Re: Commitment into the attack
being a long-time zombie-attacker myself, I started karate to improve my attacks (thinking that tsuki is the most important and realistic attack and that my tsuki sucks especially). Karate is fun, and if I attack better, then this should also reflect on my aikido.
Sadly, it doesn't (yet). There are still some essential things I miss if someone attacks me with a real tsuki.
Among the zombie attacks, I have most problem with this sort of hybrid shomen-yokomen uchi. But then this is again more MY problem than the attacker's. It means that I am not flexible enough to adapt my response to an attack that is not really clear in aikido terms. But if you were attacked in the street, no thug would think of the difference between shomen and yokomen, he would just want to slap me in my face or hit me with his knife. And probably he would do it with a wrong distance.
However, if ever I get to the level of becoming a teacher, I'd focus more on attacks. I'd like to teach, if ever I get there, how to attack efficiently so that the person attacked wouldn't nourish the illusion that he is able to defend himself efficiently, only because he can do this against the zombie attacks. Instead, maybe he would learn one day how to defend himself against a realistic attack. I'd encourage students to cross-training, or I'd invite people from other martial arts to the dojo in order to have some exchange and get more realistic about our own limitations (and improve them). But all these are dreams for the future. Yesterday I got stuck on performing ikkyo on a nice and clearly delivered yokomen uchi, so there is still a long way to go.