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Old 04-03-2003, 10:46 AM   #12
John Boswell
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Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland, Texas
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 597
What is meant by the term violence?

Is it a physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing as in crimes of violence?

Or is it the spontaneous act or an instance of violent action or behavior?
I contend that it is a bit of both: violation and abuse with damage as well as acts or instances or violent behavior. Braking an arm after deciding to... is the first one. Shouting or threatening someone can be the second.

What really needs to be considered when debating the definition of violence is not just Intent (which is a major factor) but also Control. There is such thing as Good Control and Bad Control and this is where Aikido stands out from the crowd.

In Aikido, a skilled artist will execute Good Control with blending with the attack, leading it and executing technique to the result of a locked up or fallen uke. None of this has to be violent. Where violence comes in is when the pin results in a broken or damaged limb, a fall that causes sever damage, pain or possibly death. If technique is done well and skillfully, the uke will land or fall or whatever properly and without injury. BAD Control will result in a "violent" result and injury.

Was there bad intent? Possibly. IF the intent was to bring about injury, then yes... you've just witnessed an act of violence. IF the intent was not to bring about injury but yet it DID... then the action was violent, despite what the nage may have intended. Good control and good skill would prevent such violence.

Aikido is not violent, but it can be. I submit that "aikido" being exercised in such a way as to hurt others or bring about injury is NOT in fact true Aikido, but instead became basic violence. It would be poor control, irresponsible, non-Aiki and not anything we should be striving to achieve in our training.

Looking at it all this way gives us good reason to train: to not be violent.

... that's my 2 bits.

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