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Old 06-13-2005, 12:11 PM   #251
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Legend has it it's worn to conceal the footwork. Kendo people also wear them; feel free to grill them.
How likely are you to be wearing it when you get attacked? At least some of the stuff that requires a grip on a gi or kurtka can be applied on street clothes.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
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.
Yes it does. However the first three paragraphs give you a definition that can easily be explained without mysticism.


Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
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.
Now you're not making sense. This is "aikiweb.com". This thread is about aikido. We are discussing aikido. Yet you want to talk about FMA?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Nope. But do you think FMA training doesn't lead to self improvement?
It possibly can, but so can gardening or playing chess. Martial arts were not developed for self improvement.

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
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?
Preserving culture and respecting people aren't things that I consider spirtiual. I respect plenty of people, does that mean I'm being spiritual? No. It means that they've simply earned my respect.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:13 PM   #252
Michael Neal
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
are not love and peace universal concepts
I am not sure they are, they mean completely different things to different people

I think it is quite a stretch to compare Judo's simple motto "Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort, Mutual Welfare and Benefit" to the religious and spiritual concepts talked about by Ueshiba, including but not limited to Kami gods, Ki, peace and love, etc.

Kano's concept was a general connection to well being while Ueshiba's was overtly religious, even if he did not expect people to follow his religion he preached it non the less.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:32 PM   #253
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

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If you see a guy in a room full of mats execute iriminage (Do I need to show my list of credentials before I use this term?), then do you run up and ask him if he believes the spiritual doctrines of Uyeshiba before concluding that this guy knows some Aikido?

Red Beetle
If I see a guy in a room full of mats executing iriminage, what I would first do is what his technique. If he knows good aikido, his physical and spiritual competence will be apparent. I do not think his beliefs are of concern to me.

I believe there is a difference between personal belief and competence. What you are hearing from several other posters, including myself, is that usually good aikido is practiced by aikido people that at least understand Ueshiba's spiritual teachings, even if they maybe don't share his beliefs.

I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored, just as I think that physical comprehension of the techniques is important and should not be ignored.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:36 PM   #254
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

If anyone wants to see a good example of mysticism that all martial arts could do without, look no further than this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8210
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:38 PM   #255
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
What you are hearing from several other posters, including myself, is that usually good aikido is practiced by aikido people that at least understand Ueshiba's spiritual teachings, even if they maybe don't share his beliefs.

I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored
But this is exactly my problem, you should not be concerned at all with others people's spiritual beliefs when practicing Aikido.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:41 PM   #256
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored
There is nothing spiritual about principles. You're confusing an understanding of principles with spiritualism.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:58 PM   #257
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
If anyone wants to see a good example of mysticism that all martial arts could do without, look no further than this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8210
and THIS represents aikido? maybe for some. You guys are taking an extreme and saying this represent all of aikido. Sure their are some that focus on this stuff. I certainly don't.

I don't really think that we are a polar as you might believe.

Michael, Ueshiba had certain religous and spiritual beliefs. As do you and I, and so did Kano. What the "DO" arts become, cannot help but be influenced by the founders background. It does not mean that there is no room for other beliefs, or that they become the central aspect of the art.

Last I checked, no one was required to sign a profession of loyality to the kami gods. I would admit that AIkido can be more overt in it's alignment to the spiritual aspects of the art than Judo. but the underlying philosophies are the same. Different paths to the same WAY.

The ONLY point I have been making is that there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect to Judo as well, it is simply MORE than a collection of techniques.

Why have the rules and such in judo. Why strip out many of the submissions etc? It is so you can have competition, and have harder training. Kano thought the WAY to personal improvement was through competitive and hard training. I know you have professed this.

Many of you have made it clear that aikido is not your cup of tea. That is fine. It is sort of the pot calling the kettle black to profess the strictly combat and technical orientation of judo though, because that art too has many of the same underpinnings.
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:05 PM   #258
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
and THIS represents aikido? maybe for some. You guys are taking an extreme and saying this represent all of aikido. Sure their are some that focus on this stuff. I certainly don't.
I didn't say that thread represents all aikido. I said it was a good example of mysticism that all martial arts could do without.
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:12 PM   #259
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Sorry Phillip, you are correct, and I agree with you, at least for me. I have no problem with those that want to focus or explore this area, I however do not have any interest in this extreme.
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:01 PM   #260
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

I would have described the problem that was displayed in the referenced thread was 'Faith' or 'Belief' in something without empirical knowledge of it, rather than the presence of the word 'ki.' The problem is a lack of skepticism or critical thinking - but that's hardly specific to aikido and (as noted above) not even general to aikido. I would roll my eyes as much over a team prayer before a football game (not being xian).

Personally, however, I find the *concept* of 'ki' beneficial in improving my technique. Whether it has any actual reality, other than a metaphor for the cumulative vectors of force involved or for the body language/intent percieved in an opponent, I don't know.

I've heard similar metaphorical language from horseback riding instructors and crew coaches, though they didn't call it 'ki.'

-Lk
(apologies for jumping in towards the end, especially w/o having read the entirety of the preceeding argument. Reverting to 'lurk' for this thread).
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Old 06-13-2005, 06:46 PM   #261
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
Your remarks presuppose that people learn through their senses. I do not believe that people learn through their senses. I am not an empiricist.
Please explain. I'm having a hard time understanding how we can learn without using our senses.

Are you speaking of the sudden acquisition of knowledge like the old stories of technique being passed along by mountain goblins

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
No one has ever seen the laws of logic, the number 2, or a triangle, but you can understand the propositions that such ideas are made of. They are invisible, inaudible, intangible, but no less real.
I'm sorry but this sounds like you could plug "ki" in there and it would fit just fine with the rest of your list.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:08 PM   #262
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Quote:
What you are hearing from several other posters, including myself, is that usually good aikido is practiced by aikido people that at least understand Ueshiba's spiritual teachings, even if they maybe don't share his beliefs.

I think that spiritual comprehension of the principles of is important to training and should not be ignored...
But this is exactly my problem, you should not be concerned at all with others people's spiritual beliefs when practicing Aikido.
Michael: you quoted part of a sentence of mine out of context. The first paragraph of my post reads:

Quote:
If I see a guy in a room full of mats executing iriminage, what I would first do is what his technique. If he knows good aikido, his physical and spiritual competence will be apparent. I do not think his beliefs are of concern to me.
Second, the last part of the partial sentence you quoted clearly was directed at comprehension. It is important to distinguish the difference between personal beliefs and academic education. I excluded "personal beliefs" in my concluding comments for a reason.

Philip: I do not understand your post. Every major religion in the world has spiritual principles. What do you think the Ten Commandments are? What do you think those pleats on your hakama represent?

I am not making any comments about spiritualism; I am making an academic argument that argues for a complete education of aikido.

I am a libral arts graduate, but in order to graduate from college I was required to learn sciences. Why? I haven't titrated an GD thing in almost 8 years. Couldn't tell you what the atomic weight of Potassium is either. But in order for me to obtain a complete education that satisfied the academic criteria set forth by my school, I took chemistry, earth sciencs, and physics. That's why it's a complete education.

Understanding the spiritual aspects of aikido, the analogies, the psuedo-experiences are important to training. Just as important as understanding the physical techniques, body movement and strength training.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:22 PM   #263
RebeccaM
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

My hakama pleats represent something?
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:24 PM   #264
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
Philip: I do not understand your post. Every major religion in the world has spiritual principles. What do you think the Ten Commandments are? What do you think those pleats on your hakama represent?
What do religious principles have to do with principles that you would learn in a martial art? I'm talking about things like the centerline, enmeshing, etc. not "Thou Shalt Not..."

Principle, by definition, doesn't have to be related to religion or spirituality.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
I am a libral arts graduate, but in order to graduate from college I was required to learn sciences. Why? I haven't titrated an GD thing in almost 8 years. Couldn't tell you what the atomic weight of Potassium is either. But in order for me to obtain a complete education that satisfied the academic criteria set forth by my school, I took chemistry, earth sciencs, and physics. That's why it's a complete education.

Understanding the spiritual aspects of aikido, the analogies, the psuedo-experiences are important to training. Just as important as understanding the physical techniques, body movement and strength training.
To get your degree, did you have to wear a special uniform, talk in a Japanese terms when English terms could easily be used, and talk about mysticism? Your analogy doesn't have anything to do with the topic.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:40 PM   #265
Fred Little
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Rebecca Montange wrote:
My hakama pleats represent something?
The pleats are just pleats. But Sino-Japanese cultures love lists. In this cases, the (five or seven, depending on how you're counting) pleats are also used as a mnemonic device for the (five or seven) virtues according to Kung Fu Tzu aka Confucius.

http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/cgi-bin/...aido-l&P=21839

In a semi-literate society with a scarcity of paper, all kinds of everyday objects would be folded, knotted, gridded, etc, in patterns that were related to small catalogs of this kind.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:44 PM   #266
Red Beetle
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

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The ONLY point I have been making is that there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect to Judo as well, it is simply MORE than a collection of techniques.
\


Judo is not a religion. It is not a spiritual journey. It is not a philosophy of life.

Judo is jacketed wrestling.

If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)

Judo is not that important. Judo will never be that important. If a person came to my dojo, and had this view of Judo, then I would tell them that they were foolish.

I tell you the truth, I have known people to give up happiness for Judo and they have been miserable ever since.

But, what can we expect. When nuts like Ueshiba and Kano get so drunk on their own ego, and on that which they think they conjured up (which we all know neither one invented either system, but eclectically combined what they thought was important.)
we can expect a whole slew of fools to follow them mindlessly. Do I have a picture of Kano in my dojo so that students can bow to it. To hell with that. Kano was just a man. A man who liked to wrestle. I would easily give up Judo if some idiot told me I had to bow to a picture of a wrestler. I do not bow when I get on the mat, and I do not bow to my opponent. Bowing is a leftover from mystical days of paying homage, respect, and worship to the many deities that are supposed to be present on the mat and in each of us. I do not bow because I do not hold to such Asian religious views.

If you want to be a better person, then don't study Judo or Aikido.
If you want to be a better person, then study the Bible.

Bowing before you wrestle is like making the sign of the cross before you eat. I am not Catholic, so you are not going to see me do that either. Take your religious superstitions to the idiots who agree with them

If I want to know if it is wrong to beat someone up, then I don't ask some sensei who knows Aikido or Judo. I read the Bible and find out what it says concerning this subject.
Thats right, you don't have to practice shihonage a thousand times to discover it is wrong to hurt another person. You can read the Gospels and never have to break a sweat.

Note that many people practiced fighting systems in the Bible, but they did not learn their theology from their wrestling (Jacob wrestled in Genesis for a submission). They practiced sword fighting and spear fighting quite often, but they got their theology not from such practices, but from revelation. Warfare is just one tool. It has its small place in the larger world view of man. It is not that important.

Red Beetle
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:28 PM   #267
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)
This has got to be the most idiotically childish, ethnocentrically arrogant and intellectually bankrupt comment I've heard so far from Mr Beetle. This is the very reason the Asians refuse to teach the "round-eye".... to whom he owes a debt of respect and gratitude for the rich cultural heritage.

Jun, can we have this troll banned....Please?

Ignatius
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:32 PM   #268
Pankration90
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Red Beetle, why do you hate Asia so much?
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Old 06-13-2005, 11:33 PM   #269
Ulises Garcia
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Even if one removes the mysticism, there is quite a lot of wisdom in the eastern cultures. I would never try to become asian, but I would certainly try to absorb the vast amounts of wisdom that pour from their teachings. And I think that, yes, it would make me a better person.

U.

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Old 06-13-2005, 11:51 PM   #270
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Red Beetle wrote:

Quote:
If some nut, like Kano, wanted to pretend it was something more, then he was just fooling himself. You don't have that sport-turned-religion-problem in America, because in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced. They are so starved for any type of spiritual or philosophical enlightenment, that they would worship ping-pong if they thought it would help (in china many of their ping-pong champions actually have stated that ping-pong is a "way" (do) of life.)
I am at a loss. This individual is clearly intolerant of others, and I tend to agree Ignatius. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but this individual clearly represents everythng that I and my brethern in the military are fighitng against. Hate and intolerance have no place in the world, and certainly no place on Aikiweb.

Good discussion I thought until we had to go here. I vote for a ban as well if this is what we are going to be subjected to.

Last edited by Kevin Leavitt : 06-13-2005 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 06-14-2005, 02:57 AM   #271
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Bowing before you wrestle is like making the sign of the cross before you eat. I am not Catholic, so you are not going to see me do that either. Take your religious superstitions to the idiots who agree with them
Actually, I found this sentence the most ludicrous in Monty's post, rather than then rant on Kanos use of spirituality. As some may know, I am truly not a fan of most of the ritual used in many dojos, but a common theme I've seen in all nearly forms of fighting (even pub-do) with even a smidgen honour (for want of a better word) is a pre-fight ritual acknowledging the start of the fight. Whether it's the time honoured "are you looking at my pint" or the rather cute touching of gloves in mma, it seems to be ingrained in our make up and I'm sure Monty has some form of it in his dojo.

Where I'm beginning to become lost in this thread is that on the one hand there's a total discarding of anything remotely "mystical" in order to improve the martial art, while the examples used to show the misuse of mysticism are practitioners whose own capabilities are hard to overestimate.

Am I a fan of mysticism and ritual? No, but I also don't disregard it as I am a firm believer in correct attitude of mind. If someone can find that attitude through following what, to others, is esoteric dross, I don't care. Monty, I think you're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:36 AM   #272
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Monty, I think you're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
In danger my foot. Monty has thrown out the "baby" long ago.
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Old 06-14-2005, 05:10 AM   #273
DGLinden
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

You know, I wrote an entire book trying to explain Aikido principles without relying on Eastern dogma and still found it necessary to deal with 'ki' as a seperate chapter. However when I tried to explain it to a fellow whose handle was AIKI-JEDI@AOL.COM or something similar to that, I gave up trying. If you want to play samurai and pretend you're a Jedi Knight, God bless you.

I actually have dreams of a dozen of so Japanese walking out of a locker room. They are wearing chaps, ten-gallon hats, and vests along with their spurs and wooden six-guns. Their sensei tells them to line up and then shouts "Draw, Pardner!" They all jerk out their little wooden guns...

I shudder.

Last edited by DGLinden : 06-14-2005 at 05:17 AM.

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Old 06-14-2005, 06:06 AM   #274
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Quote:
Monty Collier wrote:
... in the United States we have the Bible which is far greater Spiritually and philosophically than anything the Asians have ever produced.
And how would one measure this greatness so as to compare them?
Or based on what criteria did you come to this opinion?
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Old 06-14-2005, 06:16 AM   #275
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward

Hmmm.... I would think that *any* credibility he had had would have been thrown out with the baby by now....

Ignatius
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