Re: Steven Seagal and Aikido, your thoughts
This is a fascinating point. However we must remember that competition can just as easily lead to a lowering of standards as a raising of them. I also point out that competition also necessarily means setting out to beat your opponent. given the philosophy of Aikido is harmony it's difficult to see how completion would do anything other than detract from an ability to harmoniously deal with attacks .
Nor is one on one completion necessarily a true reflection of ability, 'fighting' or self defense ability also encompasses dealing with armed attackers and multiple attackers or even multiple armed attackers - an ability that does not ever appear to be demonstrated in competition.
So then the question becomes not who can beat who in a one to one fight but who would best deal with, a single unarmed attacker, a single armed attacker, multiple unarmed attackers, multiple armed attackers - and the answers may very well be different.
I don't say competition has no value, but I do say it has limits in the assessment of 'fighting' ability. It also seems strange to accuse those who do not compete 'arrogant' when competitors avoid all the other challenges.