You know Chris, not all people in martial arts to defend themselves on the street. I don't see why that theory needs to be forced. Aikido is not a higher way of anything. It's Aikido, and MMA is MMA.
I don't train against knives or multiple opponents. I guess I don't do real martial arts. Oops.
Forgive me if my words got in the way and were perceived as offensive. The term "real" is quite relative.
U.S. Marine Corp martial arts training (for instance) is quite real and is designed around traditional priorities. Modern Bujitsu would include drone bomber aircraft as well as the M-16, not to mention poisons, and homemade explosives. Their hand-to-hand combat is designed around their doctrine of battle. They intend to close with and destroy the enemy. They do this as a working unit of men/women. In their hand-to-hand combat, they include fighting as a group, fighting in water, and mass attack with blunt and edged weapons.
People who like duelling (one-on-one) have a specific doctrine of battle and strategy that evolves from it. It may include "first knife cut wins" or "knock-out or tap-out wins:.
All martial formats have value. You cannot play full contact Jujitsu without applying rules to the game and making it a sport. That is what Judo is about. By the way, the best fighter I have ever met was a 3 time National Champion Judoman. But on the street, or in the field (he worked for a 3 letter federal agency) he had no rules. What am I saying,? His Judo venue taught better that others how to have continuity in a fight when you are tethered to a wild dog at the end of a chain.
Aikido teaches me how to improve martial movement. Thus it is also real martial art. But I would not take aikido techniques into a fight without having other back-ups in my quiver. Too many assumptions in the doctrine of battle and the resulting strategy for my confort. Give me the hand grenade, the M-16, the pistol, the knife, my empty hands and a good mind. A poor man's Bujitsu. Perhaps I can afford an Abrams tank someday if I feel the threat assessment warrants it.