Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?
Thank you for your insight, David. I've been a fan of your channel for a while now.
Your post, however, shifts from one topic to another, and it's challenging to keep track of.
No, there isn't an objective way to measure comparative self-defense effectiveness of sub-styles of a system which designates a "winner" of the altercation before it even starts.
With Aikido, all one can do is speculate. So I speculate, based on my observation of Tenshin teaching methodology, and based on my experiences with real-world assault, that is is better prepared for such assault than other styles of Aikido.
Yes, there are instructors like you, David, who make their own research in that area. It's not an attack on you. I am just tired of hearing mainstream Aikidoists make fun of Lenny without having a clue of what he's actually doing.
He, and others pursuing similar goals, are trying to save the art from fading out into Tai Chi "health gymnastics" category, and to reconnect it with martial reality of emptyhand self-defense context.
And yes, his punch deflection drills are the most effective (IMNSHO) tools Aikido has developed to deal with fast, non-dedicated attacks encountered in the emptyhand distance. They're not just some external things taken from an alien system - they're well-integrated and follow the same "cutting", "blending" and "glancing swords" principles present in mainstream Aikido.
The system would benefit if they were adopted worldwide. But since its power structure clings to some "noble spiritual goals", plus the notion of keeping Aikido frozen in time like a fossil under museum glass, this will never happen.