Re: Vetting Our Skills
I have been wanting to make this suggestion on a couple of threads, and this seems the most appropriate (and least heated):
How about bringing some sumo in as a competitive "game" and as a regular part of training?
Just as kuzushi in judo is really taught through randori this would be a good way to teach skills such as kuzushi and how to resist an attack. Using sumo would avoid risk of harm from some aikido techniques (standing elbow bars and wrist turns). I think it is important to emphasise that this is play and a game so the student is free to explore what doesn't work as well as trying to win.
i recently learned a great game in a kung fu class. For the first game we started trying to very lightly punch each other on the chest (shoulders for females). For the second game we started with hands on each others shoulders and tried to throw each other to the ground, no grabbing the gi. for the third game we combined the two, and that is when aikido strategy suddenly became useful against strikers.
To be provocative, after all jujutsu (and hence aikido) started out as sumo for skinny guys ... (being the sport that samurai played when they weren't training with weapons and then being formalised into a different system)