Christian Moses wrote:
If Aikido is to live up to its goal of protecting both parties, nage must have enough control to keep uke from making bad decisions. This is the difference between leading and directing. Directing someone can feel like leading, but it's qualitatively different. If my only recourse for someone not following me is to do severe damage (eye gouging would count in my book) then my waza has already failed. This is why I don't like when people use atemi at the end of techniques or when they get stuck.
I think part of what you are saying is what I was alluding to when I said that you failed as a student - in that you failed to continue to try to learn Aikido as a form of mutual preservation.
At some point, uke has some responsibility for the consequences of their actions. I don't think it is the responsibility of nage to "keep uke from making bad decisions," especially in a non-class setting.
I think the best that can be hoped for is that nage attempts to offer options to which uke can make good decisions, or maybe spares uke some of the consequences of a bad decision in a learning environment.
But... when it comes down to it, I find it difficult to believe that someone cannot be deliberately perverse, and hurtful to themselves, if they choose to be - regardless of nage's actions. I can't stop uke from running in front of a car if they wish to.