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…”
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