Perhaps that is why she is your ex
How does one "almost" throw someone?
Please describe "realistic" sparring.
How does one know when "we have reached a certain level of Aikido?"
Lol yes about the 'ex' gf thing though yeah it wasn't cause of that. She had grabbed me from behind and i did a kokyu sort of thing which plunked her on the floor. Redirection of energy...:P
Regarding the tour operator, I was looking at some seafood and engrossed at the crabs in the Sapporo market when he suddenly decided to grab me from behind and make a large noise to which I atemiied and grabbed. So didn't complete the technique.
When I say realistic sparring, I mean the following:
a) Greater variety of attacks allowed from the uke. Combinations are allowed.
b) You're allowed to pace as in you don't have to keep on coming at the nage, you can wait and alter your rhythm of attack
c) No large pull back or telegraphing of moves
d) Feints allowed
Basically a more realistic THINKING uke. An unpredictable one.
Now for as to when is the 'certain level', I would imagine it would be interspersing it with traditional randoori to build familiarity and now and then mixing it up with these realistic randooris. As you become more comfortable with the traditional randoori, then realistic randoori can be introduced stage by stage.
However even in the learning stages, it is important to imprint on the students of the nature of a real attack and how in real life things aren't going to be so preplanned and choreographed. Have a few exercises that even mix it up a LITTLE bit to get them aware of this.
For e.g. sometimes when practicing defences against tsuki attacks, after the class has gained some familiarity of the attack, and can move both inside or outside the attack, I'll tell the uke to punch with either hand without telling the nage. The uke can alter the speed but he should reduce the speed if he finds nage not coping. This way both sides can find an appropriate level and yet keep it random. This I think would be a good starting point. The nage can use different techniques depending whether he goes outside or inside but it's that uncertainty of where the attack is going to go which should be felt.
After all what is randoori for? As I understand it, it's to build spontaneity and a 'no thinking' mind. To be able to apply techniques without thinking about them.
It's already quite a big jump from static techniques to randoori. I remember struggling with it greatly as do I believe most people. Randoori is basically a ramp up in randomness.
If so, isn't the next level of building spontaneity to have a more varied and unpredictable opponent which actually more closely resembles a person in real life?
Yes I understand that many drunk people or street fight situations involve people who charge in and try to deliver that one blow which is what Aikido is trained to deal with. But there are others which come at you throwing a wide variety of punches and unless you have trained for this, you are unlikely to remain calm and be able to execute your technique.
Remember when adrenaline is pumping through your brain, the first thing that goes is fine motor skills. We need to have Aikido students acclimated to the physiological and psychological responses to stress. It's easy to think 'keep calm' but without proper practice and conditioning, I doubt this will be achieved especially when encountered with a situation he was never prepared for. Even if it's a little stress (and this may be a good thing actually especially in a safe environment), the student gets used to the feeling.