Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight
Randal, you are missquoting Lee. The true quote is: "Kicking someone in the head is like punching someone in the foot." Bruce was a big proponent of low kicks in actual fights, either to setup a straight blast, check someone's distance, or actually blow out their thigh. Good low kicks are a valuable and proven tool in a fight.
"They all resort to the standard kick-punch-punch-tackle strategy. Rarely do you ever see the kind of expert take-downs that judoka are capable of in heated competitions."
This is rather ignorant. Although some people in ufc are simply their for their freak value, most of them are very well trained. Especially today. A top fighter like Couture, Sherk, or Vitor likely trains more than any of us ever will in our entire life. Every day, many hours a day, cardio, striking, submissions, takedowns, meditation, etc, etc. Their entire life is training; it is their only job. Pride FC has an even higher level of competition. If you think there is no technique, it is because you are blind to it.
Cage fighting is an offense to people with naieve ideals about fighting. Although it is not street fighting, it reveals many things.
One reality is, ground and pound is an excellent strategy. It's very logical. Why stand and trade where there is a chance of getting knocked out? Isn't it much more effective to sit on your opponent, and punch them while they can't hit back?
Another reality is that it is easier to negate some technique than it is to initiate it. Arm bars, chokes, key locks, leg locks - they are all usually unsuccessful. However, by repeatedly attempting them, one eventually gets in, and it only takes one.
Takedowns are an exception - although its easy to make a takedown look ugly, a well timed and executed one is very difficult to avoid. They are rather like hand grenades, in that close is usually good enough to work. I could go on, but... the thread.
Aikido is about whether you hate your opponent and want to kill them, or love and want to preserve them. There are no techniques which are more moral than others. It is the intent behind your execution is what defines that. I think these "no compeitition" and "no striking" rules are mutated versions of the origional intent.
Unarmed hand to hand wise:
Best of all, simply dissuade them from fighting. If they still choose to fight, and then change their mind shortly afterwards, let them go.
I think knocking an attacker unconscious is fine. He might have a headache when he comes to, some bruises, but his life will still be long. I think that is an aiki resolution.
I would only seek to break limbs out of fear. It is a more permanant consequence, still it is not debilitating.
Killing would only the result of gross negligence on my part, or fear.
Seeking to kill, or entering into this with disregard to an attacker, these things are what defines "not aiki" to me.