Every one has a great outlook on what aikido has done for them in the personal lives as well as their confidence in the street.
Aikido is a rough translation of "Way of Harmony". The founder of aikido took it down that path to be a little more spiritual. It doesn't make it less "martial" just because he wanted to use it for harmonizing his mind, body, and spirit. The applications of the art is what makes it a "martial art". Yes, the XMA is more about great showmanship rather then defending oneself against an attacker. I think that could be said for many of the TKD and Karate dojos and dojangs. They are more competitive. However, XMA is based on several martial arts that have been used effectively in the past to defend the person using it.
The techniques to defend yourself are in the XMA format, it's just a manner of how you train and what you train for. The Army is being taught the practical applications of martial arts (which is the real manner of a martial art to use for war) but they use it to fight the enemy in very hostile type environments. What do I care what their being taught in the hand-to-hand arena any how. They will not use it as much as their assault rifle. I just pray our military is training them in that manner a little more.
I've trained in aikido since I was 4 years old and I use it a large base of many of the practical techniques I use. I also cross train in other martial arts, such as nin-po, Krav Maga, JFJKD, Muay Thai, Kali, Silat, and many other arts that have practical uses. These arts were all designed for battle (some would even argue that Yoga was a great foundation to the Shoalin Kung-Fu which arguably spread out to make the rest of the martial arts) so does yoga have "martial" applications? Obviously somebody thought so.
. Rowing, I've martial arts that are based on using an ore. So, many things can be used with "martial" intentions. Dancing, can some one say Caporeira? Or even Arnis? People would even say that some things done in wu shu are dance like. Does that make it less then an martial art? No, the intention of the use is what makes things an art of war. A solider and a trained martial artist (or just a very violent person) can make an ash tray a weapon of war (or battle).
I can use aikido on the street more effectively then TKD. That is my personal use though. I trained longer and harder on aikido and the "real" uses of the style then I did with TKD. Yet a solid side kick has saved my neck before. It wasn't just the side kick it was the feint kick that made the kick possible.
People think just because schools use forms that they are not effective on the street. Not true. If you use the forms for what the originators used the for (fitness, flow, and flexibility) then practice the actual practical applications of what you've learned you should be able to use it effectively. People just want a quick fix now a days and don't want to spend the time it took them in training to reach their goals. That's society for you.
There are type of fighting or "martial arts" out there that will give people what they need. Such as krav maga, haganna, and other "reality" systems. These are effective, but there is nothing your going to find that isn't actual styles.
Your mind and the way you think is what makes things just practical means or martial means. Some study anatomy to learn how to heal ie; doctors, nurses, etc. Others use the same study to find the weakness in the human body so they learn how to hit the body just right to rupture the spleen. That sounds like a martial way of looking at things. If you go by the actual definition any way.