Originally posted by Irony
...would more than likely just try to resolve it without aggressively engaging, keeping ma ai and whatnot...
So how is the conflict resolved? You are assuming that the "boxer" will quit once they can't break the static ma the "aikidoka" has established. Ma ai does not mean keeping everything at fingertip reach, that is just a certain ma, or distance. I can keep really good ma ai in a conflict, it's called running away. What happens when I am caught offguard or I can't run away? When does this "aikidoka" step in and take the center? Limiting veiws of correct engagement weakens ability and creates openings. Engaging, aggressively or otherwise, in my book is called blending or fitting, and that is why aikido is so hard.