Benjamin Edelen wrote:
One of the lessons here is that, at the risk of raising some hackles, martial arts do not work. It is interesting to consider that at all times you are alive only because someone else is letting you continue to live. During your day many people around you acquire power over your life or death, and in many instances you acquire power over other people's life and death as well. Martial arts seem very ineffective when you consider many of the ways you are likely to die (car accident, cancer, gunpoint). .
I take your point Benjamin, While I agree that there are no guarantees I believe that there are martial arts that do allow you to influence the probability in such situations.
Some of the modern street scenario arts practice specifically for these nightmare scenarios - the dialogue is a vital ingredient of such practice and a stranger that you hardly know holding a blade to you throat and asking for your effing wallet can create feelings very close to those experienced on the street..even when its happening in a class.
Dojo is just dojo and no one can really say how things will pan out.
I have experienced in real life situations where an aggressor has played out almost word for word scenarions that I have practiced in the dojo.
As a result the impact of adrenaline and shock has been greatly reduced which has highly improved my chances allowing me to either talk them down or anticipate their actions so that I get a pre-emtive strike in as I've talked them into believing I'm going to quietly submit.
Whether traditional aikido practice helps as much in such situations is questionable but I believe it must help to a degree.
As previous posters have pointed out, the chances of pulling off a dojo technique in perfect fashion are extremely slim.
If you accept the techniques as mere tools to practice the bases of tenkan, irimi and atemi then if you can take any action incorporating some or all of these you have increased your chances of surviving greatly.
Just my thoughts.