Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Aikido Practice and Spirituality

There is a constant debate regarding spirituality in aikido, specifically with regard to the martial effectiveness of the art itself. One of the latest instantiations of that topic is found in this AikiWeb thread. Here was my thought:

My Post

From one point of view, anything or any activity is an opportunity to discover spirituality; once outfitted with that perspective, everything and every activity is an expression of spirituality.

If that's your belief, then there is no reason that spirituality cannot be discovered in poor aikido practice, and there is no reason that poor aikido practice cannot be a spiritual expression.

For what it's worth, I suspect that someone is more likely to find and to maintain a course of spiritual development with "proper practice"---whatever that means. I also suspect that an instructor with deluded spirituality can do much more harm to a student than a bad martial arts instructor ever could with poorly transmitted physical techniques.

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