George S. Ledyard
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.
Thanks George - Not sure I agree with Ellis on that one, regardless of the chosen art, how many 'martial artists' around the world train to fight a professional? So perhaps by Ellis's standard very few are doing 'Martial Art'?
I can see where he's going though - perhaps fighting art would be more acceptable term to me although even that doesn' t quite fit.
I do agree that the goal of Aikido seems to move more towards mental and physical health over time. For me personally anyway.
Do you think the basis for this mental stability is founded, to some degree, on the confidence that one has a level of martial ability but also is able to recognise what is...and isn't worth fighting over?
Again thats my personal model so may vary for many others.
I'm not really into semantics and exploring the definition of words - don't really have the time for one thing, but I see Budo as delivering more than an ability to fight...although its there, and this is very consistent with my view of Aikido.