Our teaching Rationale
The Aikido Center of Los Angeles teaches Aikido as budo (武道) or as a martial art.
The word bu (武) means “warrior or military” thus the dojo’s primary function is that of acquiring technical martial skill. Furuya Sensei referred to this type of training as shugyo which means regular physical practice taken to an intense level in order to transcend the body and reach a higher state of spiritual awakening or awareness.
The word do (道) which translates as “way or path” and is heavily associated with this idea of shugyo. Do is the more spiritual aspect of budo training. To live the way of life of budo requires that one be disciplined and diligent. To be disciplined and diligent means that we must be mindfully aware of our every action which is referred to as samu in Zen.
Furuya Sensei once talked about the two aspects of training with the metaphor of “Saikan Kyobai (sic)” which he said meant, “The elegant apricot flower and the strong plum blossom. To focus too much on war makes us rough and crude while the emphasis on too much beauty makes us weak. Both ideals must be harmonized together - this is very true in Aikido practice and in Aikido technique."
At the Aikido Center of Los Angeles, we train in Aikido as a martial art while simultaneously living our lives following the spiritual path of Aikido. In true budo, one cannot exist without the other.
What is the difference between something as a jutsu (術) or do (道)? Click here to read Furuya Sensei's article.