Recommended reading: “Perceptions And Deceptions” by Stanley Pranin

The article below from the fall of 1991 has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

In our role as chroniclers of aikido and Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu we come into contact with a large number of adherents of different styles and approaches to these martial arts. The emphases of the various groups run the gamut from the physical and self-defense oriented all the way to the “spiritually” inclined styles for whom technique is of secondary importance. Despite these remarkable differences, I have often encountered a common characteristic in the mentality of the practitioners of these diverse persuasions. I will refer to it as the “true believer” syndrome.

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  1. …think I went through that phase at about blue belt… 😉

  2. Brett Jackson says:

    Well said, Stanley San. I think Aikido groups may be finally, slowly moving away from these all/nothing attitudes. No doubt your Aikdo Expos have helped with the education process.

  3. Gary Ohama says:

    A great message for all of us. I guess human nature allows us to fall into this trap over and over. Forgiving ourselves, and others, is a good place to start for a return to a positive reality.

  4. I think it’s called gullibility…..?

  5. Wonderful piece, great reading, thank you.
    I am not sure it will phase out though, as I have seen this kind of behaviour all over the world. Total dedication and worship of ordinary flawed human beings being promoted to god like status. Perhaps this shows a great flaw in our own personal makeup, in that we so desperately need, and actively seek out, someone other than ourselves to idolise and believe in. In my old age I choose to find quality mentors and guides who will add to my personal growth in a positive way, I’m not looking for a father figure or an idol.

  6. SUCKER’S…

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