Re: Have you actually used Aikido?
I trained for about ten years with dreams of actually using aikido.
The first time I actually used it was to break up a fight. Two people were fighting on a bed when I ran into the room. I grabbed one person by the back of the collar and yanked him onto the floor. But I was also able to pay attention to the other person on the bed.
The second time I used it was to defend myself. After a disagreement, he charged me from about ten feet away. In aikido fashion, I raised both arms up and entered into the attack. I caught a couple of glancing blows to the side of the head, but they were inconsequential. As I was pushing the attacker backwards, I had the surreal thought of "wow, I'm actually using aikido." I pushed the attacker into a window and we fell down. As we were falling down, I was able to wrap my arm around him and restrain him. Although the technique wasn't classical aikido, the entry was a close approximation.
Another time I had to spar against another person in a no-rules MMA-style competition. Initially he jumped on top of me and pinned me on the ground. I tried to gouge his eyes out and apply a pressure point on his ribs. But I had the presence of mind to realize that my feeble attempts were useless before I resorted to reaching below the belt to grab a handful. I thought he was just pretending to scream (due to prior experience) before the contest was stopped.
Regardless of martial art, theoretically it should teach one to keep their wits about them in order to respond appropriately and effectively. I'd like to think that my aikido training has helped me in one or two situations.