Aikido is a one step art and it is practiced that way. We are talking about being 6 feet apart. Anything closer than that the standard Aikido techniques break down. At what is called intimate distance, say 2 feet or less, you can't react fast enough to be very effective against attacks that likely are not what is being presented in the dojo and your responses are not likely to be anything like the standard Aikido techniques......hard for me to see that not being first time effective at this distance is a sign of incompetence for failing to train effectively at the 6 foot distance.....so maybe we don't do Aikido here...
Just a comment....
Really? I'm surprised you think that.