Re: Why Aikido has such strange strike defense.
The issue I have with a lot of these 'theories' is most aikido people are not used to getting hit and keeping their composure under pressure. The most important part is what sparring offers you. You can do all the pad work, bag drills, etc but I've seen too many freeze (boxers, grapplers included) when it's go time, even if they've done some sparring in the gym. Change to environment coupled with knowing that your opponent is just as skilled or more so than you and a persons emotions can get the best of them.
As long as people think aikido is fighting system I think they're going to be disappointed when faced with a serious situation.