Aikido isn't particularly spiritual, it's a grappling martial art.

That really depends what branch of aikido you study and how deeply into the fluffy bits your teacher is. Ueshiba sensei changed his methodology quite a bit over his life, and students of his that studied at different points came away with very different levels of emphasis on technique vs. Shinto-derived esoterica; generally speaking, chronologically later branches tend to be softer and to have more esoteric emphasis. I've seen aikido schools that spent half or more of their mat time on ... (read more)

Hmm... I was going to say that I haven't seen an aikido school that focused that much on the fluffy bits, but then I realized that it's probably the result of my own selection. I tend to be suspicious of martial arts schools that pay great attention to "esoteric" things because I think that it ends up being mostly bullshit and their students can't actually do things. At least that's how it usually works for the American suburban-mall schools -- my approach would be different in Hong Kong or Singapore. In places like NYC/LA/SF, well, my impression is that it's possible to find senseis/sifus who know what they are talking about, but the default "fluffy bits" school still isn't the place to go to.

Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read31st Mar 2015180 comments


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