Mr. Lau doesn't know me from Adam, but when I was on AIKIDO-L back in the early 90s, I always looked forward to and enjoy his posts.
That said, I find it somewhat ridiculous to suggest that "aikido failed him." In a very specific sense one might say that his teachers failed him, or rather, failed to prepare him. In a larger sense Mr. Lau may have failed himself by not training with the necessary mindset. But the idea that "aikido" is not "real-world" effective, but "aikijutsu" is, strikes me as the same one-dimensional thinking we see here time and again.
For starters, there is nothing in the "aikijutsu" examples of sankyo and munadori ikkyo that aren't part of basic
Iwama style aikido. (Although of course, cuffing uke at the end of the technique is not a typical Iwama practice.
) As I mentioned in a thread just last week, the Tokyo riot police practice Yoshinkan, and have made it work for years.
People need to understand that "aikido" is layered. It's adaptable to the needs of those who practice it. Aikido can be a marginally combat effective art that provides health and "ki training". It can be physical and spiritual exercise that provides the average person with as much self-defense knowledge as they're likely to need. And it can be a very effective art useful to those whose jobs put them into conflict, and who need to resolve those conflicts with firm but measured responses. But it's important, and incumbent on the student, that they find the aikido that is right for them
. The Average Joe or Jane seeking to improve their health and ki may not find what they're looking for in the Yoshinkan senshusei course. The police officer or bouncer may not find what they need in "middle-of-the-road" dojo. The solution is not to write off "aikido", but to find a dojo (aikido or otherwise) that offers what you need.