Chris Hein wrote:
*Sparring: (I know lots of people will have confusion about my usage of this word.) I mean sparring in the since that you would see in in a competitive sport martial art school.
I don't see why sparring is competitive. No-one wins or looses and the aim isn't to see who's best, it's there to practice techniques in a more free form format than kata allows. As someone said about Karate "punching into thin air can only teach so much". In the same way chucking a co-operative uke can only teach so much. I mean kata work, which is what Aikido largely is, can teach you perfect technique in a perfect envoironment. Reality, however, isn't perfect but we can prepare ourselves better for it by sparring. In that setting uke may not be co-operating with my technique but he is co-operating with my training. I need my partner to fight back to help improve my technique, to help me translate kata work into real world and for that I require his co-operation.
I honestly don't think that there is such thing as unco-operative training because as soon as it ceases to be co-operative it also ceases to be training.