+1 here. I trained Aikido first and now train judo and BJJ as well. I've found that the concepts behind Aikido help tremendously in the other arts-going with someone's motion, sensing and taking advantage of off balancing. That and the wrist locks hurt like hell when I tap someone-you need to have control and experience to not injure someone. So, yes, Aikido can be trained alive and applied in other contexts. I haven't tried training JUST Aikido in a sparring fashion because frankly I'm concerned that my partner could be injured if not properly escaping techniques. I would love to find a school that does actual randori with Aikido (not just the "multiple attackers" type).
Originally Posted by Goju - Joe
It makes a hell of a lot of sense to train other arts first or in addition to Aikido. I wouldn't use it stand-alone.