Shintaido of America Podcast

Reading from the canonical Hiroyuki Aoki´s book ”Shintaido: The body is a message of the universe”

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Episodes

7 days ago

Episode 10 describes the creation of Tenshingoso, the foundational kata (a sequence of movements) of Shintaido, which Aoki calls “an embodiment of the hidden cosmic breath.” Aoki intended that the kata should be “…an embodiment and expression of the common Tao of many different disciplines, [which] simulates the cycle of a human life and even the rhythm of the cosmos.” He also intended that the kata should be concise and simple, take only a few minutes to practice, help us focus on the infinite horizon, and function as an antidote to the routine discouragements of daily life. The form that emerged after a process of research and development was named Tenshingoso, the Five Breaths of Cosmic Reality. Aoki acknowledges his debt to his former teacher Shigeru Egami of Shotokai karate-do, and to master Hoken Inoue (also called Noriako Inoue) and his art of Shinwa Taido (also called Shin’ei Taido. Inoue was the nephew of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido). In many traditional martial arts, such an essential kata would be kept a secret. But Aoki’s aim was different than that of traditional arts, and he wanted to make Tenshingoso available to everyone. 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

Thursday May 05, 2022

Episode 9 focuses on Aoki’s research into what constitutes truly natural movement. He identifies qualities of movement common to master craftsmen, babies, and ancient Buddhist statues and describes how he used these observations as criteria for testing the naturalness and effectiveness of many traditional martial arts techniques. This led to the signature gesture of Shintaido, the wide-open hand with palm and fingers stretched and extended. In combination with other hand positions such as a tight fist or a completely relaxed hand, the open hand was integrated into the holistic training system that was to be named “Shintaido.” 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast.   

Wednesday Apr 20, 2022

Aoki criticizes the many 20th-century martial artists who cooperated with the Japanese government during World War II, and finds clues in his own experience of karate clubs where “…the philosophy is very lofty, but the actual practice borders on sadism.” He questions whether many martial arts suffer from “a divorce between spiritual explanation and actual conditions.” He describes his response in the development of Shintaido: “I tried to remove all spiritual gloss until we could reach a ‘zero point’ … Finally the day came when the meaning of all techniques became zero for me…” 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast.   

Tuesday Apr 05, 2022

If ancient movement arts—if we widen our focus beyond martial arts to include, for example, traditional Japanese Noh theater or tea ceremony—if these ways of movement are not just “museum pieces” but are still relevant for us today as contemporary, living systems of physical training; then we might ask if they should be not just revived or preserved, but somehow re-invented. Aoki explains his goals in the process of inventing Shintaido, as he writes:“By using body movement, we could regain a measure of the genuine communication which has almost disappeared from our lives, and at the same time, repair our bodies and minds from the damaging effects of modern civilization.…“After retracing the last three hundred years of martial arts history, I concluded that just as modern art had to be created in its own historical context, the martial arts could be adapted to modern conditions, and the forms and movements would be completely different from the traditional styles.“…[T]he simple study of classical methods never produces a new way of expression. One cannot be an Andy Warhol merely by practicing drawing for a prescribed amount of time. Similarly, I did not limit my study to karate and the other martial arts in this limited way.”The purpose of Shintaido, as Aoki summarizes it, is “…not to preserve old classical forms and transmit them to succeeding generations,” but to use “…a body movement or the martial arts to examine the conditions of our own age.” 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast.   

Sunday Mar 20, 2022

“The sword technique of Hariyaga Sekiun: expanding time, space, and energy.” Sekiun’s approach, influenced by Zen, was to strip away occult practices and pre-conceived responses to an attack. Rather than winning, his school emphasized unification with one’s opponent at the instant just before the start of the fight, a moment called ainuke, which Aoki interprets as pathway to sacredness. This, and Sekiun’s concept of nyuwamubyoshi, or soft, rhythmless movement, transcend the world-view of traditional martial arts. Aoki concludes by imploring contemporary martial artists living in democratic societies to move beyond conventional attitudes, to express their opinions, and to confront social and environmental problems. 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

Saturday Mar 05, 2022

“The martial arts and the history of the evolution of consciousness.” It traces developments through the history of ancient Japanese martial arts from the simplest weapons to the peak classical achievements of the 16th century, after which a dramatic change was spurred by the introduction of the rifle on the battlefields of medieval Japan. From then onward, technological developments in warfare branched off in one direction, leading to the atomic bomb and other inventions. The other branch of martial arts was nurtured by periods of peace when the samurai turned to meditation, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and other art forms. The warrior’s ‘combat’ in the spiritual world grew into the samurai philosophy of living perfectly up to the moment of death. 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

Sunday Feb 20, 2022

Imagine that you are watching a group of dancers, or martial artists, moving in synchronization, the group naturally breathing as one, timing synchronized to the microsecond, but not with military rigidity — they are moving with the naturalness and grace a school of fish or a flock of birds. The scene shifts to a classical orchestra, each section and each musician contributing a part, which the conductor weaves together into a spectacular whole. Part of Aoki’s inspiration in Shintaido was gained through the perspiration as master Egami’s disciple, leading karate training in his school. The choreographer, the orchestral conductor, and the karate master all share something in common: the ability to “orchestrate” group activity, to give “gorei” (号令). Aoki describes his experience leading classes in the Shotokai karate training hall: “Once I started to lead the whole class using a gorei, I was never allowed to break my concentration even for a second.” In Shintaido, the aim of the leader has shifted away from preparing the participants for combat, and has moved much closer to that of the choreographer or conductor: letting the individual talent of each person shine, while contributing positively to the life of the whole. Under Egami’s direction, Aoki also immersed himself in the classical kata of karate, researching and documenting them in detail. But his goals lay beyond the preservation of a great tradition. “The difficult task of collecting these karate kata continued,” writes Aoki, “as well as my study of other body movements. Eventually, this all blossomed into Tenshingoso (the Five Cosmic Breaths), …which became the first basic technique (or kata) of Shintaido.” 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

Saturday Feb 05, 2022

Before Shintaido was created decades ago, its founder, Hiroyuki Aoki, was a young student of drama and visual art. It was only by accident — when his acting teacher suggested that he should study karate to improve his acting skills — that he met karate master Shigeru Egami. Aoki’s artistic approach to body movement gave impetus to the discipline that eventually became Shintaido.“As a lover of music and art, I also wanted Shintaido to have the same value as the works of Bach or Mozart in music, or as the works of Michelangelo, Cezanne or Picasso in the world of art, or as the great works of literature.… The philosophy of these artists in the modern period is as familiar to most Japanese as boiled rice and miso soup.” 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

Thursday Jan 20, 2022

“As a mood or feeling, Shintaido is more religious and artistic than scientific. It is more emotional and primitive than rational,” writes Shintaido’s founder, Hiroyuki Aoki. “It involves cooperation more than competition in its movements. But it is cooperation that emphasizes individual expression, rather than passive group enjoyment.… Shintaido cannot be understood by trying to pigeon-hole it into traditional or popular categories such as martial arts, gymnastics, health fads, or religion.”The difficulty of creating an art that overcomes barriers to mutual understanding is something Aoki understands well. Shintaido grows from the soil of Japan’s ancient traditions, but it is not necessary to “turn Japanese” to master it. A child of the 1960s, Shintaido speaks to an international audience and invites everyone to experience movement that is not “…constrained by tense shoulders, …[and] clenched fists, but rather one in which our hands and bodies are open to our partner and our neighbor in a gesture of respect, forgiveness and acceptance.” Thinking about body movement this way, it is easier to see how Shintaido, although born from the masters of the samurai tradition, may be closer in spirit to master artists such as Gauguin or William Blake. 🔴 More info about the episode and the podcast here. 🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

Monday Jan 03, 2022

Welcome to Shintaido of America podcast! Shintaido is a unique combination of martial arts and body movement that cultivates the spirit along with the mind and body. It has been called a moving meditation. In Japanese, Shintaido means “new body way.” Shintaido’s forms exemplify openness and freedom. The movements of Shintaido provide a new way of experiencing our relationship with ourselves, others, nature, and the spiritual world.🔴More info about the episode and the podcast here🔴 Follow Shintaido of America on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube 🔴 Donate to Shintaido of America! We are a non-profit organization depending on loads of volunteer work yet some tasks require more than that. With your support, we are able to progress in our activities, create more educational materials and work on innovative projects such as this podcast. 

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