Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
Critically important to me that my aikido be martially effective....that's why I train in a martial art.
However, Patrick made me think of something else that I think aikido gave me. A sense of awareness and, for lack of a better term, readiness. Because aikido taught me to be aware of my surroundings and my fellow man, I believe that I am less likely to walk into a dangerous situation blind. At the same time, I think others (read predators) recognize that awareness and my readiness to deal with the situation if I must and look elsewhere for their victims. In other words, my sense of confidence and awareness makes it apparent that I will fight back.
As an example, one day, as I was walking from the parking lot to class, I heard a man and women yelling at each other. Turned out the man was holding the women by the bicep and yelling at her. She was telling him to let go and leave her alone. I relaxed and stared. He noticed me. Asked me "What are you looking at b&*ch? This ain't your business." I kept standing and staring, never said a word. Eventually, he let her go and walked off. I asked if she was okay. She said yes, got in her car and drove off.
To me, this was both aikido, and my aikido training at work. I dont know whether he left because of a witness, or because he perceived I would interfere. But because I appeared willing to stay and take what may have come....he went elsewhere.
Of course, I have also used my aikido far more directly, which goes back to the importance to me of the martial effectiveness of my aikido.
Just my two cents....Brenda