Thanks for the insight.
I would like to share my personal thoughts..
Aikido is not meant to be compared to other forms of martial art used for self defense. Many has tried to pit Aikido against other MMA fighting i.e. KDTA, CMD, Karate..
The essence of fighting is totally different
The most basic rule of Aikido is establishing the threat and moving away instead of receiving punches /kicks; hence the irimi tenkan and kaiten movement. If you compare this with other "receiving" martial art ..it will involve some blocking; be it kickboxing, CMD, KDTA, karate etc..
Aikido trains someone to avoid conflict. Thats the philosophy built into it ..the way of harmony..
If a student of Aikido expects to be a street fighter upon completing their dan or higher ranks I think he is looking in the wrong place to start with.
katate tori, shomen and yokomen technique were all simulated attacks of the sword..
the hand as explained before is an extension of the sword hence vice versa
No doubt, no one will rush at you with a samurai sword in this century but we have to understand that Aikido was created by Osensei based on aikijiujitsu which is a samurai art widely used when everyone was wielding sword.
They dont jab or kick, they cut !! SO the inherent danger was the sword and not the arms or legs.. so aikijiujitsu protects life...
Good to see a fellow Malaysian here! I totally agree that Aikido is a different sort of martial art than the other martial arts you mentioned.
Aikido is also often promoted as a self defense and I'm not expecting an Aikidoka to go out in the street and fight everyone, but I do hope that an Aikidoka should at least be able to neutralize an attack or avoid confrontation when confronted in the street.
Avoiding confrontation is something that can be taught without the Aikido movements. The Aikido movements do reinforce and cultivate this concept but such techiques should also deal with the the former, the 'neutralizing an attack' part which is what makes Aikido a martial art with a philosophy rather than just a philosophy.
I also understand Aikido's origins and the reason behind somewhat traditional attacks that are not seen 'on the street'. However there is no reason why Aikido should not be updated to reflect the modern world where people do not attack with swords (most of the time) nor in a single strike manner. A lot of Aikido is still relevant and applicable, in fact I recently pulled off a classic irimi nage in a MMA sparring session. It's just adapting and getting people aware of the randomness and unpredictability of real situations which is something randoori in my opinion does not address to a sufficient extent.
There's a difference between becoming a streetfighter (which I'm not saying is good) and being able to defend yourself on the street (basically, real world applications).