Hmm, let me try to put this better...
My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.
Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.
It's a similar problem, IMO.
Good point. I think many Aikidoka have a misconception, probably because of too much emphasis on training statically, that they can deliver one strike and transition to a technique, which I doubt is rarely ever the case. This is why I believe training in striking alone is necessary as when that one strike misses or doesn't do it's job, you don't have to get caught up trying to force a technique that doesn't clearly present itself.
I realize most see it the other way, but I think aikido should be practiced more with the feeling of a striking art than a grappling art. Of course the strikes that will "fit" into the classical presentation of techniques the best will be weapon striking movements, i.e., shomenuchi, yokomenuchi and tsuki. This in no way means that other strikes aren't valid, simply that the appearance may change.
I practice striking quite frequently.
Something that I find interesting, and you may find useful is to look not so much at the external movements, but rather how they arise. There is no attack in aikido, but there is striking! Kote gaeshi and ikkyo can be, and often are, applied with an attacking spirit just as easily as tsuki.
Watch a true and pure counter striker in boxing and tell me if they are not following aiki principles?
I think it has a lot to do with whether you are responding to the aggressive intention of the other or attempting to impose your will upon them.
A question for you, what do you mean when you say "when trained properly, (striking) matches aikido perfectly?"
Never thought of boxing like that but I can definitely see a lot of the defense and even some offense being Aiki by nature.
When I said that striking matches Aikido if trained perfectly, I was mostly saying that with the first video I posted in mind, although it wasn't necessarily perfect but pretty on point in my opinion. I think that as long as striking is used properly, depending on the situation, then it can blend well with Aikido as long as, like others have said, it sticks to Aiki principles.
For example, using an irimi with a few palm strikes to transition to another technique may be aggressive, but I don't see any reason for excluding it from Aikido or considering it a contradiction of Aiki principles.
I think that you are talking about at least two different things here. Many people get caught up in this notion of commitment. I've discussed this with aikidoists many times in person. I think we need to make finer distinctions. A good question to start with is: Commitment to what? It is probably also helpful to consider what someone's objectives are.
In some sense, there will always be a moment in which we commit to any action we are engaging in. I think this is an important moment to take notice of.
I can promise you that when boxers strike, they are committed to that strike. And I don't believe that fully committed attacks are easier to deal with.
How do you think the experience for nage varies as uke takes each of the following as an objective?
(1) Assist nage in learning/executing this particular technique
(2) Assist nage in executing any aikido technique
(3) Hit nage full power in the face with this particular strike
(4) Hit nage full power in the face in any way
(5) Defeat nage
Obviously, there are many more possibilities, but this is a good place to start.
(My apologies to Mark Murray for stealing his trademark numbered list format.
When I say commit, I personally tend to think of overcommitment or a level of commitment that is dramatic and not likely to see in a violent encounter. While a blitz, or rushing attack is likely, a mune tsuki punch isn't. In that context, I don't consider boxers to commit. Although their punches are definitely committed, both physically and mentally, they don't do so statically, with a pause, or with compliance like some of us are taught. When we strike nage, at least starting out, we learn to give them our Ki so they can perform the technique at a basic level. We are committing our strike so they can continue with it or do whatever it is they're supposed to be doing. Boxers don't do that.
Just my thoughts though. Just depends on how you're looking at it.
I think another point to bring up is psychological aspects of striking. Not to get off topic. I feel that we should all train if not to deliver than to understand
proper striking. I know a few people who truly believe that how we strike is what they may encounter in the street or that someone will assault them from 10 feet away. While possible, not likely. This is hugely why outsiders sometimes look down on Aikido... because at first sight, we don't train for your average street brawl.
This video about sums it up:
They train for what you may likely encounter.
The first video I posted is still, in my opinion, a very good style of striking to mix. The open hand strikes allow for what would probably be less damage to the opponent (at least visibly) while allowing transitioning to techniques easier.