Are You Hitting Or Are You Loving; or is there difference? And what is the way of harmony anyway?
Comment from a previous post about the nature of an atemi (strike to the attacker)
"Yeah, it is hard to reconcile. Do you think that it's a matter of reconciling the young Ueshiba with the old?"
My thinking today is that it is probably more complicated than that.
O'Sensei's “enlightenment” happened in 1925 and early enough to be considered "young Ueshiba". Where he says essentially that there was no enemy and that “budo” was actually Love, which to our sensibility is obviously paradoxical. How can you seek to harm someone and yet love them at the same time.
Part of it may be that he was starting from a “Martial” standpoint and today (at least on an individual level) we start from a a non-combative viewpoint. So an atemi or strike for him did not automatically have the connotation that it does from us. Think about it...there once once a time when arguments, insults and debates were sometimes settled with violence much like a European duel. So merely hitting someone in the face was nothing compared to cutting their neck...well, maybe.
Then again maybe we have traded in the dueling pistol for a legal action, but no matter, we "usually" don't hit, strike or shoot people over some disagreement.
For me the thing is Morihei Ueshiba said many things and we have to consider not only what he said but where WE come from as to what we think is most important. So that what we say O'Sensei says, shows more about where we are coming from than what he was actually trying to teach.
For some the key point is that the Founder ALWAYS thought of Aikido as a MARTIAL Art. For me the Founder saw Aikido as a way of reconciliation and Love.
From my perspective I see O'Sensei as acknowledging we live in a world with pain and anger that erupts in violence and the answer is Aikido. For some it is a hard hitting strike to the face and a firm put down. For me it is an embrace of the attack and a circular, safe but firm landing for the attacker.
Well...that is my goal.
Oh yes. Happy New Year to All!!