hahahaha. Nice sarcasm, funny. I don't have much, only about 15 yrs with Aikido, Karate, TKD, 5 yrs with BJJ, Kickboxing, Boxing, and JKD. What I do see with the extra training is loopholes in Aikido atemi and the assumptions it has. If you really want to do atemi, learn the boxing movements of fast and slippery hits, or the power kicks of kickboxing, or the closing of body position by BJJ. Add that with the situations I've had to be in real life, it gave me a better understanding of what works and what doesn't work in Aikido...for me I should say. The fundamentals are important and so is the philosophy behind it, if you are weak in either it will show when coming up against these odds.
Dealing with skilled fighters takes a mixed approach to getting to Aikido, you have to know their language first before you can translate. But when I was in "real situations" where people aren't trained fighters the principles of randori and its strategies saved my life WITHOUT having to hurt people. Again it's the fear thing, you fear for your life so you over exert yourself. Being considerate to these people also helped me after...as in these people I've had to see again and appreciate the fact that I didn't beat them to a pulp! Something to think about...
i just got back from muay thai class so let me ask YOU a few questions since you are the expert after all, i think this will be very telling in that regard:
1. Aikido basic stance: how are you going to avoid/block/take a hard, fast low leg kick with a 60/40 front to back leg weight distribution ratio as it its supposed to be? How are you going to do the same with a kick to the ribs on the opposite side of your lead hand?
2. We dont practice jabs in Aikido. How do you deal with that given your vast expertise knowing full well that the first thing they tell you about throwing a punch is not to "trail" it like doing uke in Aikido, but snap it back quickly?
3. Push kick: you are WIDE open for that in Aikido
4. (i love this next one) Since atemi is not important/necessary for you in Aikido what happens when someone walks right up to you and grabs the back of your head in the Thai clinch? What "ushiro-neck" techniques do we have for that one?
Lets switch to BJJ since you do that as well:
1. Since there is no atemi, the BJJ practitioner can shoot for your legs without fear. How do you stop that? Dont even get me started on what would happen on the ground.
So what happens in randori when someone, let alone 8 guys, know any of this?
My point is that without atemi someone who is competent in a striking or grappling art/actually using their brains can find ways around "pure" Aikido very very easily. Atemi is the great equalizer imo. If someone knows you arent going to hit them then you better damn well be 100% with your timing and technique, so unless you can execute your techniques with 100% accuracy in practice every time with whoever you practice with, you need something to give you time to react which your opponent cannot, and that something is atemi. And im sorry but fighting some drunk guy at a bar who can barely stand is different than fighting someone who knows what they are doing.
I agree with you that the atemi the way it is practiced is a joke, however that doesnt mean its useless, that just means its not done properly because lets face it, the way Aikido is practiced in general is a joke without it.