Re: Poll: How realistic a goal do you feel is the "aikido" notion of defending yourself while minimizing or negating damage done to your attacker?
I heard that once upon a time there were three brothers who searched for enlightenment. They heard of a really holly man who lived on top of a snake infested mountain. They all decided to seek his help but all travelled alone.
The first one met a venomous snake on his way. He walked around it as he did not want to either harm the snake nor be harmed by it. The second brother met another snake. He killed it as this would allow others to pass safely on their way to see the master. The third brother met yet another one of the those snakes. He stopped, talked to the snake and taught the snake not to use its venom in anger. Then he went onwards to meet the master.
Once all three brothers were in the presence of the master, he asked them about their encounter with the snakes. After all three brothers gave their story, he said that he would accept the first and second ones but that the third he could not teach. When his two new students asked him why he rejected the third brother, the master just shrugged and said: "I have nothing to teach him that he does not already know."
I have no idea why I posted this...