How much does your aikido reflect your own attitudes towards retribution?
For example, would you consider using a permanently maiming atemi (say, to the eyes) if you felt genuinely threatened?
If someone attacks you with a knife do you feel entitled to use that knife if you can get control of it?
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? Does your aikido style reflect this - perhaps you teach harder, more combat effective techniques to accompany the "eye for an eye" view?
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.
liam - Uni of Western Australia Aikido
In my opinion making the choice to die rather than inflict injury on an attacker represents an anti-evolutionary step. Look at the Jewish peoples of Europe who were almost exterminated because they were nice, law abiding, and civilized. They had lost the ability and will to defend themselves and they paid the price. the only reason there were any who survived is that there were other people who had not lost that ability.
You are entitled to use whatever means is necessary to defend yourself as long as there is a deadly threat. That is not retribution it is effective self defense. If however you inflict injury after the threat has been ended that is retribution and that is illegal.
Frankly, if you strike someone in the eyes in order to survive a knife attack you have used lesser force than the attcker had the right to expect. It would have justifiable to use killing technique since his attack was on that level. Striking the eyes (or breaking a limb) and then disarming him is actually rather restrained.
I think that there are a lot of people who are in denial about their own fears. They avoid what they see as violence because they are afraid of what they might haved inside them. It is an unbalance that is not natural. All animals will defend themselves when threatened and that is natural and proper.
[Edited by George S. Ledyard on July 23, 2000 at 08:26pm]