View Single Post
Old 07-22-2000, 01:18 AM   #4
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
liam wrote:How much does your aikido reflect your own attitudes towards retribution?
I don't think about retribution as such when I practice.

For example, would you consider using a permanently maiming atemi (say, to the eyes) if you felt genuinely threatened?
Yes and without hesitation. But I'm not good enough to hit that specific a target. No one is in my opinion unless they have a significantly higher skill level than their attacker and if their skill level is that much better then they've got better options. But would I break something in the right situation? You betcha.

If someone attacks you with a knife do you feel entitled to use that knife if you can get control of it?
I don't like the word entitled. You are telling me you think it's wrong to use a knife in any situation. If the choice is between walking away or being carried away I'd use the knife. Now I would not feel like, "ok, he tried to stab me, I've got me a knife, lets stick it in him." But I can imagine many, many situations where I'd stick a knife in someone. You might put a knife in someone if you were faced with multiple attackers (all armed) and you needed to make sure they stayed down when they went down. You might have screwed up something and you see serious risk coming up and it's knife or be knifed.

I was having a conversation with someone about this, and it felt like that we could scale this same argument to one about capital punishment. If someone threatens your life and you had the opportunity to end theirs in defending yourself, would you take the opportunity?
If I had the choice I would not. In an adrenaline, scared, psychologically imbalanced craziness as you would be in a life threatening situation who can say.

Does your aikido style reflect this - perhaps you teach harder, more combat effective techniques to accompany the "eye for an eye" view?
No! We practice for the 999,999 times out of million that we'll get in a verbal or personal conflict rather than the 1 in a million chance one of us will get into a physical conflict.

When asking myself these questions, I'm finding myself to be quite the pacifist - although our dojo teaches some "aiki-jutsu" I only practice it for historical interest, imagining that I'd use only non-damaging "aiki-do" instead.
It shows a bit in your words. By the way, non-damaging "aiki-do" will likely break something in your attacker. Your adrenaline rush and their resistance will not do good things for them.

The trick with Aikido is that we have alternatives. We can hurt if it's called for and we can also scale downward (much easier said than done if your attacker has competence) whereas with other arts the options are much less limited.

[Edited by Erik on July 22, 2000 at 02:40am]
  Reply With Quote