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Old 11-08-2004, 03:40 PM   #101
mriehle
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Frankly, at this point I'm mostly skimming because the thread is becoming repetitive and needlessly contentious. But another thing occured to me regarding the problem some Christians have with Aikido.

Ceremonies and imagery.

The ceremonies are the most easily addressed. Any ceremony has an underlying meaning to it. The meaning is the problem, not the ceremony itself. Much has been said about this in other places, so I'm going to leave it alone here.

Imagery, on the other hand, is a serious sticking point for some people. So much of Aikido happens on a level we can't consciously control, so we use imagery to "trick" ourselves into doing it right. I commonly use the image of water or light flowing from the palm of the hand to get people to extend properly. I use the pebble at the one point to get people to center and concentrate.

But some of these images are very loaded for Christians or for some other religions when it comes to that. So insisting that everyone use these images has some real problems. Not least of these problems is that if someone glitches on an image, the image won't work as needed for them.

So. Change the image. Use a different image. I can't suggest better images specifically, but I can give you a "menu" of images that I know work. I tell my students, "If you don't like those, try one of your own. Who knows, you may come up with one that works better than any I use, at least for you.".

And often they do. One of my students found the pebble subtly wrong for him, it felt somehow sacreligious. Even he couldn't say why. But as soon as he replaced the pebble with his favorite religious icon, the problem went away.

In fact, there can be benefits to this. In his case, he's found that incorporating his religious beliefs into his Aikido training has helped him to make sense of a lot of Aikido that was difficult for him before. Meditation has become something that he enjoys and the philosophy of "no harm" feels even more harmonious. How can this be bad? He shared with me that he believes that ki - at least in his case - may actually come from God (I don't think he's really decided yet and this is an area where I will not help him make up his mind even if I could).

The only time when stuff like this can be bad is if someone like him then tried to impose his imagery on the class. But then you're right back to the problem that starts this. It's no more correct for him to impose his imagery than it would be for me to impose my imagery.

Finally, I feel like it needs to be clear to the students that the imagery is a tool to develop what it really needed. At some point you need to learn to do what's needed without the images. At some point, IMO, the images actually start to hold back your development. Kind of like training wheels on a bicycle. If you remember this and keep it clear it becomes even more obvious why an image that violates your religious convictions should be abandoned immediately.

If it isn't working, move on.

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Old 11-09-2004, 12:12 PM   #102
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Well said Michael.

I think all arts in general require some form of imagination or imagery in order to understand them.

Tthe important thing to consider is every now and then to take a look at yourself, if you can, from an "arms length" and make sure that you are keeping everything within your "lanes" of values, morals, and/or personal belief system. As you state, If it doesn't feel right to you, it probably isn't.

I think it is important to consider how things make you feel. It is also equally important to understand that things you might make light of, others consider it a very serious issue. I have learned that it is more important in life to try and understand (empathy), than to be understood.

Aikido is a wonderful allegory for training to understand others.
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:16 PM   #103
Dan Gould
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

My 7p - I don't believe in God. I believe the name for God is also Nature, Chi, Ki, Qi, Life, and Tao (I'm Taoist.)

Thus, ki is NOT of the devil, but of life. It's been defined as the essence of life, without it, we would die. It could even be called breath, gaia, I suppose to some extent, the very soul of a man.

Tis my reasoning that the christian who wrote that needs to do some research before condemning something evidently totally over his head.

If I've pissed anyone off with this, I apologise, but stick by what I've said.
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:06 PM   #104
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

The whole point was the Christian person was trying to understand KI from her standpoint and belief system. Obviously KI is a eastern word, but I believe you can find comparisons to it in all religions.

Most here have stated that KI "just is" it is not good nor evil.

There are allegories in the bible to it. It would be nice to discuss this concept in those terms...ie. the holy spirit?
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:01 PM   #105
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Hi !
I would be very careful not to talk of the holy spirit and KI as the same - and so should others !
I have seen the holy spirit enter people and shake them in ways that would imply Ki-movement,
but what goes on on the inside is God direct work and spiritual rebirthing.
I have had and still have strange energy experiences that are related to Chi/Ki and Kundalini,
but the holy spirit is a different matter so far.
I might add I am a Pentecostal church-goer.
The other day I had an experience of "KI is love" and it was great , but I still turn to my bible for guidance to trust
as the holy spirit is always in accord with the bible.

Yours - Chr.B.

Last edited by ChristianBoddum : 11-12-2004 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 11-12-2004, 07:09 PM   #106
mriehle
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

One thing I keep going back to is:

Ki is what happens when your mind and body (and spirit) are perfectly coordinated.

This really addresses the Christian concern if they listen to it. Ki - whatever else is happening - can't exist unless all parts of your being are in perfect agreement.

I actually like the horse-drawn carriage metaphor. A carriage pulled by two (or three if you include spirit) horses goes nowhere if the horses pull in different directions. The carriage books along if the horses pull in the same direction.

So, if your mind is trying to do good, but your body (or spirit) wishes to do ill, you are not coordinated and ki cannot exist. So, to some extent, it's your personal responsibility to work this out. Is your spirit essentially evil? If so, your ki will be as well. Is your spirit essentially good? If so, your ki will be as well. I believe that none of them is essentially good or evil, but you can make choices to make yourself good or evil and the results are the same.

Whether there is a conflict between Aikido training - particularly with regard to ki development - is a question of the choices you make. Choose good in all things - including Aikido - and there is no conflict. Choose good in one, evil in another and the conflict is inescapable.

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Old 11-13-2004, 03:00 AM   #107
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

I like your description Michael.

It seems like all major religions offer the concept of a trinity. The unification of those seems to be what everyone is offer.

Mind, Body, Spirit

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

I wouldn't go so far to say that you can directly interpret the concepts of the trinity as a one for one as Christian Boddum has pointed out, but can you say that the goal of them is all the same?

I think it is important as humans that we align ourselves mind, body, and soul. Aikido gives us the ability to practice the physical aspects of conditioning and understanding of the physical world. Religion/spirituality is an important part of that total experience....aikido, IMHO, allows for each individual to develop his/her own spiritual path be it Christian, Muslim, Buddhism, or what not.


Aikido also serves as a model to me that it is possible for people to co-exist in the world and grow with different religious/spiritual beliefs.
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Old 11-15-2004, 03:56 PM   #108
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

I am new to Aikido, (three months) but researched many styles for over year until I found the style that fit me, and clearly it is Aikido. I am also a Christian, albeit a very poor one. I have been lurking for several months on this board, and finally registered today to add my POV to this subject.

The Holy Spirit is Holy and divine, and not of this world. Ki on the other hand IS of this world, we just don't know it. Some examples:

My mother is a professional barrel racer (think rodeo) and has been handling horses since she was 5. She makes the "Horse Whisperer" look like a farce. She can command them verbally, calm them when excited, and get them to do whatever she wants without a whip, or any violence. THAT IS KI. She is connected to them in a way most people would never understand. It is powerful to watch.

I on the other hand, am OK with horses, but can connect with dogs. To save a small dog's life I went into a 4 dog fight bare handed. One dog was a full grown Akita. Another was a massive mixed breed. Within seconds the dogs were not fighting, I was unscathed. My in-laws stood there in awe. They were trying to get a water hose. Do I have supernatural powers? No. Was that the holy spirit? again no. It was KI. It is the same reason I have never been bit by a dog, even after being raised on a ranch with dogs all over, and after repeatedly going up to dogs after I have been told they are vicious. I can connect with them. Even as a small child I could. Interestingly, my son is the same way with dogs.

So many times in our quest to find order in our lives, we attribute things we don't understand to the occult or things that are not of God. Surely, some things are. Ki is not one of them. To me Ki is just another in a series of things we as a society do not understand. In terms of Physics, every year we read of new discoveries in the quantum world, where things are and are not at the same time. To me Ki is just something we cannot measure or define using current methods. Maybe someday, maybe not ever.

For me, Ki is a sense of connectedness beyond what our untrained brains can rationally comprehend. Ki is connectedness between my actions and my mind. It is connectedness between nage and uke. it is a bond between my mom and horses, myself and dogs. And for many others, being rational interferes with their ability to understand faith in God. If I could rationalize God, or have proof that God did exist, why would I need faith in the first place, and wouldn't everyone be a part of that religion, knowing without a doubt that God did exist? What if there was videotape? What if God came down, and had dinner with everyone?

Having said all of that, I have had only brief flashes of Ki in the Dojo so far, and by brief flashes I actually mean once yesterday for about a millisecond!

Sorry for rambling. I will try to make my next post more coherent.

Blue
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Old 11-15-2004, 04:22 PM   #109
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Hi Blue !

I donīt think you are rambling at all ,keep it coming !
I especially liked they way you described the Holy spirit in relation to/separation from Ki,
the closest definition I can give Ki is - cosmic glue .
But it really doesnīt matter because techniques donīt work by definition,
but by application.

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 11-15-2004, 04:30 PM   #110
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Great post Blue.

Not saying what KI is or isn't...certainly would not attempt to argue that it IS the holy spirit. It is each persons responsibility to find meaning that works for them.

One thing that did come to mind though....what makes your mom good with horses? Is it that she loves them? Understands them? and can connect with them?

What made you break up that dog fight?

To me it is compassion that makes it happen.

What greater thing is there than compassion for others or caring for the world around us? Is that not what love is all about? I think that this is what it is all about!

Without compassion, you cannot do the things you are describing in your post!

Great post!
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Old 12-18-2004, 11:24 PM   #111
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

I have had an opportunity to read all the threads under the heading 'Aikido and being Christian', and I thank God that there are other Christians who enjoy training in aikido (and other martial arts) as much as I do (if not more). My knowledge of the Bible is not as good as it should be (I have been a born-again Christian for the past 2 1/2 years), and I thank the posters in this forum for the scriptures stated, and the interpretations given (even though I think some may have been taken out of context - I need to study the Bible more!). I will not make any comment regarding the opinions of others stated on this thread, but I do urge those who have declared Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour to pray for guidance and wisdom, to pray for their training partners that they may also come to a true relationship with Christ Jesus, and to immerse themselves in the scripture of the Bible. Oh, and to pray for me - I'm going back to training in aikido (I did Tomiki ryu aikido many years ago, and now I'm starting Iwama ryu aikido in January), and I expect a right royal butt-kicking (figuratively speaking - more like butt-dropping from great height!).

Yours in Christ,

Spinecracker
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:33 AM   #112
KamiKaze_Evolution
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

http://www.christianaikido.com
http://www.aikidoheiwa.com

KamiKaze
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:19 PM   #113
emi_moes
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

I think this to be an interesting topic as well, as I have not read all posts there may be some repition in what I say. I'm recently enrolled in a personal development class & was explaining the differences of spirituality & religion. I believe religion is a group of people gathered as one whom believe the same things, while spirituality is an indivualistic way in which to celebrate those things in which you believe. I noted in one paper that spirituality is much like that of a finger print. none are exactly the same even though some maybe very simmilar. I have found aikido techniques which certainly assist in my spirituality, there's many things which are simmilar teachings, ie love & respect for all living things, controlled relaxation could be related to praying as well as extending your ki. overall Aikido has probably helped more than hindered my spirituality, as I know what I believe. my priest explained that bowing (such as that to the tabernacle (sp?) or to the alter) are signs of respect. thus bowing to your sensei & classmates also shows respect. It was mentioned on the first day of aikido that some people may have religions &/or spiritualities in which they disagree with bowing, which our sensei has been very understandable of. I'd say if you have problems with bowing or other spiritual areas of aikido you should first become more comfortable in your own spirituality & then talk with your sensei.

~Emi, Domo arigato gozaimashita
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:41 AM   #114
bogglefreak20
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Let me start with a short story that actually happened about a week ago in a town in my country (which is predominantly catholic) - and made me a bit ashamed of my origin: A group of people started practicing Yoga at a local elementary school. Just your ordinary evening relaxation/meditation sessions. Next week they get a letter from the principal saying they can no longer train in their school. The official reason being that the school is not properly equipped. It turned out, however, that the real reason were concerned parents that didn't want their kids going to school where someone previously "called upon dark spirits" because the spirits may have remained in the classrooms.

I fear ignorance and looking at things to narrowly was the main reason for such a situation to occur. But it made me think!

A lot has been said about the Truth in this thread. Let me say I believe in God but am not a member of any Church/denomination/sect/etc. From my point of view Truth, the one and only, does exist. But I do NOT believe it is in a domain of ANY Church/denomination/sect/practice/MA/person/organisation/etc.

I strongly believe in Jesus, in his works, his mission, his message, nevertheless, I understand his message about him being the only way to the Lord somewhat less literally - to me Jesus equals Unconditional Love (that was, IMHO, his fundamental message and essence). And by becoming of this essence (or coming as close as possible to it) we also have a chance of getting into heaven.

That, however, does not mean becoming Christian or following Jesus per se. It means following his idea, his example. Speaking of examples, take Mahatma Gandhi. If someone were to make a real effort and try to live by his rules and with his self-discipline and his belief in Love, I bet God would smile upon that person reglardless of his/her religion.

There is hypocrisy among people. Everywhere. It's not a question of what religion (if any) you are a member. It's a question of how you live your life. There are people, atheists, in my life that I would ask counsel from or confide in before talking to, say, some of my relatives who all perceive themselves as devoted Christians. Why? Because among the first I feel loved and accepted, whilst among the second I sometimes experience less favorable feeling that have nothing to do with being a good Christian.

There has been killing in the name of God. There has been Charity in the name of God. Same goes for Ki - in hands of a good person you can even heal with it. If abused, you can do harm with it also. It's not whether Ki is from God or Satan, it's whether you, who use Ki, are "inspired" by God or Satan.
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:08 AM   #115
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Miha Sinkovec wrote:
A group of people started practicing Yoga at a local elementary school. Just your ordinary evening relaxation/meditation sessions. Next week they get a letter from the principal saying they can no longer train in their school. The official reason being that the school is not properly equipped. It turned out, however, that the real reason were concerned parents that didn't want their kids going to school where someone previously "called upon dark spirits" because the spirits may have remained in the classrooms.
Yoga -- with dark rum?! I have to take this class! But they really should not leave the empty bottles lying around the school.


Seriously, there is no accounting for superstition, so better not to try. Better to educate as to the real facts.
Whether it be yoga or Zen, sitting quietly, is just -- well-- sitting quietly.

Quote:
Miha Sinkovec wrote:
There has been killing in the name of God. There has been Charity in the name of God.
It has been said that he who claims warrant of God to kill another, commits both murder and blasphemy. No man kills in the name of God, but only in his own name, and the justification, if any, is his own responsibility.


Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:57 AM   #116
bogglefreak20
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
It has been said that he who claims warrant of God to kill another, commits both murder and blasphemy. No man kills in the name of God, but only in his own name, and the justification, if any, is his own responsibility.
I agree totally. I think it was Pope John Paul II. who said that killing someone in the name of God is the biggest sin of all. I agree with that too. Still...history (and present day) is full of people/countries/generals/etc. who claim(ed) that they act upon God's wishes/commands.

Sad.
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Old 10-12-2005, 11:36 AM   #117
jakeith
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Miha,

I enjoyed reading your posts...I grew up in an Italian house..12 years of catholic school...much like you I don't take hold in any specific organized religion...but, don't hold any ill will towards any of them either. The core of any religion is "love"...to me Ki is harmony with the all things. If you are a Christian then Jesus said he is love..he is in everything...from the smallest living thing to the largest...to the air we breath. This concept can be taken to almost any religion..
Isn't that what we are taught Ki is? we become at harmony with all things...we show no ill-will towards our attacker...we are to love our attacker to stay in harmony with them, thus negating the conflict....no anger...no hate.

I am new to aikido, and like most on this board and in this art..I have finally found something that "fits"...my sensei likes to say that he can teach a monkey the physical part...the movements...but, it's the understanding that makes aikido an art..and what it truly is.

I guess what I'm saying is that you can believe what you want as long as the basis of that belief is love and harmony...if it's God, Jesus, or whatever your focus...it comes down to the same thing.

Joseph
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:37 PM   #118
bogglefreak20
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Joseph Keith wrote:
I grew up in an Italian house..12 years of catholic school...much like you I don't take hold in any specific organized religion...but, don't hold any ill will towards any of them either. The core of any religion is "love"...to me Ki is harmony with the all things. If you are a Christian then Jesus said he is love..he is in everything...from the smallest living thing to the largest...to the air we breath. This concept can be taken to almost any religion..
Isn't that what we are taught Ki is? we become at harmony with all things...we show no ill-will towards our attacker...we are to love our attacker to stay in harmony with them, thus negating the conflict....no anger...no hate.

Thank you for your kind words, Joseph!

I hope, though, that my posts weren't offensive to anyone - they surely weren't ment to be. When speaking of my less than favorable experience and/or feelings regarding catholic sense of moral, I am doing just that - sharing my experience. I never ment to generalise any of my statements.

Of course, I to strive (more or less succesfully) to achive a higher mode of compasion, undestanding, responsibility and ulitmately Love. Key word being "strive".

One reason for my preference in close personal contact over on-line forums is that this way you miss all the non-verbal parts of communication, the tone of voice someone uses, the gestures, body language etc. - sometimes that leads into misunderstandings.

Hence, I wish I could invite you all for a real cup-a-tea.
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Old 10-13-2005, 04:25 PM   #119
jakeith
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Miha Sinkovec wrote:
.

Hence, I wish I could invite you all for a real cup-a-tea.
Earl Gray...no milk, no sugar...thank you very much

you are very correct in that email/text lacks much in emoting. but, I sure do love to read and participate!
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:28 PM   #120
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Nick Porter wrote:
This should probably go in the Humor section, but take a look at this:

"Alter all, the power for KI is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

I found this on a Christian website...

-Nick
Nonsense just plain nonsense. Of all the martial arts Aikido lends itself to aide the Christian in the pursuit of his/her faith IMHO. The positive energy and harmony of aikido mix well the Christ's message. People such as this I rank with the Pat Robinson's of the world, they do not speak for me and any Christian that i hang with.
BTW I gave my life to Christ just over a year ago after a life time of atheism and in no way do I associate ki with Satan.

BK
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:25 PM   #121
Pierre Rood
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Brian Keesler wrote:
Nonsense just plain nonsense. Of all the martial arts Aikido lends itself to aide the Christian in the pursuit of his/her faith IMHO. The positive energy and harmony of aikido mix well the Christ's message
I agree completely Brian, Aikido makes an open attitude possible, even against a possible ennemy.

The not-harming intention is a way to try to 'love your ennemy', to try to react in a forgiving way to people searching (unconscious of with intent) the conflict as a primary way of communication.

Absolutely astonishing that this can be possible and a great invention of the founder of the art!
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:16 PM   #122
Mark Uttech
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Years ago I had a county judge ask me about this mysterious "Ki". I lifted up my arm off the table, and put it back down. "That is Ki. Nothing mysterious about it"
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:29 PM   #123
James Davis
 
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
Years ago I had a county judge ask me about this mysterious "Ki". I lifted up my arm off the table, and put it back down. "That is Ki. Nothing mysterious about it"
Uh oh. Why were you talking to a judge? Mark, were you tossing around strangers again?

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 11-03-2005, 02:49 PM   #124
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Hello everyone reading this. I am going to say some things that most of you will not agree with, but the people who are claiming to know Christ are either very confused, as I was, and many Christians are today- or they are liars, and the truth is not in them. I hope the latter is not the case. Christianity (a term given to us by the Romans, by the way) is different from all other religions, philosophies, practices, etc...in that it offers no hope of salvation through the efforts and righteousness of men. The Christian faith is God-breathed (II Timothy 3:16), which no man can duplicate.
Here is the Gospel (Truth) in a nutshell:
1. A love that cannot be fathomed;
2. A God who, by His own redeeming grace, is taking sinners into heaven; not holy men, but sinful men He claims as His Own, through the atoning work of Christ at Calvary;
3. A righteousness, not of man, but a righteousness of God, brought to this world and given as a free gift to sinners. The transfer is made at the Cross.
4. A Christianity cradled in the arms of Jewish prophets who foretold many details of the Saviour's birth, life, death, and resurrection. Not one, not even one, prophecy was wrong.
5. A Christianity which has an empty tomb and a living Lord.

When Jesus spoke about being perfect, loving your nieghbor, loving God, turning your cheek when someone strikes you, forgiving your brother, selling all your posessions to the poor, etc... What makes you think that He was adressing our flesh? He did all of these things for us. The only way we can be right with God is by faith in Jesus Christ alone, and know that our own efforts to do good are just filthy rags in His sight. God is a God of perfection and holiness. He cannot let sin enter into His home, which is heaven. So just by "doing your best" or "trying real hard" or "being good" (which by the way, is NONE of us) these filthy rags will send you out of the presence of God, because one little mistake, one tiny sin, and you have the stain of sin on you in God's sight. The only way to be completely holy, pure, and clean in His sight is to be covered in the robe of righteousness that only Jesus can offer...and it is not by anything we can do. It comes as a free gift, by His sacrifice. Just believe it, and you will be saved. Anything added to that is not of God. Aikido is great as a means to practice a martial art, have fun, stay active, etc... God created things like that for us to enjoy, but do not be fooled or tricked, my fellow believers, into thinking that it will somehow help your status with the Almighty. If that were the case, then Christ's death was meaningless, or it only did half the job. The Bible holds back nothing, making no excuses, and tells the truth unwaveringly. Man is sinful, hopeless, and helpless without Christ. But in Christ he is the purchased posession of a loving God! Remember it is by Grace you have been saved as a free gift, not of any works of ourselves, so that we cannot boast. In the words of the apostle Paul, "Let me boast in nothing but the Cross of Christ."

Last edited by mazmonsters : 11-03-2005 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 11-03-2005, 03:40 PM   #125
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

This addressed to James davis Jr.: "James, I was talking to a judge because my estranged wife, who was a fundamentalist Christian tried to end my visitation with my children because I was taking them to aikido classes. (The judge ruled in my favor and also ok'd bowing).
In gassho
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