It would seem that in stating my position
, I was defending the art of Aikido.
No problem with that being the impression. But I wasn't doing that intentionally.
The art of Aikido will / can stand on its own two feet, with or without my help.
I stand by my stance of Aikido being a sound syllabus (perhaps not complete, nor diverse) 'karate ryu'.
What is important is that the individual art that one trains in, if done with a strong personal budo spirit, can be considered worthy. This I say from MY
perspective, but must qualify that by stating that I'm not a purist.
Indeed, some of my 'kung fu' is of a mixed heritage and therefore is not constrained by a single system. Thats the benefit (and weakness I suppose) of having many instructors over many decades.
No ground techniques - correct, and will support your view on that, (I teach some limited waza in class)
No real defense against strikes or throwing - to a degree I agree but I think my clubs students wouldn't agree, as we do alot of - 'what if it all goes wrong' type scenarios.
Syllabus full of wrist grabbing - yup - and loving it. But thats just the base - isn't it - not the entire art.
Worst of all, Aikidoka don't spar - oh yes they do. In our dojo. I would prefer they didn't sometimes, but they are energetic souls.
But I must concede, you are right, as it really is only amongst ourselves, and that really doesn't count.
We share the dojo with a judo group , and their idea of sparring is totally different from ours, however, the diverse nature of Aikido's techniques still allows me feel confident in its ability to 'match' it on the mat.
But thats possible because I'm considered a 'mean son of a really quite nice lady.'