Re: how do we define martial?
attackers and their well being.
At some point I think as a budoka, we have to make a decision about right and wrong. Hopefully we have taken the time to survey ourselves and our beliefs and weighed them against others and made a moral decision about right and wrong.
In doing so, we accept that we, at some level, have become judge and jury over the actions we decide to take in the employment of our martial skills or faculties.
That is, we have to make a choice about the actions we take against another's.
In doing so, in most cases, we have placed our values at a higher priority than another's. That is, we have determined that we must stop whatever "harm" the other person is doing to us or another. In a sense, we have placed our moral judgement on a higher ground than his.
I think we have an obligation to cause as less harm as possible when taking action. In fact, the law, both under most military and civilian laws requires us to use minimal force.
if we perceive that we cannot stop harm without causing harm, then it is quite possible that we will severely injure or kill the other person. It is unfortunate, but if there is no other alternative, and you have concluded that your actions are just, then you must accept responsibility and act. Are there consequences in doing so? Absolutely, but if there are no other alternatives, then it is what it is I think. I don't think we have the luxury of choosing to do something else, if we did, then we would (or should).
I think that is why it is important to train in budo and to really understand yourself and the situations in which you will choose to use force. The Book of Five Rings addresses this quite well I think and should be read by all budoka.
On improving your attackers well being.
I think there is some irony there and a slippery slope. It assumes we have the ability to do that. it assumes that there are alternatives and choices that may or may not exist. It assumes that we have the time and/or space to alter his world view or changes his paradigm.
Of course, if you have the time or space to do this you should and certainly harm is not an option.
However, I don't think this has a great deal to do with things martially. Of course, we hope with improvement of our own skills and abilities that we will be able to deal with people in a much more skillful manner, that through our budo training that we can increase that gap in time/space to show our opponents another way. However, that is one side of the equation and to get there....the irony is that we must understand and be able to effectively STOP HARM and to show him that to attack is futile.
That is the irony of the budoka. In order to STOP HARM we must be able to CAUSE HARM. thus, it is important to study intently the martial nature of violence.
I am not really sure how you "improve your attackers well being" through a martial art that is designed to cause harm. I think that the best you can do is to create space/time in order to find other options. I think at best, it is a zero sum gain and at best we can STOP HARM only, what that means on improving his well being??? not sure.
Would be interested to hear how you improve his well being through a martial option.