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Old 11-09-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: The Fear of Power

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
This is one of the things that disturb me most when thinking about aikidō.

And other than historical, philosophical or techniqual question I don't have any clue how to ever get answer:
Why do people who deeply believe in pacifism practice a budō?
Carsten, I don't find that a troubling question because I am a pacifist. I was a conscientious objector to war when I had the chance to go (though the government never accepted that status for me and I remained subject to involuntary induction, had they so chosen).

Mochizuki Sensei and others have been clear that you do only as much as it takes to stop the other guy. It's just that so many in aikido seem to think that making the attacker trip and bump his knee will stop him. And you get these smarmy, superior smiles from people who clearly couldn't work their way through wet paper, yet see themselves (black belts, after all) as able to stop a Hell's Angel in his tracks, and with love, no less.

Can't remember what master said it, but it boils down to, "You have to have the ability to utterly destroy the attacker, yet choose to save him, before you can really consider yourself a pacifist." Which I believe, as well.

And that brings us to the question of IP/IS/Aiki: where one has devoted decades upon decades to developing aikido technique, only find himself slowing and weakening as he ages--not attaining greater heights as Ueshiba did. To go further, we have to go to the truly fantastic levels of power and strength that Ueshiba accessed on the floating bridge of Heaven. But the mere mention of this sends so many people into frenzies, calling us "power mad" and "wanting to be the baddest and strongest."

Well, we (at least I) don't want to be "the baddest," but I want to be just enough "badder" than my attacker that I can stop him, preferably without doing him serious harm. But, with the technique of budo, I have to develop the ability to harm him, in case I must to save my own life or my child's, or a family member or friend. I don't see budo as anything counter to pacifism, but as "empowering" pacifistic thinking with real ability to live in peace.

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Why do people who do not want to hurt or injure another human being practice a martial art?
That is a question, though. If they accepted the necessity of being able to hurt him enough to make him stop, it would make some sense, but we so often hear comments amounting almost to intentional self-weakening to the point of being literally unable to affect anyone else. The effortless and unintentional working of "aiki" is expected to do that for them, almost without their own involvement, other than pretending to throw and pretending to fall through thousands of hours in a "dojo..."

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Why don't they learn one of the methods or ways that use and teach pacifistic ways to deal with aggressors or conflicts? There is so much to be learned if someone wants to. And it is really not an easy way to go. I myself think, it's much more chalenging than doing aikidō.
Yeah, but those ways don't grant black belts, and there's something about that black belt that they won't let go, even long after they've sacrificed the heart of the art to their self image as superior people.

I'm glad that there are folks like you, and schools like Edgar Kruyning's, where the truth has always lived.

Best to you.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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