John Boswell wrote:
Is "ground fighting" another reason we train kokyu dosa and suwari waza in Aikido? It just occured to me reading this thread that if someone had me on the ground, I would instinctively get first on to my knees. "Duh! That's suwari waza!"
The problem is the getting on to your knees. If someone takes you down halfway and you both land on your knees, fine. You can use that. But if you are taken down all the way and land on your back or your front, you must first get to your knees. If someone is on top of you and knows what he/she's doing or is just bigger than you, getting to your knees is a non-trivial problem.
Personally, I think suwari waza does help. Getting hip power into your movements helps. Being comfortable and mobile in a situation when your on your knees helps. Just think about how mobile you were from your knees before you started aikido practice.
It's easy enough to go into a grappling practice from aikido. Start with kokyu dosa, up the resistance, look for counters, continue after the first "takedown", add in use of legs while on the ground, keep playing. I think this is great fun and only wish we did more of this.