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Old 12-11-2002, 10:27 AM   #1
akiy
 
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Non-Harmful Techniques

Hi folks,

I was asked to pose the following by Thomas Groendal. If you can find the time to share your thoughts on the following, I'm sure he (and I) would greatly appreciate it!

-- Jun

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Dear Senseis:

In my dojo I teach that Aikido is the art defusing a conflict by harmonizing it. I also teach that an Aikido technique is qualified by the potential in it to end a conflict without permanent harm to either participant.

This is a very high goal, and in my opinion the trademark of Aikido. However, I often run into a simple, and perplexing discrepancy. Why is it that many Aikido techniques could not be done to an untrained attacker, without causing them grievous harm? I certainly would not explain how Aikido is the Art of Peace by throwing a coworker with a kotegaeshi into a break fall, as is often seen in demonstrations and dojos.

My questions are these.

What techniques would you deem the safest to use in a violent situation without the collusion or training of the attackers as a pre-requisite?

For instance, when grabbed or hit by a developmentally challenged but angry, strong and dangerous child at a high school visit, etc...

What techniques would seem to be dangerous when done outside of the dojo without a trained falling partner, and if so how do they not conflict with the above trademarks of Aikido.

For instance, would you do kaitennage to an angry loved one that had no knowledge of forward falls...

It seems to be a trend, that we are qualifying Martial Integrity as a necessary trait in our Aikido. Many serious teachers are making statements about the loss of kiai, atemi, attacking skills etc. that give Aikido enough martial integrity to deal with a violent person.

I would like help in defining an Aikido for myself that also can satisfy a set of specific qualifications for its benevolence, above and beyond the underlying "principles" or philosophy.

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