Hi all. I just started training aikido here in L.A...I'm one of those guys who, in the past, trained a couple months with this style, a couple of THAT style, and so on. From what I've seen at this early point, aikido is quite effective. I honestly think people who are always dissing other people's styles as ineffective have been watching too many martial arts movies, and have rarely, if ever, been in a real fight. they think if you're not flying through the air, or waving chucks around like bruce lee, then it's no good. my personal experience is, a real fight lasts a minute or 2 and it's over. get in, harmonize with opponents energy, basically get him to defeat himself. get out. sounds like practical aikido to me.