Lots of good stuff in this thread. I'm not sure I entirely agree with some of what James has had to say.
I especially liked the pithy little sentence at the end of one of the vids Kevin L posted:
'What characterises a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.' Great quote. (And some great posts on this thread, Kevin, a real pleasure to read.)
Dominic Chapman wrote:
A street fight has no rules, no limits noting.
This may be true in a very small minority of cases. But generally, there are rules. Like any other form of social interaction, there are unwritten rules that we learned as kids. If what you said were true, most fights would end in murder or maiming, in fact most end with no permanent injury to either party.
You could compare a lot of "street fights" to animal behaviour, tussles for dominance, mates or territory. In fact, it seems to me a lot of bar brawl type things even have a kind of ritual courtship dance as a prelude.
Aikido is budo (except the style you practice, which i consider a sport)
You're entitled to your opinion, out of curiousity though, what experience do you base that on? I certainly consider Shodokan aikido to be a budo. Shishida Shihan says its budo too, and given that he's the Professor of Budo History at Waseda University, I'm inclined to take his word for it.
Btw: James, where do you practice?