Re: Striking in your Aikido
I don't see it as a physical and mental health system myself. I see it as a spiritual system with built in physical feedback to judge progress in understanding.
My goal for a while now has been to understand the spiritual aspects of aikido. I believe I will continue to remain ill-equiped to do so until I can manifest the principles much better. To validaqte my undertsanding of the principles, I can apply my understanding in progressivly harder phyiscal situations. To me this is why aikido is supposed to be able to work in fighting situations (and if not, then the principles currently being manifested are not yet valid).
Striking in aikido for the sake of punishing someone stupid enough to challenge you is certainly not my thing. But having the ability and chosing not to - as well as - having like minded partners who will put up with testing striking on each other to _know_ that the principles are correct -- well that's where it is at for me.