Yeah. Given a choice between personally looking bad and injuring my partner, I'm willing to look bad every single time. And if that leaves my partner thinking "aikido doesn't work," well, I guess I'll just have to take that risk.
First, I contend the logic that anything I said indicates the action leads to injury. Second, I content the logic the my partner would be embarrassed by a demonstration of waza. Third, I think we need to qualify your claim and take ownership of it, "My
aikido doesn't work." The rules of leadership still apply - If you are advocating that you would intend to injure your partner, or embarrass them, then that is not the role of yudansha that I envision. I do not think that either you or Mary envision that leadership role, but I don't think the constraints you place on the possible reactions from a mudansha who experiences oyo waza are complete.
I think there is nothing wrong with saying, "Man, I am not that good. You either need to find someone better with whom to contend, or back it down so we can succeed." But then that puts us back at one of my caveats - yudansha are having difficulty with mudansha.
I think the entire logic stream here is off. If my partner is poorly attacking, it should be easier to express aiki. Unless I cannot express aiki and I am trying to "jujutsu" my partner... Ultimately, I think this is where this conversation is going. That we are frustrated with those who can resist our jujutsu - this is a different conversation and one to which I was implying in my baseball analogy. It is the aiki that makes our stuff work, but the outside world wants to see the jujutsu through which we express aiki.
From my personal perspective, the last couple of years have knocked me down a couple of pegs. I have had the pleasure of working out with some great individuals that opened my eyes to how much there is that I do not know about aiki and how much there is that I did not see in aikido. I have become more comfortable with "I'm not that good."