I just wanted to ask - how would aikido work in a non dynamic situation of attack? Aikido starts with learning circular movement as this type of movement is where blending as opposed to meeting a force can be learnt. The circular movement taught to beginners is fairly large. As you gain the skills and build it in reactions the circles become smaller. So the short answer would be "Well" but I explain a bit more below
If you were a person attacked, unexpectedly,.. then, - how would this work? That applies to any confrontational situation - how any defence system works out.... may be fine in theory but can go so very wrong. An attack coming from a distance gives time for any defensive system to work - because you build in thinking time.
But that is the core of your question. The nearer an attacker is who has not been registered as a attacker slims the time frame for reactions down. But then there are people who are threatening before they reach your personal space. This awareness of space and people is built into an aikidoka from the larger circular movement. With any attack excepting perhaps a gun there is a movement into your personal space - its just the movements are smaller.
As I mentioned above to the first question as you train the circles can become smaller as you hone your understanding of balance, fighting distance, posture - so that there can be an effective defence in close quarters. In aikido we say its a defensive art - I guess because its non-competitive but its slightly more complex then just looking at physical attack... I now think in terms of potential invasion of space and threatening as being an attack without necessarily being matched by a actual physical blow because in this situation I could feint in a way they would protect and then use that to effect the defence.
The sequence of actions on the U Tube clips seem very fluid, moving and almost predictable. I know what you are saying but it can vary on style of practise - if its freestyle attack which I don't think these clips are - you are learning in a dynamic way. Its the techniques and methodology that can translate better in the situation you are asking about. Movements anyway should be fluid - perhaps smooth is a better word, even in close quarters
From static, just how good is Aikido at defending oneself? As good as any other system. But if you can create distance so that you move out of fighting range you increase the success of defensive moves. Reactions for any of the arts need to be quick in close quarters. So the more its built into the defender as a reaction rather than think the better - I believe aikido does that.
How do you not use force in a static attack circumstance? There is still an incoming force from the attacker even in close quarters, the way you turn and move affects the incoming force.
As a martial art one seeks to defend oneself? Agreed
I regard Aikido as a defensive system that takes longer to be assimilated than some other martial art systems but then in the longer term is more built into the person - that reacts quickly to the situation.