Re: "Promoting Peace Through Martial Arts"
Avoidance and evasion certainly are two courses of action for dealing with conflict. Not sure that they are always the best ones. They may delay confrontation, and yes, they may help avoid it all together in a non-re-occuring situaiton.
However, some situatons it may not always be the best answer. Especially in places that kids are dealing with conflict like schools and communities where they are faced with pressures of bullying and peer pressure to join negative forces like gangs.
At some point they may have to face their conflict and deal with it. Given them the tools necessary to face conflict skillfully is a very worthwhile pursuit. the values of aikido that are transmitted through the art are ones that I think are worth while. Courage, committment, honor, respect.
If aikido or things like the art of war should not be transmitted or adopted into civilian life, then why are 99% of us studying aikido?
I do agree that they can be dumbed down and misunderstood. you cannot attend a few classes or teach a few things and say "well there you go....now they can defend themselves! Let high five ourselves and call it a success!"