Several martial arts disciplines are closely interlinked with various forms of spirituality, not excepting Christianity. The teachings of Christ can be found in some shape or form in the majority of ancient martial arts combat disciplines, and especially so within the deepest-rooted origins of one of the most-practised martial arts of all, namely Aikido.
In fact, we’ve known from various studies conducted over literally decades, that at least two-thirds of those who actively practice Aikido, do so from a spiritual point of view, or toward one or more spiritual ends. Half of these report viewing their commitment to and involvement in Aikido as a valuable supplement to a more Westernised religious approach. The other half had in fact mostly rejected traditional Westernised Christianity (or spirituality) and had instead made Aikido the central focus-point of their personal belief system.
Finding The Connection
Even though Aikido may be classified as a “newer” addition in terms of martial arts disciplines practised today, we’re able to find references to martial arts (in general) being considered a means in support of spiritual development and/or enlightenment in writings dated as far back as the late 1500s. Examples include the writings of Takuan Soho and the writings of Miyamoto Musashi – in the latter’s case, specifically the Book of Five Rings. Both academics lived and wrote during the late 1500s / early 1600s.
But Aikido, in particular, has a great deal in common with overt spirituality. The teachings of Aikido aren’t merely a set of techniques for the purposes of dealing with physical or violent attacks on the human body, but are in essence techniques focused on improving the human self and enabling humanity to draw ever closer to a divine creator, or being.
The Power Of Sound
Even so, not much academic research appears to have been conducted in the West on the connection between Aikido and spirituality. In fact, only three Western academic scholars appear to have attempted to write on the subject at all, with far more information being available about other Western pursuits, like sportsbet AFL opportunities and trends.
Thankfully, many of the writings of Aikido’s founder have been translated into English. Still, writings by founder Morihei Ueshiba really only represent a minute portion of what has been written about Aikido overall. Various other non-Westernised books have been written about Aikido, touching on every imaginable aspect of the relationship between martial arts and leading a spirituality-centred life.
Ueshiba famously wrote about the relationship between the creation of our universe and sound, and that sound is indeed to be found at the very heart of the creation story. Aikido’s founder furthermore contends that sounds acting as “seeds” are so central to the story of creation, that sounds are essentially capable of transforming the world.
On Being Godly
Many of Ueshiba’s teachings surrounding Aikido focus on the promotion of the Divine within the human self. Aikido explains that that its very teaching has to be embedded purposefully in the human body and that doing good and acting in a manner that is both godly and honourable, can only be perfected when humanity begins to tap into godly power.