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Old 04-03-2003, 11:30 AM   #14
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420
Daniel G. Linden wrote:
I have to say, Drew, that you live in a different world than I do. I believe that words and actions mean something and mitigating circumstances do not matter when the final analysis is made.

If you break someones arm in a loving 'aiki mind' way you still put him in a cast for 6 weeks and leave him subject to his livlihood.
No, we live in the same world. What do you consider violence? If I accidentally bump my wife, and she turns or sprains her ankle, is that violence? What if I make a mistake in training and accidentally give my uke (or nage, for that matter) a fat lip? Is that violence?

I defined violence as "the act of intentionally causing harm." That does not mean that I condone causing harm unintentionally! Whether it is through neglect, incompetence, or a simple mistake, I will take my share of responsibility for harm that I've caused. It is not so simple as something either being an act of violence or an act of benevolence. That's that black and white thinking again. I can cause harm, accidentally, in a non-violent manner, and still be responsible.

With this in mind, I do not think our day-to-day aikido practice is violent. I don't believe anyone I normally train with is intending to do me harm. Rather, we work hard at providing safe as well as vigorous training. We study violence, we provide good attacks, we work hard to learn about how to handle violence, but our practice is, itself, not violent.
Kindly, loving intent won't bring someone back to life. Violence is violence and your 'intent' simply doesn't matter.
Daniel, this just doesn't compute. If I say violence is the act of intentionally causing harm, and you say that intent doesn't matter, then we're simply using the terms differently. It sounds to me as though you are talking about injury, harm, and/or death.
Aikido is very good at allowing us to mitigate the results of violent actions, but it is simply nonsense to think that what we do is anything but extreme violence. Utter nonsense. How many wives are battered by men who 'love them soooo much...' How many children die at the hands of fathers or boyfriends who discipline them for their own good because they 'love them'?
Now you're talking about abuse. Of course physical abuse is violence! But, there are other kinds of abuse that are non-violent. Neglect is a very serious form of passive abuse that need not be violent to be devastating.

Reading your post, it almost seems that you are equating defending yourself ("If you break someones arm in a loving 'aiki mind' ; I assumed you meant when attacked), with beating a child or wife. Was that your intent? Or were you talking about abuse all along?
Should the courts excuse them for their violence because it is done with loving intent? Get real. All martial arts teach people how to perform violent actions on their fellow people. If you need to mitigate THAT with some philosophical mumbo jumbo about 'intent' then I would hate to listen to you discuss politics.

No offense intended.
Right. Do you honestly expect that I'll read that last paragraph and not be offended? I'll take your word that you did not intend to offend me, but you've got to realize that personal attacks can be offensive.

For the record, I don't think my definition of violence is the be all and end all. My example of neglect, for example, causes problems because it is possible that parents can neglect their children with intent to harm them. Is that violence even though it is lack of action rather than action that causes the harm? I don't know.

I do know, that in the context of aikido practice, we focus on physical violence manifested as an act of intentionally causing harm. Our ideal, as I understand it, is to deal with that attack in a manner where neither the attacker nor the person attacked is harmed. Yes, we practice techniques that can cause harm. Yes, that would be a violent application of aikido. But was also practice throws and pins that need not cause harm. I've done this outside the dojo once -- the only injury was a bruise I got from bumping into a nearby chair.

Aikido need not automatically be violent.



-Drew Ames
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