Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...
I remember the first time I saw Aikido I thought it must be a scam. Some of the attacks I saw looked unrealistic and I thought "that guy attacking is just letting himself get thrown around." I still gave it a try and after training a while it began to make a little more sense to me. I liked one of the earlier post's remarks regarding spontaneous technique. We train in specific ways (sometimes in a way that is highly unlikely to happen in a self-defense situation) to develop body-feel and increase kinetic awareness. Someone tried to punch me one time and I responded with a technique I'd never practiced before. I think that's the kind of thing we're training for; not to be caught up in the specific movements themselves, but in the principles which they're designed to make us familiar with. It was from katatoriwaza that I first began to intentionally move from the hara/center, for example, and that in turn began to make other techniques a little easier for me.