Re: Sport is the new Budo
I imagine they could defend themselves because the deeply understood the full spectrum of martial conflict. Both studied many things prior to the adoption of their ultimate art, and they drew from those skills and experience to define themselves and the perspective they had on training.
what they did ultimately probably had little to do with sparring because they had grown or evolved past that.
Many study what they designed for us, and it might convey the lessons that they wanted us to learn.
The logic does not necessarily follow that becaus O'sensei was proficient at defending himself that you will too studying the aikido he taught.
He was proficient because he was O'sensei, not because he taught aikido.
I believe all of the higher ranking aikidoka I respect and value technique of...actually are proficient in other arts as well....many of them so-called competitive arts.
I think many that come to aikido in the west, that have never studied anything else of substancial value, many times have a very narrow perspective on martial arts and what it can and cannot do...and the strengths and weaknesses of aikido..what it is, and what it isn't.