Seeing as it is the Christmas season and a time for giving and compassion, I thought that I would post this story about a real Aikido lesson. This is one of my favorite stories and was written by Terry Dobson who studied directly under Morihei Ueshiba the founder of Aikido. I was reminded by the story when I visited the Aikido blog Ikigai. To me this story encompasses the true spirit of martial arts. I have always heard that the greatest warrior is the one who never fights. This may seem a contradiction but as this story illustrates it shows what compassion and understanding can accomplish over violence. So Please read and enjoy.
“A turning point came in my life one day on a train in the suburbs of Tokyo, in the middle of a drowsy spring afternoon. The old car clanked and rattled over the rails. It was comparatively empty—a few housewives with their kids in tow, some old folks out shopping, a couple of off-duty bartenders studying the racing form. I gazed absently at the drab houses and dusty hedgerows.
At one station the doors opened, and suddenly the quiet afternoon was shattered by a man bellowing at the top of his lungs, yelling violent, obscene, incomprehensible curses. Just as the doors closed, the man still yelling, staggered into our car. He was big, drunk and dirty. He wore laborer’s clothing. His front was stiff with dried vomit. His eyes bugged out, a demonic, neon red. His hair was crusted with filth. Screaming, he swung at the first person he saw, a woman holding a baby. The blow glanced off her shoulder, sending her spinning into the laps of an elderly couple. It was a miracle that the baby was unharmed.”