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Old 01-13-2006, 10:44 AM   #51
Alec Corper
Alec Corper's Avatar
Dojo: Itten Suginami Dojo, Nunspeet
Location: Wapenveld
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 349
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

A Samurai was a retainer of a daimyo pr provincial lord, who function was to a a soldier and to be prepared to die for his master at any moment. Thus the word can best be summed up as "servant". The code of bushido ascribed to them did not exist in any structured form until it was printed in a little book by Inobe entitled "bushido" in which many qualities were ascribed to these warriors, most of which are innaccurate historically for the majority of Samurai. Previous to that there are scattered writings such as "The Unfettered Mind" and "Hagakure: which contain elements of thought that were gradually assimilated. One of the most succinct quotes from "Hagakure" is "The business of the samurai is to die!". Does any of this sound like the Aikido we do.
As an insructor of Shinkendo and a student of Obata kaiso, I can only agree with Ron Tisdale, Steffan, I think that Obata would not be thrilled, nor with your rather trite observation that Iado practitioners, however senior know how to handle a live blade.
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:14 PM   #52
Hagen Seibert
Dojo: Kamai
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 124
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

I would like to rephrase the original post:
Instead of:
"How samurai is Aikido"
I would ask:
"Can you embrace samurai spirit through training of Aikido ?"
as this seems to be rather the point of interest within practical relevance to most people.

Whatever you might think "samurai spirit" might be,
I think many people like to imagine they can,
though they live in decicivly different life situation.
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:35 PM   #53
Hagen Seibert
Dojo: Kamai
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 124
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

By the way: Nice Tsuba, Todd
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:03 AM   #54
James Smithe
James Smithe's Avatar
Dojo: undisclosed location
Location: Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 109
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

I don't consider myself a samurai because I'm not a tool to be used by a master.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:05 AM   #55
Dojo: koteikan aikido centre
Location: great britain
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 74
United Kingdom
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

heyo. im new here, and i dont know that much about aiki, so i dont want to speak out of place.

i too share your enjoyment for the samurai culture.
however, have you tried kendo and iaido? they are much more closely linked to sword work than aikido.

i often get told that the moves are just like cutting with a sword, but the shape is all wrong. however, using hara etc helps alot

i agree though, in order to progress to further levels one has to follow the budo way.
in mjer there are three levels, the first being the basic phsical shape (shoden) then the grasp of metsuke and hara etc (chuden) and then the spiritual level (okuden) one cant move on to the next level unless they have grasped fully the concepts of the previous.

perhaps reading book of the five rings and hagakure?
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:35 AM   #56
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

Fair enough, the reason I was using hakama as an example is that it is the practise of aikidoka wearing hakama that is generally one of the things that seem to make people think of aikido as a 'samurai art'. I know plenty of other japanese arts use the hakama (Iaido, Kyudo etc etc) but aikido (along with kendo) is possibly the most widespread and common of these MA outside of japan. The other more popular arts (Judo and karate) do not usually wear hakama ( I have never seen or heard of this, although I imagine some karate practitioners might do/have done so). So people make a distinction that the hakama in aikido, is what makes aikido a samurai art. Or whatever it is that they think.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:06 AM   #57
Peter Seth
Dojo: Zanshin. Sunderland University
Location: Sunderland
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 124
Smile Re: How Samurai i s aikido

Hi all.
After a cursory glance over this thread it seems that generally everyone is focussed on the 'samurai spirit' its ethics/lack of them? etc. Obviously a natural choice to use to compare aikido as an ostensibly japanese art to.
But, to think 'out of this box' a little - can not everyone where/who ever they are display this spirit in times of (for a better word) challenge in their lives. From little children, right through the age range, at times many individuals show great courage in the face of life threatening adversity. The so called samurai spirit has been shown throughout history by soldiers and civilians from all countries in times of conflict. An example would be the spartans - very warlike - very brave, stoic and fatalistic with regards to life, (also regarded as a cruel people)? (samurai/spartan spirit).

Aikido and samurai spirit? - Aikido - to harmonise - create harmony/natural balance with the correct use of energy??
Samurai spirit - unswerving/unquestioning loyalty, the embracing of death if required, etc? Balance?
Who knows the answer - it depends on your viewpoint. I suppose certain elements of the 'Human Spirit' /(samurai spirit) are necessary to any 'human' activity - so I would say probably 'a little' would be a reasonable answer.
What do you think??
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:51 PM   #58
koz's Avatar
Dojo: Kaiso Dobun Kenkyukai
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
New Zealand
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

To quote from the famous Hagakure "The Way of the Samurai is found in death."

Good luck with that.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching, Ch48
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:23 PM   #59
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

How Lumberjack is Bonsai?
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Old 02-11-2006, 06:28 AM   #60
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

Sean Orchard wrote:
How Lumberjack is Bonsai?
Just a little?

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:54 AM   #61
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Re: How Samurai i s aikido

I'm a budoka and I'm OK
I sleep all night and I work all day.

He's a budoka and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

I cut down ukes, I eat my lunch
I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go the dojo and have buttered scones for tea

He cuts down ukes, he eats his lunch
He goes to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays he goes to the dojo and has buttered scones for tea.

He's a budoka and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

I cut down ukes, I skip and jump
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on funny clothing and hang around in bars.

He cuts down ukes, he skips and jumps
He likes to press wild flowers.
He puts on funny clothing and hangs around in bars?!

He's a budoka and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

I cut down ukes, I wear hakama
Keikogi and tabi.
I wish I'd been a sensei, just like my dear papa!

He cuts down ukes, he wears hakama?!
Keikogi ... and tabi?!

... He's a budoka and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

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Old 02-11-2006, 12:26 PM   #62
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 865
United Kingdom
Re: How Samurai is aikido

I'd say that training in any martial art is unlikely to be able to give you samurai spirit, all it can do, perhaps is give you the same kind of skills as a samurai. That said it can help you develop your character in any way you so wish. The simple facts of training mean that you will face failure and pain and if you wish to keep on training you will have to develop ways of dealing with this and perhaps you could take this in a direction which could be called "the samurai spirit".
To me samurai spirit has always meant being tough, resourceful, compassionate (although compassion wasn't something historical samurai could always be accused of having) and pragmatic, always looking for a way to win no matter what the situation is and often winning means simply getting out of the situation in one piece rather than pulling off a glorious victory.
Certainly I have seen people come into the dojo and through learning have become mentally and physically tough, developed resourcefulness, compassion and learned to be pragmatic, although since not everyone does I can't claim that this is due to the art, but certainly the art is the vehicle. You just have to choose to get on board.
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