I joined a while back but never formally introduced myself. I must admit my initial motivation to create an account was to post details of an (at that time) upcoming seminar. I didn't intend to post further simply because I'm a bit data shy. It is a bit strange to me the idea of posting thoughts (aikido or otherwise) under my real name on the internet - leaving digital fossils with the click of a mouse which will likely become outdated as my opinion and knowledge base evolves.
Beyond a simple hello, I'll use this opportunity to share an idea I've been mulling which is one of the several reasons I train in aikido: A lot of strife in this world can be traced back to the inability of people to essentially say no to things they know are wrong. Assuming normal psychology (i.e. basically "good" individuals), why would this be? Fear I suppose is the answer - one of those types being fear of situations turning physically violent. "If I don't do/allow something, I might get hurt."
So I see aikido as a tool to increase my range of responses to life as training teaches our bodies and minds to replace fear with a confidence response that comes with genuine understanding. Of course, enlightenment, if obtained, is not invulnerability.
But anyway, that is what comes to mind when I hear/see the topic of what the founder of aikido's hopes for aikido to bring peace - just the sum of individuals being able to do what is right without fear on small, interpersonal, scales. Like that slogan, think globally, act locally. Plus it is fun to toss around people and roll on the mat!
As a side note, I just watched a movie called "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" a stark reminder how bad things can get when a critical mass of people won't stand up to "bad" people living in fear. I recommend it if only to memorialize and spread the memory of a group of people that died for the revolutionary act of basically stating the obvious on paper.
I'm currently ranked 3rd kyu in Yoshinkan Aikido and started about 2.5 years ago. It is a style that fits my personality. The precise forms allow for easier reasoning on my part (less moving parts so to speak) and the simpler the better from my perspective because this art is hard enough as it is!
If you made it this far, OSU