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How is Aikido a path to enlightenment?

Well how does one reach enlightenment through Aikido? Does it happen through real life situations or also by sparring/fighting friendly/on the ring?
Answer from someone who has learned a great deal by Aikido preferably.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The Zen philosophy which underlies the martial art of Aikido is the path to enlightenment. The art itself must be practiced from a Zen perspective or it serves no purpose towards enlightenment.

  2. Check the website the other guy posted, it is very informative.
    the enlightenment comes from training in the dojo, through proper discipline, knowledge and understanding, not necessarily from fighting/combat. enlightenment can be achieved through real life situations but rarely in terms of combat. all martial arts teach to not fight unless there is no other way out of a situation.
    for example, if you see an old woman with shopping trying to cross the road would you use your martial arts training on her? the answer should be ‘yes i will.’ but that is not meaning that you will roundhouse kick her, it means you will ask her if she wants a hand, gently take her arm and lead her across the road. congratulations you have successfully used your martial arts abilities.
    as with many martial arts there is often a religious or philosophical way of living,often with Asian art it is Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism ect. almost all religions teach to be virtuous and kind, and whether you choose to follow these or not, they should be reflected in your training and every day life.
    enlightenment is about leading a healthy, virtuous life for yourself and others.
    this is applicable to Aikido, just as it is applicable to almost any other martial art. Martial arts are not about fighting, they are a way of life

  3. Aikido as a martial art is designed to teach you how to overextend a person’s attack and to turn it back onto them. In order to effectively use Aikido, you have to be able to see not only the attack, but the intent behind the attack as well. If someone throws a soft punch, it’s very difficult to throw them in the same manner as you might for someone throwing a hard punch. This not only allows you to tailor your response, it requires you to tailor your response to the attackers energy and intent.
    A pissed off guy at a bar might try to wail on you – whereas a drunk sibling at a bar probably wouldn’t. Each requires a very different response.
    Aikido also teaches you to not block force with opposing force, but to allow that force to flow and be redirected. A punch in Aikido is not defeated with a hard block, but maybe with a slight parry that pulls the attacker forward, taking them off balance.
    From a basic physical standpoint that is often all that is is. Philosophically speaking however, you can take this idea and use it throughout your life to help to solve conflicts without violence, and to use it elsewhere as well. If your sibling is drunk at a bar, and tries to pick a fight with someone – you can either fight with him, or offer the offended party a beer and try to become friends with them. One of these paths arguably leads to enlightenment more than the other.
    One of my favorite anecdotes about Aikido demonstrates this very well. http://www.wattstapes.com/dobson.htm The author looks forward to finally using his Aikido to defend himself, only to find another man use a different form of “Aikido” to truly master his opponent. One does not need to defeat an advasary physically to win – one only needs to make him no longer adversarial.

  4. It was created as an alternative to using violence in self defense. Most other arts teach you to fight fire with fire as a last resort, but this still requires you to use violence to end a conflict. By training in Aikido, you are taught a different mind set, one that teaches you to avoid direct confrontation and solve the conflict by other more peaceful and non violent means. Once your mind is able to grasps the concept that conflicts can be be solved without resorting to violence, then enlightenment is never far behind.

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