Re: The MOST important technique?
thats a great vid Kevin - it's a shame it's not going to be up for long!
To my mind this is not a discussion of hard core vs soft training. It need not even be about competition/sparring. As some of you have heard me say before, I'm not convinced true sparring can be effectively introduced to Aikido.
It is however about culture. And I think alot of the issues can be taken care of by having mandating "free time' during regular classes. When I think about BJJ, one of the things sparring gives me (beyond the ability to test and refine stuff vs resistance) is an opportunity to pick the appropriate tech at the appropriate time. Perhaps the most crucial skill you can develop.
In Aikido this skill is at least as important - choosing the right tech to blend with just what uke is giving you. But 80-90% of our practice is doing the technique sensei has just shown - trying to fit a particular technique to the uke's attack. Sure there's jiyu but how much of our training time is spent actively as nage in jiyu. I'd hazard a guess that for most it's not enough.
So it's not about saying, lets be bad asses and train like mmaers. It's about saying more regularly, now is the time to try and put it all together, work with someone at a level of resistance you're comfortable with, don't prejudge the technique and just try it all out...