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Old 08-29-2005, 01:39 PM   #1
gfontaniere
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aikido and christianism

do you think a christian can practice aikido ?
thanks.

Gerald
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:59 PM   #2
Jorge Garcia
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Re: aikido and christianism

Sure but it depends on the Christian. The same goes for the Buddhist, the Shintoist or anyone of any other religion. How ever you integrate or bifurcate that is up to you. I personally bifurcate. Some integrate. Most don't even think about it.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-29-2005, 02:13 PM   #3
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Good answer, Jorge! I, as a born-again and very devout Christian, practice Aikido as well as a whole bunch of other styles. What attracted me to Aikido is the "non-violence" principle behind it...or a better way to descibe it would be the principle of using only the "neccessary" amount of violence...which...depending on the situation can be a small dose or a large one! lol. Now...Aikidokas in general vouch more for using less violence to control an opponent. That's what attracted me to aikido...because the Bible says that our (as in us Christians) battle is NOT with flesh and blood but with principalities of darkness. Which means...that we shouldn't concern ourselves as Christians with taking out the guy doing the bad thing....but...taking out the bad thing that's influencing the individual to make the wrong choice and do the bad thing. How we as Christians do that is through prayer and setting an example to others and showing mercy to those who try to rob us and hurt us on the streets. A good way of showing them mercy would be to not beat them to a pulp with a "ground and pound" tactic...especially when it's not neccessary...which is an Aikido principle. So...that being said....as a Christian...I don't have a problem with Aikido or any other martial art...as long as one does not compromise or undermine Biblical authority by mixing any Eastern beliefs that are not found in the Bible, you know? But yeah...pretty much what Jorge said, lol.
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Old 08-29-2005, 02:48 PM   #4
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Re: aikido and christianism

Hi !

I am also a born again christian and have been training Aikido for ten years.
At easter camp 2001 Nishio sensei stated that Aikido is the Budo of forgiveness ,so in effect Aikido is the physical training ground for forgiveness .

Chr.Boddum
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:49 PM   #5
Jorge Garcia
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Re: aikido and christianism

Good to meet other born again Christians! I was always taught by my pastor that all truth is God's truth. In other words, if something is factually true, then it comes from God who is the source of all truth. While we may not agree with many things that O Sensei said or believed, I think any Christian can see many Biblical principles in Aikido. As we practice, we adhere to and admire those and we ignore the rest. If we as Christians are going to influence the world we live in, we will have to "be in the world but not of the world". We should have this attitude toward movies, where we buy groceries and what we do in a bookstore. We should always stand as witnesses to what and whom we believe in and never compromise our principles. I don't think practicing Aikido in a mixed group compromises us since even the non Christians disagree or plain don't know what O Sensei taught and believed. They are in the same boat as we are in. The dojo isn't a place of worship. It's a place of training and self discovery. Practicing real Aikido is no different than a Christian attending a public school and taking a secular textbook and doing real world math.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:55 PM   #6
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Yet another great post, Jorge! God Bless!
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Old 08-29-2005, 10:20 PM   #7
Jerry Miller
 
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Re: aikido and christianism

OT, Happy birthday Jorge

Jerry Miller
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:51 AM   #8
Jorge Garcia
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Re: aikido and christianism

Thanks for the birthday greeting Gerard. I was surprised to see the little cake icon by my name. I was 49 yesterday and have just completed 10 years in Aikido. My son took me to dinner last night and as we shared about the last 10 years, we were amazed at how far we have come. If you would have told me then that I would be doing what I am doing now, I would have said you were crazy. I feel very blest to have been able to learn Aikido from the great people I have practiced with.
Sorry for the aside.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:50 PM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: aikido and christianism

Alan,

just curious..and not to start an argument please!

What eastern beliefs do you consider to be "in conflict" with the bible?

Might make for an interesting discussion, so please keep comments and opinions constructive in nature!
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:54 PM   #10
akiy
 
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Re: aikido and christianism

Hi folks,

Let's try to stay on the topic of aikido and Christianity in this thread. General discussion on religion not pertaining to aikido should be discussed elsewhere.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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Old 08-30-2005, 07:59 PM   #11
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Well, Kevin...reincarnation, karma, the idea that there is no absolute wrong or right (in some cases)...the list can go on...and because maybe there might be SOME similarity between that and Scripture...does not necessarily make it the same thing or make it "Biblical" or right. Everyone is entitled to believe what they want...but if they choose to be a Christian...you can't compromise or undermine Biblical authority. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about such things. If you don't like somethings about Christianity...then....don't be a part of it. The same goes for any and every other belief system. Also...I have participated in Pa Qua in the past and I have channeled my chi/ki before many times. I know what it feels. For someone to compare to the Holy Spirit is rediculous. I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit before. It's something that you cannot control (like chi/ki for instance)...instead...it controls you (if you let it of course!) and the difference is amazing! You should check it out. Go find a good Bible believing church and you'll know what I'm saying. It's an amazing experience unlike what I've felt with chi/ki...which is cool and all...but it is not divine.
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:26 PM   #12
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

This is for you, Mr. Leavitt (what is your rank by the way...1.) i always forget you're a military man and 2.) i like to refer to people like you by rank, lol...since i'll be joining the USCG soon, you know? lol) it should explain to you the many key essential differences between Christianity and Eastern thought in a better less confrontational way that I might put it in...since at times (me being all conservative and all) I can be full of a lot of hot air and some zeal on the side, lol! Well...here you go...I hope you find it very informative. God bless! www.equip.org/free/cp0213.htm
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:54 AM   #13
jeff.
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Re: aikido and christianism

having felt the holy spirit very intensely (while i was being raised within a christian paradigm), and having had very intense, very spiritual, experiences with intensive ki meditation (far beyond the initial control aspects usually described and used in basic martial practice), i have to disagree and say that in my experience they are essentially identical. just because you haven't felt "ki" in the way that you have felt the "holy spirit", it does not follow that they can't be the same.

further, when you investigate eastern writings on chi/ki, you find it stated that at the ultimate, pure level (according to these traditions), ki study means letting go and allowing the ki to work thru you. that is: one must become a clear channel for the divine to work thru. osensei himself was, i think, very clear in this regard. and this, of course, resembles christian writing on the subject (i.e. "let go and let god"), particularly in regards to the holy spirit.

as to the control aspects taught initially in the martial arts (and other disciplines), some writings on the matter (and my own experience) suggests that this initial control is also possible with the holy spirit in a very small and extremely limited sense. in that we can control that aspect of the holy spirit that makes up who we are. but that ultimately that control has to flip as we connect even deeper with it (i.e. was we understand and come to realize our holy spirit's connection with the holy spirit), or else we fall to, as they say, the dark side true trying to turn that connection into an extension of our ego.

but i would argue that that ability to control (on some level) extends beyond in some sense, like with christian healers who can essentially choose to heal someone by (for lack of a better word) channeling the holy spirit (which, of course, is nearly identical in concept and practice with the discipline of reiki), etc.

as hokey (tho fun!) as it might sound, obi-wan's wisdom from ep four is, i think, pertinent here:

luke: "you mean it controls your actions?"

obi-wan: "partially, but it also obeys your commands."

and it could be that the difference between light and dark side in the real world, when it comes to these matters, comes down to how much you are willing & able to allow your actions to be controled, and only command when it is necessary, and then only within generally accepted ethical standards.

just my two cents...
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:31 PM   #14
Patrick Crane
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Re: aikido and christianism

"Jesus" is alleged to have said, "If a man smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other."
I suppose, from the Aikido point of view, by the time his strike reaches where my cheek used to be, he should already be tapping the mat.
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:45 PM   #15
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Well...Jeff...as a Christian one must also be concious of the fact that there is also the devil. The Bible tells us that "...he roams about seeking whom he may devour" and that he also "...comes as the angel of light". So...basically...that intense, divine level of chi/ki practice...is not from God and is NOT the Holy Spirit...and if it does not come from God...then it comes from our enemy Satan who will always try to decieve us and keep us from God's truth so that we can all join him in hell. You see...no one wants to drink or smoke pot or get "high" alone, do they? They always ask their friends, "Hey, you wanna get drunk (or high) today with me?" They can never be a loser all by themselves...they need to be associated with other losers so that they can justify their evil actions. Very much the exact same concept with Satan. So, Jeff...don't let him decieve you into thinking certain things are the same...'cause they're not. Think about it...the Holy Spirit guides and convicts you to do what is right before God...but for who's glory? Not ours...but God's glory. What does chi/ki do for you? If it "guides" you into doing what is right...it's not for anyone else's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong.
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:50 PM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: aikido and christianism

Good conversation all. Jun, completely understand your concern about keeping the topic from straying....that is not my intent.

I think it is relevant to discuss eastern beliefs comparatively against christainity. Aikido, at least culturally is founded on eastern philosophy/beliefs so I find it relevant to the topic of reconciling religion with aikido.

Alan,

My time is Kevin on the board here...do not go by military rank here, but thanks for the offer. We are all equals in the practice of our art for sure!

I tend not to focus on looking at the differences or conflicts between eastern beliefs, but the similarities and where they can be mutually supporting or beneficial!

I believe it is possible for two people with very diverse beliefs and backgrounds to share their beliefs and grow from the adventure!
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:25 PM   #17
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Yeah, I agree with you, Kevin. In fact...like I have mentioned before in past threads and posts...I have a couple of really, really good friends from other religions. One of them is Muslim and she lives in Uzbekistan. We're really great friends regardless of our beliefs. One thing we find in common with each other is the fact that we have a desire for peace and righteousness to be displayed in the world. However, she doesn't believe in compromising her beliefs (she's a very conservative muslim) to make me happy and I don't believe in compromising mine (I'm a very conservative Evangelical Christian) to make anyone else happy, you know? As long as no one compromises w/e beliefs they may hold, Christian or non-Christian, that's all that matters to me. But seriously though...what's your rank...I won't call you by it or anything...I'm just curious, lol! My dad was a 2nd Class Petty Officer in the USN Pacific Fleet and was a 1st P.G. War veteran. Were you there too in the 1st P.G. War? Were you in this one?
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:19 PM   #18
sullivanw
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Re: aikido and christianism

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
If it "guides" you into doing what is right...it's not for anyone else's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong.
This makes no sense to me, and if you could explain further I would really appreciate it.

Let's say that someone has achieved the level of skill and sensitivity to feel the flow of ki and act accordingly, and they use this ability to save the life of an innocent. This would be a good thing indeed. I don't understand how this would be for one's own glory. Why couldn't it be an action taken just because it was the right thing to do? And how can taking the right action just because it is right be wrong?

I'm posing this question because I'm really big on Aikido, and was raised as a Christian, and although I do not practice the religion I have really taken a lot of the fundamentals to heart.

Thanks in advance for any input / thoughts on this matter.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:42 PM   #19
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Well, William...you can do something that is right to help someone and you could feel good about it. However...what is your true motive for doing it? To make people think you're a nice guy or to truly help the person? Maybe a little bit of both? See...what I mean by saying that "...it's not for anyone's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong" is that in comparing it to the Holy Spirit is wrong...not the action of helping someone or doing the right thing, you know what I mean? However, when the Holy Spirit convicts you of something...you're not convicted of something that you would think is the right thing to do...or maybe something that is necessary to do. If someone is need, you may be too tired, lazy, depressed, etc. to do anything about it...however...the Holy Spirit (if you're a Christian that is) will convict you and lay it upon your heart to do something...at the time when you don't want to do it, you see what I'm saying? Now...when you let the Holy Spirit guide you...you end up obeying Its convictions and you do what is the right thing. Hopefully my explanation made some sense to you this time...if not...you can always PM me and we can have a better discussion about it there, ok? Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2005, 08:34 AM   #20
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Re: aikido and christianism

Quote:
Gerald Fontaniere wrote:
do you think a christian can practice aikido ?
thanks.

Gerald
Yeah.

Bryce
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:13 AM   #21
jeff.
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Re: aikido and christianism

thanks for your interesting responses alan. i'll try to do them justice with some thoughts of my own...

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
as a Christian one must also be concious of the fact that there is also the devil.
this is actually a highly questionable assertation. many christians, including many prominent theologians (both current and historical), deny the ultimately being of evil. one in particular, st augustine, points out that the only thing that truely exists in an ultimate way is the light of god, and that all things stem from / are a part of that light. he felt that god only created the devil (and some theologians believe he assigned the angel lucifer the task of pretending to be evil) so that we could understand his light. from this st augustine put forth that evil has no being of its own.

i personally tend to agree with this idea, and reject the dualistic notion of the opposition of "god" and "satan" in any sort of ultimate sense as having dervied from manichean (which is intensely dualistic in exactly this sense) sources, having nothing to do with the abrahamic tradition. i don't believe for a second that anyone or anything could even come close to, in a manner of speaking, "dethroning" god. that is: against the power of god, as such, there could be nothing to stand up to him/her. and so there must be another explination for the problem of evil. there must be other explinations for the biblical:

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
"...he roams about seeking whom he may devour" and that he also "...comes as the angel of light".
and i think st augustine's version makes the most sense.

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
So...basically...that intense, divine level of chi/ki practice...is not from God and is NOT the Holy Spirit...and if it does not come from God...then it comes from our enemy Satan who will always try to decieve us and keep us from God's truth so that we can all join him in hell.
this might be convincing if it wasn't for the fact that when i've had these experiences thru ki study / meditation, my primary action during and directly after was to, in christian terms, praise god. and they have further caused me to live a far less selfish life. to be more service oriented, less interested in my own glory. (i only mention this not to brag, or engage my ego, but to explicate my argument with my personal example.)

so, when i said that they were essentially like my youthful experiences of the holy spirit, i wasn't just whistling dixie, as they say.

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
You see...no one wants to drink or smoke pot or get "high" alone, do they? They always ask their friends, "Hey, you wanna get drunk (or high) today with me?" They can never be a loser all by themselves...they need to be associated with other losers so that they can justify their evil actions.
as an aside, while i don't drink or do any drugs at all by choice, i feel i must caution you against these kind of judgemental statements. while i understand (and am somewhat sympathetic to) your point behind them, to equate doing drugs with evil or assert that all people who do them are losers is quite a large leap. and a very judgemental one. which, if i understand jesus correctly, is intensely unchristian. isn't a christian supposed to react with compassion and love toward all? period. without judgement.

Quote:
Alan M. Rodriguez wrote:
Think about it...the Holy Spirit guides and convicts you to do what is right before God...but for who's glory? Not ours...but God's glory. What does chi/ki do for you? If it "guides" you into doing what is right...it's not for anyone else's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong.
this is very interesting because you describe, using the terminology "holy spirit", my (and many many others') experiences with ki. in fact, in taoist literature (where much of the theory and practice of ki is originally derived, i think), the closer one draws to tao, the more one should lose one's ego, give up any notions of personal glory and even acheivement, and do the right thing because its the right thing by "letting go" and allowing ki to flow and work thru you (as you note in another of your posts, regardless of whether or not you want to or feel like it). so you have precisely described the taoist concept of "wu wei" in christian terminology.

that is: in my experience ki does guide you into doing what is right not for your own glory, but instead, to put it in christian terms, for the glory of god. that that is preciesely what the practice of taoism (and by extension zen), and its study of ki, is all about: learning wu wei, learning how to quiet your ego so god can work thru you. (this, of course, does not mean that all taoists have been good people trying to empty themselves, etc. some have abused their authority and power, much as some christians have.)

and personally, i've come to think that osensei's philosophy is primarily a taoist philosophy described thru a filter of shinto mythology (or better put, that esoteric shinto, particularly osensei's esoteric shinto, is the japanese form of philosophical taoism). and as he noted, the perpose of aikido is to help us come to empty ourselves (he put this is a frequently used eastern religious phrase of "touching true emptiness" [shinku], which means, on one level, to be empty of personal, selfish ego) so that we might "manifest divine love" in a "spirit of loving protection for all things". a very succinct statement of christian ethical practice, don't ya think?

as a final, i think interesting, aside: the first christians in china long long ago, encountered taoism and felt that they had found the teachings of jesus in a different part of the world. the taoists they encountered felt the same. and so they all lived together in one monestary as, i suppose we could say, "taoist christians" or "christian taoists". there's a book on this, and the archeological finds at one of the monestaries, who's name escapes me. if you're interested i'll try to track it down.

also: to this day, in chinese translations of the bible: the word "word" in the gosple of john and other places is translated as "tao". fun, eh?

wow... i'm verbose... sorry all. hope the content of this post justifies its length...
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:58 AM   #22
toyamabarnard
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Re: aikido and christianism

Hi everyone. In my experience Aikido has been truly about peace, harmony and love. In my experience Christianity is also about peace, harmony, and love. We don't worship O'sensei or our sensei, we simply thank them for teaching us, as they thank us (hopefully ) for allowing them to teach. We train our bodies, minds, and spirits to become "better" than they are. I'd say yes, a Christian can definitle study Aikido.

Brian
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:16 PM   #23
Mark Uttech
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Re: aikido and christianism

A Christian should absolutely practice aikido. That way, they could experience 'turning the other cheek' all the way around until they are standing behind the person who struck them. I believe that is the practice of kaiten ho. In gassh
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:17 PM   #24
Mark Uttech
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Re: aikido and christianism

oops! I should check my spelling 'before' I post it. I meant to say: in gassho
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Old 09-01-2005, 06:44 PM   #25
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: aikido and christianism

Well, Mr. Miller...in regards to what I said about the devil and your claims about so called "theologians" saying that he doesn't exist...not all theologians are Christian...in fact...not all theologians are really theologians! Look at the Jesus Seminar for instance...none of those guys have any verifiable evidence on the arguments they make and any evidence they do have are all hoaxes! LOL! So...your "what theologians have said" argument doesn't impress me. Secondly, St. Augustine wasn't Jesus. So...that means 1.) He's not God and 2.) He's not an authority on complete, orthodox Chrisitianity (though a lot of the things he said are good...but doesn't mean that they're all true) and 3.) People tend to take a lot of what Christ said out of context...imagine what they would do with someone like St. Augustine! Also...about what I said about people who do drugs...that's not judgmental or unChristian like for me to say. It's wrong and that's it. If it's against the law and unhealthy for you to do (and you know that) and you do it anyway to impress other people...you're a loser! I could say worse...but I don't...why? Well...because that would be "unChristian!" Ofcourse...I wouldn't say that to someone who's really struggling with it and wants to stop...but to some punk kid who just wants to be "cool" yeah! I'll say he/she is a loser and I've done it before! So what?? As for your definitions about chi/ki and the Holy Spirit...just because some things may be similar...does not mean they're the same thing...remember that. Taoists aren't Christians and Christians aren't Taoists and if you're trying to say that...then...I'll warn you now...you're gonna make yourself look foolish...which I know you're not!
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