Re: Is Aikido Non-Violent?
This is a very interesting thread. My first thought is that it is helpful to look at "Aikido" and "Aikido Technique" as separate concepts. Aikido is the way to achieve harmony of spirit. We are all familiar with this basic translation of the name of our art. Technique is a part of the art but does not encompass the art in it's entirety. Since the techniques that we employ in our training are ancient and not unique to Aikido, they are potentially lethal and by construction "violent."
Harmony, by definition, is not all peace and love. In order for there to be harmony there must be discord. Harmony in (western) music operates on the singular principle of the resolution of a dissonant interval to a consonant (or less dissonant) interval.
Our art teaches us to resolve conflict. In the unfortunate circumstance of a violent physical attack our hope is that the principles that we have learned and internalized in the dojo will serve to help us protect ourselves and nullify the attack. If our attacker is injured in the process it is unfortunate. In any event we would not seek to harm or punish our attacker. By this standard my opinion is that Aikido is non-violent.