Re: philosophical or practical martial art?
I think there is a misconception that aikido is a non-aggressive, non-violent martial art. Aikido is in the first place a martial art.
I had trouble understanding the concept initially as the phrase "non-aggressive martial art" seemed contradictory. How could this be?
In my understanding (pls forgive me if it may seem shallow) as a martial artist, you go through phases. The initial phases, as a beginner you cannot avoid the violent or aggressive phase that the martial art offers. This includes aikido. You start learning techniques mostly painful submission moves and throws to control your partner and this is the only way you know how to control your aggressors. As you start learning more and more techniques, and get more proficient at them, you slowly start to realize how easy/trivial it is to maim, injure, paralyze, and even take ones life or the opposite, how they can take your life. I think the ultimate purpose of aikido or any other martial art for that matter is to transcend the violent phase and challenge yourself to accept that there exists a phase of non-violence (compassion, also for legal reasons) as you now, have higher probability of "winning" over your aggressors using less aggressive BUT more efficient techniques. This non-aggressive principle may just be more pronounced in aikido I think but no matter what phase you're in, violence and aggression will still exist just much, much less to minimize the damage. I think we may have heard the phrase "winning without fighting" at one point in time and this is the ultimate goal for any art.
I think it is not in the art to be questioned if it is effective or not, but in the artist. The techniques themselves are battle tested. The onus is on the artist if they are.
Last edited by Mario Tobias : 06-20-2011 at 04:21 AM.