Have at it Graham.
The hard before soft title of the thread came from something I read that Tony posted awhile back. To paraphrase, before you can do soft Aikido you must first learn hard Aikido, or something along those lines.
Anyway, when I read Joe's post "Before you can be benevolent and spare people from pain /punishment/retribution you have to be in a position whereby you have the power to exercise your authority to inflict punishment in the first place.", it made me wonder about the whole soft vs hard Aikido debate and how it all relates to the idea of least possible harm when responding to a conflict and whether it's necessary to be in a position to inflict punishment (hard Aikido) in order to not do so (soft Aikido).
As you can see, I've managed, due to my mish-mash of mixed metaphors, to engender a boat load of confusion. But hey, most threads end up addressing tangential issues. I'm finding the responses interesting and informative.
So please, feel free to respond in any manner you see fit. I'm sure it'll be worth the read.
O.K. Ron. Statements to do with spare people punishment or pain I find amusing for some reason. It seems such an arrogant view. Like the persons secret ambition is to be judge jury and executioner and a harsh negative one at that.
I think most of history on the negative side is to do with this view of great strength and power in order to bring peace. To me that's normal thinking but not natural. It's nutty think.
Using great force or armies etc obviously brings war, death, destruction. Not doing it brings the opportunity for peace.
In that way of thinking peace can only be defined as a state of no war, hence peacetime.
To me that's not true peace, in other words peace is not a lack of something it's state of harmony. A lack of something is merely a void.
So most history books show negative history, a story of wars and conquests and voids. So no ones ever taught any difference.
Hows that for starters? Anywy got to go training now. Have fun.