Re: causing no (serious) harm
David, I have the impression that if we actually got to train together we would be very much on the same page.
I think that we are all deluded to some degree - some more than others.
You certainly may be right about O-sensei's ranking system. Speaking of delusion, I can think of some well known shihans (and of course a few frauds) who should probably decline to do any more seminars until they get a better handle on some of the basic waza. (When a shihan asked me and another sandan to please just pretend that his nikyo and sankyo worked - I really wanted to say no problem as long as you refund the money you are charging for this seminar! - I'll not mention any names.) I suspect that you are worried that people taking to "do minimal damage" position inadvertently support the combination of "deluded and weak". To me that risk is the lesser of two evils...
As far as I am concerned, the real problem is that I think this world has more than enough deluded people who practice nothing but "maximum damage" at all martial times. They kid themselves by saying well, I'd only use it if someone were threatening me or my family. When pressed, they will do what they practice - even if the situation could have been handled much more peacefully by someone who bothered to develop those skills instead of gratifying their ego for years and years.
Particularly in aikido, I see a lot of aikido people trying to get "better fighting" as their main goal as opposed to developing their spirit through the practice with "better fighting" as a resulting by-product.
I do not necessarily disagree with much of your point of view espeically about continuing to learn how to be more lethal within our art. I simply feel that this should be a by-product of the training.
I liked it when I saw the Modern Arnis folks choose to hit their partner's cane (their fighting stick) instead of smashing their partner's hand, wrist, or forearm. I don't know if anyone in the class other than the teacher was actively making the choice each strike, but the teacher was. I think the same can be true for aikido.
I am concerned because I think that your position about keeping our art lethal with only the long term stretch-goal of purifying the will to violence within our heart/minds - and no short-term or mid-term goal of constantly making more and more progress towards developing the ability to manifest the long-term goal will inadvertently support those with the unfortunate combination of "deluded and dangerous".
Last edited by rob_liberti : 04-13-2005 at 09:00 AM.