Aikido guys like to claim the moral high ground by talking about peace and not fighting with the enemy and etc... We drone things (often in a spacey voice) like, “get offline... No, don't oppose force... avoid... evade... don't fight with the attacker... Blend...”
Well, come on, now, how many aikido practices are really congruent with that ideal?
- When attacked, do you, “turn aside and lead uke into offbalance?” If so, you've just attacked him!
- Do you, "enter inside his force and strike him down?" Well, that's pretty blatant.
- Do you, “get offline and set your strong stance line so you can do shomenate?” You just chose to participate in a fight with him.
- Do you, “blend with his energy and lead him into an immobilization?” Again, you just chose to engage the enemy and do something to him.
And you think your art is all about not fighting? Knock it off!
How about this – try for a month of practices to avoid uke's attack and get to a position from which you can safely flee the conflict. You will still get all sorts of chances to bust uke because you were unable to evade correctly or he was more vigorous than you thought or you couldn't get away or something.
But at least start every single technical encounter in practice with the intent of getting away from uke instead of engaging in a fight with him. Don't grab him. Don't lead him. Don't throw him. Don't pin him. Get away from him!
Try it for a month and see what it does for your aikido - that will be my Christmas gift to you - the aiki gift that keeps on giving!
UPDATE: Check out the follow-ups to this article: