It's been a while since anyone posted, and I've been lurking since the community was created. I've been interested and impressed by a lot of what's been written here, but haven't had much to say myself because I haven't actively studied either aikido (Tomiki) or karate (Goju or Ashihara) for a few years now, and so I'm out of the practice and the culture to a fair degree.
However. I nearly got involved in a fight with a drunk yesterday, and it's been bothering me. I found myself surprisingly physically relaxed (although I was certainly aware of the adrenalin flowing) and mostly managed to keep the situation calm. But the emotional violence and conflict bothers me. I believe I can handle the physical aspects, but I've never been good at dealing with the emotions of anger and aggression and hatred that fly about during these kinds of confrontations. I think that they bother me, and lead me into fear and suprise and perplexity and doubt more than anything else.
When I was training, I was always doing so with and against other students. We didn't hate each other, we didn't want to punch each others' lights out, and the emotional assault just wasn't there. I don't know that it often is in a dojo. So, how do people learn to deal with these things? Is it just that the confidence of long training and faith in their ability to deal with the physical aspects gives people enough confidence to ignore those emotions? Is it a mental preparedness or a serenity that I've been been really shown how to access, or mastered? Or what?
How do you all deal with the feelings involved in conflict?