His response to how to deal with a grappler was, "Don't go to the ground! Easy!" Good luck with that strategy...
Several years ago while at an aikido seminar I witnessed 2 younger (mid to late 30's) and very talanted / high ranking aikido teachers (one a 4th dan, the other a 5th dan)get into a fight during the seminar while training with one another. Aparently the two had a lot of "history" and hated one another.
Things got really ugly and puches started flying. Really sloppy wild punches I might add. They were both swinging for the fences. A few seconds latter they were both on the ground doing what looked like really bad ground and pound MMA until they were pulled apart. Not at any point did either one of these guys do or even attempt anything that vaugly resembled aikido.... and the fight also ended up on the ground.
Just though I would share