Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.
I believe I understand Mr Crane's post. I don't think he meant to imply, (nor did/do I) that violence is a figment of the imagination, simply that what most of us romanticize about MA in general will prepare us for in the since of our expectations of physical/technical skills.
As you know, I contend that MA actually do very little in the way of preparing us technically for what occurs in a violent altercation and if that is your focus, that is....to reduce or mitigate risk of harm to yourself, there are many more better ways to do this than rolling around a dojo.
All I ever ask of people is to "let go" or really think/meditate seriously on the subject to make sure they truely clear their minds of the paradiqms/expections of what an assailant will present, as it is , as Mr. Crane stated, probably a "figment of your imagination".
I do think, though, that MA offers us a great deal holistically in order to prepare for or prevent violence. Does that seem like a contradiction based on what I just wrote? A little, but I the key to it is the word holisitically. It can give us Mushin, it can help us with our awareness, help us see things that we never noticed about ourselves and others, it can serve as a method to heal us emotionally before and after a violent assault. It can mentally and physically harden us and make us a "hard" target versus a "soft" target.
It can also help us develop the appropriate responses for "fight or flight". However, focusing on particular scenarios or techniques for most of us is probably not time well spent.
Lynn, I know I am not telling you anthing you don't know about already though, but thought it was a good point to discuss or clarify these things.