Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?
Thanks to the work of people like Stan Pranin and John Stevens, it is clear that for Morihei Ueshiba's art had a spiritual base right from the beginning. He joined Omoto-kyo as a young man, which encourages its members to explore spirituality through the medium of art. O'Sensei's "art" was martial and his Aikido was an expression of his spirituality right from when he joined in his 30's.
For me the question of a universal definition starts with whether one considers Morihei Ueshiba to be the base, or beginning (perhaps there is a better way to state this?) of Aikido. If one person answers "yes" and another "no" I think the discussion kind of grinds to a halt.