Re: aikido vs muay thai sparring video
The problem with the weapon concept in my mind is that it assumes a person will fight you in a particular way. I prefer to not worry about how they will fight me, I just play my game. I might get stabbed or shot, but them are the breaks, and I don't see any advantage in playing as if every person is holding a sword. It should not matter how your opponent fights, it should only matter if you can get him to play your game. You can be an expert striker, but if I am good enough to throw you on your skull, well I did what I want to do, but if you are good enough to make me think i can throw you on your skull, then i'm screwed.
I think the feints are still there in sword work, it is just much more subdued. A slight movement of the wrist could be a feint with a sword. So you it might not be noticeable. But when you attack, you have to kill the person. If not you risk being killed yourself. So you have commitment to the strike, and thus weakness. I wonder how many people died at the same time as their target in sword duels. I know it happened a lot in Europe.
I see no reason why aikido would not work in the situation the video presented. Even without committed strikes, you could move off the line and just evade. Eventually frustration will set in on the striker and he will commit a little more. I think it is important to play with that light contact sparing show in the video, and it's important to scale it up to hard full contact sparing as well every now and again. Ignoring the 2% or less of your skills that are 'too deadly' to use in sparing, it gives you a good approximation on where you stand in unarmed combat.