Re: Why Aikido has such strange strike defense.
Easy way to make people understand falls right out of the above discussion.... when a student asks such a question, go put a rubber tanto or training knife in their hand, tell them to attack again with the knife now, and watch the light go on above their head. And... their training partner's as well.
Here's a neat-O way to get people concentration to go up during training I frankly stumbled into when I gave the wrong direction in class (never happens, right? Sure...). Have the uke hold the blade in their off hand, and don't even ask them to attack with it, but make sure that their partner (nage/tori) Does see it and knows it is there. Intensity and concentration, focus increases spontaneously and dramatically. Have to be careful people don't hurt one another...