From Aikido vs. Kendo (Not in fight):
Would anyone like to share what they find to be good and bad about this type of training?
Sure; I've some small experience in Balintawak, Amok and Floro Fighting systems. Have fought stick on stick (using plastic glasses as the only protection), stick vs knife, empty hand vs shock (electric) knives and even done some live blade stuff.
Personally, I found the mindset difficult to acclimatize to, especially if you consider the actuality of what you're automating Ie: When it comes down to it, you're practicing to stab or cut the other guy .
Talk of 'dimishment' (just cut the arms etc and run) or the like (carry a self defence pen instead of a blade) aside, if you even do a cursory search for 'knife wounds' (Rotten.com has numerous images) you can see how the idea of using a knife on someone might not be appetizing.
Understand I'm not vaunting any special "loving-kindness" for those attacking me and mine. Rather, I found the practice of wielding weapons / carrying them led to a pretty grim and dark view of my fellow man and frankly, I didn't want to go down that road. (For example, my understanding is that Amok- specifically trains in generating and controlling a kind of 'kill intent')
That, and some of the silly injuries (broken fingers, cut self once or twice etc - not good when you make your living working with your hands) were the down sides.
The upside: it can be a lot of fun (assuming a safe, *training* environment). Further, the systems I studied were not at all flowery (having been cut down to bare-basics) and included sparring (empty hands against Shock Knife gets the blood flowing), so it was easy to gauge some measure of progress.
not to mention that so many of the aikido techniques and strategy fit so well. Does anyone else engage in this type of practice
Without seeing what you're doing Michael, it's hard to comment. You may be making a general comment ("moving out of the way is a good idea") or have something specific in mind ("kotegaeshi works well").