Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido
I've just read a number of replays to your post, certainly not all, and I still wonder I don't understand what the real question is.
If it is all about some martial arts better than other, then I think that it depends on what you expect of them at the end: self-defence, be a powerfull fighter, or something more "spiritual".
It requires a number of years of practice to be able to use aikido as a self defence mechanism, so if you looks for it, I would recommend you another martial art. The same applies for the powerfull fighter. I think that when you choose aikido, you are looking for something different to what you see in movies.
What is more troublesome for me is to understand the meaning of the top of the mountain. I think it is clear that there is no such top. You will always have something to learn, if you are opened to, and there will always be someone who knows more than you. Even if you think you are the best, to show it you will certainly need to fight, phisically or not, and that is against the peace-looking philosophy of aikido.
In the end, does it really matter if an art is better than other? I think it does not. Just look at the surfers, they feel waves, they reach with the sea the kind of "communion" we look for in aikido. I think it depends on yourself. The shorter, or larger, way to get the improvement you look for (your top of the mountain) may also depend heavily on your sensei, how good he is, how able he is to teach, etc.
The aikido doesn't exist by itself, but by the people who practice it, may be people who practice some "low level" martial arts are just no interested in getting "stillness on movement". I think that is key.