Re: Useless Techniques? Anyone?
I've seen things done that I am skeptical of "in the real world". But it rarely has anything to do with any particular technique, just the execution of it usually. Usually things center around problems like "why would any attacker grab like that and hold on so long?"
When I played tennis I enjoyed hitting a ball against a wall. Great for reflexes. I would also stretch and exercise to improve my ability to play. I had a couch who'd have me doing sprints across the court, rapidly changing directions, and a variety of other things. One coach I had in the late 70's was seriously into Galway's "inner game" stuff (hmmm, there's a joke here somewhere with the internal crowd here, but I think I'll just walk away from that one...) who was constantly having me "visualize" my movements. We never question the wisdom of all those things we do to prepare and improve our tennis game. I think similarly of my aikido -- there's always something to learn in every technique.
Whether I'd pull it out of the toolbox in a "real" conflict is another issue entirely... But I think people tend to forget that in a conflict you have a huge "contraction" of real options at hand. Think of all those effective techniques that don't apply in any conflict. Was practicing ushidori waza useless just because the one fight you get into had a guy trying to punch you in the face from the front? Even "effective" techniques from ushirodori are useless there...
The lessons in aikido (for me at least) aren't the waza themselves so usefulness becomes somewhat irrelevant. Waza are like the choreography in dancing. The aikido is "way" you do it. So aikido is found in the dancing itself. Application comes when you can harmoniously improvise those lessons learned to fit the situation you find yourself in.
Hopefully I'm making sense. I'm currently fighting off some back spasms and the medication is making me a bit loopy...