Harmony is not harmless to those who choose to run counter to it. They take their chances and learn the hard way. Same as do base jumpers or connoisseurs of any high risk activity. Attacking others is a high risk endeavour; deserves no special dispensation, and you’ll note that you can not take out an insurance policy based on the fact you intend to commit crime hurting others.
Whether atemi-waza, kansetsu-waza, tachi-waza, even flowing kokyunage, good and real aiki will recoil the intensity of the attack back to the attacker. The outcome will depend on the attack and the force of intention behind it. Nothing else. Certainly not the subtle hubris of a fake ideal people talk a lot about, but fail to put into practice even in little daily matters.
After the disconnection or if an attacker fights, a properly conducted kansetsu, you have no (or very limited) control of outcomes, because the laws of the universe are outside of your jurisdiction and control. Live with it. No-one can predict the outcome.
There may be some lighter situations where you may be in a position to modulate, because you can. Some. Where the attacker provides that leeway because the attack is not conducted with deadly intent. All well and good, and then you choose not to double knee drop the opponent’s head or cut out his liver.
That is the only choice and the one a responsible and sane person will make. (Although if you watch footage of police and military procedures globally, that’s not the choice often made.)
Get over it people. It’s an abject fantasy that you will “protect your attacker.” Most people’s “aikido” is fake anyhow. Watch the videos that are going around. Some of these fraudsters will not even protect themselves.
Protect you partners in training? Absolutely!
Of that, you do have, must have, and are expected to have, total control.
As for real situations, I don’t know where this silly spin comes from. Certainly not the founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Nor will that delusion be concurred with by anyone who has been in a real situation. I don’t know what the interests are of those who propagate the myth, or what they hope to gain. Maybe they just don’t know. They will, after experiencing a real and frenzied attack. If they survive.
Whilst it may be a nice ideal to aspire to, the moral issue is already covered by the founder’s, “Avoid fights at all reasonable costs.” But you ought to note that he followed it with: “When attacked, leave everything in the hands of the universe.”
Contemplate “the universe.” Briefly. Is it a namby pamby all-nice, cutsey-pie cartoon? Or are there tremendous forces involved, fires, gasses, crashes and on earth tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, wind, fire, impact and so forth?
I note “the universe” does not have favourites. Unless it’s those lucky enough to be out of the way or those who use their foresight skills to get out of the way of natural disasters.
In old times, the gift of clarity was induced by scolding by the old warriors when they saw potential and spiritual strength is an apprentice. Trimming the plant, so it would grow better and become strong towards the light, as they called it.
Praise they reserved for the weak, the effete and the frightened because they would die next battle and they did not want to crush them since there was little hope.
The philosophy was to offer cautions and attrition in smaller manageable doses than that of nature which would otherwise seriously damage or kill. This would awaken your mind to risk and evoke strategic competence to ensure your survival.
It takes enlightenment and fine-tuned skill to employ this method as, in the wrong hands, it becomes counterproductive as mere bastardisation.
For one who accepts this method well, mental distortions, opinions and ego diminish as clarity increases and one becomes a true leader, warrior protector and useful to the community.
It’s not about “feelings.” People get over having their “feelings hurt”, “read delusions shattered.” Fact is, the greatest culprit is “hurting feelings,” but seducers will massage your head before having their way or taking your.. money or whatever.
I prefer the truth, no matter how initially painful. A good teacher is no teacher at all unless he/she can provide some measure of useful discomfort that undulls the mind and stagnant comfort zones.
On the other hand, choosing to damage the physical integrity of a biological body will cause real and authentic chronic lifelong suffering, disability or death, and is an immense responsibility. Some dojos are more pernicious in this regard than any street thug.
The bottom line is this: When your life is at imminent risk, do you intend to protect yourself or not? Or just to stand around visualizing philosophical ideals?
Let the universe find the balance. Otherwise, you deprive the (real) attacker of a lesson he is seeking urgently, on the subject of human empathy.
The recoil of true aiki can be deadly to some attackers. That’s reason enough to: “Avoid fights at all costs.”
The ultimate “selfishness” is the golden rule, because what you dish out, will return when the aiki of nature inevitably makes the wheel go round or the pendulum swing.
Or suddenly when someone skilled in aiki refuses to accept damage to their integrity, as they are entitled to.
An undamaged individual can contribute better to the greater good so that when benefit recoils it will increase the sum total of net good.
The alternative being anarchic chaos and hellish suffering for all.
Until a species learns.
Nature strives to teach living creatures with pleasure and pain, although humans have found a way to invert this was well. Generally pain is an alarm that something is out of order or harmful and happier feelings indicative that a good direction is being traversed.
Because our environments have become so altered from the natural state by pollution, and because we are inventive creatures, sometimes this natural guiding instinct may get confused.
The misogi of training is that we strive to reclaim natural clarity, perspective and true context. In other words gravitate towards the creative side of harmony and not the destructive.
This includes not frequenting violent bars. But people mainly rumble in bars. They don’t usually go there to kill.
The universe is not separate from destruction. It is inclusive of destruction. Look around you. Love is not separate from its antitheses.
I think a lot of what O’Sensei and others have said has become skewed over the years. People want to be “one with the universe” which sounds quaint until you realise that the universe is all devouring and kills everything it creates constantly. I think it’s a form of denial people have until after, if they survive, either natural or man-made disasters, and if they recover from PTSD and the bitter and twisted that often goes with it, and if they come out the other end, they find a balance.
If a knife “is pointed at your throat from 0 distance,” you are already dead. Killers don’t threaten and threateners always don’t kill; and you are not equipped to guess the difference. Also, they may change their mind mid way. It’s not only too late to give him your wallet. He may not want your wallet and, in making a wrong assumption, you die.
The assumption that deadly violence begins with words is unfounded. Sure, hot headed, testosterone overloaded young men rumble. They always have and its all part of posturing and the mating game for primitives.
Killers simply kill. They don’t give advanced notice.
When you are already in a high risk situation, it is too late to avoid it. If you are going to avoid, do so well in advance by exercising commonsense, awareness and not getting a job in a bar unless there’s no other job available. And if you must, then make sure you get well paid.
Name calling is trivial. And has nothing to do with surviving inevitable circumstances.
Unless you’re stupid.
Which, if that pressed a button, it can be cured by 30 years or so, of daily pranayama, cold showers, jogging and a good diet.
Our Budo training is for self-improvement and not so much as a preparation to fight, unless you are also preparing for a career as a professional protector.
In which case, hot air, quaint theories and debate will be the lesser part of it. Generalizations and sweeping statements should not be propounded as knowledge, since every rule has its opposite.