When I read posts on this forum I wonder how people practicing Aikido so easily and so authoritatively speak on self-defense. I believe that most of them do not even realize that they are studying (!!!) one of the most dangerous martial arts ever developed. Aikido was founded in the twentieth century, and was based on all that had been the best and most effective in other branches of budo throughout history. We must finally realize that for our own safety during training. The art of Aikido serves only one purpose. To kill, and to do it immediately. It has been said throughout time that a picture could be worth a thousand words.
Thus, Aikido is not self-defense art, in the general sense of the word. Like Katori Shinto Ryu and Naginata Do do not serve the self-defense. We are studying (again I emphasize it without any confusion) Master Morihei Ueshiba's achievements not to kill, but rather to cultivate one of the elements of Japanese cultural heritage.
Nevertheless, the skills obtained during additional aikido practice (based on intensive techniques' repetitions) may be useful in self-defense. In particular, the ability to avoid attacks. Unfortunately, when it comes to a direct confrontation on the street an aikidoka's training leaves him/her unprepared to deal with the full spectrum of attacks possible during the fight. Especially when he/she is being grabbed. Performing any Aikido technique and finishing it as in the dojo also doesn't help. We are all aware of that and we need to talk about it openly.