Re: What is "combat"?
Another serendipitous turn of the conversation. O Sensei seemed to become more powerful the more compassionate he became. (And personally, I believe the Shihans I've trained with are as good in real life as they are on the tatami, by the way.)
I know this is really twisting the thread, but do you suppose that's the real meaning of "Budo is love"? O Sensei could deal death and destruction on an unparalleled level, but was it because he chose not to, or in spite of it?
Or maybe once you've realized that you can do whatever you want with an attacker, why not cut them a break?