Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.
Sorry if I seem to be picking on you, Demetrio. What I'm getting at is that most of these "does aikido work" threads include a lot of unspoken assumptions. Not only the obvious -- what does it mean for aikido to "work?" -- but also assumptions about "realism" and about the goals of budo training. It's not at all clear to me that pursuit of "martial effectiveness" necessarily has much to do with any of the other goals of budo.
As I previously noted, neither professional fighters nor successful street fighters are generally known for their excellence as human beings. In fact, you could argue that "success" in "real fights" requires a level of viciousness that's not really compatible with life in civilized society. (See also the high level of post-traumatic stress and similar disorders in soldiers and other people who've actually had to do significant amounts of "real fighting.")
Which is not to say that "tough training" isn't valuable, just that I think it's important to be clear about exactly what one is trying to achieve, and what the tradeoffs are. Remember that the most "martially effective" samurai were brutal killers first, and gentlemen and philosophers only after they had eradicated their enemies.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. -- Nietzsche