Aikido, the art of personal development

Sensei Phong Thong Dang Aikido

By definition aikido is a Do system, more concerned with personal and spiritual development through the practice of a martial art than with the direct application of its techniques through a Jutsu or combative fighting system.

The spiritual, philosophical and conceptual issues separate Aikido from the earlier styles of Aiki-jutsu.

It could equally be said that the jutsu emphasis on lethal combat techniques makes it of less practical value in everyday life,
since most people will spend very little time in actual combat, and martial arts have serious legal repercussions if ever utilized
by civilians in a street fight. The jutsu systems may be less effective in transforming or minimising the ego in that they
may actually foster a sense of bravado and aggression. Each does what it was designed to do and they are different in
emphasis, focus and goal

Sensei Phong Thong Dang 6th Dan Aikikai
Taken from "Aikido Weapons Techniques"

Sensei Phong is a quiet, diminutive Vietnamese who impressed greatly everyone of us who took part in an Aikido seminar in South Wales many years ago. He is one of those few Aikidoka whose technique is so perfected that as his Uke you feel absolutely nothing yet resistance is futile. I suggest that you will not fail to be impressed if you Google him.

Some of us who started out on the path of Martial Arts by studying Karate have found ourselves eventually more at home with Aikido.
Having learnt how to cause serious physical damage to opponents we
have realised that as a combative fighting system Karate, in the same way as Aiki-Jutsu above, has its limits in the modern age and
consequently we are happier with Aikido whose techniques allow graduation in their application rather than being full-on or full-off.

It might be said that this development from out-and-out combat to a
less aggressive technique is a mirror of the spiritual journey taken by O-Sensei himself who in his older years came to understand that the Art of Peace is required, not the Art of War. He taught the Art of Peace as creative mind-body discipline, as a practical means of handling aggression and as a way of life that fosters fearlessness, wisdom, love and friendship. (from Morihei Ueshiba “The Art of Peace”)

Author:
Rod Davis 2nd Dan IOA

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