Re: aiki ethics and internal training
I won't poke holes in it Jeff. I thought it was well reasoned.
I will say that the assertion that internal training is probably more important than all other considerations - may not be so. I could make an equally valid argument in favor of zanshin - noticing one's surroundings - certainly it's better to avoid conflict than to have to resort to one's internal power right?
I had some martial training (applied, not 'art') from the U.S. military. All I wanted was to learn basic medicine, but all the time I got taught 'military bearing'. On and on - 'don't talk about patients in the elevator', 'be always aware of how your uniform looks', 'answer questions simply', 'show respect', 'show respect', 'show respect or else'. It turns out that that silly 'military bearing' was key to being a good sailor, and compassionate caregiver. Most people can learn on the job how to drive an ambulance, work an emergency room, etc. But - the aspect my trainers felt most important, judging by emphasis, was military bearing. More important than being able to start an intravenous line, etc. was the ability to be a good servant.
So, do I have to be physically skilled at aikido to be a good aikidoka? Or is it more important that I practice to be a better person?