Re: Aikido - Martial Arts - Fighting
I think some incorrectly juxtapose the two extremes of "fighting" and "pacifism" when speaking of Aikido. The concept of Takemusu Aiki belies the concept of fighting if we take the word to also mean "struggle". Iow in Aikido (when done right) there is no fighting - there is no direct conflict of force vs force. I have also not seen any examples of Ueshiba M. advocating that the Aikido approach to dealing with conflict is to submit to it for the sake of being "non-violent". There is a middle-point, which is where I think Ueshiba's concept of Aikido exists.
For many people it is impossible to resolve conflict without using force vs force, but the technical and philosophical underpinnings of Aikido allow for just that - conflict resolution (ending of the fight) without "fighting" (i.e. without going force on force in direct opposition to the other person, without struggling).
Ueshiba M. said that the true purpose of Budo is the loving protection of all living things, he also said that Aikido is Budo. Well how do we protect all living things without a deep understanding of what exists in the universe to threaten living things?
Imho Ueshiba's Aikido is not something developed to be used in duels such as cage fighting, but at the same time it is not a passive approach to life where one walks "eyes wide shut" into danger and death for the sake of "peace".
Imho Aikido is balance - it is that physical/emotional/spiritual balance where one is quite capable to physically or otherwise engage conflict for the purpose of resolution (i.e. ending of the conflict or threat to "all living things") while not being drawn into the survival mindset that says "destroy all threats to ensure protection of self". It allows one to recognize and preserve the humanity and right to life of all living things engaged in a particular conflict.
The very nature of this balance requires one to strive for a deep and excellent understanding of not only the philosophy but the technical and applied principles of the art. As elements of conflict grow in strength so too must the elements of conflict resolution, else the Aikidoka is merely one more source of conflict in the universe as he gets drawn into a fear-driven survival mindset that will not respect the humanity and right to life of the other.
Just my thoughts. They are worth only the time taken to read them.