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Old 08-24-2011, 08:29 PM   #92
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Hugh I disagree about techniques for killing. They are the antithesis of aikido. It does seem a little patronizing to have showing openings to your partner as an aim of your aikido instead of an incidental result of sincere training. But it implies that keiko is a kind of conversation which is a very interesting point.
Been cogitating on this.

First, my initial point was just that if one doesn't show one's partner where he's open, one is doing his partner no favors. Some of those openings may involve killing techniques. Doesn't matter, from this point of view.

But where I really get hung up is when people start clutching their pearls over the idea that somebody might actually get hurt from an aikido technique. Guys! And gals! This is a martial art! It's about hurting people! Yes, aikido always offers a way out, so that hurt is a choice... but it's not always the receiver's choice. A boneheaded attacker can pretty much always get themselves hurt. And you'd have to be a better aikidoka than O-Sensei to never hurt your attacker. And in the real world, you can't have any confidence of defending yourself without getting hurt and without hurting your attacker.

If you avoid this truth, as I think you do if you cling to a view of aikido that's all niceness and bunny rabbits, I don't see it as noble. I see it as hiding your head in the sand. If you've taken on a martial art, IMHO, you've taken on the challenge of tuning yourself into the best weapon you can be. Yeah, for most of us the macho wet dream of beating down the five thugs mugging the helpless old lady isn't ever going to be on the table--and yeah, if we use our training well, most conflicts should never get to the point of violence anyway--but we are training to be able to maintain control in difficult situations. Our strength may be a gift to the world if we use it wisely. Our weakness can never be.

The paradox is, if we follow the path faithfully, we discover that we control a situation by not trying to manipulate it. We discover we can use connection rather than force. We discover that the most irresistible power is the softest.

But there are no short cuts. If you're following a martial way, you have to follow it. Otherwise you just have mush.
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