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When attacked I become the attack, when attacking I become the throw.
For an attack to be "real" it must be composed of three elements: strategy, tactics and intent. Strategy and tactics of an attack can be easily simulated in the dojo. An attacker's intent is to maim, disable or otherwise harm the one being attacked for whatever reason. I'm not aware of any Aikido dojos where intent to harm one's partner is an integral part of daily practice. I have been to many Aikido classes, seminars and camps over 30 years and I have yet to see anything that can be termed a "real" attack on the mat.
Often Aikido students mistake speed, strength and resistance for reality when attacking. These are all components of an attack, but in and of themselves do not constitute a "real" attack. For the attack to be real the intent to harm must be present. The attacker must forego all restraint and really want to hurt the defender. This is what happens in uncontrolled situations that occur outside of the dojo.
For me, the reality of Aikido training is learning to ignore uke's intent. How can this be accomplished in the dojo when intent is totally absent from an attack? Exactly! Constant training in the absence of intent allows me to see and react to the mechanics of an attack without having to deal with uke's emotional baggage that is fueling his intent. Aikido has taught me that there is no distinction between uke and nage and hence, no conflict. An attack is a gift, an opportunity to practice my art.