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Aikido in Avatar


So myself and a few others saw the movie Avatar by James Cameron a few weeks ago and I have to say I was impressed.

It wasn’t a 10 out of 10 in my book, however in agreement with the general population I thought it was a well put together movie. Stunning graphics, great plot, great message (if you are open to it), and great scripts given the circumstances that the movie was giving to the audience.

And other than the fact that a “human” no less is teaching a bunch of aliens how to be “alien” (a cousin of the “White man teaching Asians how to be better Asians” movie plot phenomenon), it was worth the time that I spent with myself, my date, and our friends.

Though I would like to point out a great insight that I had while watching the movie.

It was during the scene where Jack Sully (played by Sam Worthington) is in his avatar meeting the leader of the Na’vi on his first trip to the *giant* tree. He meets the leader, his wife, the head of the Na’vi military, and the leader’s daughter (played by Zoe Saldana). He also meets the spiritual leader and along that scene these lines are expressed:

Moat: It is hard to fill a cup that is already full.
Jake Sully: My cup is empty. Trust me. Just ask Dr. Augustine. I’m no scientist.
Moat: Then what are you?
Jake Sully: I was a marine. A warrior… of the uh… Jarhead Clan.

I suddenly remembered at this point how in the past Sensei would constantly state to the us that our cups need to be empty. This was an allusion to one of Zen’s (and Bruce Lee’s) greatest statements of “have an empty cup”.I was suddenly transported (during the movie) to the few moments where my Sensei looked at me and told me to have an “empty cup”. Call me weird, but hey it made sense! Having an empty cup is crucial to learning the art of Aikido, as with any martial art.

That was not all: Along the way I started seeing things that were related to Aikido (yes I know I’m an Aikido nerd). Most profound to me was when the Na’vi would constantly state to Jack Sully that there was this energy that bonded their (and the human) world together and it was provided by “Ewya” – the female deity that . Somehow that clicked with what Aikido plays with: Ki – and how all Ki is said to be from one source. A single loving source as it is said.

In one scene it is stated that: “Ewya” does not takes sides, “she” only protects the balance of things.

Aikido = balance? Ewya = Ki?

It was never stated that “Ewya” was a god in the western sense. So I got the feeling that “Ewya” was more of a supernatural, all encompassing force rather than a god.

Hopefully Aikidoka all over the world won’t be attacked by gun wielding marines and armored space ships anytime soon (Jedi vs. Marines anyone?) but it was like I having a second movie being playing in my head while I was watching the first one in front of me. A very interesting experience.

Now please excuse me while I empty my cup out…

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2 thoughts on “Aikido in Avatar

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review (according to Wordpress) | Young and Restless Blog

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