Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.
I know this thread has been articulated by people more understanding than myself...and probably been done to death, but this topic is interesting to me so I'll write my thoughts anyway.
To the fellow who started this threat let me first say there are a million forms of "Aikido." You need to realize there's more to a thing than just a name. I've been to a few different Aikidojo and none of them were quite the same, despite using the same names for similar movements.
Aikido has many practical lessons. How to fall and not get hurt is a pretty darn usefull thing, for starters. I've trained with an eastern European judoka who almost went to the olympics and who nearly tore my arm off but for my adequate ukemi. I had a roomate who studied traditional Muy Thai in addition to being a bit of a brawler (by the way, kick-boxers do a LOT more than just kick, trust me) who loved to try and use submission holds on me. Funny thing is he rarely got them to work. What does this all mean? Nothing. The name of your chosen martial art means jack squat. What matters most is how good your training is, and how good you are as a student (ie-how you apply yourself).
Regarding strikes and submission holds: atemi is a strike; if I slip your punch and strike you in the floating ribs, you'll feel it, trust me; if you grab me by the leg I might just land on you with my knee. What matters is who knows how to use their body best, not what style you study. Style means almost nothing.
Maybe it's true most Aikidoka will never protect themselves from an attacker and maybe it's not. I don't know most Aikidoka, but I know what I'm capable of and if someone attacks me, it's quite possible it will be more correct to say my lack of ability is what will hurt them, not what style I train in.