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It's been a while since I posted. This is something I wrote in a post that I want to keep :
My instructor has stated that it takes about two years of training in aikido before a student can use his or her skills in a violent encounter with some success. That seems about right to me, based on my own experiences. At the same time, I've been training for seven years, and still feel like a rank beginner in a lot of ways.
Note, that's not the same thing as saying that two years of study would give a student the ability to win a street fight. I'm actually not sure what a "street fight" is, or what "on the street" means. I know it's verbal shorthand for things that happen in the real world outside the dojo, but people seem to have a concrete (pun!) idea of what that means. I don't.
Both times that I've really had to rely on my training in a physical altercation, I was in a house and there was no fighting involved. In both cases, I had to physcially restrain somebody who was high on drugs for his own safety. This situation is about as far removed from the dojo, as I can imagine.
My experiences are probably not typical, but I'm not sure what is typical. My point is that with training and experience, we progress from a very narrow understanding of how to apply techniques (he grabbed my wrist, so I repond with ...) to a much broader understanding and spontaneous application of aikido principles.
As an example, last year, when I had the second physical altercation, I ende