I disagree that mat and practical application are the same. There is fine line of sensitivity where a struggling attacker will injure themselves, so you may have to constantly adjust so they don’t either hurt themselves, as they struggle, or free themselves as you adjust to avoid causing them injury.
Far too often I let people manipulate me in practice that cause my previous injuries to become re-injured because … they have become “robot programmed” to do aikido, they don’t allow for the different bodies of different people and they don’t feel the tension of the joints in whatever size or shape person they are working with.
During practice you will have to figure out how flexible your partner is and adjust. Some partners feint and tap out way too early, so you will have to make a mental not that they are sensitive to pain, even if they body can be twisted a little further and the involuntary responses will take over at a higher level of pain instead of the lower thresh-holds they are responding to. Other partners let you manipulate them to the involuntary thresh-holds of pain and response which is where you begin to cross the line into injury if you go much further in you manipulations.
In a practical application, you will ratchet up your manipulation of your attacker to increase the pain thresh-hold but need to keep a calm clear mind that does NOT feed off the adrenelin rush.
The other thing I liked in this article is noting that we don’t spend enough time training for kicks, but a kick is no different than any other attack. Stop thinking it will hurt you and imagine a kick is either a bokken or stick coming your way, which we do train with, don’t we? Well, most of us do. Adapt and adjust …. it will work out.