Re: Has Aikido ever helped you in a real fight?
Aikido has saved my life, literally. In Viet Nam, It was invaluable in many situations. I did extractions into North Viet Nam and came back alive thru some hairy situations.
In Desert Storm, I taisabakied perfectly once and not a minute to late as I was almost bayonetted.
In Mogadishu, Somalia (Blackhawk Down), I was on a rescue mission when I was attacked by no less than 6 extremists at once. I survived---they didn't. Yes, Aikido will help you but you have to train as though your life depends on it because someday (hopefully not) it just might have to and you will react the way you have been trained.
I hope this answers your question.