“In the real world, when in danger, waiting to be attacked can be fatal.”
Aikido is almost universally defined as an art of self-defense. If this is so, then understand that there are implications to such a view. One of the most important is that the aikido practitioner does not initiate the exchange with an opponent. The aikidoka waits to be attacked and responds in self-defense.
In the real world, when in danger, waiting to be attacked can be fatal. Responding to an attack after the fact is to place oneself at a huge disadvantage because of the greatly reduced time interval available to respond.
This view of aikido leads practitioners to train primarily under “go no sen” conditions. That is to say, uke takes the initiative, and nage then responds by executing a technique. This is appropriate for learning the basics of the art. It is not appropriate for higher levels of training. Nor does it do justice to the advanced concepts of strategy and martial goals that Founder Morihei Ueshiba was promoting.
How do you approach practice in your dojo?