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Old 12-14-2005, 08:36 AM   #1
Steve Morabito
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Non-resistance

I'm very interested in the meaning of something Osensei said about non-resistance, because thinking about this principle helps me in my practice. The following are two "quotes" translated from OSensei that are commonly seen on websites. I'm wondering if they are really something he said one time and are just different english translations. If so, which is more accurate? Maybe someone can post the Japanese words and I can ask for another translation. I'd ultimately like see a very accurate translation and the kanji (at least for the word "non-resistance") if anyone has thoughts on that as well.

#1:The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

#2:Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:55 AM   #2
Mike Sigman
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Steve Morabito wrote:
I'm very interested in the meaning of something Osensei said about non-resistance, because thinking about this principle helps me in my practice. The following are two "quotes" translated from OSensei that are commonly seen on websites. I'm wondering if they are really something he said one time and are just different english translations. If so, which is more accurate? Maybe someone can post the Japanese words and I can ask for another translation. I'd ultimately like see a very accurate translation and the kanji (at least for the word "non-resistance") if anyone has thoughts on that as well.

#1:The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

#2:Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning.
From the Tao Te Ching:

That which offers no resistance,
overcomes the hardest substances.
That which offers no resistance
can enter where there is no space.


The idea of no resistance and harmonizing with nature, etc., are very ancient; O-Sensei, as did many other martial artists with their styles, justified Aikido by showing how it conformed with established and traditional beliefs.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:30 AM   #3
Mark Uttech
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Re: Non-resistance

Pardon me for saying so, but these pithy sayings are only there to hook people who want to be victorious all the time. I see a guy in an electric wheelchair who speeds around in the library with no respect for other people; they have to get out of the way or else. He doesn't resist anyone; he forces them to get outta the way.
In gassho
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:15 AM   #4
Dazzler
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
Pardon me for saying so, but these pithy sayings are only there to hook people who want to be victorious all the time. I see a guy in an electric wheelchair who speeds around in the library with no respect for other people; they have to get out of the way or else. He doesn't resist anyone; he forces them to get outta the way.
In gassho
and ultimately he's the loser because people think he's an ill mannered prat.

What happens when he meets himself coming the other way?
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:58 PM   #5
Mark Uttech
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Re: Non-resistance

I'm sure that he meets himself everytime. He just does not recognize himself.
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Old 12-14-2005, 03:09 PM   #6
bkedelen
 
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Re: Non-resistance

I agree with Mark, such sayings seemingly only offer two things, a glimpse into something that you may be able to teach yourself someday, since such seem impossible to transmit from one person to another, and a chance for Chinese martial artists to brag on other people's forums about how their guys new about these principles first.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:13 AM   #7
xuzen
 
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Steve Morabito wrote:
#1:The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

#2:Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning.

Thanks,
Steve
Probably the translator does a lousy job at translation. Try again to read the sentence again replacing non-resistance with non-attachment.

Non-attachment is a very fundamental principle in the teaching of Sakyamuni Siddharta Gautama.

1) Non-attachment to winning nor losing, and you have nothing to compare your result to. Not comparing your result to anything, you do not have a concept of winning nor losing, hence you are victorious from the beginning, as you are not in competition.

2) If you have mind already attached on winning or losing than if your objective is not met, you felt lost. By being non-attached to winning nor losing, then whatever outcome will not fetter you, hence you are victorious from the beginning.

This is how I interpret the two above phrase. You asked for an opinion, I gave mine. I hope my interpretation is not too far from the original context. Forgive me, if I am wrong.

Boon.

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Old 12-15-2005, 01:32 AM   #8
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Probably the translator does a lousy job at translation. Try again to read the sentence again replacing non-resistance with non-attachment. Non-attachment is a very fundamental principle in the teaching of Sakyamuni Siddharta Gautama.

1) Non-attachment to winning nor losing, and you have nothing to compare your result to. Not comparing your result to anything, you do not have a concept of winning nor losing, hence you are victorious from the beginning, as you are not in competition.

2) If you have mind already attached on winning or losing than if your objective is not met, you felt lost. By being non-attached to winning nor losing, then whatever outcome will not fetter you, hence you are victorious from the beginning.

This is how I interpret the two above phrase. You asked for an opinion, I gave mine. I hope my interpretation is not too far from the original context. Forgive me, if I am wrong. Boon.
Great interpretation. I agree that non-attachment conveys a better, more applicable, and understandable message. Translation is very difficult; mistakes are often made and uncontested...

joe
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:43 AM   #9
PeterR
 
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Re: Non-resistance

The first letter of three from The Unfettered Mind is a great read with regard to non-attachment or the non-lingering mind and I concur with Boon's take. Also Mike S.'s. The idea permeates Taoist and Buddhist thought.

Shodokan Aikido has resistance and competitive randori. For us, if your world revolves around winning or losing, you will not learn the lesson this sort of training is designed to impart.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:08 AM   #10
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Non-resistance

Ah, I think I've found it at this site. It's the homepage of the Seibukan, an Aikikai dojo in Kobe.

合気道の極意は、己を宇宙の動きと調和させ、己を宇宙そのものと一致させることにある。合気道の極意を会得した者は、宇宙がその腹中にあり、「我は即ち宇宙」なのである。 いかなる早技で敵が襲いかかってきても私は敗れない。それは私の技が敵の技より早いからではない。はじめから勝負がついているのだ。敵が「宇宙そのものである私」と争おう とすることは、宇宙との調和を破ろうとしているのだ。すなわち私と争おうという気持ちを起こした瞬間に、敵はすでに破れているのだ。そこには早いとか遅いという時の長さが 全然存在しないのだ。合気道は無抵抗主義である。無抵抗なるが故にはじめから勝っているのだ。目をつむれば何もなくなる。自我と私欲の念を去ったら、天地はすべて自分のも のになるのである。

"The secret (gokui) of Aikido is to harmonize yourself with the movement with the universe, and put yourself in accord with the universe itself. For those who comprehend the secret of Aikido, the universe is in their hearts, a matter of 'I am, in fact, the universe.' No matter how fast an enemy attacks me, I cannot lose. That is not because my technique (waza) is faster than the enemy's. The contest is already decided. Attempting to fight with 'me, who is the universe', he is attempting to destroy the harmony of the universe. In other words, in the moment he decides to fight with me, the enemy is already defeated. Length of time, fast or slow, doesn't exist at all. Aikido is the principle of non-resistance (muteikou). Non-resistance is therefore victorious from the start. If you close your eyes everything vanishes. When you have walked away from thoughts of ego and self-interest, heaven and earth becomes yours."

This site appears to have the passage of Bu no shinjin (a biography of Ueshiba by Kanemoto Sunadomari), where your two quotes have come from. The relevant part here is

合気道は無抵抗主義である。無抵抗なるが故に、初めから勝っているのである。
邪気のある人間、争う心のある人間は、はじめから負けているのである。

Aikido is the principle of non-resistance. Non-resistance is therefore victorious from the start. (This is the very same sentence as in the first quote.)
People with evil intentions, people with a mind to fight, they are defeated from the beginning.

"Non-resistance" here is 無抵抗, and that's pretty much the only translation, although I suppose the case could be made for "passivity". The Founder says Aikido is 無抵抗主義, which is "the principle of passive resistance", or "the principle of non-resistance". Pretty much the same thing.

Both translations seem, to me, to be good and accurate. Personally, I like #1 best, except for its (to me) annoying tendency to call aikido the "Art of Peace".

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:32 PM   #11
Steve Morabito
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Re: Non-resistance

Josh,
What a great post. Thank you for doing the research, the translations, the kanji, and for your insights!! Just to confirm my understanding, the following is true, right?
無抵抗 = muteikou = passive resistance (or non-resistance)
Thanks again,
Steve
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:39 PM   #12
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Steve Morabito wrote:
Josh,
What a great post. Thank you for doing the research, the translations, the kanji, and for your insights!! Just to confirm my understanding, the following is true, right?
無抵抗 = muteikou = passive resistance (or non-resistance)
Thanks again,
Steve
Yup, that's it. Glad to be of help.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:39 PM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:
Ah, I think I've found it at this site. It's the homepage of the Seibukan, an Aikikai dojo in Kobe.

合気道の極意は、己を宇宙の動きと調和させ、己を宇宙そのものと一致させることにある。合気道の極意を会得した者は、宇宙がその腹中にあり、「我は即ち宇宙」なのである。 いかなる早技で敵が襲いかかってきても私は敗れない。それは私の技が敵の技より早いからではない。はじめから勝負がついているのだ。敵が「宇宙そのものである私」と争おう とすることは、宇宙との調和を破ろうとしているのだ。すなわち私と争おうという気持ちを起こした瞬間に、敵はすでに破れているのだ。そこには早いとか遅いという時の長さが 全然存在しないのだ。合気道は無抵抗主義である。無抵抗なるが故にはじめから勝っているのだ。目をつむれば何もなくなる。自我と私欲の念を去ったら、天地はすべて自分のも のになるのである。

"The secret (gokui) of Aikido is to harmonize yourself with the movement with the universe, and put yourself in accord with the universe itself. For those who comprehend the secret of Aikido, the universe is in their hearts, a matter of 'I am, in fact, the universe.' No matter how fast an enemy attacks me, I cannot lose. That is not because my technique (waza) is faster than the enemy's. The contest is already decided. Attempting to fight with 'me, who is the universe', he is attempting to destroy the harmony of the universe. In other words, in the moment he decides to fight with me, the enemy is already defeated. Length of time, fast or slow, doesn't exist at all. Aikido is the principle of non-resistance (muteikou). Non-resistance is therefore victorious from the start. If you close your eyes everything vanishes. When you have walked away from thoughts of ego and self-interest, heaven and earth becomes yours."

This site appears to have the passage of Bu no shinjin (a biography of Ueshiba by Kanemoto Sunadomari), where your two quotes have come from. The relevant part here is

合気道は無抵抗主義である。無抵抗なるが故に、初めから勝っているのである。
邪気のある人間、争う心のある人間は、はじめから負けているのである。

Aikido is the principle of non-resistance. Non-resistance is therefore victorious from the start. (This is the very same sentence as in the first quote.)
People with evil intentions, people with a mind to fight, they are defeated from the beginning.

"Non-resistance" here is 無抵抗, and that's pretty much the only translation, although I suppose the case could be made for "passivity". The Founder says Aikido is 無抵抗主義, which is "the principle of passive resistance", or "the principle of non-resistance". Pretty much the same thing.

Both translations seem, to me, to be good and accurate. Personally, I like #1 best, except for its (to me) annoying tendency to call aikido the "Art of Peace".
I would definitely go with "non resistance" rather than "passive resistance" as the second term is how "satyagraha" usually gets translated and that was Ghandi's philosophy and is not the same at all as O-sensei's meaning of "non-resistance". The quote from the Tao Teh Ching is much more apt. The Taoist view of acting in the world as "wu-wei" or non-action, while still a bit different than O-Sensei's precise wording, would have more in common with O-Sensei's meaning than either "non-attachment" or "passive resistance".

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:45 PM   #14
ian
 
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
and ultimately he's the loser because people think he's an ill mannered prat.

What happens when he meets himself coming the other way?
Well maybe, therefore, who is a winner and who is a looser is a matter of perspective.

Non-resistance doesn't mean without force. It means when you apply force people can't resist it. I would say this man in the wheelchair characterises the concept of non-resistance very well. I suggest that you challenge him, and if he is able to avoid your resistance with wit or ingenuity you may have found yourself a martial arts master.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:51 PM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: Non-resistance

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Non-resistance doesn't mean without force. It means when you apply force people can't resist it. I would say this man in the wheelchair characterises the concept of non-resistance very well. I suggest that you challenge him, and if he is able to avoid your resistance with wit or ingenuity you may have found yourself a martial arts master.
How about he's just some obnoxious dude in a wheel chair? Would that work? We can't always view the world through Zen-colored spectacles.

Mike
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:52 PM   #16
ian
 
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Re: Non-resistance

P.S. I don't think non-resistance and non-attatchment are the same. I feel that the buddhist concept of 'non-attatchment' may also be grossly misunderstood. There was a famous zenrin that goes something like 'when it rains, ryokan cries'. i.e. attatchment is a natural part of being a human, although excessive attatchment (and analysis) is a problem of the mind.

(I think it comes down to an acceptance that, although our analytical ability enables us to do many things, our actions are to a large part determined by decisions made by areas of our brain inaccesible to rational thought, and thus there needs to be an acceptance and understanding of our inner nature with complete sincerity, and a realisation that fundamental reality is beyond analysis. - this may result in one thinking that enlightenment is impossible; but it is through the realisation that we are not a seperate entity from the universe that enables it to occur (I think!))

P.S. Mike - I totally agree; I would be a fool to think that two people should think or feel the same. I have the luxury of not having to encounter this man and thus I can philosophise to my hearts content without fear of my toes being crushed by thin rubber wheels!

Last edited by ian : 12-19-2005 at 01:57 PM.

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