“Many of the people I talk to about Aikido and who are not involved with Aikido really throw this question at me often. After telling them superficially about the spiritual thoughts of O’Sensei they say, stuff like, who says O’Sensei knew what he was talking about. They are implying that I don’t question him or his wisdom. They think I am make an assumption that his stuff is true and full of wisdom. I am a fool for not thinking he could be B.S.ing and I am fool for it.
That usually gets me thinking stuff like this. When we really get into Aikido do we just accept O’Sensei as being supremely wise, and he speaks the truth without question? I was watching this show about this cult that was started in the 60’s by a Baptist or some type of minister. he attracted a lot of followers, it got really big. And lasted for decades. It was all about love and stuff that was similar to what O’Sensei said. And plus Aikido got big in the US in the 60’s. The people in the cult really where into what this minister turn cult leader who was telling them stuff to believe that was a mix of Christianity, the stuff of the 60’s movement- free love etc, and western philosophy. His huge group of followers ate it up, and his cult grew to thousands all over the place.
Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.