Re: Poll: How important is actively applying the "principles" of aikido "off the mat" in your everyday life?
Gosh. You all seem to make it so easy. I notice that Jun put "principles" in quotation marks, which seems to me to suggest that the meaning is not altogether clear or generally accepted.
I did not vote and never have voted in such polls. This is a personal opinion, but I find polls about aikido training and principles rather odd, given that we each have, or should have, a living model in the dojo, in the person of one's teacher. I wonder if anyone has asked their instructor how he/she relates training in the dojo to the world outside. Actually, many of my own teachers were not particularly outstanding models of ethical behavior outside the dojo.
I once asked this question of a Japanese teacher of mine (9th dan: I think I can say he was my Master at the time). He had often cautioned me that there should be no difference between training in the dojo and training outside the dojo. He answered, not in 'ethical' terms, which seems to be general with many of the responses here, but in terms of a readiness to act, and if necessary to die, 'in the instant', with no interference from the self or ego.