, something that each does for himself, but it is the root of what O-Sensei really called Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 02:10 PM   #39
Yo-Jimbo
Dojo: Windward Aikido, formerly at Keewenaw Schools of Aikido (ASU)
Location: Hawaii Pacific University, formerly at Michigan Technological University
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 71
United_States
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

I know that the basics of aikido can be taught and learned without mentioning the religion of O-Sensei, just as the basics of physics can be taught and learned without discussing Newton's experiments with cylinders. Solving simple problems in each area can be accomplished without deeper understanding. Still, I wouldn't consider either of these a complete education on either subject without touching on how these influences effected the development of each body of knowledge. The question was whether religion should play a part in an aikido curriculum. To this I have to say that at the advanced level this must be yes. There is a difference between studying and practicing a religion; knowledge of physics does not a physicist make (mores the pity).
A separate question could be if the belief in or practice of a particular religion should be compulsory to the practice or curriculum of aikido. To that I would say no. Should a religious outlook (set of ethical conduct) be a part of aikido curriculum? I think every responsible sensei should do that. There is a difference between teaching respect for oneself and others and attempts at conversion to the religion of The Founder (or others).
This is a classic hot button topic with many people, I can see that in the answers of many people to this question. Like so many times in society, the argument isn't really even about the original question, but about a related but different question. I bet that the majority of those that voted against the first proposition did so out of fear of the implications of the second that I mentioned. Many people read "play a part" and heard in their mind "have a major/dominating role" or "be the central soapbox issue for sensei in the dojo" reflexively instead.
Next time sensei can change my entire world view with a simple word and a gentle brush of ki (without the use of hallucinogens of course) I will remember to say, "Please sensei, may I have another!"
Note that the above statement doesn't imply that I or any sensei I know has ever used hallucinogenic substances to my knowledge or any reasonable suspicion on my part.
Note that the above explanation of the preceding statement was not meant to imply that I am a sensei myself (except perhaps in the area of physics and in whatever other areas that others are willing to endure).

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2005, 05:28 AM   #40
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
James Chye wrote:
I know that the basics of aikido can be taught and learned without mentioning the religion of O-Sensei, just as the basics of physics can be taught and learned without discussing Newton's experiments with cylinders.).
I would really compare it with having to know what religious beliefs Newton had to understand how he developed the theories. Sure it must have had an influence, but it doesn't mean that understanding it is in any way dependent on knowing his religion.

Admittedly I was one of those who James suggested leapt onto their soap-box. And doing aikido has undoubtedly opened me up to eastern philosophy. However, although changing someone's perception to enable aikido to be understood better may be useful (e.g. discussions on yin/yang) - I don't think omote-kyo as a specific religion has any relevance for understanding aikido - only for understanding Ueshiba.

Personally I agree with Ueshiba, when he said "aikido is a flower that just happened to bloom in Japan".

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2005, 06:22 AM   #41
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

I'd presume you'd vote no if you can compartmentalize (or don't have a) religion from how you conduct yourself throughout life. A yes vote to me would indicate their religion infuses their life already so they couldn't imagine practicing aikido without it. Both to me are equally valid ways of approaching the universe.

Being a godless watchmacallit I'll go with the no vote and am currently trying to think positive thoughts about those who insist on mixing their own personal belief system with any sort of universal truth for how anything (not just aikido) must be approached for true rapport.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2005, 06:27 AM   #42
rcoit
Dojo: northeast aikikai
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 34
United_States
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

The power of the ki originates in the spirit. Aikidoka not only know this; they experience it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 04:14 PM   #43
Yo-Jimbo
Dojo: Windward Aikido, formerly at Keewenaw Schools of Aikido (ASU)
Location: Hawaii Pacific University, formerly at Michigan Technological University
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 71
United_States
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
I would really compare it with having to know what religious beliefs Newton had to understand how he developed the theories. Sure it must have had an influence, but it doesn't mean that understanding it is in any way dependent on knowing his religion.
Actually, it is interesting to observe the bias/insight great physicist and astronomers had because of their religious beliefs. Perhaps religious influence on physics could even be compared to the religious influence on a martial art (A => B; A => C).
I agree, but stand by my first comparison (A => B; C => D). My reason is not that I desire to be right (although I do have a healthy one), but that I was trying to show similarity in experiences during the development process (or what each would commonly reference when explaining ideas within formulation), where you are showing a true common influence (like whether they were both male or wore beards). Without a metric to determine which of our comparisons is better (and as they are different types), it is an empty argument. If the point was to parallel the influence of religions on two very different bodies of knowledge, then mine is quite deficient having not made that comparison in both cases.
If I knew more about Bruce Lee's religious beliefs, then I could compare apples to apples (A => B; A => B), but I don't know what new insight that would show.
Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Admittedly I was one of those who James suggested leapt onto their soap-box. And doing aikido has undoubtedly opened me up to eastern philosophy. However, although changing someone's perception to enable aikido to be understood better may be useful (e.g. discussions on yin/yang) - I don't think omote-kyo as a specific religion has any relevance for understanding aikido - only for understanding Ueshiba.
I'm willing to agree with you here if when you write "aikido" you mean just the physical (but not the whole of the art) and when you write "understand" you mean to have competency (but not total mastery of the entire subject).
A person can be a pro-basketball player without knowing who invented it (James Naismith) or why, but that doesn't mean the persons education is complete without that knowledge (of course, that knowledge doesn't help me enough to play in the NBA). Before saying that the inventor is irrelevant to play... actually, go right ahead, but I would bet that some would have a lot of trouble with that statement if it were applied to living a Christian life without knowing Jesus. Then again I suppose some people have ignored that Jesus was a Jew when it was convenient (then again, Jesus wasn't a martial artist).
Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Personally I agree with Ueshiba, when he said "aikido is a flower that just happened to bloom in Japan".
I agree totally (as brave as it is to agree with O-Sensei).
It just seems to me that there is nothing gained by then trying to omit that it came originally from Japan.

I appreciate that you treated my post with respect. I disagree on minor points out of respect and to bring attention to when the query is subtly changed to support the answer. I don't think that my statements are incompatible/incongruent with yours. I'm just putting it out there for people that it is a lot harder to say what is meant and mean what is said than it might seem. Most conflict and erroneous ideas snowball from these misunderstandings. Hopefully practitioners of aikido are prepared to move straight ahead and turn that part of society around.

To summarize, I still think that the results of the poll boils down to a semantic argument of what is meant by the question. Since it is not clear, if interpreted in one way it has only one logical answer, but if interpreted the other the other answer is the only one that makes sense.

In one camp:
a is an element in set A
A has elements other than a
Should a be listed if all the elements in A are being listed?
They vote yes. I personally believe the poll question is closer to this form.

In the other:
a is an element in set A
A has elements other than a
Is the listing of element a necessary for the listing of all the other elements in A?
They vote no. This is a qualified interpretation of the poll question. The first question is skipped as trivial in the mind and it is ignored that this is also trivial.

Then there are the questions of whether A exists without a (trivial) or if A' has all the elements of A other than a if it is more or less valuable than A.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 01:29 AM   #44
Irakli Baramidze
Location: Tbilisi
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1
Georgia
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

No it shouldn't, that's my perspective but not my idea, O'sensei used to say: Aikido is a religion itself. and I think Aikido unites all kinds of men of different cultures and religions if they're open hearted and truly understand the meaning of Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2005, 11:30 PM   #45
ShugyoSystems
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 56
Australia
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Quote:
James Chye wrote:
There is a difference between studying and practicing a religion....
Exactly
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2005, 04:14 PM   #46
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,407
United_States
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

No, not exactly.

I would note the following reported by Andre Noquet, an uchideshi of O-Sensei in 1955, and later, I think, president of the European Aikido federation :

"[One day] I said to Ueshiba Sensei, "You are always praying, Ueshiba Sensei. Then aikido is a religion." "No, that's not true. Aikido is never a religion, but if you are a Christian, you will be a better Christian because of aikido. If you are a Buddhist, you will be a better Buddhist." ..... Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian." Then I asked, "Sensei should I remain a Christian?" He replied,
"Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian." "
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2005, 05:31 PM   #47
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
England
Offline
Re: Poll: Should religion play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Erick,

Exactly!

Osu!
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Seminar with Frank Doran, Shihan - Aug. 8-10, 2014 at Sunset Cliff's Aikido, near San Diego's finest beaches



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 Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steven Seagal Interview ad_adrian General 45 01-15-2010 03:34 PM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 07:27 PM
Poll: Should philosophy play a part in an aikido curriculum? AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 6 06-17-2005 02:09 AM
Two things. Veers General 8 04-04-2003 01:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:03 AM.



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