Re: Brawling with a friend
I too have only begun my training (almost a year now!) but I agree with much of what has been said.
At my level of experience, if a technique is going to work, it is because it is completely instinctual -- a person went to hit me and tsuki kotegaeshi just happened. The one or two times I've had the "friendly" fights you talk about, I'm careful to make sure I don't try for any techniques for fear of hurting someone; instead, I think about my ma'ai and how I'm moving. Knowing my friends, I'm careful about which of them hear I've started practicing aikido -- I don't want to deal with "Oh yeah? Prove it works..."