All this fighting crap
The questions and responses:
"So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"
No, it may teach you to avoid or possibly survive one though.
"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?"
No, two older brothers, many years as a bouncer and many sessions in a boxing ring taught me that. I was looking for something more.
"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"
No. It's not in the blue-prints.
"What do you say to someone when they ask you these questions?"
Just what I said here, then I usually smile and ask when they think they'll actually get a real life.......
Listen, you cannot actually prepare for a fight because you cannot control or predict ANY aspect of it (other than you're probably going to get hit). If you were a prizefighter you could study your opponent's weak points and train to take advantage of them. You don't have that option in a spontaneous situation. This is why we train so long in the basics and the principles. Learn those well and you'll stop wondering about all the fighting crap. Get over it already!
If you REALLY want to know, next time you're out with you're buddies, go bitch-slap the gorilla sitting at the front door of the local night club. I'm sure he can help you find your answer......jeeez!
Dan P. - Mongo