It is ALL a game until someone gets hit! And it doesn’t hurt me one little bit… ever… unless/until I am!
I have no interest in the “bloodlust” aspect, I am now older than 40, have a family… in truth I never did. My distaste aside I must be able to make conscious choices, active choices and define my boundries; what I will maintain re: views, ideas, personal space, and what I will not.
I propose true self-defense is learning to get out of our own way : ). If you cannot provoke me, I cannot be drawn into “your” universe of self loathing, personal suffering, pain…whatever the case, I know what to do with violence, and neutralize it so that I can get away. I do not need to wear a white hat to be a good martial artist though. Chuck Norris I am not. I do not need to get into it with you/anyone over a stupid maneuver for a parking space, or a place in traffic ahead of me. Don’t need to play with others imbalances to maintain my boundries.
I have never believed the height of any art (worth a darn) was to produce violent people. Exploring ones power is necessary to be able to avoid it IMHV. Never examined, carefully play with the “red zone” with ourselves, and definately against another(s) trying to stop us…
Exploring the ~red zone~ is mandatory to be effective against intended harm.
Choosing any art depends almost exclusively on the teacher. Two different people, two different presentations and the identical art in every other way will not be a good fit for you/I respectively. Be happy to help if you sent/posted a link to any of them. There are many, many different “flavors” of Aikido, Goju Ryu and karate (a name that is in truth a specific art from Okinawa) in general.
Glad to help if I can…