Re: pre-emptive strikes
Michael Jordan (a famous basketball player for the Chicago Bulls) once said in an interview [to paraphrase]: "When I have the ball, I've already scored, my defender just doesn't know it yet."
When does pre-emption begin? If I choose to "pre-emptively" strike someone, does pre-emption only include physical activity? What If my opponent has decided to strike me, but has not found the opportunity to physically execute that decision? Is it fair to restrict the scope of aikido to reaction to physical activity?
If my opponent decides to harm me, isn't that the same as the physical execution of harm? "The opponent that stands before me with malice in his/her heart is already defeated."
It sounds like we're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water here. Please don't confuse the benevolent execution of pre-emption with the misinterpretation of hitting someone first. Pre-emptive action, in this case striking, is a valuable tool to training and resolving conflict; in many cases, I call this pro-active aikido.