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Old 03-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #37
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: Aikido Predator Mindset

Jaredd Wilson wrote: View Post
In "Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller (a very sobering book by the way, and well worth the read), he describes the most important mental feature in a survival situation is having a Predator Mindset. The Predator Mindset is an all-out aggressive do what I need to survive mindset. Sort of turn the mental tables on an attacker, make them defensive. I agree with this in principle, but how does this fit into aikido? Can you have "aggressive aikido" and still call it aikido? Does it become aikijutsu then?

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this. I've been wrestling with this for a couple days now, and would like to have other aikidouka (or aikidoist if you've read the other thread) weigh in.
I haven't read the whole thread yet so please forgive me for any redundancy.
While I haven't read the book, I've heard similar ideas about who tends to survive in an emergency and regardless of the connotations we might include with the term "Predator," it's this self-protective mindset which I'm guessing is being addressed. I think "doing what I need to survive" is different than "doing what I want to survive," and that difference of intention might be the difference between Aikido and non-Aikido responses to a situation (to be clear: not that anything non-Aikido would be in the "wanting to" category).
My own personal view, incomplete though it may be, is that there might be cases where I would choose to hurt someone. I wouldn't want to, but if it meant the safety of my kids, for example, I would technically want to disable multiple attackers (as a somewhat extreme example) in the quickest way possible. If I didn't perceive a need and wanted to, then it doesn't sound like Ueshiba Aikido as I've come to perceive it.
For me, the moral nature of this question puts it firmly in the spiritual realm. When we stare long into the abyss (e.g. contemplate violence and prepare for its potentiality) what are we doing? How do we consider these things without being shaped by them in a negative way? Isn't that somewhat the essence of reconciling violence: reconciling it (the impulses which give rise to it) within yourself first?

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