Why do we do it?
I was talking to a friend from my old Karate dojo about returning to Aikido. He has seen a number of public demos from a few dojos and had talked to some aikidoka. He is an excellent karate man with more that 20 years of training. He asked me a question that he says he has asked others in aikido and never gotten an answer that he thought made sense. He asked me:
"If you guys know that aikido does not work in a fight and in training do not really give your partner a convincing attack and then just roll or fall down, why do you do it?"
I gave him a standard answer that included the idea that each person may give a different reason for doing it. I said that some aiki techniques do work very well in a self defence situation and other techniques are practiced to teach a concept such as blending or avoiding etc. and that ukemi itself was an excellent defence.
He replied "that's not good enough, why bother with it?'
I had no further answer except to tell him "you just have to do it to understand". I never spent time asking myself why, I just did it. Perhaps I should have a better answer.
If you were asked this question how would you answer it?