Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?
graham, we don't agree on much, but I do agree that communication is key.
however, we are taking the conversation in a different direction from the discussion concerning self defense. The OODA framework Boyd proposed emphasized the tactical realm and the process of making tactical decision and then actions to be successful in a fight or in this case self defense.
However, I think the framework can also apply to the bigger picture, which is where u have directed the conversation dealing with harmony...a end state that looks beyond the immediate concern of simple self preservation and or physical victory.
So going in that direction, I think it is the same process, but we will spend much more time on the factors influences orientation. Things such has cultural traditions, experiences, skills etc.
So yes communication. Or better yet understanding, empathy and compassion.
What u are proposing is focusing on those things that make two individuals see that by compromising it is in their self interest and long term happiness to work together. A huge challenge in many cases as we have to over come many cultural and emotional issues (experiences) to bridge that gap.
I think though that it requires a budoka to understand more than just the theory of this, but at the base level to be able to transcend the complete spectrum of conflict. We have many diplomats and scholars that can provide us the expertise in these areas...but it is the warrior that alone can stand at the crossroads of conflict and tip the scales in either direction.
I have personally chosen to stand at that crossroad. That is what we should be working toward if not literally then figuratively to at least understand it and support it.