Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
I am in 2 minds about henka waza.
On one hand, it embodies dynamism, in that the roles of tori and uke are not always fixed... they are part of a whole, exchanging positions in a natural way...
On the other hand, it leads down the path to competition - basically aikido vs aikido. In real life, if I am ever attacked (e.g. in a mugging), I would hope it's not by another aikidoka... and openings that I provide would invite a conventional attack in the form of a punch or kick... thus, I might prefer to concentrate on responses to those type of attacks (or avoid giving openings to those type of attacks), instead of worrying that the attacker would try to initiate a nikyo or some other aikido waza.
Your arguements are well taken.
I am not worried to be attacked unprovoked by an aikidoka, although some are out there...
But even if you are attacked with a punch, it could be a jujutsuka or hapkidoka, a kung-fu fighter or any other training similar techniques and might use the first little mistake to counter your technique.
And more over many aikidoka seem not to know, what to do, when the opponent is not trying to advancing to them physically, but threaten other persons, stealing or doing other harm.
There are good reasons to to start too early and/or too often in kaeshi-waza or henka-waza.
I was corrected by Peter, when I was saying "every technique is henka-waza". He is right as always, but I still think, there is a floating border between variation and henka-waza.
And more over, every technique is kaeshi-waza, as every attack in kihon-waza, could be the initiation of an aikido-like technique.