If I may say something.
This point was brought up earleir, but I feel I must reiterate it -
Aikido takes time!!! No newbie aikidoka's technique is goign to wrok against the blood-thirsty "animal" described above, but against an aikidoka with 15 years of experience?
A slightly different situation!!
Also, the point about not doing aikido for the fighting, when a poster said to "go join a zen monastery". I feel this is the wrong attitude - aikido is about avoiding fights, and if you want to do it for the spiritual aspects, go right ahead.
The ki, "new age hippie", thing is also slightly wrong. If this is the case, what is Osensei? He talked about ki! And Koichi Tohei?
Remember, newbie, IMHO, is up to about 6 years of experience. When you understand aikido, then it will work. It is tooo easy to see a 1st year aikidoka fight or train, and say, 'oh it doesn't work". Look at the masters or the sensei. If youre brave enough, train with them. If it doesn't work then, then you have a right to say ti doesn't work.