Re: The Soft Sword of Aikido
As an admirer and collector of the live blade, I own two katana, a wakizashi, the Rambo II bowie, and a folded pocket knife. All are razors except the one I most often use as a tool, the pocket knife. One of the katana is tamahagane. They can function for last-resort home defense, but my laser/lamp railed 17+1 rd. 9mm or .357 Mag revolver would take precedence for that purpose. But Aikido clearly isn't about pistol-quick-draw. In fact, as I know you understand, Stefan, it is about using sword-cut style movements to submit an attacker while - although oftentimes dealing excruciating temporary pain, or, if necessary, moderate destruction - not going nearly so far as separating torso from legs.
Anyway, I have swung both wakizashi and katana, using the latter once for a fun filled day of tameshigiri with economical half-tatami mats, and slicing yokomen clean through a three inch China doll tree branch twice. Even the tree was like butter to the live blade.
Yes, there is certainly something daunting and ominous - even crystalline and perfect - about the live blade, and you might agree that cross-training is beneficial as long as we are able to separate the weapons of certain death from the minimally injurious essence of Aikido.