Greg Jennings wrote:
Every system has drills. It's too time consuming to learn without them. It's about learning, not about stump-the-chump.
Every system has a sparring mode that isn't all-out, no-holds-barred. You cut the speed/power or you take out the killing/disabling techniques. Can't have it both ways.
Contact sparring with bokken? Get a grip, guy. I'm tougher than the average bear, but I have no desire to get my skull bashed in. I have to work the next day to feed my kids.
I'm not in favour of contact sparring with bokken... I just say that the old times show that it's impossible to learn to fight with sword without sparring with bokken. If training with bokken gives you peace of mind that's a whole different world. Same goes for empty-hand. It's impossible to learn to actually apply any techniques in combat situation if you have not practised these movements many times against a partner who resists. Who acts naturally = unpredictably.
I love drills. But the drills need only to have some boundaries not pre-arranged movements.
But I honestly think that when you cut down on speed in sparring / drill you cut down on reality. Of course there is a chance do "go easy" and that most certainly benefits as well.
And I'm really tired of "Aikido benefits in everyday life... helps keep calm etc". So does yoga. So does fishing. So does a full-aggressive-approach-sport-based MMA gym. You can't prove otherwise. It is a MARTIAL art which lot of people take up (also?) because it promises skills in self-defence.
Now if anyone wants to go now that Aikido is a TRUE martial art, it's not supposed to be for fighting / combat / self defence then it shouldn't be called martial art... call it self-improvement-art or whatever.
How many senseis are out there who answer the newcomers question: "Is Aikido good for self-defence? Will I be able to defend myself effectively on street with this technique?" With: "Maybe... but not before at least 6-7 years of practice?"
I surely believe that training in prearranged movements helps you only with prearranged movements. You don't get real timing or balance sense out of it. You tend forget to expect the unexpected.
When was the last time you (I don't mean particulary you mr. Jennings
) had a reality check? When was the last time you put gloves on and with your friend said "Ok, let's go easy at first..." What happened? Were you be able to use the things you train in class?