Great article! (but of course, we knew it would be). Can you imagine somebody who wasn't him dropping this bomb in a general thread?
"Anyone who has had occasion to apply Aikido techniques on a really resistant subject as in police application knows how hard it actually is to get a technique on someone intent on countering it. We train to maintain connection but a real attacker will attempt to break with you the instant that he doesn't feel things are going his way."
Nope. That's why I direct questions to the man himself. I think you can argue whether you are capable of actual striking. And I think you can argue whether personally you want to include striking. This article is the best I have read in advocating that atemi is present in aikido and the role it plays in aikido.
I feel some of the sport application is difficult to demonstrate. If I grab a judo guy by the wrist, judo rules do not allow small joint manipulation so I am, in some sense, simply doing something the judoka has neither seen nor practices defenses against. I should hope I would have some success, presumably before being dumped on my head. Of course, now with the new rules about defending a grab... Same for for karate people. I think it is difficult to differentiate doing something with success because it is unexpected and doing something with success because it is effective. Fool me once...
Secondly, I think the focus of consetsu waza is misplaced in most randori situations, let alone free-style sparring. Not to draw on the other thread about self-defense, but the "real" techniques becoming mainstream for LEO and security have less to do with precision technique and more to do with basic suppression. Lock shields, advance and pin. Now if you don't have 4 or 5 riot officers, well...
Thirdly, I think one of the issues facing the "4-legged animal" connection model is working with the, "what if my partner disengages me?" question. Some instructors are very good at re-establishing connection; some not as good. Of the ones who are good with whom I have experience, most have another art under their belt. Your can see the little demon that was 20 years of karate or judo or jujutsu be unleashed and you die (just a little bit) in their eyes. Then you realize the connection was for you safety, not their convenience...