Interesting discussion with lots of semantic "hair-splitting', etc.
Here's my take on it...
As the question was about "taking" the initiative (other common words are lead or sente) it seems simple to me.
How can you "take" something unless the other person has it? (if they don't have it, there's no need for aikido) As soon as there is an intention to make an aggressive movement, etc. in the other person there is energy that can be felt by those that are trained well and sensitive to it. Joining or blending with that energy is aikido. Taking that person's structural integrity away from them (kuzushi) and keeping it by continuing connection and fitting (tsukuri) the technique defines itself through the dynamic subconscious attempts of uke to regain posture, balance, and control.
During any encounter the classic roles of uke and tori may switch back and forth more than a few times. One of the most important principles of aikido is "instant victory".
You may not like that word, victory, but it is paradoxical. We do not train to be the loser. At some point by understanding this paradox we transcend ideas of winning and losing and both parties may be winners if the right decisions are made.
Thanks for the good discussion. I'm really interested in how others feel about this subject.
Last edited by Chuck Clark : 03-15-2002 at 06:47 PM.