Maybe some clarification is needed here, I was perhaps not clear enough. I was more saying that Konrad's desired factor was vague, so we were in agreement. It wasn't a criticism of your comment, it was an expansion of it. Sorry if that wasn't clear, my friend.
Ha, I could link a few threads where I've gone through it.... they're always fun!
Yeah, it doesnt seem like something alot of People would Agree on. But then, I suspect thats often just because they Underthink the Fundamental Functionality of Fighting.
Yeah. What I was concerned with, though, was getting Konrad to a more realistic approach, which may mean dropping some ideas in favour of others, rather than try to cater to everything. I don't think that's actually possible no matter how much you may try...
Cool. I'll come back to this with Konrad in a second.
Common, yeah. But that doesn't mean we need to advise it (although some still will, I know, as they have a different belief).
Yeah, im sure there are People who can make it work for them, but I have yet to see it work especially well. Martial Sport Blending? Probably a better Prospect. But still.
Which was the thrust of what I was getting at. Cool.
My pleasure, and glad you got something out of it all. Aikido is a great art, I hope you'll enjoy it.
Now, to the sparring issue. I will say that the only thing that sparring tests is your ability to apply what you learn in a sparring context, not in a real fight context, or anything similar. It's the same with any testing or training method, really, they should always be looked at in the context of what they actually are. Sparring can be great, it can be a very powerful and useful training tool, it can be great fun, but it is far from the be-all end-all as some seem to want it to be.
Within Aikido you'll be hard pressed to find sparring in this context. What you will find, however, is a form of training known as Randori. Randori literally refers to "chaos capture", and is a way of handling un-nominated attacks. As Aikido has a non-aggressive ideal, the idea of having two training partners attacking each other in order to out-perform each other goes pretty well against the training and teaching concepts of the system, so sparring in that way is not really suited. But you will find that Randori will be very similar in terms of testing your ability to apply techniques in a free-form way, so all in all, a good thing.
All the best with everything!
For the Sparring, if You really just want to do it Recreationally, You could always talk to a more experienced Aikidoka, and the Instructor (Sensei, whatever Aikido calls it), and ask if You can do some Friendly Before or After Class Attack/Defense stuff. Similar to Sparring, but shorter in length.
Its an Option to Consider.