Isashiburi desu ne
Well, from what i have seen here, the concept of "combat" favored here is dueling and the concept of "self-defense" is exchanging techniques to see who wins.
Within that particular settings i may agree that Aikido takes longer to master and has a higher margin of failure (greatly because the "yurusu" idea of sparing the opponent from unnecessary harm).
Although i don't think it would be that much of a challenge to use Aikido in duels by simple letting go the "Yurusu aspect" (what some say would "kill" the art's doctrine), is dueling the same as self defense responses?
Even from a legal point of view, Self defense has more to do with avoiding damage than with "teaching this guy a lesson".
First, the most important aspect of self defense is awareness so as to avoid being caught of guard.
If you are aware of your surroundings you won't get in harm's way.
If you are not, you may end up get mounted, yeah...or simple get a rock throw at your head (from behind)... i don't know many MA that teach how to use ESP to defend from a rock launched into your head or a sniper...
BJJ? Well, if you end up in the floor, what you will really need is luck.
Why is it that every opponent an aikidoka is "likely to meet" has to be a wrestler, bjj stylist, muay thay boxer or NFL Quarterback? And why every opponent a bjj stylist is "likely to meet" has to be completely ignorant of ground fighting, with slow reflexes and no friend around?
Sorry, but i don't buy this.
If anyone here REALLY take the time to do some statistics
will find out that most of the people have never really needed any MA training on their life spam.
Fitness, awareness and empathy on the other hand...
BUT lets say i am in Aikido for the eventual need to DEFEND MYSELF in a brawl...
Any MA that emphasizes standing techniques and dodging is far better than one the favorers engaging in ground grappling.
If i am boxing and i feel that you are better than me, maybe i can run away.
If i try an nikkyo and your hand slips, maybe i can run away.
If i go to the ground with you i CANNOT run away until i finish you; what if i can't?
To train a"little grappling" will only do if my opponent has no training at all.
On the other hand, to train a "little dodging" will help allot, not only for "self defense" but also in walking inside busy malls or crowded streets.
And about aiki techniques like ikkyo, shiho nage and so on...they are present in MA of the most varied cultures...this is a proof that they are, from human anatomy's perspective, valid to some end, even if it is not "Vale Tudo" environment.
Don't get me wrong...we should train MA in a way that we enjoy, but to advocate the "correct way", specially on the lines I've read here seemed, at least to me, like preaching the "combat gospel".
You are only as strong as your opponents are weaker...since you cannot control the odds, to believe one can become "skilled" for this "future Duel" sounds , IMHO, romantic at best.
For self-defense, mindset and awareness (feel and avoid); techniques are the tools to acquire those skills.
Just for the record, i am very happy to see Mrs Liebert and Sorrentino here...it is been a long time, but you both have provided me with great ideas and influences
Thank you both!