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A few of my friends recently read some of the discussions here on Aikiweb where I was expressing my feelings about IP/IT/IS, and they had some questions for me, that made me realize, that without some background information about me and my training, some of my arguments might not make sense. So I've decided to write a quick explanation about where I stand on the IP/IT/IS discussion, and why my feelings are the way they are.
I started my Aikido career with and received my Shodan from Patrick Cassidy, Aikikai 6th dan, awarded his 4th dan by Morihiro Saito Sensei, trained in Iwama Japan for around 7 years. My early Aikido training was an interesting mix of solid Iwama kihon, Aikikai style ki-no-nagare and strong spiritual ideals (if you know Patrick you're very aware of what I mean).
From this training I began to understand the idea that "Aiki" was the ability to understand, lead, and blend with your attackers mind. This understanding of the mind, leads to the ability to work with the attackers body. This idea, took a strong hold, and to this day I find it to be a unique, and practical ability inherent to Aikido training.
After receiving my black belt, I began to feel like I didn't really understand how one could practically "use" Aikido. How one could martially defend themselves with the techniques found in Aikido. So I figured the best way to find out would be to start competing in Sport martial arts. Which I did, I co