Re: Live tanto in grading
I took my Shito Ryu Shodan test doing some technique against a live blade - for the first time. We had done a lot of knife work over the years, but never a live blade until my test. I really think that if I had the same initial reaction in the street, I very likely would have been stabbed or cut very badly. As uke took the knife from Sensei and started heading towards me my heart began to pound as I relaized it was a real knife. I had some time to gain some composure by the time he got back to the floor and we were given some instructions. But I hate to think what would have happened if there was not so much time given before any attacks.
Plus, it was only Ippon Kumite, one attack, one defense. So it was not a continuous attack. There's a big difference,
I place a lot of emphasis on the use of live blades to try and get over some of the initimidation factor. But with the nature of Aikido and ukemi, I am always concrned that someone (probably me) is going to fall on the knife.
Students have to become accustomed to working with the blades. I just don't think I'm going to use them in any freestyle or continuous attacks.