I agree with everything in it. As a matter of fact I am trying to set up a trip to Seattle in the near future to train with Ledyard sensei. I may even bring along a couple of friends.
There is definitely a group that starts training with the idea that they are going to keep themselves safe from anything that the world can dish out, by learning a marshal art. For me, no matter what the art, this fails the logic test. (I know O Sensei could dodge bullets cause he could see them coming.... I am not, nor have I met anyone in my reality that could do that).
Yeah occasionally marshal art X helps in a physical confrontation. One of my sempies used it to control his 80+ year old father in law that was suffering from dementia, and tried to punch him in the head. He did it gently, without anger, and without even bruising pops. All in an instant! Was that a marshal situation? (pops was no lightweight).
Every day though I hope that Aikido keeps me from hurting the world. If we all did this, where would the conflict be. Like Ledyard sensei says, when outside of TV land have you heard of two trained marshal artists going at it?
Part of keeping the world safe from me is my getting rid of my violent fantasies. You know the ones, I can take on the whole street full of ninjas that attack when my car breaks down in the bad part of china town kind of thing.
Training is for ME, not for THEM, for NOW not WHEN or IF. I don't train in dark alleys while I am in the dojo. (I don't think that I have ever actually been in a dark alley thinking about it.....) I know some of my training partners that do, it is one of the situations that I allow myself to speak to my partner while on the mat, without them asking me a question. "Hi Frank, I am Guy, we are here in the Dojo. I will do my best not to hurt you, are you ok with the level of our training, or do we need to slow down?"
Maybe this is wrong. Maybe I should work on trying to kick everyone's butt in the world..... Wait, I did that once, it was highly frustrating and isolating... Nah..... Oh look time to go to the seminar..... Mary McLain sensei today. I love her posture!!! :-)