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Old 09-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #9
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 865
United Kingdom
Re: Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki ?

Worryingly that list of symptoms remind me of me, especially in my teenage years.

I too found out that I could beat people up and that I liked it, but it never really bothered me. For years I studied martial arts purely as systems for more efficiently beating people up.
The only real saving grace I had was that I was too anti-social to start fights, I didn't understand other people, I didn't like or trust them and pretty much everyone picked on me, so I kept myself to myself.
The thing that changed all that, or rather is changing all that, is the desire for power. What started as purely a desire for power over others has given way to a desire for self mastery.
I think whether or not the desire for power impares Aiki depends on an individuals defintion of power. I had reached a point where physically I had all the power I needed but I still felt fear around people, I still felt weak. Being able to beat up just about anyone wasn't enough for me, I needed more strength, more power. Being and becoming ever more destructive wasn't getting me what I wanted and so I began to feel powerless.

Of course the only path to the power I now seek is internal. I became concious of the fact that becoming more powerful internally meant changing who I was and so I was forced into asking just what power was and what this new Alex would be like.
To me it seemed logical that fear, or maybe the lack of control of fear, was the basis of weakness and that all actions and thoughts based in fear were essentially weak.
The opposite of that, as I see it, is love. Love is the bravest thing you can do because it almost invariably involves leaving yourself open.
So seeking to become brave and fearless I started working on becoming more sociable and compassionate. In so doing I'm loosing my desire to control others, I have no fear of people and so I do not need to control them to control my fear.

So actually I think the desire for power is probably essential to developing Aiki because Aiki is power. That said I think that what is also essential, and I do not claim to have it, (but then I don't deny I do either) is wisdom.
With wisdom you can seperate healthy desires from destructive ones, it's wisdom that keeps you on the path that leads to power and desire that pushes you along it.
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