Anyway tonight we practiced different responses to Yokomenuchi (side strike to the head). The example (not me) shows the ikkyo response. The attack itself may not be a realistic attack, although I'm not much of a fighter so I don't really know. But it doesn't look like the kind of attack a thug would use.
But the teacher (Sensei) tried to get us to recognize that this attack shows the circular nature of Aikido. A sort of yin yang thing. As the strike comes toward you, you move into the circle and redirect the the force.
It is almost like some of the things we learn are not the most practical but once integrated they are supposed to allow you to receive any attack and shape it into something you can use.
That is what I THINK he meant. Or I could be wrong.
But is an example of one of the ambiguities of practicing Aikido in that what you practice may or may not "work". Many times you ask the Sensei what would happen if the attacker resisted, and he might say that what we are working on was really an "exercise". If an attacker didn't cooperate you would simply use some other technique.
If you look on the web there are some martial arts people that lambast Aikido as not being "real". Of course I'm not in it to win any fights so it is not an issue, but it does show that Aikido may take more patience than some people are willing to endure, since the real world applications are not are not always apparent.