Re: Aikido. The Martial Art.
Few months ago I had an incident in the dojo (basically slipped while taking Ukemi) and hurt my shoulder. That had me think about Aikido and his "protect" the opponent.
So I asked my Sensei his opinion. After all I hurt my shoulder, but if I don't know how to take Ukemi could go much worse. It is enough thinking techniques where Uke arches backwards (like for example Shihonage or Iriminage). We are taught to protect our head and wrists (by not putting our hands down first), but someone with no knowledge of Ukemi will have "better" chances to end up on a hard surface with the back of the head first...or maybe breaking a wrist trying to stop his fall.
Sensei answered my question with another question. Why, do you think I couldn't hurt you anyway?
I guess Aikido doesn't really mean protect the opponent, but it means being in control and being able to decide if you really need to hurt or not. After all if I do an iriminage, in the ending part I should be the one who is in the position to decide if you have to go down a more soft way (letting this way land first the body) or make sure that it is the back of your head to kiss the concrete first.