Some thoughts on this thread:
"You can never say an aikidoist dosen't know how to fight because you never know what else they may have trained in."
Can't say I agree with this message. The implication is that Aikido, by itself, is not sufficient to "fight" with.
I have been studying Aikido for about 14 years and agree that it is not a complete martial art (but, which art is?). However, that is not the intent, is it. We, who study Aikido, have chosen it for what it does offer, a way of handling conflict without harm to others (at best). If someone just wants to learn self-defence, they are better off taking a long weekend self-defence course, including the safe and proper use of guns.
As for ground work. I have dabbled in a few other martial arts besides Aikido, some included some ground work, which I found to be very valuable. My most memorable instruction in this regard was my Army close combat training a long time ago. It was VERY limited in those days, but one of the things I most remember is that just because you have been forced to the ground, the fight is far from over, whether you manage to get back to your feet or fight from the ground.
As for the comment about the 6'4" Australian oarman. Roadtoad was at a disadvantage as he was attempting to do nikkyo on a very strong, experiencd person from a static position. My experience is this is usally done when teaching newbies, teaching them the basics of the technique. Aikido, done in "real" life is usally done dynamically. In the dojo I train in we have a aikidoist (Nidan) who is 6'5" and weighs about 340 pounds. He is very experienced and very kind to us mere mortals. However, if he did a commited attack, and nage manage to take his balance, then the throw, or pin, should work (I'm simplifying things here, but you get my drift). If he did as our Australian friend did and just statically thrust his hand in a nikkyo position on someone 's shoulder, I don't know of anyone who could move him. If it was me, I'd just pull my gun and shoot him (hey, just kidding, we have to park our guns at the door).
Sorry, if these comments have been covered in other threads....
In Good Practice...