belvy,

Yes, and so-o true. i would get a tremendous headache after TKD ( they allowed me to spar as a white belt b/o prior MA experience, plus the fact that the sensei, a police officer and a tough guy, was unable to get out of my nikyo finish ...I know shouldn't have used aikido as a test there, but couldnt resist...and in ju jutsu, I felt like we were playing cops and robbers.... fake-fake-pretend -pretend kata..!! they had 3 million belt levels, all of which required money to achieve, ( buy the belt, take the 'requred ' classes..) get this, they called themselves " AMerican Ju jutsu"!! implication>> american is better and more acceptable than japanese jujutsu...

sorry to digress...

in aikido , even at the low level, we all practice resistance , hard and " soft" so that we feel " connected"... this enables us to fully understand the technique.... watching a jujutsu technique in that class where they had no idea of the aikido idea of " connection with uke" was like playing< cop and robbers> nice if you're 9 yrs old and have a playdate! bang bang, I shot ya! O ya didn't YES I did...and so on and so forth...

Additionally this concept of resistance and connection with uke is also supplemented by " in motion " techniques which practice anticipation. there is no other MA that so explicitly and overtly emhasizes and practices anticipation.

additionally, we fall into the mat. hard. we slap the mat hard to break the fall. so yes, we have no strikes against peolpe. but we CAN strike back, with anticipation and speed...you learn that when your head is rapidly heading towards the mat from a shihonage fall...believe me, there is brute strength in aikido I can anticipate a punch, because I have been anticipating this kind of "moving mat" and risking my neck for 10 years. I'm getting tired of people who don't think aikido is "tough"... I've explained myself time and again in my threads... go ahead, please read em all.

it is of course good to supplement your understanding with other arts, but aikido should be the main one. competition is somewhat good...see dud's comments about judo and his son...but the repetition of aikido movements does better.

as an anectdote about aikido's effectiveness>> my sensei liked to drink after class. we as ukes and uchideshi had to buy the drinks. but he always sought out the seediest trucker/redneck bars, drink a lot, and make a lot of noise.flirt with the barmaids.. This 5'1" japanese guy had NO fear. and guess what.. he's never had to use his technique. it's not that he was bruising for a fight, but it was certainly amazing to see him doing this. I had grown up in a blue collar community ( no offense, blue collar is just fine) and was frequently picked on, for being who I was, an asian. Without having seen this, I would still be a little intimidated by these situations. THANK YOU SENSEI !