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I have heard from people, who have not had any real life fighting experience, argue about pure Aikido vs. Atemi Aikido.
They equate pure dojo training, as real fighting experience. There also seems to be intellectuals who have not fought in the real world, who have convinced many others, that you don't need to train for the real world.
Those with real life experience, are portrayed as not knowing Aikido, as well as not knowing real life fighting.
In January of 1959, I started my martial arts training, after I was beaten up, for standing up against a bully. At that time, people counseled me, to stand up to a bully. It seems that they left out the part whereby the bully beats you up.
It is now January of 2009, and I am within a few years, from retiring from law enforcement. At almost 59 years old, I am still fighting with young people, who can not hear or reason.
By default, Aikido has survived the test of time. The other martial arts had a shelf life. You don't see 90 year old boxers or wrestlers. In Judo, in your 90s, everyone takes it easy on the old man. Aikido however, doesn't have that competitive issue. You can practice with an element of contained realism.
My fighting career has given me the insight, on what works, or doesn't work. I have lost many friends and comrades, to vicious people, with an evil intent to harm anyone.
People have taken niceness as a weakness and politeness as a flaw. I have still survived, for another day.
Last Wednesday, I fell on a sheet of ice, and broke my ankle. As much as I tried to make a controlled fall, it did not work this time. The ice made my controlled fall, go out of control. I was moving far faster than I had anticipated. It will take a couple of months, before I can walk, nornal again.
I now have a plates, pins, and screws holding me together.