There is no need for a mimicry of form to look like aiki techniques when the attacks are pansy-like. Indeed, no possibility of real aiki to arise exists when an attack is false. A simple slap will do. But pretending has nothing to do with either Budo, self defence or anything remotely resembling anything “martial” and especially not Aikido. You may not like me for saying this, but it’s the truth. If you intend to get into harmony with the universe and not some fantasy idea about a cartoon, then , as the saying goes, get real!
Neither shidachi nor uchidachi can afford to practice a half baked re-enactment, as it will lead to bad habits which will cost dearly if you ever need to survive. There is no real aiki present unless the attack has some oomph and skill in it. You need intensity, attitude and emotional content… ferocity. Puckering up and mimicking a shape is meaningless. Perfunctory bagatelle in perfect pleats serves no useful training purpose in a budo dojo. Why bother? No one is going to pretend to attack you in real life, so why pretend to defend? Just give ‘em a gentle back-hander, call them Priscilla and tell them to get real or go home and do something else. There’s dishes to be washed in the sink, baby, and how long since you swept the floor or cleaned the windows? Training is not an excuse to avoid common chores or a nagging partner.
Aikido is not a self indulgent pretending and fopping around or showing off. It is a means of coming to terms with all the forces in the universe as they really are, and integrating them into ourselves as a package of peace and power combined. The universe is not ‘all nice,’ it is INTENSE! Aikido training is a razor-edged path of self-perfection. Not merely something you bother with when the crap on television is worse than usual. If you are to improve, it must be as real as you can make it and still be safe. And then press the envelope.
If you want to attain transcendence of attack and defence, you first have to know what an attack is, what a defence is, all the implications of real attack and real defence and then begin to work. You must enter the dojo with a spirit that your life depends upon it and leave the sweet smelling incense and daydream attitudes for other occasions.
Denial of factuality is not a method of approaching understanding. Or capability. And least of all, awakening. If you are going to train, treat it with the respect which is due, treat all your training partners likewise. And make your attacks real, yet still tone them down to a level which is safe for the person you are training with without compromising either integrity or sincerity. And then gradually press the envelope. Attack as if you mean it, not as if you can’t be bothered being there, or are faking it. Be honest. Research and learn and feedback honestly. Attack honestly. Defend honestly. And leave the mighty transcendence to a higher force. In due course and proper season it will arrive of its own accord. Provided you train seriously and diligently.
There can be no pseudo budo. Aikido is for converting adversity into harmony. Fluff is not a threat so there is no raw material to reconcile other than nonsense.
Budo, if it is anything at all, is the training for the creative mitigation of futile circumstance, particularly needlessly manufactured adversity, as in any form of misuse of freedom of volition, namely violence. The stronger the aggression the more powerful is the fuel for the aiki to manifest itself. In practice this must be simulated as honestly as it is possible to do safely and sanely.
Our training either is Budo or it is not much at all, and Aikido is Budo.