Ian Dodkins wrote:
I think it is a very dire problem in aikido that the only (ethical) way to test it is by being attacked for real (since, mostly, we acknowledge competitions as being unrealistic). Maybe that is why, as serious aikidoka, we should welcome real attacks, as an opportunity to test the validity of our assumptions!
I somewhat disagree here. *shocker*
Yes, competition is not combat (or should not be combat) but it is not as unrealistic as just kata work. In a sense, I view competition as a safe model for a fight. The Resistance element adds a level of realism that cannot be there in kata work. The will of uke is to make sure tori does not get away with anything short of a good technique. Even the army and marines in the US use games and competition to train for combat.
I remember one of my classes at Uni. It was thermodynamics. We were calculating the time it would take for a chicken to cook in an oven. We assume a perfectly spherical and homogeneous chicken... and got pretty close to the answer provided by hundreds of years of practice by house-wives, chefs and other cooks. *grin*
Sometimes a model is the best thing you can do...
BTW: getting into a fight to test your Aikido is dump. A knife wound
can kill you, paralyse you or do a whole array of things you __really__ do not want done to your body. I'm not even going to go to potential trauma for loved ones, friends and family...