Yes, after 3 months of "reality based training"
I was indeed able to defend myself. You see, we would "act out" actual fight scenarios. Quite often, you would get the adrenalin rush and sometimes even fear
during this training style. As well as Tomiki, I also trained in Aiki-Jujitsu during this time.
Around this time, some idiot that used to hang around with the band I was playing with, pulled a knife on me. I didn't know if he was joking or not - so I immediately put a kotegaeshi lock on him and turned his knife toward his throat. Kidding or not, he got the message.
It happened when we were all sitting around after a gig when this guy pulled out his flick knife and pointed it at my throat. Like I said, I just reacted. I couldn't take the chance he was just kidding. It later turned out he was. He simply wanted to see how good my MA was. I guess he found out!
As for the Aikikai Aikido - I've just started that, and I'm finding it very
difficult to pick up the basics
- yet when we get onto advanced techniques (especially knife attacks) I find them easy!
I'm not saying Tomiki is any better than Aikikai - I think it was more to do with "how I trained"
than which style it was. I have to admit though, that there seems to be more "economy of movement"
in the Tomiki method. Aikikai seems to be more subtle. I do like what I've seen of Aikikai, and think it'll do me good to "go back to basics"
You should also remember, I did all
my Tomiki training outside a dojo environment, so we simply worked on the stuff that could be used on the street - and we could also structure our own training. I should point out that over this 10 year period, I trained under many instructors - only, it was outside
the dojo. I met these people through playing in bands, and got free lessons off them. It was great!
Stick with your training. Don't follow my lead - I don't even have an Aikido rank! What do I know?