Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I say your time is much better spent doing "other things" if you focus is self defense.
(New here, and quite new to aikido. Hi everyone!)
My feeling on this is that if my goal was to be able to kick sand in the face of 98 pound weaklings as soon as possible there's no way I'd be doing aikido. On the other hand, there's a strange authenticity thing that I wouldn't study aikido if I didn't feel that it was, in principle, martially effective. I don't mind that I'd have to spend years studying to get the speed and accuracy to not get knocked out by a moderately competent boxer, provided I know that it is possible.
Interestingly,and at a slight tangent, I was watching people do kakari geiko at training a few days ago, and worrying about openings that they were leaving because they knew that the only possible strike was a right handed tanto stab - people were standing open to knees to the groin, left hand punches and so on. This worried me slightly in a 'randori practice only improves your randori' sort of way. Then I saw a couple of the higher graded students doing the same, and was reassured - when the techniques were done properly, there were no openings whatsoever. Nice to know!