David Valadez wrote:
"Why can we not train to fight for real and have that training be of Budo?"
I guess I would look at that question a little differently.
First perspective: In the essence of Budo (as defined personally), I would say that we are training to fight for real. Let me give you an example. Let's say that I have trained in some style of Aikido for some undetermined time. I find myself with friends at a bar and I bump into some drunk. I apologize but the drunk wants to fight. Not very prettily and not very smoothly, I do manage to avoid getting hit and push the drunk away. Then after the initial encounter, when the drunk turns, I again not very prettily avoid getting hit and manage to get the drunk on the ground subdued. In some way, Budo did train me to fight. Now, apply that principle a little further … suppose I get into a "fight" (can't avoid it) with a normal person who doesn't have any martial arts training and let's say I have a yondan degree in aikido. For the most part, I will have the advantage and it won't be much of a fight. In essence, Budo has trained me to fight. Or, let's say I'm a Shodan in Aikido and I get into a fight with a Shichidan in karate. For the most part, I won't have the advantage. Does that mean Budo hasn't trained me for a real fight? No. There will always be someone better but that doesn't mean I haven't trained to fight for real in my Budo training. Finally, let's say I have a Lokudan in Aikido but I find myself in a very bad neighborhood where I'm jumped by ten or twelve people (at once) who have knives, chains, and various weapons. I would venture to say that I wouldn't have the advantage, especially if some of them knew how to "fight" from any kind of training. Again, there are always options and possibilities and each situation is imaginary, but I'm using it just for example purposes only. Just because you find yourself outmatched in the real world in a fight doesn't mean that your Budo training isn't training you to fight for real.
Second perspective: Why aren't you training to fight for real and have that training be Budo? What definition of Budo do you employ? What aspect of the training in Budo doesn't apply to training to fight for real?
Third perspective: At what stage in training does one find oneself? That is a very critical element in your question. If you take a first-day student in Aikido and they find themselves in a fight, then I'd say that their training hasn't gone on long enough for them to apply their Budo training to a real fight. Closer to the point, even a shodan in aikido may not have trained long enough for them to apply their Budo training in a real fight. I think that what matters here is the level of the student's understanding, not the level of their rank. But, at some point in the higher levels, one should be able to understand (and apply) that both (train to fight for real & training of Budo) are the same. In this, I look to my shihans (past and present) and their capabilities for affirmation.
Fourth perspective: Are you defining "fight for real" as in two people squaring off against each other where one attacks in a manner of various punches and kicks and grabs, etc while the second defends in a manner applicable to his Budo training? If so, then I would say that it might not be the Budo training at fault but the application and/or execution of the training. At each level of my training, I have been able to view others above me and their ability to apply and/or execute. The abilities did progress. I have been able to read about some of the older Aikido shihans who demonstrated abilities with Sumo/Judo/Karate people. I would venture to say that if one had access to some of the direct students of Osensei, some of the higher shihan in Aikido organizations, etc, that one would come away with the knowledge that training of Budo is very much training to fight for real. It's just the personal application and/or execution that varies or might not work. Someone has mentioned a phrase that sums up my fourth perspective and I don't remember who said it or the exact phrasing, so I apologize ahead of time for possibly butchering it. Your aikido might not work, but mine does.