Cady Goldfield wrote:
If it's not good for the street, though, then what good is it at all? Unless you're saying that aikido is an artificial construct, with specific rules of engagement, that can successfully exist only in the dojo, on mats?
No, I'm just saying someone should not be so ingrained with ritualistic habits that they know when to slap with the arm and when not to.
There's a cute passage in one of Robert Smith's books where he took a breakfall out on the street, slapped, and broke his hand on the curb. His let his instincts override his brain.
The Chinese training involves using breath pressure to train the body over time so that the body can absorb heavy falls; the hand/arm is used to cup and protect the back of the head.
It's important to understand how to develop the body in ukemi training.