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Old 04-13-2006, 12:47 PM   #19
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,568
Re: "Self-defense" or Something Else?

David Knowlton wrote:
Do you think aikido can be fully martial and fully something else? A young Tomiki student ... said "Martial art is about learning to fight, not being enlightened." I replied, "What if they are the same thing."
I believe that only those who can make war, can also make peace. A man who cannot make war, cannot make peace. He can only accept terms of surrender dictated to him. This is not genuine peace. A powerless person tyrranized in this manner has not accepted peace, but merely deferred war. He nurses that resentment in his heart. When his power is greater, he is tempted to vengeance. That is not the Aikido I have been taught or which I practice. Kaeshiwaza are not a matter of overpowering the opponent.
David Knowlton wrote:
What if OSensei was like the fool who persisted in his folly? What if his realization was ... that ... warfare was not a valid path.
As to O-Sensei's abandoning martiality as he got older -- I do not see this in the demonstrations of his irimi techniques. His entry is the same agressio in the prewar versus the post war period. Please see these brief examples: The best ones to compare are Oshiba2.mpg (pre-war) and Ueshiba14.mpg (post war). If you have to temporarily download to view them, please respect fair use and copyright so that such things are kept available.
Lynn Seiser wrote:
"The only winning move is not to play."
Then why are we all still playing? The problem is not the game. Conflict occurs whether we will it or not. We do not always get to choose. We have no choice then but to play some part. In war, we are not bound by any rules or roles, really, other than those of our own choosing. That too is one of war's truths and dangerous attractions. It is the presumed roles and rules with which we differ.

That is what I sense O-Sensei to have taught -- that entering into conflict does not necessarily mean continuing it, or destroying the one initiating it, nor does shrinking from conflict protect us from it. We simply must choose to play by our own rules, to a large extent. What we may not get to choose is how the board is set to begin.

Erick Mead
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