Originally posted by Unregistered
Excuse my abruptness. As I understand it, Aikidoka claim that following Aikido will if not produce invincible fighters, at least make the practitioner a better person/enhance their life.
Can you bear witness to this? Are aikidoka better off in their lives than boxers or gunmen?
Has Aikido made you a happier person with your life and the people around you?
Or do you just feel better able to fight?
Better off, I really can't say. Before aikido I used to practice TKD and Freestyle Karate. I would spare for about an hour a class, and was in great shape. I was also angry. I had bloodlust on the brain, and couldn't wait to get on the mat. I was hungry for violence, for release.
Now I don't know. I'm torn, conflicted. I know my kicks and punches are not nearly as powerful as they used to be (although still better than the average aikidoka.), and I worry that the techniques that have replaced my arsenal of attacks are not as effective. Mentally the hunger I once felt is not as strong, and there is a new desire, the desire to protect, to cherish all life and people. I see some one in front of me and one side of me is sizing them up, looking for the best way to cripple them, take them out of the fight quickly. The other side looks into their eyes and sees a person with a family, maybe they had a bad day, maybe they had a bad life, what should I do to help. It tears me up inside because all my instincts for survival tell me to not trust, to maim before you are maim, alpha male or nothing.
Am I better able to fight? Will the conflict in my head prevent me from acting in self-preservation? I don't know. I'm just tired and want to be left alone in peace. Let someone else fight.
Happier, if anything I'm more tormented. Torn between what's the right thing to do and what I want to do. Life was easier in the shadows.
Then why aikido? Because when I look at aikido being performed I sometimes see the answer. I see the grand design if for only a moment, but I have seen the design. I have felt the complete and ecstatic liberation of randori. The joy of a perfectly executed waza. I have seen it, and I have wept when I went blind again.
Sounds like addiction to me, huh.
Why aikido? Because I see it as a chance to be a better man.