Charles Hill wrote:
Yes, for it is the philosophy and only the philosophy that distinguishes Aikido from other martial arts.
The "Philosophy of Aikido" is the Neo-Classical Philosophy of the Samurai. The "Life-Giving Sword" and "Budo is loving protection" are not new concepts in Japanese martial arts, and you could also expand that to include some non-Japanese martial arts. Aikido is a great martial art, beyond any doubt, but it has other characteristics that distinguish it other than its philosophy. The best way to transmit philosophy is through example. How you act and live speaks volumes more than what you say. The best methodology IMHO is to utilize the mat time for practice and practical explanations of technique and save the philosophical discussions for social opportunities after or before class.