That is perhaps where some of this doubt or insecurity may arrise from, is that there are few Aikidoka who train for effective take down defense. (Maybe I'm wrong, please correct me if I am).
As a newbie, that is the one thing that I would suggest for this martial art, especially during Randori. Although I have seen dozens of impressive clips of Randori, I have yet to see even one attempt at a single or a double leg take down. IMHO your are doing yourself a huge injustice if you don't train for at least one or more opponents attempting to steal your center/movement by attacking your legs. In a real Budo situation it will happen.
Thank you for letting me join your wonderful forum.
Hey Kevin, I think most people train for this.....They just don't know it.
I have recently done some sparring with some Judo and Bjj guys.
And one technique that works very very well is "Tai Sabaki" if you have good Tenkan and good Sabaki, when they go for the take down help them down by getting out of the way. Every time they went for my waist or legs, I quickly did a "Soto Tenkan" movement with a little help of "Atemi" waza to the back of the neck nothing big just a little nudge, the mat hit them every time.
My biggest problem with most Aikidoka is that we don't really think about the "Bunkai" which means the application. In my Shotokan days when we did kata, "Bunkai" was stressed. If we think about what we are practicing, we will see that there is a solution for every attack in Aikido....just most people don't see them because they don't explore enough.
My 1/2 cents
Oh and welcome to the forum