Re: The "Power" of Aikido
Buck - you fundamentally misunderstand BJJ.
1. BJJ is not MMA, although BJJ can be part of it.
2. Aside from Randy Couture NOT being a BJJ pracitioner, - he's a Greco-Roman wrestler - his BJJ equivalent (Nogueira, for example) is no more an exemplar of that art than Ueshiba (at 5 feet, 165 pounds) is the typical aikidoka. Anyway, I've seen lots of aikidoka built bigger than Couture (he's all of 205 pounds).
3. Why shouldn't a person come into an aikido school and say he or she wants to learn to fight? Ueshiba did. Shirata sensei, one of the most morally lovely people I've ever heard of, told how it was absolutely essential that the uchi-deshi be able to win any dojo challenges that came up - and this wasn't done behind ueshiba's back either.
4.Aboslutely, aikido was not a good fit for me. Frankly, this would have been true even if I had the inside lane to what Ueshiba learned at his peak. I don't particularly like the operating system of practice - and even if it was presented to me with the internal training intact, neither it nor Daito-ryu would have been the system that I would have wanted to pursue.
But all the top aikidoka I ever met were concerned about aikido's virtues as a fighting art. I'd like to hear of one who wasn't so concerned. Kato sensei proudly told me about choking someone out on the mat - an uchi-deshi who was too rough, Tohei bragged about defeating five judoka (true or not, that was his story), Nishio sensei spoke about his shame that many regarded aikido as weak and underscored how martial virtue was not in any way in conflict with aikido. I could keep making the list longer - I'm not saying any of these guys were looking for a fight, or felt inadequate. But they had an attitude that as long as they were training hard in a martial art, they wanted to be doing something martial.