Right on topic, we focused on what to do against a jab last night. It was definitely valuable to practice against a more realistic attack and to practice more practical applications of aiki. I've found myself frustrated at times when i've focused on defense against the normal range of "traditional" aikido atemi. I just can't imagine many people attacking me with their tekatana.
In lieu of being able to train all the time against more realistic attacks am i right to try to focus on the principles of aiki? I typically treat each technique as a tool to develop some kind of sense of the uke's energy or intent. I occasionally feel i'm just being an idealist but then whenever sensei demonstrates a technique on me, i feel his "power" and become inspired again.