Welcome back, Mark! I've been away from the forums, too, but not quite as long as you have been.
I am quoting Mark from a post in response to Corky Quakenbush. It was a very interesting and important topic and I don't mean to take anything away from it here.
But I did want to address this statement. I hear it somewhat frequently, but like many things, it just gets mentioned in passing as if it were true, and no more analysis is required.
What are aikido's standard attacks?
Are they ineffective?
Are they unrealistic?
If so, what makes them that way? Is it the form? Is it the execution (energy/intent/intensity/focus)? Is it something else?
If they are ineffective/unrealistic, why do we practice against them?
If only the execution makes them ineffective/unrealistic, why is that so?
What are effective and realistic attacks?
Please address these questions in your responses, and then feel free to add whatever you deem necessary to further the discussion.
1) What are the standard attacks? Strikes which represent the motions of weapons. Holds which represent the other having a weapon.
2) They are very effective.
3) Very realistic.
4) They are effective because they are designed to handle motion.or immobilize.
5) As in anything lack of effectiveness is only due to lack of skill or ability.
6) As they are all effective then degree of effectiveness depends only on level of ability.
My 2 pence.