Re: The Fear of Power
Wow, it was great to read those reasons people started and do Aikido!
I thought about this last night, and rehashed the conversation. I think we agree on a fundamental level, and I wasn't being open to that.
To use an analogy,
I look at Aikido as something like a big sturdy wooden sail boat. If we use that as our analogy. I think you are saying something like- Aikido is a boat, we shouldn't be putting in in a museum, we need to learn how to sail this boat. And we shouldn't be so scared of it that we never sail it, or it stops being a boat and is just something to look at, doing us no good.
I agree with that idea. If Aikido were a boat, I think it is very important to learn how to sail it properly, understanding how to handle it even in bad conditions. I'm even willing to entertain the idea of taking it out on long sails, maybe even travel across the ocean. I think that's great, if it's a boat, let's sail it and learn how to handle it! Let's not fear it, let's learn to use it. I'm totally on board for that idea!
I think where we start to drift apart, is, I think you picture Aikido as something like a modern supertanker. When I read the word "power" this is the kind of thing I think of. I also thought of Aikido as a "supertanker" when I first started. I thought supertankers were the best and only kind of important boats, and if anyone told me that Aikido was a silly wooden boat, I would have laughed at them. Then a teacher showed me, that it doesn't matter what kind of boat your on, you can enjoy the experience of being out on the water. And I realized that I was never after supertankers in the first place. That's not to say that I personally dislike supertankers, but I realized that being on the best boat in the sea, wasn't as important to me, as simply being on the sea was.
I would have replaced the word "power" with something like martial effectiveness. I do think that Aikido should be trained martially. We spar and train hard here. We train in the forms with very martial goals and motivations. But when you start to use the word "power", to me, you're not only looking in the wrong place, but you kind of missed the fun and enjoyment of what we have here. I think we agree more then I originally though,t even though I'm sure we still have some deep seated differences.