I have been doing Aikido for about 3 months now and have started to question the actual effectiveness of the art.
I am well aware of the MANNY arguments about Aikido and if it is an effective means of self defense.
The reason I have started to question is that we where practicing defense of a strait punch, on my second attack as Uke I instinctively assumed a kickboxing pose (I trained in kick boxing for a few year) and went to attack a Sho Dan in the requested manner, the Sho Dan completely frose and didn't know what to do… I immediately apologized and explained it was "instinctive" pose I assume for attacking and all was forgiven.
But if that Sho Dan was attacked in the street would they react the same? I don't think Sensei would but it has made me "second guess" Aikido as a method of self defense (I won't stop doing it because I like the idea of harmony and a fluidity with your opponents)
So after all that rambling… is there a respectful way for me to ask Sensei if to demonstrate these technique "at speed" (preferably with me as Uke) I am worried this will sound like a challenge or be seen as disrespectful. I am not good with words and would hate to offend anyone.
There is allot a myths about Aikido. Many of the myths came out of Aikido, but with the advent of BJJ a new myth was created. It came about because Aikido didn't accept the challenge.
My opinion, with some fact. There are two types of Aikido, pre-war and post-war. Pre-war Aikido's focus was to "own" your opponent. Pre-war Aikido was based on factual combat tested and proven techniques.
One of O'Sensei's teacher was one hell of a bad-ass warrior. His fighting exploits didn't play, you didn't "own" a player, you killed him where he stood. O'Sensei's teacher wasn't "a nice guy/fighter" he was a real fighter, not some "entertainment/prize fighter," If he were alive today, he would be the most feared man at Pelican State.
He was disliked by most of O'Sensei's students, because of his tough bad-ass kill your ass personality. But they respected him. They knew he a real warrior. And some of them knew, that he was employed by other towns to rid their towns of gangs, murders, and other dangerous criminals plaguing them. This teacher of O'Sensei was the only law some of these towns had.
This teacher of O'Sensei's carried a concealed straight blade knife in his clothing that was unsheathed that continually cut into his gut. He once had in a fight was hit by an object that knocked some teeth out in a real street fight, and he spit them out with, without any thought, as if it was old chewing gum. He didn't flinch or miss a step and defeated the attacker.
He was also caught taking a bath by 3 or so guys with swords looking to kill him for revenge for killing their friends or family members. They caught him in the bath. These guys feared him that much that the attacked him in the bath. All that O'Sensei's teacher had to defend himself was a bath towel against guys with samurai swords.
He also got into a fight with a western boxer on a train. The boxer never had a chance.
O'Sensei's teacher fought his whole life, not one on one in a ring for the entertainment of others. He fought from his life many times against more then one attacker. He didn't fight 10 fights and take the money and run. He didn't stop fighting and "owning" guys who wanted to kill him when he reached 40. He continued into his 60's.
What did art did this teacher use, was it BJJ, or MMA. Nope that would have gotten him killed. He never went to the ground, he never had to. The martial combat system this teacher used is what O'Sensei based Aikido on. In fact, O'Sensei's pre-world war Aikido had changed very little from what he learned from his teacher. O'Sensei's post-war Aikido, what is mostly practiced and seen to day, is for fighting even though it still didn't change the original techniques O'Sensei had learned much. O'Sensei felt a need to take a proven combat fighting system and make it more acceptable to the modern Japanese society as a self-defense, and not a combat system, or into entertainment for $$$$.
Today, not everyone who practices Aikido do so to kick-ass. Please. It is an art. It has a vision and that isn't about blood-letting, glove and cup, mouth-guard, refereed violence that people are willing to pay to watch. So that MMA posers can feel "they are all that" going into Aikido dojo and playing games.
I went to an Aikido dojo once in a bad part of town. A small group of us (the Sensei, a middle rank, and me) walked to our cars late after class. There was a car parked near ours playing it up, loud music, sitting on cars that where not theirs looking for prey, and dealing. When they approached the Sensei he asked them to get off his car nicely. That was their cue and the ones on his car made the move to attack him. He threw one of them over the hood of the car, and that was enough to stop the others for a moment and get everyone's attention. I am sure they thought the were dealing with a character out of a Steven Seagal movie. He then cautioned the rest of them if they didn't go somewhere else that they would wish they had. I thank God they didn't pull a gun. But this Sensei deals with this type of stuff regularly he says. I experienced that last year. So please let's cut the b.s. about Aikido not being effective.
Aikido is effective, it is the person that is either effective or not using Aikido. Just like BJJ, and MMA. Not everyone who practices MMA or BJJ is worth a darn, and even though they think they are they are not Gracie or they favorite figher. Eventhough, so many think they are. That MMA/BJJ myth is far worse than any of the Aikido myths.