Recently I got to talking about Compassion in the Martial Arts. In my previous post I gave some examples of people expressing their ideas about life protection and compassion, and how those ideas can be misconstrued as weak or inappropriate in the realm of martial arts.

Facebook group member Brian Zitzow astutely pointed out that in that article I didn’t mention anything about Aikido. He’s right, and the reason why is because I was lacking a good concrete example like that of Shaka Zulu or Oyata Sensei. Luckily Brian provided me with something to fix that.

The following is a story about real Aikido in action. It is written by Terry Dobson, a very well known Aikido practitioner who also happened to study directly under Morihei Ueshiba. Enjoy!

“THE TRAIN CLANKED and rattled through the suburbs of Tokyo on a drowsy spring afternoon. Our car was comparatively empty – a few housewives with their kids in tow, some old folks going shopping. I gazed absently at the drab houses and dusty hedgerows.

At one station the doors opened, and suddenly the afternoon quiet was shattered by a man bellowing violent, incomprehensible curses. The man staggered into our car. He wore laborer’s clothing, and he was big, drunk, and dirty. Screaming, he swung at a woman holding a baby. The blow sent her spinning into the laps of an elderly couple. It was a miracle that she was unharmed. Terrified, the couple jumped up and scrambled toward the other end of the car.

The laborer aimed a kick at the retreating back of the old woman but missed as she scuttled to safety. This so enraged the drunk that he grabbed the metal pole in the center of the car and tried to wrench it out of its stanchion. I could see that one of his hands was cut and bleeding. The train lurched ahead, the passengers frozen with fear. I stood up…Continue Reading