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Old 06-12-2005, 07:36 PM   #226
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote=Monty Collier][quote]
Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:

The point of the this thread is that you can eliminate mysticism and advance Aikido. I am glad to see that you now agree .....
No, I don't; I explained why in my other post. (Yes, I did some reading this morning.)

Quote:
..... you can change the name and still have the content ....
And they haven't changed the name -- it is still a Japanese name, and they still use a Japanese form of dress. If martial arts are supposed to be, as you seem to claim, just technique devoid of cultural references, they should not do that. Why don't you contact them and tell them that?


Quote:
Maybe, but an appeal to numbers is a fallacy (ad populum). It is always better to be right because you are right, not because your 60 years old (or have been doing something 35 years, and so on).
One could just as easily disregard whatever time you've put in praciting grappling as an "appeal to number." Or how long the Gracies have done what they've done as an "appeal to numbers." But I don't think you'd go for that, would you?

Sesnei's background means and history means that he knows what he's talking about. What backs you up? Other than your friend's web site? Since you refuse to say how much, if any Aikido training you have had, I don't know where you're coming from. You could be a third degree black belt who's had a lot of time to think about it; you could have just had a beer with an Aikido sensei one night. I have no idea. But I am supposed to accept you are right and almost everyone involved in Aikido from O Sensei on is wrong because of a definition of mysticism that you and your friend have concocted? What if that's wrong? Then the house of cards comes crashing down.
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:39 PM   #227
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
I wasn't talking about how you learn; I was talking about how what you keep track of what your training partner is doing during sparring or randori. If you can not use your five senses to keep track of what he's up to and plan a counter, then what do you use? Especially since I've had the need to develop touch sensitivity for every range inside punching range for several years now. But even kickboxing, how do you respond to what he does if you don't go by what you see?

No, you can't.
Haragei.
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:51 PM   #228
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Sesnei's background means and history means that he knows what he's talking about.
Some Sensei have never been in a fight and have been taught by Sensei who themselves have never been in a fight and neither had their Sensei. This doesn't stop them telling you how someone will respond to your throw. I've been lectured about the errors of kicking by Aikidoka that have no clue how to throw a kick themselves and to prove their point they demonstrate with an uke that doesn't know how to throw a kick, much less how they should be used properly in a fight. Now then against such people I would argue that my knowlege of kicking is superior to theirs but they are the Sensei so I nod and smile. That doesn't make them right.
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:52 PM   #229
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
If I reached a high level in aikido and started teaching, I Wouldn't teach my students that I was teaching them "love". I wouldn't force them to wear hakama. It would probably be a really informal class...
That's your prerogative. Although I haven't been involved in a martial arts class that didn't involve a uniform, even if it was a t-shirt with the school insignia and black sweat pants.

Quote:
Most bjj'ers also do no-gi and quite of a bit of them do vale tudo training as well. The gi in bjj or judo and the kurtka in sambo seem more like a piece of equipment for those sports.
Following your reasoning, they should do ALL no-gi and never, ever, wear a gi at all. This "equipment" is still "outdated Japanese clothing" as you put it, and if martial arts are supposed to be technique devoid of cultural references, then you should tell them not to do that ever again.

Quote:
If people could agree on what exactly 'ki' is, then disproving it (or proving it depending on the defition... as I said some people think it is just good technique) would be a lot easier.
Well, I just posted a quote that ki is "central to Aikido, and [O Sensei] always emphaszied the importance of ki." (Usehiba, Kisshomaru and Moriteru Usehsiba, Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, p.16). So if you take the ki out of Aikido, yeah, you could teach the joint locks and throws, but it's doubtful you could call it Aikido anymore.

Quote:
You might actually get better results teaching people without using the term 'ki' because they might understand it faster.
Well, the Seidokan people talked about ki coming out of their fingertips, and they seemed to be doing all right.

Quote:
What does the term 'master' mean to you? I've seen plenty of demonstrations where so-called 'masters' performed party tricks or demonstrated on compliant students. I've yet to see any of them in a fight.
Feel free to look up Sifu Dan Inosnato, Maha Guru Victor de Thouard, and/or Sifu Francis Fong, and challenge them. Let us know how it goes. Don't forget the bucket for your ride home.

Quote:
You're confusing your reason for training with the reason these martial arts were developed. You seem to be caught up in the mindset where martial arts aren't about hurting people, but self improvement. That mindset was an attempt to get rid of the bad image jujitsu etc. had during the early 19th century. People thought jujitsu was only for thugs, so Kano developed judo and claimed it was for self improvement. You see this trend again after WW2 with aikido.
It started sooner than that, in Japan, with the idea of "the sword that gives life." Budo systems just shifted the focus there, but it had been there all along.

Oh, and in Kali, yes, we get into things that can hurt and/or kill people. No question. But Guro Andy has emphasized "we are here to improve ourselves," not become assassins.
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:02 PM   #230
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
Some Sensei have never been in a fight and have been taught by Sensei who themselves have never been in a fight and neither had their Sensei. This doesn't stop them telling you how someone will respond to your throw .....
Hey, I was beaten up (my "fight" experience) a few times growing up, one time attacked outside the school by someone I'd considered my friend; another time when I was 13, I was cutting through a gym on my way to class and this kid I'd never seen before kept attacking me as I tried to get across it. To this day I don't know who it was or why he did it. But I still listen to all my instructors, including my Aikido instructors. (And I never cut through that gym again.)

Quote:
I've been lectured about the errors of kicking by Aikidoka that have no clue how to throw a kick themselves and to prove their point they demonstrate with an uke that doesn't know how to throw a kick, much less how they should be used properly in a fight ....
Depends on what the "errors" are.
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:03 PM   #231
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
Haragei.
What?
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:37 PM   #232
maikerus
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
I am advocating serious study over and against mystical trances and "spiritual energy".
Just to jump back into the fray for a moment...

When I first replied to your initial post...and then when I replied again...I asked where you had studied like this since it was different from my experience.

Since you don't want to talk about where you studied perhaps a few different question are in order...

1. Do you think that all Aikido dojos only study mysticism?
2. Do you think that there are any Aikido dojos that train without mysticism at the current time?
3. Do you think there are any circumstances where a discussion outside of pure technique would benefit someone studying Aikido? And what discussion(s) might those be (if any)?
4. What exactly is "serious study" and why doesn't it include the history of what you are studying?

Alright...back to watching and laughing...

cheers,

--Michael

-

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:43 PM   #233
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Following your reasoning, they should do ALL no-gi and never, ever, wear a gi at all. This "equipment" is still "outdated Japanese clothing" as you put it, and if martial arts are supposed to be technique devoid of cultural references, then you should tell them not to do that ever again.
If you look at the gi or kurtka as equipment used in a sport, then it's fine to have them. Is the hakama used for any purpose in aikido or aikido competitions? I've never seen an aikido technique that involved using a grip on the hakama. Of course the gi and kurtka are still a traditional element, and one that I feel isn't needed outside of training as a hobby or to compete in a sport. If someone claimed they were teaching judo or bjj for self defense then they should probably do so without the gi.

I never said that all aikidoka should get rid of the hakama, I just said it's not necessary and if I taught we wouldn't use it.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Well, I just posted a quote that ki is "central to Aikido, and [O Sensei] always emphaszied the importance of ki." (Usehiba, Kisshomaru and Moriteru Usehsiba, Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, p.16). So if you take the ki out of Aikido, yeah, you could teach the joint locks and throws, but it's doubtful you could call it Aikido anymore.
Explain it as correct posture, timing, and technique (as it's explained in Total Aikido) and the problem is solved. 'Ki' is still there, minus the mysticism that usually surrounds it.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Feel free to look up Sifu Dan Inosnato, Maha Guru Victor de Thouard, and/or Sifu Francis Fong, and challenge them. Let us know how it goes. Don't forget the bucket for your ride home.
Where did I say anything about fighting anyone? I was talking about aikido, not FMA by the way. I don't see how FMA/JKD guys have anything to do with aikido 'masters'. How many aikido 'masters' have you seen fight someone who wasn't an aikido student?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Oh, and in Kali, yes, we get into things that can hurt and/or kill people. No question. But Guro Andy has emphasized "we are here to improve ourselves," not become assassins.
Yes, learning the best ways to kill someone with a knife is a GREAT way to improve yourself... Do you honestly think that filipino martial arts were developed for self improvement?
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:58 PM   #234
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Phillip Kirkan wrote:
If you look at the gi or kurtka as equipment used in a sport, then it's fine to have them. Is the hakama used for any purpose in aikido or aikido competitions?.....
Legend has it it's worn to conceal the footwork. Kendo people also wear them; feel free to grill them.

Quote:
Explain it as correct posture, timing, and technique (as it's explained in Total Aikido) and the problem is solved. 'Ki' is still there, minus the mysticism that usually surrounds it.
Ahem

I happen to have a copy of TOTAL AIKIDO right here, and you're right, on page 17, he does explain it the way you describe.

Then in the fourth paragraph it gets more "mystical."

So even the Yoshinkan people aren't totally free of that side of things. And it means there's more to ki than timing, etc.

Problem not solved.

Quote:
Where did I say anything about fighting anyone? I was talking about aikido, not FMA by the way ....
Well, Guro Dan and Maha Guru Victor were the "masters" I was talking about, not Aikido masters. Their teachings as relayed through Guro/Pembantu Andrew Astle are what are influencing my views, not something from some hypothetical uber mystical Aikido sensei. That's how I'm approaching Aikido, and that's how I'm approaching this issue -- not from something from the Japanese, but something from FMA.

Quote:
Yes, learning the best ways to kill someone with a knife is a GREAT way to improve yourself... Do you honestly think that filipino martial arts were developed for self improvement?
Nope. But do you think FMA training doesn't lead to self improvement?

Oh, and do you think FMA doesn't have a spiritual side? Do you think FMA people don't take respect very seriously? Or that FAM instructors aren't passionate in preserving part of their culture?

Guess what, the answer is "yes" on all counts.
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:03 PM   #235
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
1. Do you think that all Aikido dojos only study mysticism?
No. Perhaps they study other things with their mysticism, or maybe they do not even study mysticism.

Quote:
2. Do you think that there are any Aikido dojos that train without mysticism at the current time?
Possibly.


Quote:
3. Do you think there are any circumstances where a discussion outside of pure technique would benefit someone studying Aikido? And what discussion(s) might those be (if any)?
Yes. A discussion that disparages irrational ism.


Quote:
4. What exactly is "serious study" and why doesn't it include the history of what you are studying?
Serious study is the reduction of a multiplicity to a unity.
It is the search for unifying principals that produce a qualitative affect.

It can include the history of Aikido. Mysticism is a part of that history. Reform of Aikido necessitates that we correct past mistakes. I propose the elimination of one of the biggest mistakes....mysticism.


Red Beelte
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:20 PM   #236
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

A good example of mysticism in Aikido can be seen by going to the Spiritual category of the Forum and entering into the thread titled "Gaining Enlightenment."

Read some of the posts, and you will know what type of irrational mysticism has attached itself to modern Aikido. Mysticism is like a cancer that should be cut out of Aikido.

Red Beetle
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:02 AM   #237
RebeccaM
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
Rebecca, I am the only one here who believes you cannot learn from your senses. You have to understand the propositional explanation of each technique before they can be applied.

I am advocating serious study over and against mystical trances and "spiritual energy".

Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com
I'm not sure where you watched an aikido class or tried an aikido class, but I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. I've been doing aikido for something like 13 years now. I've trained in three different dojos, one of which was a poor fit and the reason why I was more or less lmited to training during semester breaks while I was in college. I have never once been in a trance or trance-like state that didn't involve dehydration or low blood sugar, nor have I heard of anyone doing that. Every dojo I've trained in trained by repeating techniques over and over, with varying degrees of explanation. Some instructors walked us through step by step (you move your arm over here, you put your foot there, they will either fall down or dislocate something...); others would speak twice in the technique demo: once to call up their uke and once to name the technique (if you're lucky). No explanation of anything. This is fine, but my sensei here in CO makes very very small movements so sometimes it's aalmost impossible to tell what's going on by watching and since he's not explaining himself we just experiment. Others take a happy medium. There's lots of ways to teach, and the effectiveness of the method depends as much on the student as it does on the teacher.

The only formal discussions of ki I've witnessed were at seminars. For some reason senseis like to talk more at seminars. Otherwise, we just train, and discuss the more ethereal stuff after class. Sometimes, in some dojos, there's a moment of meditation at the end of class, but that's about two minutes after an hour and fifteen of falling and is mostly just to get your heart slowed down, your breathing back to normal, and any left-over adrenaline and frustration sorted out before you rejoin the rest of the world.

Martial arts have a philosophical component for a reason. With ability comes responsibility. The technical component teaches the ability; the philosophical part is to help you use your ability in a responsible fashion (ie, not beat the crap out of someone because you can or they insulted you).

I did not want to get sucked into this mess. I'm re-lurking now.

PS: reductionism has caveats, and those caveats have been known to give biochemists grey hairs.

Last edited by RebeccaM : 06-13-2005 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:22 AM   #238
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

It's a truism (Aikido and elsewhere) the most vocal about reform are those outside of the structure.

I wouldn't call my training in Aikido mystical at all. I have yet to meet this uber-mystical sensei.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:29 AM   #239
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

[quote]
Quote:
Rebecca Montange wrote:
I'm not sure where you watched an aikido class or tried an aikido class, but I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.
I am talking about mysticism / irrationalism that is taught in more than a few Aikido dojos.


Quote:
I have never once been in a trance or trance-like state that didn't involve dehydration or low blood sugar, nor have I heard of anyone doing that.
I have heard lectures about Aikido experts entering trances and being able to do all sorts of strange things. One of my teachers had a student to meditate for about ten minutes on a word that he spoke to him silently. At the end of that time he extinguished several red hot cigars on the man's hand and tongue. The man was not burned. He appealed to mysticism as the source of such power in the presence of a large audience. Later he explained to me that this was a popular trick to entice unsuspecting people to join up. When I asked him if this was dishonest, he replied, "Beetle, combat is about deception. If the people think you have supernatural powers, then they will fear what they do not understand. You will have a psychological edge on them if combat with them should ever become a possibility. Use the enemies superstition to their disadvantage." I will not name the master who told me this, nor his affiliation. He was also a master of Judo, and Kendo. He was not American and he commanded great respect from his colleagues. He used Mysticism to sell his product and to scare the locals, and many of his students. He only revealed these secrets (he called them tricks) to those he felt would one day work for him. I could list other examples he used in front of crowds to magically impress them. I hope this one example helps you to understand why I think such mysticism can be eliminated without hurting Aikido itself, but rather, improving the technique.



Quote:
No explanation of anything
This is sad.


Quote:
my sensei here in CO makes very very small movements so sometimes it's almost impossible to tell what's going on by watching and since he's not explaining himself we just experiment
Why not demand thorough explanation? Especially if you are paying him, then he is contracted to do so.


Quote:
There's lots of ways to teach
The right way to teach is with simple clear systemic instruction.


Quote:
, and the effectiveness of the method depends as much on the student as it does on the teacher.
Call me old school, but I would blame the teacher if the students did not understand what was going on.

Quote:
The only formal discussions of ki I've witnessed were at seminars. For some reason senseis like to talk more at seminars.
Maybe they are hiding the goodies from the lay persons.

Quote:
Sometimes, in some dojos, there's a moment of meditation at the end of class,
How would you, or does your sensei define 'meditation.'
If you go to my web-site, then you will see a newsletter which explains how I define meditation. I think it is the Jan., Feb., or March newsletter. I can't remember. Tell me if you agree with that definition.

Quote:
Martial arts have a philosophical component for a reason
I think that our own philosophy governs our Martial technique. Martial arts is way smaller than philosophy as a whole. Martial arts, in my opinion is a form of coercion.

Quote:
With ability comes responsibility.
I think that the amount of knowledge one has of right or wrong determines his/her level of responsibility. Knowledge makes you responsible. But, responsibility itself assumes that there is one greater that we must give a response to. One who will call us to give a response for what we have done. I don't think that the concept of responsibility is easily found to be consistent in Asian philosophy or religion. Forgive my digression.

Quote:
The technical component teaches
see the knowledge?

Quote:
(ie, not beat the crap out of someone because you can or they insulted you).
Why not beat them up?
Does Aikido teach an effective moral reason as to why we should not beat people up?

Quote:
I did not want to get sucked into this mess.
Oh, its not that big of mess. Your smart and you have much to say. And I want to hear from you.
And guys, my remarks are nothing personal, I am reacting to what you guys are saying, not who you are. Everyone here seems to be full of character.


Red Beetle
www.kingsportjudo.com

Last edited by Red Beetle : 06-13-2005 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:34 AM   #240
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Peter wrote:
Quote:
It's a truism (Aikido and elsewhere) the most vocal about reform are those outside of the structure.

Martin Luther would seem to be a counter-example.
He was well within the Roman Catholic Church State when he posted the 95 thesis on Wittenburg Castle-church doors on
October 31st 1517, Wittenburg, Germany. He was the most vocal in his time when it came to Reform. What followed was the Protestant Reformation, and the beginning of modern civilization.


Red Beetle
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:19 AM   #241
maikerus
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
I am talking about mysticism / irrationalism that is taught in more than a few Aikido dojos.
<sigh>

This is the type of blanket statement that I am sorry to find. As I stated in a couple of my posts, I also don't think that "Mysticism" has a place in the dojo in the Aikido that I have grown to understand.

However...I really want to know how prevelant "mysticisim / irrationalism" is within Aikido.

If you say "...taught in more than a few Aikido dojos" does that mean 3 or 4 out of the thousands of Aikido dojos out there or does that mean a huge percentage.

I have never trained in a dojo where there is mysticism being spouted by the instructor. Of course, I have only visited a dozen or so dojos, been to a few seminars...and trained in 5 different ones for a long period of time.

Does this mean I've just been lucky with my choices? or does it mean that you have been misinformed or perhaps unlucky in your choices?

One wonders...

--Michael...desperately trying to get back to lurk mode...but blanket statements will probably almost always maybe get me out of hiding

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:31 AM   #242
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
<sigh>

This is the type of blanket statement that I am sorry to find. As I stated in a couple of my posts, I also don't think that "Mysticism" has a place in the dojo in the Aikido that I have grown to understand.

However...I really want to know how prevelant "mysticisim / irrationalism" is within Aikido.

If you say "...taught in more than a few Aikido dojos" does that mean 3 or 4 out of the thousands of Aikido dojos out there or does that mean a huge percentage.

I have never trained in a dojo where there is mysticism being spouted by the instructor. Of course, I have only visited a dozen or so dojos, been to a few seminars...and trained in 5 different ones for a long period of time.

Does this mean I've just been lucky with my choices? or does it mean that you have been misinformed or perhaps unlucky in your choices?

One wonders...

--Michael...desperately trying to get back to lurk mode...but blanket statements will probably almost always maybe get me out of hiding

I don't believe in luck, so maybe you have been blessed.

Red Beetle
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:58 AM   #243
Keith_k
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Mr. Collier,

When you started this thread, you commented specifically on the usefulness of breathing techniques, meditation, the relation of Aikido being "love," morality, and pacifism. All of these are various aspects of the philosophy of Aikido as a whole.

In post number 95, you say that the topic is "Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward"

In post number 214 you say "I am claiming that mysticism does not add to the construction of good technique, nor the perfecting of it."

I must admit your use of logic baffles me. How the topic changed from the philosophy of Aikido, to only the mysticism of Aikido, to only how mysticism affects the construction and perfection of technique eludes me. I find is suspicious that these narrowings of the topic occur conveniently at times where you can accuse another's argument of being off topic, but what do I know. I simply cannot keep up with your masterful use of reason, and I must bow out.

Keith
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:49 AM   #244
mj
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Is there any point arguing?

Nothing will change from this topic except maybe he will just get angrier, through no-one's fault. He has no serious learning in aiki or aikido, he can't communicate properly on the subject.

We could have the brightest Aikido lights on the net come here and post but surely the real response has to be...

just train

Mr Beetle - just train. If Aikido annoys you then don't do it. Perhaps you should ask yourself honestly why you are posting here.
Please don't tell me that it is to further the cause of Aikido by turning it into something you would like.

You are claiming to know what goes on in Aikido but you post such things as
Quote:
Why not beat them up?
Does Aikido teach an effective moral reason as to why we should not beat people up?
Perhaps you should just enjoy your own training.

peace (hope that doesn't enrage you)

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Old 06-13-2005, 06:45 AM   #245
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Red Beetle, it seems as though you want a Japanese martial art without the Japaneseness.

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:59 AM   #246
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Red Beetle:
Quote:
have heard lectures about Aikido experts entering trances and being able to do all sorts of strange things. One of my teachers had a student to meditate for about ten minutes on a word that he spoke to him silently. At the end of that time he extinguished several red hot cigars on the man's hand and tongue. The man was not burned. He appealed to mysticism as the source of such power in the presence of a large audience. Later he explained to me that this was a popular trick to entice unsuspecting people to join up. When I asked him if this was dishonest, he replied, "Beetle, combat is about deception. If the people think you have supernatural powers, then they will fear what they do not understand. You will have a psychological edge on them if combat with them should ever become a possibility. Use the enemies superstition to their disadvantage." I will not name the master who told me this, nor his affiliation. He was also a master of Judo, and Kendo. He was not American and he commanded great respect from his colleagues. He used Mysticism to sell his product and to scare the locals, and many of his students. He only revealed these secrets (he called them tricks) to those he felt would one day work for him. I could list other examples he used in front of crowds to magically impress them. I hope this one example helps you to understand why I think such mysticism can be eliminated without hurting Aikido itself, but rather, improving the technique.
I'd like a vote to find out how many on this site have experienced something even remotely like this in aikido. If this is your vision of aikido, then you are correct about what you are defining as "mysticism". What is this????

I'd say you have no experience in any hombo affiliated aikido if this is where you are drawing your experience from. As such, you have not to date demonstrated that you have any knowledge of aikido, nor are qualified to discuss the merits.

Several of us have stated our position that if you remove the "DO" aspects from aikido, you no longer have aikido, it is something else. As Mark Johnson pointed out as well several post up.

I'd highly recommend that you go train what you like to train and leave aikido to aikidoka.

I train in other things, and incorporate the lessons in them to develop me as a martial artist, but do not expect aikido to be anything other than it is. Yes it has things that do not fit my goals, and things that are lacking in it to meet my goals.

Can you not accept the fact that aikido is a DO art and not a SU art, therefore if you strip out the DO, you no longer have the "WAY" to peace and harmony. It is not about combat period.

You have your opinion and are entitled to it .
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:09 AM   #247
happysod
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
find out how many on this site have experienced something even remotely like this in aikido
caveat - this was told to me by one of my previous instructors, but I have always found him a truthful man.

A very experienced sensei in the UK was selling special mountain water from Japan at one of his seminars. Unfortunately he'd ran out of Japanese water so continued to sell bottles of sort of special water in that he'd filled it from the tap himself. I'd call that using mysticism to sell something.

Does being kept sitting in seiza while special martial-arts calendars are sold count? I almost bought one just to be able to stand up...
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:44 AM   #248
Michael Neal
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

I enjoy some of the aesthetic parts of Japanese cultue, I have a tendency to bring alot of Japanese elements into my home and garden decor. It is the simplicity of it that is appealing to me. A lack of clutter, simple aesthetic natural design, etc.

This translates over to why I like Judo, there is no spirituality preached or discussed in most Judo clubs but I find the whole experience spiritual. It is the quiet simplicity of it all. If someone would begin to discuss Ki or any other mystical elements I would immediatley loose those tranquil feelings.

That is where I am coming from I guess, it is the lack of discussion of spirituality and mysticism that makes it more spiritual to me. If you watch the Judo video I posted in the "Judo from another angle" thread, you can see what I am talking about. If all of the sudden the words 'Aikido is Love" was flashed on the screen the whole experience would be ruined for me.
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Old 06-13-2005, 11:09 AM   #249
Michael Neal
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

While Kevin can argue that the mystical teachings involved in Aikido are not "dogma," I think I disagree. The word "Love" can be very dogmatic for example, depending upon what exactly is meant by the person saying it. The same can go for many other Aikido spiritual concepts that appear at first to be free of anything religious or political yet are used for exactly those purposes. Another example is the word "Peace," another common Aikido term that is in my view is abused by many Aikidoka.

While on the face it seems the concepts are innocent and free of dogma, yet there is often dogma attached to them. This is why it is better to remove these concepts all together from the practice of Aikido and leave it up to the individual to have their own spiritual experience free from this influence.
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Old 06-13-2005, 11:57 AM   #250
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

are not love and peace universal concepts (values)? both Aikido and Judo share the same essential values.

from judoinfo.com about Kano:

Quote:
When Kano called Judo "a way of human development understandable by people all over the world," he was attempting to formulate an idea he had of organizing an international Judo federation to spread interest in Judo. By 1912, the Shihan had made no less than nine trips abroad to create interest in the new Japanese sport.
and this:

Quote:
In the last few years of his life Jigoro Kano concentrated on the educational and spiritual aspects of Judo until the systems reached a level of intellectual and moral education as well as an athletic activity and method of combat. Actually, he referred to Judo as a sport with the three aims of physical education, contest proficiency and mental training. Its ultimate object was "to perfect oneself and thus be of some use to the world around oneself."
How does this differ from the goals of O'Sensei.

Both arts are "DO"s. The way to perfecting the human, which is made up of mind, body, and spirit. Aparently Judo does a much better job of hiding it's "Dogma" than Aikido, which is something to be much more concerned with because you don't know it is "contaminating" you.

Good luck on keeping your spirituality separate from the rest of your life in a nice little box. I don't see how you guys do it!
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