Hi, I have not posted on here before. I am a retired (medically) police officer (1982-1993) and have been studying aikido for 32 years, running my own school since 1988...To recreate any situation bordering on 'reality' in the dojo is impossible as there is an absence of 'fear' inherent in most if not all real life violent encounters. Anyone who says that they are not afraid or in fear when confronted with a 'real' street situation is either drunk, drugged or lying. It is the fear factor that triggers our fight or flight response.
Thank you for food for thought.
I totally agree that the dojo is a controlled environment. However, peoples buttons do indeed get pushed in the dojo. I have seen MANY beginners who were quite frightened of even slow controlled blows or strikes coming at them in the dojo - not just among the more sheltered or previously traumatised women or young men who would freeze, flinch or retreat, but also young men who would react more aggressively than needed (the "fight" side of things) because of the fear.
Flip side, is that I believe one of the things we are training for, in learning to be relaxed under the contained threat within the dojo, is cultivating a response OTHER than "fight or flight" - since it is a sympathetic nervous system response, we can indeed work on active control of it - while some people are actually wired to not have it and to go into a more parasympathetic response (deep slow breathing, slower pulse) - and optimally our training would slowly be ramping up the pressure so that we learn to stay relaxed in more and more intense situations.