Michael Gallagher wrote:
I voted somewhat important. If it's a question of ukes attacking full force, I think training safety should be a prime consideration, outweighing all others. Yeah, O Sensei had people come at him with live swords, but that was after he'd had one heck of a life and had developed a lot of skill. The goal should be to learn Aikido safely, not see who's tougher.
Besides which, attacks can require as much study and practice as any throw or control, so teaching good offensive structures means more work, and I'm too lazy.
Shihan Roseberry, once told my class that our techniques looked good, but asked why we were bothering with techniques when uke would never make contact.
Good attacking skills to me includes safety. You have to commit to the attack, but at a speed that tori can handle. It is, in my opinion, critically important because without a committed and appropriate attack there is no need to do techniques. After all, attacks can be strong and committed, but don't have to be full force. If uke never crosses the line that constitutes guaranteed safety for tori, why should tori move?