What Is Aikido?

O'Sensei and Terry Dobson
True Budo is a work of love. It is a work of giving life to all beings and not killing or struggling with each other. Love is the guardian deity of everything. Nothing can exist with it. Aikido is the realization of love.
- Morihei Ueshiba O'sensei

Tonight Lawrence taught class. We have not seen much of him lately. He took a year off to study Hapkido and currently teaches the kids class. If you don't know, Hapkido has a lot of Aikido techniques but had a whole bunch of kicks and strikes as part of the repertoire. Lawrence is mild mannered and give off a soft vibe. But he is very keen on the effectiveness of any technique and how it would work in “the street”. For him the purpose of Aikido is how it will protect you and in a real fight and you strike at the attacker, and if the strike can't do it you use it as an atemi to distract the bad guy and then "clean his clock".

That is one aspect. Some people emphasize the martial aspect of Aikido and to that end are fond of point out that somewhere O'sensei said something like 80, 90 or 95% of Aikido is the atemi (strike to the attacker) which in a kinder view is merely used to to distract the attacker.

For all the explanations about how O'sensei and Aikido is really about subduing attackers and breaking some bones if necessary there are many more quotes like this from the founder...”you are responsible for protecting your attacker, for not hurting him”.

So, how does that view Jibe with the quote above?

Is Aikido Love?

or is it putting the bad guys in the hospital?

Or all of thee above

It doesn't Jibe. So another paradox, or contradiction or subtle ruse, or out right deception.

My Terry Dobson books came in so I may be more confused than ever.


Bob said...

I have always taken the statement about the percentage of the technique being atemi to mean that whether "just a distraction" or really a solid hit, the atemi is essential for making the technique work. Bob

ZeppoManx said...

Possibly, but the intent for the two approaches are opposite. With one you are trying to hurt someone and the other you only want to get their attention to unbalance them.

Bob said...

Yeah, it is hard to reconcile. Do you think that it's a matter of reconciling the young Ueshiba with the old?

ZeppoManx said...

My reply was lengthy enough that I made it a new post. Enjoy!