Rather than thinking about it in terms of safety, I always put this one down to awareness
That's a fair point and awareness is crucial. I am a (really quite feeble and inexperienced) climber and at the start of a book I was reading on the subject, it said something like "Climbing is not a safe activity and can never be made safe." And I agree that you accept a degree of risk in Aikido practice and that awareness is a key part of practice being safer.
safety for me implies a set of imposed restrictions, normally from on high (instructor) while awareness is situational and involves each individual more fully
Yes, so certain techniques or methods of practice could be safe with experienced people and not with beginners, depending on the situation.
But, you can be aware (indeed how can you do Aikido if you're not) but indifferent to danger or the risk to the partner and I think this is what I was trying to get at. The extent to which a mindset of safety should be integral to practice in the dojo. Then again, who's going to post on this thread saying "I believe in putting my partner at risk at all times . . ."
Ian also wrote:
be aware of where you're throwing
are people so bad at this?
If doing a technique that involves a throw, we invariably throw to the outside edge of the mat. We have virtually no collision injuries (sound of Ed hurriedly touching wooden desk top) as a result. Last year was the first BAB course I can remember where an instructor suggested anything similar. How hard can it be?
(sound of eyes rolling)
This is one of the things I think of when I talk about safety changing a technique. For some techniques, if the partner attacks from one direction, the technique "naturally" sends them out at 90 degrees which can often be into the middle of the mat and the people practicing there. We would adjust the technique, the direction of throw; from my BAB experiences, alot of people wouldn't.
I may be a little obsessive about this . . .