Thread: Two things.
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Old 04-03-2003, 12:56 PM   #5
kensparrow
Dojo: Methuen Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 97
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Jonathan,

Clearly your research is excellent as you arrived at the correct conclusion that Aikido is the best martial art in the world! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

I did like your paper and if you don't mind a constructive critisism, I had a couple of minor issues with one paragraph:

"Whereas an art like tae kwon do, karate, or judo usually stresses the importance of being able to beat up anyone who attacks you, many of the techniques in aikido (not to mention its philosophy) are based on the school of thought that says the less conflict there is, the better. Aikido is unique in that is says to run when confronted by an attacker. This may sound wimpy, but if you think about it, this would rarely be a poor choice. If physical struggle is unavoidable, an aikidoka (practitioner of aikido) can use a number of techniques to keep himself from injury."

I formerly studied karate and it was never about "beating someone up". Conflict was to be avoided whenever possible (as with Aikido) but when it was impossible to avoid, then the attacker's well being was not really taken into account (very different from the ideals of Aikido).

As for running away, most self defense systems advocate this as well. The particular techniques used are usually intended to disengage from an attacker and/or prevent them from pursuing you as you make your escape.

I think in many ways Aikido is actually the opposite of running away. Without some connection (not necessarily physical) between uke and nage, there is no aikido. The goal is to always control the situation. If controlling the situation means defusing it by removing yourself then that's the correct technique to use.

You might be interested in reading "The Magic of Conflict" by Thomas Crum. If you can get through all the flowers and sunshine (you'll see what I mean if you read it!) it has some really interesting things to say about the psychological aspects of aikido. It also makes a really good distinction

between "conflict" and "fighting".

Anyway, I hope you found this useful.

Train hard, be safe and have fun!
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