Notes on the "street effectivity" issue
Right off the bat I have to say I am a total complete Noob at Aikido, sure I have been doing it for almost 2 years but in the grand scheme of things, I am inexperienced.
This is a collection of notes I have made to myself since starting Aikido, every time I had some "revelation" I would write it down, at first most of my notes dealt with technique and doing technique correctly but these are some of my notes on the "street effectivity" issue, rewritten to be more coherent and readable. (The You I'm talking to is realy me, I'm wierd like that)
Aikido is not realy about learning fancy techniques, the fanciest "real" technique that you can use in the street is the footwork, and not necessarily for running away. What I'm saying is that the throws and locks and pins are all nice to practice but their real purpose is to teach you principles of motion, principles of bio-mechanics and "fighting" strategy.
This is also why its silly to utterly resist and constantly fight your partner when practicing these principles. Make it your mindset that these techniques are "just for practice" and try and find openings to exploit instead of pushing against your partner and generally being stiff and hard to work with.
In striking arts, the guy with the hardest punch and toughest block might have some advantage against a complete beginner but if this guy does not know fighting strategy and wastes punches on parts of your body which dont do much bio-mechanical damage, he is going to suffer at the hands of his weaker, slower, yet more experienced instructor.
Telling someone that if someone attempts to punch you on the nose you should do X or Y, is all academic. You can never assure anyone of the effectivity of their art by throwing around these scenarios and playing them out in your mind. I know, I struggled with this issue since about the first day I started doing Aikido back in 2002. Truthfully, and this actually has some depth to me these days, its not just a canned easy explanation, the only way to answer your questions is with constant diligent practice.
I dont know what I would do when I get assaulted in the street, I have never realy been in that situation. I do know what I am capable of handling though and its a lot more than what I was capable of handling before I started doing Aikido.