Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.
Although I have yet to start Aikido (*sigh*... ) I have been doing some sparring with a group of martial arts guys recently from various different styles. What I have noticed is that they do boxing style sparring in preparation for 'a street fight' and they believe that is what they will be up against. I dont see this as being the case.
I haven't been in many fights myself, mostly school yard scuffles, but they always used to start out as someone grabbing a shirt and pushing or pulling then eventually breaking off and swinging a wild punch. I can also not particularly imagine too many muggers asking for money and jewellery armed with nothing but their fists and some boxing skills... "give me your money or ill box your ears in!", the average thug is not so brave and most martial artists would not be such criminals (hopefully). I can however imagine many fights starting, at least, from a situation such as being grabbed, pulled, bear hugged, held whilst another strikes, or being faced by a knife weilding opponent ready to make a lunge.
I would imagine that many of the martial arts (jujitsu, aikido etc.) more focused toward throws, locks, holds... would be well equiped for such a situation.
As to wether Aikido would work in a real fight... well isnt any martial art only really a set of theories on how to do something? A martial art is more than just a set of techniques, you should always be able to extend the art to suit the situation. As many have said all martial arts are different paths to the same mountain top.