Thanks, Don. I'm going to keep working at this myself, though since I'm at such a lower experience level, I appreciate the chance to "cheat" a bit and just ask someone who's been working at it longer. For my part, I wonder if perhaps there's some way to exploit tenkan/irimi in the clinch and pre-clinch stages. I have no clue about boxing or other MMA striking, though; I'm mostly thinking from a grappling perspective. Like, "aikido vs. judo". In theory, the aikido person wants to neutralize the judo person's attempt to close up and put hands on shoulders...or so it seems.
William -- I have heard of Jason DeLucia, but it doesn't sound like he's really managed to employ aikido techniques in the ring. If you have some video evidence to the contrary, I'd be fascinated to see it.
Morgan -- MMA fighters work very hard, using well-tested techniques optimized in the here-and-now for sportfighting. Now, are aikidoka also cultivating some sort of martial skill? I don't know, and that's part of what I'm trying to figure out. (I think I'll start a post on the "context" of aikido shortly.) But for example, Gozo Shioda remarked that in his view, most boxers would beat most aikidoka. And those are hardcore early days aikidoka, who often had a well-rounded martial background. His reason? Boxers have more practice with live timing. I am wondering what Shioda felt the training solution might be.
Interesting comparisons and I can see why you're confused. Aikido is a practice which takes a bit longer than boxing to master and it's objective are vastly different than a boxers would be... Does that mean Aikido doesn't work? Only if you prefer apples over oranges
As for Jason well like I said... drill down...the information is there. or better yet ask him yourself. He is very approachable.
I think you should put things into a better context with regard to your comparision especially when you talk about MMA "fighters" versus Aikidoka. I am not so sure (at least in my experiance) that an experianced & skilled Aikidoka is at such a disadvantage. Some forms of Aikido have been taught in L.E. for decades along with BJJ and boxing...All are "effective" in the right hands and in the right situation. Martial Awareness is the key. I do agree however that most beginning Aikidoka will not hold up against a beginning boxer for a completely different reason. In fact most regular folks won't either. The reason. Most Aikidoka have no experiance with "surviving" being hit hard in the face or the skill of centering and focusing DISPITE the aydrenaline dump that goes with full on conflict/contact. that takes a few years of Kumite at a minimum. Boxers learn this the second they start sparring. As Mike Tyson has said "Everyone has a plan until you hit them in the mouth." it's hard though to spar or go full contact without a set of rules or knowledge of proper Ukemi. Boxers are not focused on the "Killing Blow" in Karate for example, or taking out someone's knee in Judo, or putting someone on their head in Aikido.Heck those are just the "softer" Gendai Arts. Koryu is all about combat.LOL
In general most Martial Arts are about DESTRUCTION with the noted possible exception of Aikido & Tai Chi (the softer forms). On the other hand MMA has evolved into mixing some different skillsets into a SPORT.
You said you don't know if Aikido helps folk cultivate some sort of Martial Skill. Well certainly there are some folks who have diluted Aikido to the point of where it seems like Yoga with a partner. However I assure you among Aikido's ranks are some serious Martial Artists. Thier intention is for Aikido to continue as BUDO FIRST... in the spirit of O'Sensei.
Here's a question back at you. Can you expain the "Martial" in Mixed "Martial" Arts? What meaning does "Martial" have for you? And if MMA is truely Martial then shouldn't MMA matches "evolve" to the point where they are to the death? (Brings to mind a dear friend of mine whom I worked with several years ago who teaches Hawaiian Kempo, and is a senior Yudansha with "The Pit" Dojo. Yup... Chuck Liddel's Dojo. He killed a man in a "sport" match without intending to, and I am told it has haunted him ever since)
Perhaps my question will help clarify things for you.