There is is common perception of Aikido as the Art of harmony, the art of non-violence.
Well, let’s look around us, we don’t see that many ‘violence’ per se. People will say, ‘Hey look! I’m peaceful! I’m not on a rampage, going around killing people!’
Sure, ask yourself again, how many times a day have you mentally visualise strangling your boss? or skin the reckless driver who cuts into your lane?
We all have a violent nature, even though we don’t act it out. It lies dormant in us, and the most terrible of us, brings that violence and darkenss out, kill and maim for real.
So the practice of Aikido is about that subtle, not-so-subconscious part of us, that desires for violence, to justify our hate, sorrow pain and existence. It happens when we bring our uke down a little harder than necessary. Or we yank our uke’s arm in a manner that seem more for a dramatic effect.
Aikido is about taking out that dramatics in life. Because all these dramatics more oftne than not make a situation worse. Think of a time in an argument, when you decide against your better judgement to make a comment, only to realise that it was totally uncalled for. Because we want to win, and to win, is the ultimate drama.
But that is not winning, winning at the expense of another person’s loss is not winning. True victory has no defeat. No one has to be vanquished in a real victory. that is what we are aiming for in aikido, to do that mental cleaning in our head.
Once we can clear our head of these manipulative thoughts, then we can see the reality of things, and take the appropriate actions. Surely one can again argue that appropriateness is matter of perspective and relativity. That kind of opinion can only be said by a person who is not clear about the trueness and purity of our inner guiding force.
The ultimate appropriateness is non-violence. it is uncompromising, it is non-negotiable. Non-violence is one-way. there is no ‘it-depends’ scenario for non-violence. the moment you think of killing an ant, that is where you have to start your practice of non-violence.