Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
In heroic times, aikido was elitist practice. Deshi of O sensei were all experienced fighters. It is not surprising that their Everyday practice was serious, vigorous and full of martial spirit.
Today, aikido is democratic activity. It means, beginners have no fighting experience, are physically underdeveloped, and have very weak spirit. You can't simply apply the same training method from early days. So the instructors allow slowing down and making a lot of compromises in order to help students to pass first difficult few years.
Unfortunately they never again rise up level of difficulty of training. In the end, only very few students will develop really sophisticated aikido.
Which brings us back to the idea that, aikido alone will take just too long to make a competent fighter and there are no guarantees. Having a background in some more alive system like Judo will accelerate the competency.