I guess one can differentiate Aikido with ‘other’ martial arts in way of the peaceful and harmonious doctrines which we hear so much about in Aikido.
In that one sentence above, I’ve used one ‘anti- Aikido’ word-differentiate.
What Aikido seeks out to accomplish is elimination of differences, to tear down that bias that exists in us. That opinionated ‘Them vs Us’ mentality. ‘Good/bad’ ‘Right/wrong’ duality. Comparison is often the first step away from the goals of Aikido. Which is why it is so non-competitive. Competition aims to distinguish the strongest from the weakest. This selection process, is often based on the natural selection process, but anything devised by humans, are inherently flawed. Sometimes the difference between the first place guy and the guy next to him is a matter of seconds, and sometimes, down to the age-old excuse of ‘luck’. But hey, if we do not even go into the competition, do we have to even head that way?
When you rank, file and order something, you will always have that need to make a distinguish, to tell them apart. Sometimes, we fight to tell that differences, sometimes we fight for the differences. When we start to fight, we lost our Aikido way.
That is why Aikido is often so visually flowing, and harmonious, to an extent it looked ‘fake’ or staged. It is hard to tell a person, that both the uke and nage are trying to come together for a common reason, a common goal, which makes the movement seems so cooperative. Yes, the uke and nage is cooperating with each other to attain a level neither individuals can attain alone. Not many martial arts can achieve this level of cooperation.
At the end of the day, the goal of non-conflict is to seek out that common thread that makes us all human, the link that connects all of us together, because that is always strength in togetherness, and this is the organic goal of nature. No one exists alone, all living organisms are connected one way to another.
The existence of ego is to help us bring a healthy desire to find that commonness when at times it turn out to be so difficult. When different opinions arises, it is the over bleeding of the ego. The ego being a self preserving entity, will seek all ways to exists, and sometimes at the sacrifice of the bigger picture. When we start to quarrel and say ‘I don’t agree!’ that is when the ego went into overdrive and seeks a self-centered direction. And this in the long run is often detrimental to the entire ecosystem. And we are always doing things for the long run, so why don’t we start agreeing more, and disagree less?