Re: The Fear of Power
"Nobody can take away my strength because I do not use it."
O'sensei Morihei Ueshiba
The goal of taking up martial arts has always been clear to me: to be able to defend oneself and to develop every aspect of the human being, physical, mental, spiritual, esoteric simultaneously. Of course this has nothing to do with wanting to impose your will by using force, neither with having any fear of power.
Many people confuse the way aikido works without relying merely on brute force with teaching the absence of any power, but nothing could be further from the truth. We use power in aikido or else nobody would go flying around or be imobilized, but that doesn't mean that we use it the way body builders do.
In aikido our power comes by redirecting the attacker's power, by using the combination of our tai sabaki and ki power, by being able to make the transition from hard to soft, by using hard and soft at the same time or the combination of all the above acording to the attack one faces. So we are far from using mere brute violent strength against the attack, yet we have absolutely no problem with being powerful.
Aikido is a martial art and a martial artist is a warrior first and foremost. However he is also the preserver of peace. There is nothing non pacifistic about being a martial artist. On the contrary it gives the chance to be actively in peace instead of simply talking about it.
Most people nowadays are full of anxiety and stress, leading lives that get them further and further from being one with themselves and nature. Practicing aikido leads people to get in touch with their selves, with human nature and if they practice seriously it leads them to be calmer, more realised persons, with higher self esteem. So they become peacefull inside and that changes also the way they interact with others.
Even in a self defence situation, it is the martial artist that can react more peacefully. He will either use his martial arts perception to avoid getting in trouble or (if that is impossible) he will use his self defence techniques to defend himself while being in complete control of himself, not causing unnesessary damage, hurting his attackers only as much as is needed to save his own life. So even though he has unwillingly entered a fighting situation, the martial artist can be in peace with himself during the confrontation and restore peace to his environment by neutralising his attackers. A theoretically pacifistic person, with no martial arts training, facing the danger he could either lose his life or lose control of himself and save his life by seriously hurting or killing his attackers even if that could have been avoided.
There is no inconsistency in being an aikidoka and being a powerful one as long as that power comes by using the aikido principles to apply aikido tachniques.
There is no inconsistency in being an aikidoka and being a peaceful one. Only the people that have the power to hurt are living in peace consciously. The others simply have no choice.