Re: Tales of Judo Sparring Aikidoists
Speaking of avoiding conflict, if I may be so bold, I'd like to try to summarize this discussion and help cool it down. The salient points being argued seem to be:
1) Randori improves adaptability
2) Adaptability is important for 'cross-art' encounters
3) Ma-ai is important
4) An important part of such an "encounter" is to manipulate the ma-ai (presumably, shifting the ma-ai to one at which the majority of your technical training works)
Mr. Neal seems to believe that Judoka will generally have the advantage in adaptability and ma-ai, due to variant training methods. Others, like Mr. Sundeyev, think that aikidoka can be quite adaptable.
On the whole, I'd weigh in with the others. I think a blanket statement about "who will win X percent of the time" is perhaps true, but only in certain contexts. For instance, Michael's identified training style as a crucial factor, especially with regard to amount of randori. He notes that Tomiki aikido, and presumably some other styles, dojo, and practioners, are exceptions to this. Now, if Michael wants to say that people who study free-form technique have an advantage, I think that's sensible. It's more debatable if there's an advantage to having kata or randori practice as the primary form of training.