Don J. Modesto wrote:
I once facetiously asked Stanley Pranin if we could define aikido as the way to unbalance your opponent (functionally the same as Tanahashi's definition), and he unsmilingly dunned me that Osensei explicitly meant AI and KI and DO, the way of harmony of spirit, i.e., Osensei punned on the historical meaning of aiki making it a DIFFERENT meaning than had theretofore been accepted for aiki.
I don't know exactly what to reply to this, so just some remarks.
To me it is still not entirely clear how the name 'aikido' came to existence. But iirc O-sensei did use 'aiki' and 'aiki' seems to be a bigger problem than 'do'.
Perhaps we need to differentiate between the martial and spiritual ideas of O-sensei. (Don't ask me how, this is tricky stuff.) The martial aiki seems to come with some modification from daito-ryu. The term 'aikido' was accepted in the early 1940s (correct me if I'm wrong). If O-sensei became more spiritual in his later years, perhaps it was then that he began to explore the spiritual side of the martial aiki and started talking about ai-ki-do.