I agree with you, but I don't see why would someone spend years in Aikido just for the purpose of learning how to fight. Aikido is not a fighting art, if it was, most people in UFC would be learning it. If anyone feels his life is in danger, or if he/she lives in a dangerous neighbourhood, he/she would better buy a gun and learn how to use it. Aikido is effective against attackers for whom you are considered as a victim, such as a robber who is after your wallet or someone who is angry and tries to punch you with full intent. I don't believe Aikido works in sparring, or in face to face combat when both opponents are prepared.
yes, I agree with most of your premise.
However, I depart, probably more on semantics, but I believe it to be an important distincition. on the last part.
Aikido is never effective...you are, or you aren't. The things you learn in aikido may help you in a real situation, or they may not..it depends on many factors.
has nothing to do with full intent or not full intent of the other person or their level of committment to the attack they present. You simply respond appropriately to what you are presented.
sparing works in sparing, because that is what you are doing...sparing to better understand how to respond appropriately presented a set of conditions.
level of awareness or preparation are not a prerequisite to using skills and techniques learned in aikido.
I think it to be a grave error to adopt a paradigm or a set of conditions upon which you will constrain yourself to within the boundaries of that methodlogy...such as aikido.
also defining what is, and what is not aikido, and when it works and doesn't work.
I spend a fair amount of time in situations that are commonly seen or trained in BJJ. I will tell you that the underlying principles of response are identical.
I think what we get caught up in and focus on is the commonly agreed upon level of the amount of effort, force, distance, and level of cooperation. those are the boundaries that we set up when we train.
The boundaries that most in aikido agree best convey the lessons that the methodolgy is attempting to teach us. in the realm of martial arts..it is a very narrow, specialized focus.
I would never venture to say what works and doesn't work in aikido from a reality perspective as that depends on too many things.
I will debate and discusss ad naseum training methodology and which ones work best to teach certain aspects best.
I think it better to look at aikido as a simply a methodology and less as a style. Looking at it from a style perspective, limits us, and sets us up for failure from our narrow paradigm.