Lunging range and random thoughts on Aikido.
I've seen many people doubt Aikido's effectiveness, and scoff at it when I'm not looking.
One person jokingly referred to it as "the art of defending yourself against someone who is running straight into you."
I've sparred a bit with someone using protective gear, and despite actually getting him into an ikkyo once (accidentally, by catching his gloved fist near my stomach), I overall got my butt handed to me.
Then a few other things occurred. Once I was going to work and I saw an angered (and very likely insane) homeless man start cursing some random guy that was passing by, jump away and assume some kind of a pseudo-martial-arts-stance-that-he-saw-in-a-movie-once.
The guy laughed and stepped away to have between them a distance which is roughly equal to that of when we do munetsuki in class. Nothing further happened.
Then I saw Seagal's "Path beyond thought" tape. It has a segment where Seagal is being attacked by what looks, by all intents and purposes, as a knife made of metal (a real one?), and the attacker is being about as aggressive and fast as they get.
However Seagal just kept stepping away and kind of ignoring the small, and extremely fast knife movements - until the uke had lunge himself into him, and then he was immediately disarmed.
These things together kinda clicked in my head recently, and now I came to realization that yes, Aikido should be _very_ effective as long as I see a confrontation coming (and these days I do), and manage to keep the distance at the point where the opponent's "footwork" is not sufficient to keep up with me simply stepping backwards, and in order to hurt me, he has to dedicate an attack. There's simply no other way to catch up to someone who keeps the distance, than lunge into them...
As a 5th kyu, that's how I'm seeing it now. I think Aikido relies on the farthest range - the lunging range, because the practitioner is not interested in closing the distance to attack in other ranges (kicking, punching, grappling, CQB).
Given the fact that during the fights that I've actually been in, people WERE launching themselves into me, and they WERE grabbing me by the elbow (to go outside), and they WERE pushing at first, (all those fights happened before I took Aikido), I'm coming to conclusion that Aikido can be a very effective means of self-defense.
Just a few thoughts that were cruising in my head... Replies are welcome...