What is your limit for violence?
After attending a seminar this past weekend and discussing it with some people in tonight's practice, I decided to ask the forum a question. This is not a thread on wether violence is right in training, or what the founder intended the art to be, so don't let it degenerate into that. I practice a decidedly less agressive and physical style of Aikido than much of what I saw at the seminar. I don't see this as a bad thing at all, it was wonderful to see the potential for power, control and effectiveness that these techniques hold. I can see why people practice the way that they do, and I think that I would like to do that once in a while. I don't think, however, that I would want to do that all the time. Here's why: I don't want to end every pin with a strike to a helpless uke, and I don't want to reinforce habits that have the potential to really damage uke. This is a personal choice that I've made, and I think that on the mat these practices are fine in an atmosphere of trust; but I don't want to replace my natural reactions with more effectively destructive reactions, which is wny I chose Aikido. I think that it's good to know that those options exist for me, and that just a tweak here and a twist further there will give me broken uke bones, but I don't want that to be the standard. That's where my line for violence is, it's not very far from everyday living. I know that sometimes it's fun to push a bit harder, to throw a little more vigorously, if you're so inclined and your partner is willing and able to take the ukemi. I also think that I made a choice to not destroy the people who I come into conflict with in life, and this is a point I will stick to. This choice is about more than what is on the mat. I carry many of the lessons that I learn on the mat into my daily conversation, and my relationships, and I don't want to make those lessons the kind that give me that kind of power. Obviously, this is all my own opinion, and I reserve no judgement for other ways, I only want see what other people think about the issue.
So the question is this: Where is your line for violence? How far do you take your practice? Are your techniques to cripple, incapacitate, or otherwise damage uke? I obviously don't mean your training partner, but really what would your ideal application of these techniques be in a more real situation. Do you practice with the thought of pretecting your family from another person's violence? I just want to hear some honest accounts of why you train at the level you do, and why you think that is. Granted, many of you may not have a choice what style you do, but any style can be cranked up or toned down. I think it's important to ask ourselves these sorts of questions once in a while, to see if we're doing what we want to be doing. Sometimes the atmosphere of obedience and the concept of not questioning our teachers bleeds over into the feeling that we're just along for the ride. We need to just reflect on the road that we're on, and see if the destination is a place we want to go...
Thanks in advance for keeping the thread openminded and informative. Nobody wants another style war.