Editor's note: This article was written as a contrasting viewpoint
to an ongoing discussion on the Aikido Mailing List regarding subjects
such as Hollywood Super Bad Guys, Movie "Martial Arts," Automatic
Weapons on the Street, the "killing techniques" found in aikido, and
the "impossibility" or "stupidity" of protecting the attacker.
David Berger wrote on Aikido-L:
What we are all striving for is complete control over an attacker,
a perfect combination of timing and sensitivity and power that allows
us to go untouched as we "move" our attacker wherever we want. This
may be onto his head or this may be simply to the other side of the
room where he is, temporarily, no longer a threat (your choice). But
at that level of control, you have that choice. I think that Aikido
(by concensus) suggests what you do with that control.
And Carol says "Yay David!"
Now we're talking Real Aikido, responsibility, range of options.
One of the problems I see here is defining the notion of "attacker".
To this end I offer the following personal experiences:
Now imagine yer basic high-school fullback drunk, strung out on drugs,
whatever. This is your kid, your brother, your friend -- and under
the circumstances, your ATTACKER. AIEEE!!! SLAM! SMASH! But wait!
. . . Are you going to purposely smash that person you care about?
Do everything you can to crush and destroy? or -- Be rendered
completely helpless by unwillingness to harm? Or are you going to be
effective and real glad that the effectiveness and control come with
the option NOT to smash and destroy?
And maybe you might train for that?