Re: Mixing Aikido with other martial arts
I still keep my san shou skills sharp as I can. Do folks practice that sport up your way? If you took judo and mixed it with karate free fighitng/kickboxing, you'd get something like it. Strikes, throws, no ground work. I love it.
I'd go out on a limb and say if you have never spent time learning to box, that's a great martial sport, and a fair means of self defense. It is easy to accumulate the whole skill set, and you can get real zen about it. It's also pretty safe. Then in a while you can move on to something new to mix with your core martial art (aikido). Ah, the sweet science!