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

Friday Aug 05, 2022

“Creativity is not the exclusive province of artists and artistic expression. If we stop the automatic acts of daily life, surrendering yesterday’s happenings and separating ourselves from the old self of one day ago, through an act of our will, we will discover a new life of continuing satori, or many small enlightenments…” With these words, Aoki succinctly brings home the relationship between the physical movement practice of Shintaido and its meaning in the broader context of so-called ‘spiritual’ traditions, and most importantly, describes its immediate application to our daily lives. 🔴 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 Jul 05, 2022

Teaching and learning — sharing knowledge as opposed to mere information — is a profound process that changes the lives of the individuals involved. The types of social relationships that exist in Japan — Shintaido’s country of origin — are different than those in the USA or Europe. Logically, this has a powerful impact on how we understand the teaching and learning process. In this episode of the podcast, Aoki shares his insights into this question from the perspective of an author of an entire body of knowledge — a body of knowledge that grew from Japanese soil, but has taken root in the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, and elsewhere outside Japan. 🔴 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 Jun 20, 2022

Imagine that in creating Shintaido, expert martial artists were asked to commit themselves fully to a partner exercise -- in Japanese "kumite" -- that was nothing like "sparring," that was completely outside the norms and standard practices of any traditional martial art. Aoki describes Hikari to Tawamureru, meaning "playing with light" like this: "All that is required is that we express ourselves as simply and sincerely as possible, regardless of our physical strength. It is not even necessary to move. It is enough simply to play or just be present. This kumite is a revival of the childhood expression that we lost by growing up."🔴 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 Jun 05, 2022

Imagine that you are being invited to join a series of trainings orpractices that are described like this:People joining this training have to put their house in order beforeeach practice, as if they might not return. Our purpose is to discoverour physical limits and the threshold of the unknown world which beginsat the end of our psychological strength.These were the conditions for the people who invented Shintaido, theRakutenkai group, which was formed under Hiroyuki Aoki’s leadership in1965. In the last episode, we heard about Tenshingoso, the five breathsof cosmic reality. This episode presents the other fundamental form ofShintaido: Eiko no ken, the “sword of glory,” known now simply as Eikoor “glory,” which Aoki describes as the “gyroscope” 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. 

Sunday May 22, 2022

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. 

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