Re: Aikido Works
Of course aikido has randori. Certainly I appreciate your view point. Keep in mind also that I a pro randori for my own training, but certainly appreciate now at this stage of my life why it seems to be limited somewhat in aikido.
If I were an instructor working with students I just spent an hour trying to "undo" years of "forcing" and "rigid stress" only to once again end class putting it back in.
I think in aikido you have to slowly build up to randori sort of like (i hate this term, but will use it anyway) "dancing" slowly until you have good posture/control, then you increase the pace until you can sustain that posture and control at faster and faster speeds.
I know in Aikido of Northern VA Jimmy encourages agressive and forceful technique when running a normal class. I can tell you that with the Yudansha I hold nothing back on them within the confines of the principle or technique that we are working on. I walk the line between taking it back from them and will if they are sloppy. Jimmy never had a problem with that as long as you had good technique and posture etc. He'd slow you down only if you were doing it wrong.
Just about every class, prior to starting that Min was around or some of the other Yudansha, we'd work on freestyle randori, I was never told to stop doing that. Same up at Takoma Park. You just had to be responsble and have the right context. It was never "grappling" though, nor should it degrade to the point of formless struggle.
Okay, back from my digression....
I think, however, that the average beginner, of which most of our classes composed say 70% of simply had no good martial basis for performing randori or freestyle aikido, therefore, we tended not to encourage it since it would be pointless and lost on them. (Maybe Jimmy or someone else will correct me if I made a wrong assumption!)