I know we are just using words here. Semantics play a big part.
Chris, how does disrupt stabiilty differ from taking balance in your eyes?
If you mean disrupt stability, then would that not involve the threat of atemi?
If you don't get the desired results from that (balance), then wouldn't that result in "punch" at that point? If punch works, it works right? If it works, then you get balance (or knock out) This would be defined as success (depending on your application of ethics).
If you are not successful, then you have to move on to something else until you get the desired result, if not then you have problems that you now have to over come.
I guess my point is, that in my mind I don't delineate my "fight plan" into such categories.
That is "do aikido" if that fails...punch.
My fight plan is as follows: (Assuming I am in a position to do so).
Enter. This means close the distance on him. If you can't do this, then it means he has closed the distance on you. If this happens you must move on to defense and/or regaining balance/dominance.
Achieve Dominance. This would equate to "taking center" "balance" whatever.
End the fight. This can be from pins, submissions, control, or rendering him unconscious in some way. It is inclusive of the ethics of aikido's principles of conflict resolution if you so choose or have the skills to enforce.
I am sure that you do the same and it is semantics.
To me, this is the hierarchy that is followed universally in conflict.
If you violate this hierarchy, you will not be successful (or you may not have a fight
Dominance or control is the key. Either you have it or you don't. If you don't then you either have parity or he has dominance. If you have parity, then you are going to slug it out until someone achieves it. Granted it may be quick if a haymaker is thrown and it results in a knock out. So you could blow through this step quickly to the end. For the most part though, strategy should be to achieve dominance/control. Trying to slug it out (parity) is risky.
You continue on that path Close, Control, Finish.
Saying well I would use aikido...unless it didn't work..then I'd punch is disjointed to me.
It assumes that the atemi or martial presence is not there and then you have to default to something that is external to that process.
If your strategy is failing, you need to return back to the loop in the process.
Now in fairness to Chris, it is semantics. I know what he is saying.
If it is failing, then he would use punches to gain space, disrupt, and atempt to regain control...OR get lucky and get a K.O.
I do think it is important to realize that there is a process that we follow in fighting and aikido and it is a complete loop.
In my mind, we don't work it, then if it fails abandon it..rinse, wash, and repeat!