James Wilson wrote:
.... I love Aikido! I just wonder if it could benefit from a more sporting outlook in general....
This assumes there is something "wrong" with Aikido that does not have a "sporting outlook." I prefer not to think of things as right or wrong but just different. There are advantages and disadvantages to havign a sporting outlook and not having it.
For myself, I think Aikido should maintane whatever it is that makes it distinct from everything else. I'm training in five systems with varrying levels of sparring, and of course, Aikido has none, but that doesn't bother me! I am not going to Aikido just to see if they can regurgitate what I get from my other classes; I want to see what Aikido does.
Very interesting discussion so far. Id be very interested if anyone else thinks they have a clearer distinction between sport and budo?
Personally I think this is one of those questions that sounds simple but is actually more complicated.
Certainly, Judo, Karate-Do, and Kendo all have competitions, yet all are considered Budo. An people from those arts, myself included, find their way to Aikido, although whether they do Aikido in combination with those arts or switch to Aikido from elsewhere is another matter. Point is I think there's a lot of overlap between the two areas, but that does not mean Aikido should change to "catch up" to everyone else. You might undermine the very reasons why people are attracted to it in the first place!