Interesting closing statement Lynn. Do you think there are people here that don't see it as a martial art?
Ellis Amdur Sensei once said that the difference between "self defense" and a "martial art" was that in martial arts you were training to fight another professional. By that standard Aikido is not really a "martial art". Aikido is not about fighting anyone, in my opinion.
I think that Aikido is a mental and physical health system. Some level of skill at application is a byproduct of proper training but not the point. It is a form of Budo.