Stefan Stenudd wrote:
I have some problems with the idea of starting the fight to win it. Mainly: How do you know the fight is unavoidable, if you start it? How do you know there would be a fight, anyway?
Certainly, sometimes you see it coming, a mile away. Other times, though, it is questionable. Like with most - or all - things in life, it is a question of where to draw the line.
Some cases are obvious, but most cases are uncertain.
I think you have captured the essence of why to bother studying aikido. Aikido's aim should be to give you options to be able to walk the line and stop a fight before it stops. It may be with a kamae, or it may be with a pre-emptive technique. Of course this is all philosophical in nature, but then again, aikido is a "DO" art.
I tend to think of it not as starting a fight, but presenting a presence so powerful that the other person thinks it foolish to proceed.
You don't start the fight if he/she shows intent first. I think it is possible to fire the first physical move (pre-emptive) without being in the category of "starting".