thanks for the reply Mark.
It is good to hear a definition of viability. So your criteria is that what they had to teach increased your student's ability to perform within the context of aikido much better than before they trained with the "baseline methodology" (for lack of whatelse to call it at this point").
These baseline skills will make all those leaps of intuitive "steal the technique" type training a whole lot easier. Reading Ledyard sensei's posts will show you the logic there.
They will create better understanding of things like keep weight underside, etc. They add a function to training that, IMO, helps students progress at a more optimal pace in a martial art.
And, all the people looking at Ueshiba's vision and training to get there ... well, while the path may be different, the end vision (being able to defend oneself without necessarily harming the attacker) is the same. (I'll note here that the actual end result, IMO, is different. But that's a topic for the baseline skills thread.)
No, I don't think it is fair to compare methodolgies to each other. Each methodology focuses on a particular area of concentration and therefore, when comparing some will be strong in one area, while yet the other art in the other area. So, when you Say "equal skill" it cannot categorically apply as an art.
In order to do that, you'd have to develop a standardize testing/training conditions that were common and then compare outcomes...however, when you do that...it is called MMA.
Thanks for taking the time to clarify your position on viability.
Hmmm ... let's use another example.
Take a wrestler as an attacker. Take someone who has done each of the other martial arts for 6 months. The test is for each person to take the wrestler to the ground in some manner (take down, roll, fall, etc). The wrestler gets to use his skills to either not go down or take the other person down.
Then compare how well each did. So, do you think that a person in aikido will fare as well as someone in BJJ or judo or MMA? After all, aikido specifically trains to take people to the ground in either a fall or roll.
Now take someone who has had one year of training in each of the fields. Remember, we're actually keeping to something that all four (in this test, aikido, BJJ, judo, and MMA) have in common in their training syllabus.
There's a reason it's commonly stated in a lot of places that aikido takes longer to become viable than other martial arts.
However, IMO, if you add in these baseline skills as part of the training methodology for aikido, I really do think that it will be at par with all the others. And then, it'll be like you said -- some will be strong in one area while the other arts in other areas.