Hi all. Good thread.
It seems everyone is concentrating on this or that technique, whereas i think just the movement, flow, form etc are more important. Meaning 'ai -ki -do', if performed as I think O'sensei would have liked, the evasion, leading and dissipation or utilisation of an attackers energy should be enough to dissuade or neutralise the attack. In my 47 ish years in martial arts - past 30 or so aikido, I find the potential of 'aiki' do frightening - thats without applying a technique. If you can evade and redirect your opponent into a 'energy void', where his balance and energy virtually dissappear - well, depending on the perceived threat, you can do what is 'necessary'.
I am not naive - there will be situations which you can not handle (thats when the 'leg it' option/technique comes into play). Most people can naturally just 'fight' - some better than others and some with with no ethical or moral high ground to maintain. Aikido and other marts gives you a 'front end' as it were to your defence strategy - if this does not provide the required results then the natural 'fight' will usually kick in. Basically you have a two level defence system.
I think what I am trying to say is that in this case (Aikido) with its practical potential along with its ethical component provides the individual with choices, depending on circumstances. To be aware of and use this first line skill and its whole range of potential from very gentle control to lethal application, as required, with maturity and care. Quote from the film Roadhouse - 'Be nice' - 'untill its time not to be nice'! Also - Its much better to be judged
by twelve people that to be carried
PS: If anyone is in the Sunderland area (north east england) on Sat the 26th april 2008. please call in to The Seaburn Centre where the Sunderland Int Festival of Martial Arts 8, is taking place 10 am till 4pm. Twelve to fourteen different marts demonstrated throughout the day plus much more - great day - lots of fun and excitement - great people donating their skill, experience and time free - all proceeds to Cancer Research UK. Say hi - i'm the old bloke with the microphone and maybe a flurry of activity later in the day.