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Old 06-07-2005, 06:21 PM   #26
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Poll: Should spirituality play a part in an aikido curriculum?

Guy Stevens wrote:
What is the difference between Aikijujutsu and Aikido?

If there is no "spirituality" in our practices why are we on the AikiDO mat? Why not some other mat where the founder was a bad @$$ that thought killing the opponent was better than subduing them without injury?

I don't know about other people's dojo, but in ours we frequently discuss (are taught) the differences between methods in techniques that further escalate a potential conflict situation, and methods that will help defuse it.
Here, I think is one of the differences between spirituality and religion. In Aikido, we learn blending, harmony, and redirection in relation to energy that is used in an aggresive manner. At some point in one's training, this learning influences and changes one's state of mind. One becomes more attuned to people, to their intent, to conflict resolution, and how to achieve a calm, relaxed state of mind in dealing with people. That's spirituality. And learning Aikido slowly progresses you towards that goal.

Religion would be where one would hold Ueshiba up in high esteem and use him, his sayings, and his views in dealing with people and events. Ueshiba would become a focal point, rather than the individual being the focal point. Religion has to do with using external people, ideas, things, etc as a way to hopefully better oneself. Spirituality deals with oneself and how one deals internally with the environment. Religion is rarely 24 hours a day, but spirituality is usually 24 hours a day.

Guy Stevens wrote:
Could it be that one of the issues that we are struggling with in this discussion is the concepts that traditional western RELIGION has imposed on the world spirituality?
Oh, man, that's a definite yes.

Guy Stevens wrote:
I don't' think that we can take the spirituality out of Aikido. It is there in the techniques, in the practice. It was put there by the founder and is carried through by most of the people that practice it, even when they aren't thinking about it.
I agree. What makes aikido so spiritual is the "aiki", not the "do." You can have any "do" but that won't necessarily create a spiritual aspect. But, when you start learning about how to neutralize aggression without returning it, or by redirecting energy to dissapate it, then you are learning to view the world in a way that says, hey, here's someone who is trying to hurt me, but I'm going to not escalate my level to his/hers, but rather I will remain calm and relaxed and protect myself. Should things escalate even further, then I will still remain calm and relaxed. If in protecting myself, I can protect my attacker, that's fine. If not, that's fine. I will still remain calm, relaxed, and centered. That's learning to be spiritual.

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