The most common description I have read is that of saving life or preserving it. Again though it denotes violence.
Kill one (presumably evil) person to save many.
Draeger assigns it (I believe to Otake Sensei) to "Kill one, to save ten thousand."
Take take the drama and Sam-U-eye stuff out of it and the concept applies to your job or any cop walking the beat.
Hope that helps.
Even the idea of love that was bandied about in many earlier cultures people misunderstand. Ueshiba trained assassins. Many times when those guys talked about love it also entailed discipline, sacrifice, or killing to preserve family, village and clan. Aikido's history and it's birth was not through the type of peace some people in Aikido think it means.
This peacnic stuff was nonsensical to them, to most anyone who lives in the real world and nonsense to many in the art of aikido. It is typically offered by those who live, protected by those who will do violence on their behalf; Police, Judges, and the military, so they can live in a civil society. Mankind will always live under peace through strength. In the very few cases were non-violent protest succeeded, it was because those in power capitulated.
Mercy belongs to the victor. Anyone thinking they can stop real aggression- through aikido waza- without aggression is simply kidding themselves. Instead people "play" together nicely in a dojo with their budo get-ups, with attacks deviod of real agression, with defense that hardly needs to be of any real use.
And Aikido is not alone in that.
Dan, it's good to see your views and thus how we differ. The healing sword, interesting. Thus you teach me how many see it maybe.
I suggest one could look at the word healing.
Mmm, I do wonder when that was that Ueshiba trained assassins. Is that an exagerration or a play on words for no doubt he did train people to kill before the war and no doubt some of them ended up being kamikaze or soldiers or spies or whatever. He says so himself.
But once again I return to Aikido and violence. How aggression fits in with absolute non-resistance I don't know.
I find it amusing for I see aggression like a subconscious mantra repeating over and over 'aggression is necessary, aggression is necessary.' Whatever you do don't take away my aggression. And then we wonder why violence persists?
That's why I love sports. Little aenas where you can play with aggression. Controlled.
That's why I admire warriors of war. People who have to face extreme violence and in such extreme situations not being living buddhas use courage and selflessness to face the enemy and violence as necessary.
Very admirable. But then we come back to AIKIDO. Ahh. The ultimate challenge. A warrior of peace.
To face and overcome violence without violence. To learn on this path the true enemy of self who wants to keep hold of aggression and violence just in case. To face up to the concept of masakatsu and agatsu. To learn how to not, how to but, or how not to.
Thus I say Aikido is a different martial art. The art of peace
Many martial artists may be just arrogant brutes with skill. Many on the other side of martial arts may be softy softy play around let's feel good people.
The real ones on both sides I admire. Oh, and even the real ones in the middle ha, ha.
Love calms, Ki joins leads and heals, Kindness pierces and is never forgotton, faith moves mountains and goodness is the reason we haven't all destroyed ourselves.
All non violent, all powerful. All infinite.
If everyone truly knew this then watching a fight it would be so obvious as to what was missing in those individuals and yet so obvious as to why they couldn't see it.
But hey, that's my Aikido.