Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"
Defining budo and methodologies that are/aren't budo is always a interesting topic!
I think many people turn to MA, aikido, taiji, and a few others in particular to fill a void they have in there lives. There is something to be said for training hard with people that share common values and principles. We feel special as BUDOKA. Sometimes it is important to feel special.
However, I think there is really nothing special per se about the concept of budo. You can achieve the same sense of "being" through yoga or group meditation...two things that are connected sometimes with MA, but not considered MA.
There is no one way, and frankly I think we have way too many expectations about what aikido or MA in general "give" us.
the Martial arts certainly has played a HUGE role in my life. However, I was not "given" that from some mystical transformation process or by simply belonging, or labeling myself "BUDOKA"...heck I didn't even know what that term was for many years!
My point is while we can all understand the concept of BUDO and relate it to one or more arts. Defining which art or practice is or isn't...is simply not important since the outcome of what BUDO IS...can be achieved through any number of practices! IMHO!