Re: Aikido and sparring: how to?
Is this freestyle sparring or is this Tongsudo sparring? If its the latter then I assume you are fighting on their terms, which would make applying Aikido techniques very difficult! If, however, they are prepared to incorporate other styles into a more freestyle approach then try grappling them to the ground and applying Aikido wrist locks or arm locks. Roy Dean had a lot of success in grappling contests blending BJJ & Aikido locks. If grappling is disallowed then try and time your irimi to when they retract their fist, don't try and 'catch' the punch - follow the arm back and apply bodyweight through a gakun grip or atemi either to the body or face.