Just last week, I ‘scolded’ two of my fellow Aikidokas after class. I was packing my bag and they were going through their hand movement on a technique which we did earlier in class, engrossed in getting the hand technique right. My rebuke was that ‘What we do, doesn’t matter. Its very selfish of us to think about how we can better the technique, we have to think about the uke and how we can make our technique comfortable for our uke. We need to make sure we can protect the uke and make the technique safe.’
Nowadays, I constantly have my partner’s safety and well-being as my top concern, my technique, the effectiveness and skill hinges on the effectiveness and skills of my uke. I try my best to ensure that my uke is not hurt in anyway by my skills. Ultimately, Aikido as a martial arts aims not to kill, but skillfully preserve life, and kill aggression. We should only consider ourselves skillful if our partner/ attacker leaves our hand unharmed. We all can protect ourselves very well, but what about the others, the unaware and the unconscious?
So the techniques we practice in the dojo is the very same techniques that allows us to save or take lives. If we uses our techniques only for self preservation, then we need to look deeper and challenge ourselves to use the very same techniques to save lives, not only ours but also the lives of others as well.