Utter newbie voicing an opinion here.
It seems from the little experience I've had, and the reading that I've done, that the ultimate goal of Aikido is to be so in harmony with all things that there is no reason that you WOULD be attacked.
"First master the techniques of Aiki
The way of the Gods
Then no enemy will ever attack"
Unfortunately, there is such macho posturing about EVERYTHING, especially here in the US, that the concept of using your mind to avoid a fight is seen as cowardice and therefore the erstwhile Aikidoka is goaded into "proving" that his technique works, and actually moves away from the true spirit of the form. No wonder they fail.
It seems to me that truly mastering of Aikido would mean that you would never have gotten to the place that you need to use it.
Al Foote III
The Utter Newbie