George S. Ledyard
I do maintain that the fundamental purpose of the art is about not fighting, rather than fighting.
With respect and seriously,
Fighting is what O'Sensei did on his path to developing Aikido. He trained for strength, power and martial effectiveness and tested himself to see if his martial abilities worked. It is the foundation of what O'Sensei developed. Why shouldn't we travel a similar path that O'Sense did? Did O'Sensei abandon his martial abilities for the path of peace and harmony?