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?” 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!
This is a very enlightening post as many arts and schools would benefit in addressing the alignment of their philosophical, strategic and technique perspectives.
From my point of view, I think in a feudal culture and environment, it is a wise man that recognised that a reduction in conflict and a de-escalation process is of primary concern - regardless of culture or geography. So while everyone is wearing a mean looking sword at their sides and ready to strike you down, it is way better to not incite a fight which can then turn into a riot, which can then turn into a battle.
In my own style however, I find it more important to look at the objectives of the fight or self defence scenario rather than to peg techniques against a set strategy.
In Taekwondo, like Karate, our punch line is linear force. We specialise in generating a lot of power in a straight line toward the target. However, if this is the only recourse we have, then either you aim your accelerative force into the opponent or away from the opponent ... bugging the hell out of there first.
This is a limited approach, and therefore we also train in evasion, coverage, lock ups, and strikes. This means we can engage multiple opponents and can use one opponent as a shield to make our escape. Or we can cover up and reduce risk to ourselves in order to escape. Or we can strike first, then escape.
Certainly the block-strike karate/taekwondo approach presents a very limited range of options to the practitioner, and such a methodology should be re-assessed by any instructor thinking that this is 'the' traditional method of training.
I think Pat has got the idea to review the intent behind the technique. I would suggest that this is a very valid point. You should always evaluate what you are doing with your martial arts. Are you trying to fight or are you trying to get away? You'd be the better man for following Savage Baptist's advice to look for the exit and make a break to that direction.
Once you finished thinking about my response, and have visited Pat's blog, check out Nat's response at Escape as a Strategy in Self-Defense, which has some really good self defence and combative tips.
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