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Old 07-17-2005, 07:08 AM   #1
AugustV
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Cool Catholic Aikidoka

I wonder if there are any well informed Roman Catholics/Christians out there who might answer some of my questions regarding Aikido and Catholicism/Christianity. I have searched the web for articles on Christianity and Aikido and have reviewed Christian Martial Arts sites, but am looking for some deeper discussion.

I am an older Catholic--well-informed--who has been practicing at a wonderful dojo in Maine. I am looking for some intelligent discussion of the spiritual aspects of Aikido and some thoughts about ki. Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:56 PM   #2
Aragorn
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

August,
I to am Catholic, younger, and not well informed. my father is a deacon so sometimes we have discussions, but I don't get much. I might be able to help you though.....
Regards,

All that is gold does not glitter. All those who wander are not lost.
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:01 PM   #3
Dan Rubin
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Have you read this one?

"Touching the Absolute: Aikido vs. Religion and Philosophy" by Peter Goldsbury, at
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=944
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:10 PM   #4
Steven
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

It's only a problem if you make it a problem. Not that I'm saying there is a problem.

I'm Catholic and have practiced for some 23 years and counting. No issues with anyone within the church or my family.

You are most welcome to send me a private message if you'd like at aysdojo at seikeikan dot com.
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:38 PM   #5
CNYMike
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
August Valenti wrote:
.... I am an older Catholic--well-informed--who has been practicing at a wonderful dojo in Maine .....
Where in Maine? I'm going on vacation there next month.

Quote:
.... I am looking for some intelligent discussion of the spiritual aspects of Aikido and some thoughts about ki. Thanks.
John Stevens Sensei wrote a book called The Secrests of Aikido which is about the spiritual side of the art; that would be a good place to start.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:24 PM   #6
guest89893
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
August Valenti wrote:
I wonder if there are any well informed Roman Catholics/Christians out there who might answer some of my questions regarding Aikido and Catholicism/Christianity. I have searched the web for articles on Christianity and Aikido and have reviewed Christian Martial Arts sites, but am looking for some deeper discussion.

I am an older Catholic--well-informed--who has been practicing at a wonderful dojo in Maine. I am looking for some intelligent discussion of the spiritual aspects of Aikido and some thoughts about ki. Thanks.
August,
I am a fairly well informed Catholic (I however am not going to admit to being older). I am not any were near the caliber of Peter Goldsbury, and Dan Rubin's suggestion regarding Peter's thread is well worth reading.
You may PM me as well if you did not wish to discuss over the open boards.
Gene
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:34 PM   #7
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Well...I am a born again Evangelical Christian who takes my relationship with Christ Jesus my Lord and Saviour very seriously and I have also been involved with all sorts of martial arts for the last 12 years. I am very well versed in Christian theology and history as well as knowing the different philosphies and theologies of different belief systems in the world (i.e. Cults/Occult, Islam, Buddhism, etc.) Umm...as far as I'm concerned...most (not all) of the relaxation stuff and mental stuff and all have some Biblical merit. However...I wouldn't recommend getting into their so called "spiritual" aspect of it 'cause it does not pertain to true spirituality which only comes through having a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ...not doing works and being nice....but by the grace and providence of God and His sacrifice of His son Jesus to die in our place for our sins...'cause we're all scumbags without Jesus no matter how spiritual and nice you think you are. Anywho...the main point I'm trying to make is this...you can be a Christian and train in the martial arts and harness your chi/ki and what not...as long as you do not deviate from the faith and become some new age moron, you know? If you want to talk more about it and have a better discussion regarding the things you asked...my e-mail address is Irockloud@yahoo.com and my AIM s/n is fistfulofdread and my Yahoo IM s/n is Irockloud. Please...contact me if you're really serious about any of those questions and any other questions you have...I'll be more than glad to help you.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:39 PM   #8
senshincenter
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

August,

You can feel free to email me as well (see web site for email contact information). I am Catholic as well and also have a Masters degree as well as Doctorate Candidacy in the History of Religions (with an emphasis on Japanese religious culture).

david

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:53 PM   #9
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
August Valenti wrote:
I am an older Catholic--well-informed--who has been practicing at a wonderful dojo in Maine. I am looking for some intelligent discussion of the spiritual aspects of Aikido and some thoughts about ki. Thanks.
Hi August,

If you have a specfic question in mind please state it openly. Otherwise I know there are at least 2 extemely long threads in the Aikiweb archives about Aikido and Christianity and the whole question about what some Religions say about ki etc. A lot of your questions may be answered if you try out the forum search function. That sort of discussion can become very involved and heated from my experience (especially when folks start preaching from either side) so if your questions have been answered here in a prior thread it may be nice not to beat a dead horse imho.

If you are already well-informed on one side, then I'd suggest doing some online research related to ki and forming your own opinions.

So far for me there is absoluteley no dichotomy between my Aikido practice and being Catholic. In fact I have found each a bit helpful in understanding some concepts of the other.

Just a thought or 2.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 07-17-2005 at 09:55 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:38 PM   #10
aikispike
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Hi August,

I am Catholic, and fairly well informed.

I have no conflicts between the aikido I practice and my faith, but I know that there are places where I would not be able to practice. There are dojo where practice includes activities and meditation with a pseudo-religious bent. People in those dojo who are christian but not informed may tell you that it isn't a problem - I don't see it that way. Happy to discuss.

Spike
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:34 AM   #11
spinecracker
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

For my own part, I had to examine and resolve the conflict of bowing to the shomen (kamiza) at the beginning and end of class. IMHO, there is a fine line between veneration of O sensei, and worshipping him as a kind of Buddhist diety. The Bible does state 'thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image', and I had to make sure that I would not, even unintentionally, be involved with a act, such as bowing to the shomen, that would compromise my faith. Discussing the matter with the sensei was extremely useful, and now I have no problems with training. I actually spend the minute or two at the beginning and end of class in seiza praying and thanking God. As Christians, we not only should live as sin-free at humanly possible, but also be seen to be living this way.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:05 PM   #12
Mark Uttech
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

I am a practicing catholic as well as a buddhist. As far as I feel, catholicism is only about going to Mass and sharing the peace. That makes it an excellent aikido practice off the mat.
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Old 07-18-2005, 03:31 PM   #13
James Davis
 
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Smile Re: Catholic Aikidoka

I am also a catholic aikidoka. In our dojo, when we rei toward the shomen, we are giving thanks to O'sensei and to anyone who has ever taught us anything of value. I don't worship my sensei when I rei to him, but I am often thanking him.
I see ki as simply another way of explaining physics to other aikidoka. If they extend their ki and it has the desired result of making their technique better, what's the difference?
As for the martial aspect, the catechism explains the right - and the duty - to defend yourself in pretty good detail.
Many times over I've thanked God for helping me find aikido. It changed my life for the better and I think it's something that I can teach others to help better their lives.

Sad, frustrated, imbalanced kid + aikido = pretty nice guy (at least in my case).
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:05 PM   #14
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
I am a practicing catholic as well as a buddhist.
Hi Mark,
I wonder how many catholic or other christian minister would accept this.
"You shall not have other gods after me!" That does not necessarily mean, that there are no other gods, but if you follow them, you cannot follow the Jewish/Christian/Islamic God.
Another issue is reinkarnation, which I (lutheran) was told is not in line with chritian believes.

Usually there is no objection against practicing buddhist methods for meditation or sharing their idea of peace or vegetarism, but most would argue, believing in the truth of one religion would not allow to believe the onther one seriously.

Well I do not mind. If you found for yourself to combine both, it is fine.

So may God and Buddha both bless you.

Regards Dirk
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:29 PM   #15
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

You're right Mr. Danss....the Bible is very clear when it says, "Do you not know that friendship with the WORLD is hatred towards God?" James 4:4. Buddhism is a WORLDLY religion...you can't combine the 2 and call yourself a Christian. There are other verses in the Bible which say similar things like, "What relationship does light have with darkness?" However...as an idividual...you have the right to believe what you want...no matter how misguided it is. Plus...most (not all) Catholics don't even read the Bible anyway...some don't even go to mass! They think that just because their great grandfather's pet hamster was Catholic that they are Catholic and that they're going to Heaven for "being good." Anyway...you have any questions e-mail me. I could inform you very well.
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:44 PM   #16
MikeLogan
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Dirk, that last bit was generous of you, and generosity is a trait engendered by both christians and buddhists. While facts are unconditional, truths sometimes can be.

One person's truth can be another's trash. And not too drag politics into a brush fire in the making, but a large proportion of the roughly 52% of america which voted for our very own weapon of mass dysfunction I would reckon are of the christian persuasion.

Now I happen to be a catholic, catholic schooled, son of a CCD director and taught by doctorates of theology. I wonder how many people out there realize that heaven as understood in the higher echelons of christian theology dovetails more with ideas of eastern philosophy, more so than the average image of an eternal barbeque in one's backyard.

In other words not necessarily the loss of self and ego, but an all encompassing awareness of the universe, the divine; The self exists within both of these.

Anyway, just the monday ramblings of a catholic aikidoka fresh out of monday's practice, where at I bowed out of respect alone to Ueshiba, the same as I might raise a toast to someone I admired and respected.

logan.

(we catholics are the pagans of the christian world anyhow!)

Last edited by MikeLogan : 07-18-2005 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:04 PM   #17
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Not all Catholics are the pagans of the Christian world...I would like to think Episcopalians are worse. However...I have met some truly Christian Episcopalians and Catholics. You see...a true Christian is one who only cares about following the mandates of Christ and living for Christ and making a difference (by not mixing our doctrines with those of blasphemous backgrounds mind you) in this world for the glory and advancement of the Kingdom of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ...not worrying about denominations such as Catholic, Methodist, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc. Ultimately above all...the Christian should only worry about having a true personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:50 PM   #18
guest89893
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
Plus...most (not all) Catholics don't even read the Bible anyway...some don't even go to mass! They think that just because their great grandfather's pet hamster was Catholic that they are Catholic and that they're going to Heaven for "being good." Anyway...you have any questions e-mail me. I could inform you very well.
Luke 6-27&28&29:
"But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who calumniate you."
From one Catholic to you," A blessing to you and I pray for you. I pray that you will live in interesting times."
Gene
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:08 PM   #19
Tubig
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

I am Catholic Myself.. and I find hard to turn the other cheek when a yokomen is coming to hit me.
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:03 PM   #20
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
Gene Martinelli wrote:
From one Catholic to you," A blessing to you and I pray for you. I pray that you will live in interesting times."
Lol Gene I love that statement. A blessing and a curse all in one concise sentence. Brilliant.

What is often interesting though is that folks who know little or just enough to be dangerous to themselves tend to be the first to create religious divisions among otherwise harmonious folks, pass judgement on others while being blind to their own failings, lay down the law (and are even faster to "quote" it) and decide who is righteous and who is not in a single thought without actually thinking. In the midst of this we have Priests, Bishops, and Popes who have no trouble bowing and being reverent (even if not actually worshipping) at Hindu and Buddhist temples and Islamic Mosques; and Lamas, Pundits and Imams who have no issue being reverent and respectful in the midst of their "Christian" brethren who may claim that their path is "not the way of God" or infer that these folks "worship the devil" or whatever.

It's like in MA when you have the Kyu and lower Dan grades infected and embattled over which art or style is better while the true masters of the diverse arts can sit and speak together in harmony since they all understand and respect each other's way and are not so insecure in their beliefs that their egos are bruised at the first sign of disagreement with what they believe.

It seems that religion becomes yet another battlefield that some misguided human beings utilize to feed their ever hungry egos and
need for self validation and gratification. Sad really.

I think if there is one way that Ueshiba's perspectives on Aikido can help those who call themselves religious is because it embraces one of the fundamental creative elements of the Universe that many religions think they propagate also - Love. When we start to get the "Club" or "Clique" mentality in religion and shun, scoff at and insult others because they do not belong to our belief system (which like all others is yet to be proven beyond all possible doubt), we become objects of division, dissension and war - the opposite of Love. But then these are the same people who are quick to tell the Peace loving Buddhist that his religion is "worldly" and as such, not of God. Imo actions speak louder than words and evil exists in all humans from Atheists to Zoroastrianists. We need to address ourselves and that need to destroy something else in order to preserve what WE think is right. I think this is a good lesson that so-called followers of Christ can learn from Ueshiba M., even though Christ did it first (maybe they missed that chapter).

Apologies for the rant folks.
Gambatte, Namaste, Salaam, Shalom, Peace be with you all.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 07-18-2005 at 10:09 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:17 AM   #21
Red Beetle
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Dear August Valenti,

Let me bless you with a few little citations from my favorite Confession of Faith which was written in 1643.

"There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof."
(The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 15, section 6)

Simply put, the Pope is Antichrist!


"In which respects, popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself."
(WCF, chptr 12, section 7)

Such popish vows lead to and encourage the now common homosexual catholic priesthood which causes so much suffering and scandal to all the little male children they molest.

Here is another classic citation from the good ol Heidelberg Catechism penned 1563:

Q. 80. What difference is there between the Lord's supper and the Popish Mass?

Answer: The Lord's supper testifies to us that we have a full pardon of all sin by the ONLY sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once accomplished on the cross; and that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted into Christ, who according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in heaven at the right hand of God his Father, and will there be worshiped by us--but the mass teaches that the living and the dead have not the pardon of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is also daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshiped in them; so that the mass, at bottom, is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.


The Roman Catholic Church-state rejects the Bible as the sole authority in all matters of religion. Catholicism rests its faith on the Pope, human traditions, and the blasphemous magisterium.

The Bible alone is the sole Axiom of the Christian faith. The Bible alone is the Word of God.

"And from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim 3:16). Note the universal indicators in the above verse. The Scripture is sufficient to perfect the Christian man. No Popes, human tradition, apostolic succession, ect is needed.

There is much mystical non-sense in Aikido.
I can see the attraction between Aikido and devout Roman Catholics.
Erasmus of Rotterdam could probably have Folly write down a few lines explaining why.
The superstition of 'Ki' parallels with many mystical powers Catholics believe they receive by praying to Mary, saints, and so on. Birds of a feather....

Thank God for Martian Luther, who nailed his 95 theses on Wittenburg castle-church October 31st, 1517! The date signifies the start of modern civilization.

Aikido, like Christendom, needs to be Reformed.

For help ending your Roman Catholic nightmare see the essays found at:
www.trinityfoundation.org

For help in understanding the logical coherent application of Judo, Jiu-jitsu and Aikido, then see:
www.kingsportjudo.com

our Aikido section is on its way!


signed
Red Beetle

Sola Scriptura
Sola Fide
Sola Gratie
Sola Christo
Sola Deo Gloria
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Old 07-19-2005, 03:40 AM   #22
Patrick O'Regan
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Hi August

I am also a Catholic and practice Aikido. My apologetics is okay. I find no conflict in my Aiki practice and my belief system, in fact Aikido compliments my Faith. PM me If you want to talk more.

G'day Cromwell, Someone once said that tenkan was a great way to turn the other cheek .

I would also recommend a forum search to read previous, lengthy, discussions from a Christian perspective.

Good luck.

Paddy
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:58 AM   #23
AugustV
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Thank you all for your generous replies. I wondered if any had felt a conflict between the spiritual aspects of aikido and their Christianity. I too have studied and practiced Christian mysticism (as a secular Discalced Carmelite), and have benefited from Buddhist meditation techniques. Your responses have at least shown me that there are Christians--apparently devout--who have thought about these issues seriously and are practicing Aikido. There is no doubt in my mind that O'Sensei was a great man, someone whom Christ loves/loved much, I should think.

The dualism inherent in Oriental thought is not compatible with Christianity, but certainly much of what is in Aikido is good. Now, on to ki...
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:25 AM   #24
AugustV
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Mike,

Aikido of Maine (see the website)is in Portland. We have a great group and excellent teachers. If you wish, you can e-mail me for directions. August
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:57 AM   #25
aikidocapecod
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Hello August....Aikido of Portland is a nice group of people. A very nice dojo. Hope to be there in August..(no play on words there!!! ;-)) when Tres Sensei is there.

As far as the thread...I am Catholic. Never once did I consider bowing to Shomen in any way conflicting with my Catholic beliefs. We bow to Shomen in respect of O'Sensei. We bow to each other before and after class for the same reasons. It is not a "religious" bow, rather, it is one of deep respect and thankfullness.

And if I could make an observation.....Christ I am sure feels the same way about O'Sensei as he does about everybody else. He, Christ, may be disappointed in some, but ultimately, if we are to believe all the teachings, He loves all regardless of sin or goodness....(That is just my unschooled opinion)
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