“I find the concept of ‘self-defense’ to be a thread of delusions wrapped around a core of fear and insecurity. Some people conveniently use this term to justify their distorted views of their world which can range wildly on a ‘fight-peace’ spectrum of possible responses to potential threats.
On one end of this spectrum we have those who view their world as dangerous. They perceive that the best way to survive is to be tough enough to deal with that threatening world. They tend to promote the ‘We must practice hard in intense encounters in order to to be able to use Aikido as a martial art. All that soft ki stuff is useless and crazy….’ The more macho, tougher, beat-up you become, the safer you become. People who practice like that over a long period of time end up with chronic injuries that prevent them from being able to continue to train in the manner that they are accustom to. They then tend to replicate that with the next generation and reminisce about the good old days and complain about how soft the next generation has become. They absolutely miss the proverbial boat in learning another way that is also effective, but allows you to still practice effectively in old age. Of course, they cannot ‘see’ this and instead talk about how the students are taking dives for that old person out of respect….”