Jermaine Alley wrote:
Can we afford to think that "loving & protecting" this "attacker" is going to guarantee my safe passage all of the time in every situation?
I haven't been in a fight since my teens, but I can give you my thoughts on the matter.
At the simplest level, I think of 'loving protection' as being similar to relaxation and not using force: it's a good idea because it's effective. I have seen regularly and often that the more compassion and caring I can bring to a situation without losing my own center and balance (in the dojo or outside of it), the more effective I will be. This has been especially true for AiKiDo techniques, but once I started noticing it there, I started noticing it other places as well. Think about the beginner on their first day who feels like they need to muscle an irimi-nage in order to make a person fall, and you will see how I think of the places where I fail to find the feeling of 'loving protection.' It's just an example of me getting in my own way and preventing myself from being effective.
Of course, like with the relaxation and the no force, the actual message goes deeper than questions of effectiveness. The ultimate message has something to do with an awareness of my own tendency to perceive things as conflicts and my own failures to to be appropriately harmonized with a situation ahead of time. I'm not going to go around beating myself up about those failures (well, yes I am, but you know what I mean), but by seeing how effective relaxation, no force, or loving protection can be, I think I'm given an opportunity to question my habitual attitudes of forcing things and feeling threatened and feeling a need to overcome others or protect myself. That doesn't mean I'm going to have all the answers; it just means that I've got a few more questions.