Ben Joiner wrote:
Having some previous striking experience myself I am 100% in agreeance with this. I think it's the simplest way that most people especially newbies could improve the level of their practise. I have been agitating about this during beer waza
for the past few months.
And don't we know it.....
I certainly fall into the camp that sees this as an essential component for any rounded MA and definitely advocate focus pad or heavy bag work on a regular basis for anyone serious about defending themselves.
I also am keen on sparring for fitness, working under pressure and dealing with adrenaline.
I'm not so keen on introducing this as part of a regular class and prefer to generally separate it for my private practice.
My feeling is that the reality of recieving a gift on the jaw is too heavy a distraction particularly for beginners and in some ways conflicts with the philosophy of aikido being more of a controlling art than an out an out offensive one.
I also feel that too much emphasis on finishing strikes can effectively terminate an attack (not a bad thing of course) but then eliminate the need for the reast of the move and thus impede the study of aikido.
With this in mind I keep my personal objectives outside of the dojo as much as possible.
Of course if one view of aikido is that its exactly the same as all other arts then by all means practice the most effective and lethal killing moves and do away with all this fluffy irimi tenkan wrist grabby nonsense.
Each to their own.
ps. If you'd been in the senior class last night Ben you would have been sparring albeit in a very controlled manner!