Point being, Maggie makes a very insightful and good point, and so does Kevin. These points are not widely known through out the MMA community, as far as I know. Maggie's and Kevin's points combined is something I think would be very beneficial to the MMA culture of many in terms of these types of discussion questions.
I find it goes both ways really. Aikidoka can learn alot from MMA. I know I did. It saved me years of wasted time. Years of experience gained in a few short months of training to understand the dynamics and issues that arise from non-compliance, combat speed, pressure, and conditioning my mind how to work in that environment. I also learned the alot about my triggers, defaults, and what will and won't work. Learned alot about working from positions of failure and the principle of Kaeshiwaza too!
I hear Aikidoka talk alot about MMA. Most have never set foot inside an MMA schoool or dojo. The conversations go one or two ways.
1. "I understand the importance of MMA, but I just don't (insert reason here). (Have the time, feel comfortable, like the culture etc.)
2. "MMA has rules and it is not realistic in a real fight."
In my BJJ or MMA schools, I have never heard anyone there even discuss Aikido or other martial arts in terms of defining or justifiying their own trainng regime.
Why is that?
1. They are comfortable with what they are studying and understand WHY and WHAT they are doing as well as "most" of the limitations.
2. The culture of MMA is fairly one of OPENNESS. That is, if they see a gap or weakness they seek out the expert or system that will fill that gap. That is the whole concept of the "MIXED" in MMA.
That said, we all know that MMA typically focuses on training for the cage or street, and that BJJ tends to focus heavily on tournament rules alot like judo. Lets face it, it is fun and most go to these schools with a specific purpose/endstate in mind.
Isn't that why we all picked Aikido? that is, we liked the philosophy/structure/feel/or what ever keeps you doing it?
However, if you find a good instructor, which is rare I'll admit, you will find someone that can run the gamut from ring, to tournament, to street with no issues and show you how to manage all situations rules, no rules, weapons etc.
Surprisingly, when you look at the basic principles...regardless of rules, no rules, or weapons....it really is just variations on a theme.
There are only so many ways to submit someone, knock them out, or dominate them.
Once you begin to understand this...thing IMO become a lot clearer. You stop seeing the differences in training paradigms and you start assessing and evaluating them for what they can offer you to solve areas of weakness or problems.
Of course there are only so many hours in the day! LOL!