and THIS represents aikido? maybe for some. You guys are taking an extreme and saying this represent all of aikido. Sure their are some that focus on this stuff. I certainly don't.
I don't really think that we are a polar as you might believe.
Michael, Ueshiba had certain religous and spiritual beliefs. As do you and I, and so did Kano. What the "DO" arts become, cannot help but be influenced by the founders background. It does not mean that there is no room for other beliefs, or that they become the central aspect of the art.
Last I checked, no one was required to sign a profession of loyality to the kami gods. I would admit that AIkido can be more overt in it's alignment to the spiritual aspects of the art than Judo. but the underlying philosophies are the same. Different paths to the same WAY.
The ONLY point I have been making is that there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect to Judo as well, it is simply MORE than a collection of techniques.
Why have the rules and such in judo. Why strip out many of the submissions etc? It is so you can have competition, and have harder training. Kano thought the WAY to personal improvement was through competitive and hard training. I know you have professed this.
Many of you have made it clear that aikido is not your cup of tea. That is fine. It is sort of the pot calling the kettle black to profess the strictly combat and technical orientation of judo though, because that art too has many of the same underpinnings.