Re: Knife Work
You might find this interesting... Somewhere in my earlier education I came across a study of how racism, stereotypes, and profiles were all built into laws and/or worked to support laws. One example, I remember seeing a study that dealt with the felony/misdemeanor inconsistency between carrying a concealed firearm and carrying a concealed knife. The logic, when it was first posited, had to do with the fact that edged weapons were thought to be the weapon of choice of the poor (knives, razor blades, switchblades, etc.) and more specifically of the minority poor (black/latin/asian, etc.). It seemed after urbanization really took off there was always a deep cultural distaste for the knife in "American" culture. Which is one reason, for example, that "good guys" in pop culture always use their fists, their sword, or their firearm. Knives are for "bad guys." So I think folks who investigate knife work and its relation to Aiki (and vice versa) might have to sometimes come up against the echoes of this earlier cultural trend. It's crazy, but deep cultural impulses are always crazy - if you ask me.
My knife instructor used to point out that dead is dead - can't be deader - and to the dead man, well, he'll never say, "Hey, thanks for using a sword and not a knife." It's only an attempt at humor, but I always thought it was quite pointed as well. For me, its very much akin to the idea that its better or more moral to kill or hurt a man with a throw than it is with a blow. Somehow, it just doesn't seem all that right.