I see there are those of you who are having hard time taking the lesser path of gentleness verses the manly kick ass path of the hormonally driven young adult?
Remember, the more notch's you have on your six gun, or the greater your notoriety as a bad ass, the greater the chance your life will be filled with combat and trial, or even chances of you being murdered? That is the fact of perpetuating undue violence.
I know. Many of the Bad ASS bully's I had to put up with in teen age years are dead or in jail. Others, later in life, backed down when they actually realized it was easier to have a friend, or leave me alone. Then others, such as muggers, theives, and other assorted swelled heads were dealt with according to the particular situation. This is before I knew what Aikido was.
Maybe, Aikido's strength is the ability to take stock of the offender, and be able to apply the correct cure that you have within your heart, be it darkness or light? In any case, if you survive the situation that makes you say that you must give the first strike, with out other options, then you had better not be emotionally attached to the solution.
Isn't that what we continually try to teach when we do Aikido? To react without thinking, without emotion, for betterment of humankind?
I understand that there will situations that put you in a bad light for backing down to loud mouthed, overinflated, foul smelling and foul talking bullies? But if you are alive, and they are not because they cannot learn to live within the system of American society in ten or twenty years, who is the victor then?
I know the world is a myriad of laws made with good intentions that does not always work, but if you are going to learn to live within this world, then you must learn to survive within the context of your own terms that allow you continue existence ... hopefully Aikido will help.
Besides, if you have the instinctual training, then you won't have to illicit a response from an attacker, because they wouldn't be an attacker if the response wasn't already in motion, would it? Which, again, makes it an ambiguous question and without thinking you would respond.