Drew Ames wrote:
Bottom line: I'm not a warrior and don't want to be. Studying aikido no more makes one a warrior than standing in a garage makes one a car.
My code is based on my upbringing, religious beliefs, and life experiences. Aikido complements and enhances my sense of ethics when it comes to conflicts. It does not define them.
This reminds me of the SATs.
Apple is to orange as fork is to......
B. Lawn chair
D. Steven Seagal
The correct answer would be (not Steven Seagal, even though I know thats what everyone was thinking!!
) C, as apples and oranges are both fruits, just as a knife and a fork are both dinner utensils.
I believe the comparison you are making is incorrect.
To stand in a dojo does not make one a martial artist, just as standing in a garage does not make you a car.
Studying aikido in a dojo makes you an Aikidoka. Studying car maintenance while standing in a garage makes you.....lets say......mechanic in training.
Ok, moving past semantics. Studying aikido makes you an Aikidoka (dojo or not, I just used it before because it fit better). A warrior is someone who has engaged in battle or is experienced in battle, agreed? So then we can conclude that a warrior, is someone who has participated in war. I think that we as Aikidoka, are something close to warrior but not quite the same (unless of course, you have actual combat experience). We are students of war. To practice Aikido is to practice war; being ready for the day that it may come, and praying it doesn't. I believe that to understand war, is to understand one of the very core parts of human nature. We have come to understand that there must be no hesitation. We must cut, or not cut. There is no in between. Full intention. Life or death in one moment. As Aikidoka or martial artists....or whatever..we do not seek death, but we try to understand death, to know death, to embrace it; so that we may truly live. To truly have peace we must prepare for war. Although we train for different reasons, whether they be physical, or psychological, I believe that if we do come to know these things in our hearts, we will not progress far as Aikidoka.
That said, I would rather have an experienced warrior by my side in a battle than an Aikidoka any day. The warrior probably has learned enough.. "lack of hesitation" and general experience to keep danger from coming from the flank he occupies. But I would rather have the Aikidoka with me outside of battle. Outside of battle, killing usually isn't very legal, and even if it is, has unintended side effects. Plus, Aikidoka are just so much more versatile
As Drew said, Aikido should complement your philosophy, not define it. Not being a warrior is Drew's choice just as his occupation or religious and political beliefs are his choice. As I am assuming that everyone is living in a country where most of these freedoms are still at least partially preserved, let us be thankful, and pray that it remains that way. To stick with topic, i would say that my "code" is the following:
1.) make sure no one tampers with the constitution, as once a freedom goes away, it never comes back without war or great strife.
2.) Be respectful and loyal to your family and friends, but especially family. Most everyone moves around, and makes new friends, but you only have one family. They are the ones that well help you when all of your "friends" suddenly disappear.
3.) Do not hang around people who don't respect you, because sooner or later the dagger will seek your backside.
4.) Be tolerant of others. You may not agree with their views and preferences, but the great thing about living in a free country is being able to voice your opinion. Listen, and present counter arguments, but never suppress their opinions.
5.) "Only a hungry man wants of food". Basically, people will only receive your wisdom when they know they need it. Otherwise, they are simply not interested, and it is not your right to press it on them. Everyone you respect deserves two warnings, no more no less. Anything more and you are annoying and trying to run their lives. Anything less, and you are not really a friend.
Ok thats enough for now. Take to heart anything you liked, and ignore anything that really pissed you off. Take care.