View Full Version : Aikido as Budo

23rd February 2006, 17:30
I was in two minds whether or not to post this here as well but I feel it should be said.

I've been a poster and lurker on at least three different e-sites over the last7 years or so, and I'm aware that there are waves of ideas and feelings that sweep back and forth, and we tend to cover the same ground often. One thing sticks out for me which I want to post and see how many others out there feel the same way,

To me Aikido is a Budo. How I understand that is as a warrior path, one which requires moral and ethical development to go hand in hand with the actual ability to fight. When I read many of the posts on the net, here and elsewhere, I see levels of rudeness, disrespect, hostility, flippant assumption, aggressive assertion, and a host of other, what I would consider to be, unfortunate human charcteristics.
Where is the respect and courtesy we should have for each other?
Where is the willingness to listen, and perhaps, sometimes to learn. There are very few occasions where you will see anyone actually changing their original position (opinion), so what is the point of dialogue.
Does care and kindness imply weakness? Sometimes it appears to me that the macho posturing that we indulge in from the safety of the keyboard is very dangerous for who we will become. And those who say they would be as rude and offensive in person, because they can "kick anyone's !!!" are missing the point even more.
We offer each other resistance on the mat, not to endulge our own egos with how tough we are, but to enable our partner to develop, in the knowledge they will do the same for us. If not practise becomes impossible, only fighting to see who is the strongest, fastest, most skillful, good ego growing food, instead of a steady diet of the right kind of humility.
Then the magic of faceless, disembodied communication becomes available, and "Mr.Hyde" swims up to the surface spitting and snarling. Sarcasm and condescension become safe, acceptable weapons, casual opinions become valid expressions of "liberated" self, opinions are formed about others without real knowledge or facts, and identities become targets.

Now, it could be that I'm an oversensitive New Age, tree-hugging Aiki love bunny, or then again maybe not. There are some people out there who do know me, but most only know the image they form based upon what they think of what I write. Please consider this honestly. If you are one of those who agree, please say so, I know you're out there. If you disagree, feel free to say so, but please don't try to offend me in the process. Then, at least, if I do get offended, I'm the one who needs to grow up.

Mark Murray
3rd March 2006, 15:42
Seems like this thread got more replies over on AikiWeb. So, here is the link:

David T Anderson
4th March 2006, 16:30
Alec -- Without going into a great deal of detail, I'll just say I'm with you.

And a couple of points that might be useful...

First, Budo is something that leads inside you. If your art [Aikido or whatever] doesn't touch on your ethical and/or spiritual side, you are learning something that is ultimately distructive [or useless]. Budo must be bigger than the moves you practice. It must make you a better whole person...not just a better 'fighter'.

Second, what happens on online forums is IRRELEVANT. Absolutely irrelevant to what you do in the dojo. Are we better martial artists than our seniors who were in their prime in the pre-Net age? I don't think so. Sure, there are things about this mode of communication that may improve our enjoyment or broaden certain aspects of our knowlege, but I am absolutely convinced that my entire time chatting about the martial arts online does not equal one good practice session.

In other words, seek your own path and don't get distracted by the things that don't matter. Good luck...