George S. Ledyard
We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.
This comes very close to being Aikido's "mission statement."
There are many ways to resolve and live with fear and I have many different practices and experiances with it. From Counseling, Surfing 20 foot waves, Jumping out of planes, Zazen and on and on
My Aikido practice is one of these but the essence of practice is not to deal with fear so much as to learn how to resolve conflict. Practice is about what you do AFTER your fears manifest into a conflict.
The practice of Aikido gives me a way to resolve it. The Aikidoka learns how not to act on his/hers fears in way that causes undue harm to themselves or others by accepting and blending with "The Conflict." That is what Shoji Nishio called Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance."
Which brings me back to my original post on the "Effectivness of Aikido in a combat situation." All the Budo platitudes aside it has no real place in modern combat "situation" There is no Aikido "Practice" with automatic weapons, morter fire, air strikes, nuclear weapons, suicide bombers, on one end of the scale or alcoholism, severe child abuse,gang rape,drive by shootings, or genocide on the other.
As a philosphy and a way of living it has promise... The same as any religious or spiritual practice. That promise falls upon the shoulders of the person who subscribes to the "way" and like any other human endeavor it's up to the person to live it.
I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"
To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.