Glad this thread has sparked some thought, thanks for sharing your views everyone
Camilla - To clarify, I wasn't suggesting that aikido was unique, only that it has a long list of features that make it highly likely that it will be of some benefit.
I found the chicken egg part very stimulating - I feel some people come to aikido because it already "fits" them a you say, but many come because they need what it offers. Gotta think about this some more...
Starting the thread I was most interested with moving on from,does
? Which of these factors are most important in personal change in aikido. What is the mechanism?
Jozer - Nice quote. I'd say that aikido explores and develops
Larry - I used the terms form classical behaviorist psych, but they are off you're right. On the other hand, when Sensei punches you in the face because you take ukemi "wrong"...
Lynn - You're "mental map" comment is a nice tease, go on...
I feel that aikido breaks changes the way we view the world as we realize on a physical level that many of our assumptions are wrong (eg, soft=weak) - Terry Dobson was the first to write about this I think. I also find aikido a good attitude to the overly competitive society we live in, though like Camilla I've met plenty of people who haven't seen that side.