Aikido and kicks
Why most Aikido dojos don't train techniques against kicks?
There are two common answers that people get. and both are very stupid
1. it's dangerous for uke to take ukemi. Uke must be very good with ukemi.
If we accept this as a good reason, we could think: taking ukemi for shihonage is very dangerous if uke doesn't know how to do it, so maybe we shouldn't practice shihonage. Or taking ukemi for iriminage could be dangerous, maybe we shouldn't practice iriminage. Actually aikido is pretty dangerous if uke doesn't know how to take ukemi, maybe we shouldn't practice aikido at all.
This kind of reasoning is silly. Not practicing Aikido techniques against kicks for this reason is wrong.
If uke isn't prepared to take ukemi from a kick, then the practice must be progressive until uke can take ukemi properly. But not practicing at all means uke will never develop this skill.
2. Against kicks, aikido uses the same principles as with other attacks.
though this is 100% true, it's also true that the way a leg is manipulated to achieve control or make a projection differs from an arm, head, or other part. So practicing against kick is important to learn how to manipulate a leg, how can one disrupt ukes balance using the leg as leverage, how the joints of the leg can be locked or pinned, etc.
So even though the basic principles of Aikido are the same, we must be aware that the different parts of the body need to be manipulated differently.
Another reason I think why is important to train against kicks is a mental and spiritual one. Aikido not only trains the body, also the mind and spirit.
(important: I don't mean Mind and Spirit in a religious or metaphysical fashion. I refer as Mind the capability to analise an attack, process the information and take the best possible response, with practice this process becomes unconscious though. I refer to Spirit as the way one person confronts a situation. Under attack one can freeze or become so scared that he/she can't react properly (weak spirit), or one can face the attack calmly, which gives more possibilities of success (strong spirit)
If an Aikidoka has never faced kicks, is probable he/she might be unsecured, even scared when facing them, because he/she doesn't know what to do. training against kicks prepares your mind and spirit to feel confident that you have trained for that situation and that your training will pay off. This confident state of mind is important to confront any situation, even if at the you succeed or you don't.
Instructor Aikido Goshin Dojo