becomes more cooperative for fear of injury and tend not to be so gung-ho
to an extent I agree, but I think it more emphasizes the degree of trust between two training partners - certainly with people I trust there's less difference between with weapons and without. However, I'd happily admit that live blades certainly remove my normal attempts to win at any cost or be a sneaky bugger when attacking.
With regards to Dave's original comments - nice to read I'm not the only one who gets fed up of atemi and force being used because the skill just isn't there. I do get bored of the "just hit them in the nuts" brigade, haven't they ever heard of movement or disengaging?