Re: Tanto Practice - Is true Aikido effective for disarming?
Just fwiw... A friend of mine with limited martial arts training but who had spent time boxing for health was mugged in an alley. He never saw the knife. All he knew is one guy grabbed at him and another was behind him. Since he was grabbed he did the only thing he knew -- he punched the guy in front of him as hard as he could in the face. My friend said he was both scared and angry (how dare you attack me -- I have a wife and child at home!) He had no doubt he busted the guy's nose pretty badly (blood everywhere, he stumbled away, etc.). Anyway, both bad guys took off. My friend started to walk away and realized his leg hurt -- voila, knife sticking out. Oops. So he stumbled into view, got help, etc. I don't know all the details from that point on but nothing critical was hit even though the pocket knife was fully inserted into his thigh. Nice scar. Lost a little blood but not too much, pressure controlled the bleeding.
Another friend was mugged on a trip to New York. Someone came up behind him and pressed a knife to his back. That friend reacted poorly (just give him the damned watch) and tried to turn and was stabbed in his back for his troubles. He didn't realize he was stabbed, however for a short time (same as my other friend). Again, a night in the hospital, a bit of cleaning and stitches, but no major injury really.
Final story. When my wife first went to work in the medical field (diagnostic imaging) she worked at a large hospital in downtown Los Angeles. Spent time working the emergency room. Lots of shootings, stabbings, etc. She was surprised that the "lethality" (is that a word?) of stabbings was so varied and hard to predict. In one day she'd see some guy who looked like he ran into a food processor who'd go home later in the day with a lot of stitches and then someone else with a single seemingly small puncture who ended up in the morgue.
Anyway... The point of all this for me is that it is a really complicated issue. I've played with people on the mat who do serious old-school tanto stuff. I'd never want to run into that in the real world. I've played with some of the FMA guys -- I should say I basically died repeatedly... Scary stuff. But the average bad guy on the street? Who knows. He might do something stupid or he might just kill me in a blink.
FWIW I really like Dan's comment about weapon fixation and it's something I harp on. Both with respect to the guy holding it and the guy trying to take it away. In my first example my friend didn't realize there was a knife but I suppose the muggers never thought someone would just punch their face in ignoring the knife.
Sorry, nothing really substantial else to add. Me, I try to avoid knife fights... And if I'm ever faced with one, well, I suppose it will sound rather un-aikido like but I hope I'm going to do as much damage as possible to that bastard as fast as I possibly can. How? Sheesh, don't know -- it'll depend on what he does. Scary stuff.