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The Notebooks of Michael Riehle Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-09-2006 02:42 PM
My opinions, pontifications and general ramblings about Aikido
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 14
Comments: 13
Views: 61,215

In General Kill, kill, kill -- NOT! Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #1 New 02-09-2006 02:42 PM
I wrote the following in private blog I maintain and realized it's as good a place as any to start an Aikido blog. Entries here are likely to be infrequent and mostly of the me-on-my-soapbox nature. I hope someone gets something worthwhile out of them besides me. Mostly, though, I just feel the need to say it.

So, this is the first pontification:

A big part of my reason for training in Aikido - as opposed to other arts - is the non-violence that is inherent in its foundations.

First of all, I am not naturally a violent person. But I learned to be violent in a way which is pretty appalling on sober reflection. As a result it's very easy for me to become violent very quickly. But, because my nature doesn't support it, it's very hard for me to live with later.

So, Aikido has given me tools to work against the violence I've learned.

But, that's just me.

I frequently run into people who not only don't understand the value of non-violence, the actively oppose it. They truly believe that the way to a better world is by perpetuating a level of violent confrontation that is difficult for me to even understand. They teach this to their children. They get very angry when I point out the problems with this approach.


Teaching our children to fight

I have a co-worker who was talking about teaching his daughter to hit hard in defending herself. I pointed out that I have students and former students who have defended themselves and not gotten into trouble with school because they didn't become violent. I pointed out that she was vulnerable to being kicked out of school for using her ability to hit. He replied that he would have no problem changing her school in that case. So I asked what I thought was the obvious question: isn't it better just to avoid the hassle. She shouldn't have to change schools because someone attacked her. If she can defend herself in a way which avoids being a part of the fight, she gets to be safe and still stay in school. He didn't buy it.

The source of the bully

Then he tells me the story of his daughter knocking people down and beating on them for fun. Isn't that just being a bully? My reply was that this was an excellent reason all by itself for kids to learn to defend themselves without violence.

Why bother?

Of course I will not convince him. That really isn't my purpose. But there were other people listening to the story. I hope they will think about my points and take them to heart. Maybe they won't. But I find myself increasingly unable to tolerate people advocating violence. Maybe I'm being intolerant by doing so, but is it reasonable to let it slide? Is it okay to just allow advocates of violence to go unchallenged?

I can't believe it is. I believe we have a responsibility to express ourselves if we truly believe that non-violence is a Good Idea.
Views: 1136 | Comments: 1

RSS Feed 1 Responses to "Kill, kill, kill -- NOT!"
#1 02-15-2006 12:29 PM
Dean Harris Says:
Here here, some human beings are still living in a premeval little world were being the "hardest" means you are going to be the best. Aikido teaches us different values, the people I know who like hitting people have no inner self or spirit to ask questions of mybe we need to spread the word. This may result in being told we don't know what it's like in the real world, these sort of folks may be beyond help.

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