George S. Ledyard
Two comments here...
1) what typically separates the disarms in Aikido from the disarms in the Asian blade systems is the amount of impact, or what we would call atemi, that precedes the actual disarming technique. In Kali / Silat typically there has been an eye flick, followed by one or more strikes (elbows, knees, etc.), the, if it presents itself, the strip.
Dan Inosanto once told one of my friends that he didn't like to teach the stripping techniques to students too early because once you taught them, the students started to try to get them. His point was the the disarms and stripping techniques should be an integral part of the striking pattern, not a separate technique. The moment you start going for the disarm rather than striking the center, you are open.
I trained for a couple years off and on with Chris Petrilli, Canete's senior American student in Doces Pares escrima. Their system is a blend of Escrima and Aikido. If you want to see Aikido done in full combat mode, these guys have a great take on it. By the time you see a disarm or a throw, the attacker is more than half dismantled by the impact techniques utilized.
In my own Defensive Tactics system, our basic program called for an entry and two to three solid impact techniques before you even thought about going for the disarm. This is my great objection to much of the weapons disarming training, not limited to Aikido. There simply isn't enough impact technique involved.
2) The statement about kuzushi and pain. If your technique is working because of pain, anyone who doesn't care if it hurts, if they don't feel pain at the time, whatever, they'll beat it.
Kuzushi should be something they don't even feel coming.
I agree with some of what you are saying, but there is some error as well. For one thing, there is no "typical" disarm in the silat or kali/escrima systems, just as there is no "typical" disarm in the aikido systems. Since there are hundreds of styles of silat alone, "typical" is rather hard to define. Secondly, eye flicks are not normally the first technique in a disarm, as you would be defanging the snake and hitting/controlling/destroying the weapon bearing limb on your entry, and, if you can rake the eyes, you have already entered. Those who enter without trying to do something to the blade bearing limb first we generally call "dead men." You are correct, though, in saying that the strip is incidental. In reality, disarms only sometimes present themselves. In real fighting, as I tell my students when I hold up a knife and wave my arm, "The best disarm is when 'dis arm right here does not work anymore." Limb destructions are the norm in many of the Southeast Asian combat systems. Going against a knife armed attacker is extremely dangerous and going against one unarmed is not something that anyone should take lightly or really want to do at all. If you have to do it, though, since the attacker is using lethal force on you, you are generally best served with rendering his weapon arm unusable, and/or rendering him incapable of any aggressive movement (through injury, unconsciousness, death, etc.). You have to be extraordinarily good and very, very lucky to be able to do the "put the guy down without hurting him thing." Generally, you just get cut up if you try, at least from what I have seen in full contact sparring with training blades and in actual attacks with the blade. This brings me to you discussing Mickey's statement on kuzushi. You actually are both correct, since I think you are talking at cross purposes. You are absolutely correct in your definition of pure kuzushi. However, Mickey was talking in this instance about the blade environment, and usually, when he posts, he is posting from a realistic combat perspective, and one where he has survived multiple lethal force encounters as a police officer. In a blade confrontation, as Mickey trains with me and well knows that arm destructions are often the norm when attempting to minimize injury to oneself and control the attacker's blade, he was merely stating that there is going to be pain during the balance disruption (or whenever the attacker comes off his recreational pharmaceutical or adrenaline induced high), because the balance disruption is most likely to occur at the point in time when the attacking limb is destroyed. Broken bones, torn cartilage, and ripped tendons and ligaments hurt. From personal experience I can say that sometimes they don't hurt immediately, but the pain does kick in at some point or other and the connection to center and the damage inflicted sure plays holy hell with your balance if it is done right. Mickey is good at getting kuzushi, and can do it without hurting people. When the fight is for real, though, and his safety is at stake, he, like I, will be taking balance while destroying connective tissue and bones, so we can be sure that our opponent stays down. Just as "shoot to stop" is the mantra in law enforcement firearms training, "hit/throw/etc. to stop" is our mantra when it comes to an empty hand, impact weapon, or blade encounter where we start out unarmed and have to deal with a serious threat of injury or death.