There's a topic over at Reddit in the Aikido subreddit, is Aikido transferable to MMA?
The following video is also included in the topic, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hoeb7sBqRc
I contributed the following rant. My take on another POV. Interested in comments and thoughts:
What people don't realize is that in aikido the "control techniques" such as what appear to be wrist and joint locks, make a up a very small part of the art. What makes up a huge part - say 90% - is atemi.
Wrist locks are an add-on, and not even central to aiki. Aiki can be seen in the initial movement. The opponents center is taken, and the opponent is struck - all in a single movement. And in this way, there is not ever an actual opponent in the mindset of aiki - but merely another player.
Real aiki can be seen in the tai sabaki (body movement). Typically, but not always, an effective application moves off the line at about 10-degrees. In the zone, the oncoming opponent can not deliver any strikes, kicks, or anything else. And they are rendered off-balance, and are totally open to multiple strikes, kicks, body movements by nage.
Sometimes the line is taken by nage as uke is in the process of creating it. As soon as uke commits to a movement, they begin creating a line. Nage senses this, and moves after the line starts to be created, and arrives before the line is finished by uke. Uke starts the line, nage finishes it. That is aiki. You don't have to be fast - just be before.
Another aspect of aiki, is that it doesn't use large muscle groups for movement and power. Aiki uses hips and relaxation to not only generate compressed power outwardly, but also to allow for an incoming compression - to be able to receive strikes to the body.
There's a reason why Steven Seagal has been training top MMA fighters. There are various arts that employ aiki, including some CMA and Indonesian arts. Muhammad Ali met Kali players in Hawaii. Same thing. Music actually employs aiki, as it allows a place for multiple events and energy vibrations to co-exist in space/time harmoniously.
The reason people don't think aikido works, is because most people don't know what real aikido is. And the reason most people don't think they see aiki used in boxing and MMA, is because most people have no idea what to look for. If you know what to look for, you can see aiki applied all over the place at the top levels of competition.