Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Anger, when is it appropriate
Anger, rage and indignation have two Japanese words that may apply.
Ikari refers to the instance of anger, a fit of anger, or a state of being angry.
Rippuku is the state of being enraged with a matter, or with a person. Perhaps rippuku is the more subjective of these two applications, and the most appropriate reference, and a more meaningful usage of the word anger.
Are there circumstances or even acceptable reasons to be angry, while being consistent with maintaining and applying Aiki principles? Are there instances where the state of anger actually benefits the person in achieving a desired goal or justifiable result? Is behavior while in the state of indignation, rage or anger ever acceptable in terms of its cause, or of its consequences? You tell me. I would love to hear your answer.
The Japanese have a saying "hara ga tatsu na". This translates to "not having your stomach stand up". By keeping composed and under control, emotions may be better channeled for more predictable or socially desirable results. Avoiding scenes, outbursts or even violent confrontations as the first reaction, is deemed honorable and worthy of a true martial artist under stress or attack.
Yet, does this mean that acting in the state of anger is never correct or appropriate? Will the cause of justice simply have to do without such a naturally human reaction or response, one that has been in constant usage throughout mankind's complex social history?
Anger IS a natural reaction for human kind, and for many animal species. It is as natural as laughter, perspiration, hot flashes and elevated blood pressure and heart rates. It is a coping mechanism for those instances of fear, stress, and the urgent need to react quickly to an imminent threat or emergency. In the event of a grave injustice, or a cause for moral outrage, individuals and citizen groups alike may well find the use of anger to be most appropriate in fully addressing the problem, and seeking a just solution.
In one sense, the role of anger may well be that of the ignition device for car engines, that starts a chain reaction of energy build up and proper usage.
It is not that it is not permissible or even necessary at times. Rather, it is truly the manner in which it is exercised, directed and utilized to respond, at a moment's notice, to danger or sudden vulnerability.
Anger, then, is most probably, a necessary component of our make up as human beings. It is a tool that we can and must learn to use judiciously, accurately, and correctly, with each instance to be judged appropriately on its merits, and on timing itself.
Aikido's Founder made it clear that his was a "true Budo", fashioned in the fine tradition of traditional Japanese martial arts over time. . Even as he preached the higher levels of Aiki consciousness and compassionate purpose, he never disavowed the necessary element of martial integrity, or of the appropriate and timely use of Aikido principles and techniques for both self defense and aggressive usage, whenever we honestly feel compelled to do so.
This is undoubtedly a subject matter that will require much additional thought, discussion, research and review, over an indefinite period of time . This is the responsibility of all those who seriously study the Aiki and the Aikido of the Founder. By no means, or stretch of anyone's imagination, is the Founder's Aikido completely defined or understood. Certainly, a mere six months, or even 6 lifetimes, will prove woefully inadequate to the task.
We can take heart, however, that what we actually can accomplish for ourselves, and with our peers, will be well worth the effort.
I can hardly wait for tomorrow's training, and those exciting discoveries!