James Wilson wrote:
Who is practising the real art and who is practising a diluted version? Your thoughts on the differences between sport and budo and why its better to be one than the other please.
What do you mean when you talk about better and worse?
You seem very convinced that what you are doing is the new budo, and that it is a better way to train.. congratulations! Best of luck! The fact that you know what you are doing and what you like about your training is great. Others are still trying to figure out what they want, as well as how martial arts fit in to the rest of their lives.
Personally, I'm not sure that there is a "better" or "worse" between sports and budo in general - there is most likely even a lot of overlap in terms of skills and mentality for most participants. I'd even bet that most of the sportsmen probably have better skills in the areas they train due to the competitive process. You can probably practice "sporting arts" as budo, and I know that you can practice Aikido as a sport - although I don't.
There were lots of loaded words in your post.
What are you trying to figure out? Are you afraid that you are missing something, or just trying to convince people to view Aikido in a more sporting way? Are you curious, or proselytizing?
As for me, I have issues that I want to deal with and things that I want to learn that Aikido happens to address. Maybe I'd be ignorant that many of these existed if I didn't start Aikido... maybe not. Training is a personal decision, and its not at all clear that I wouldn't be learning a different, also valuable set of skills from a different martial art or activity.
That said, as can be observed from the level of discussion on Aikiweb, its practitioners, and its section in the bookstore - Aikido attracts some heavy hitters in terms of talented people to learn from about all manner of things. Do other arts have such an array of thoughtful (and thoughtless) discussions? I don't know.. maybe someone else does and can comment.
One thing that is nice about Aikido and traditional martial arts: I see older people practicing it effectively. How many 80 year old boxers do you know?