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Old 04-08-2005, 08:24 AM   #52
Ed Stansfield
Ed Stansfield's Avatar
Dojo: Mason Street Dojo
Location: Manchester
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 53
United Kingdom
Re: causing no (serious) harm

Lots of people have told me that the idea of Aikido is to leave the attacker unharmed but I've never really seen this myself.

I dislike the idea that principles of non-harm are somehow implicit in Aikido; that they either "inhabit" the techniques themselves or that by practicing Aikido or applying an Aikido technique you are striving not to harm someone.

Equally, if we're looking at not harming someone, I can't accept that there's a substantive difference between say, moving out of the way of a punch so that the attacker falls over, applying kotegaishi so that the attacker falls over, or entering and hitting the attacker really hard in the face so that they fall over. The question of intent just seems irrelevent to the end result and to me, the end result in each case could be achieved by the use of Aikido.

I don't think you can say "I didn't harm them - they harmed themselves by attacking me" any more than you can say "I didn't harm them - it was the bullet that I fired out of this gun" or even "I didn't harm them - I just didn't push them out of the way of that falling piano". Those examples aren't meant to be as flippant as they sound . . .

I'm not saying that there's no difference between harming someone and not harming them, or that the intent not to cause someone harm is a bad thing. I just feel that the intent and the causation and the principle (if any) of harming or not harming are all with the person themselves and not with the art.

It's the person and not the art that takes responsibility.




PS: Hello Abasan - It's been a while hasn't it? Hope you're keeping well !


It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

Winston Churchill, 1930.
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