Originally posted by DavidM
When O Sensei did his traveling, he was once ambushed by 4 or five guys with wooden guns...little to say that they all went flying through the air, and never attacked him again. When he trained, he always told his students to punch, or kick him, or do what they can...and they ALWAYS went into the air...doesn't that make it a "Self Defense" MA? Aikido was taught to the Japanese military and is still taught to there police officers....but in the military it is taught to "Kill or be Killed"...doesn't that make it an effect art?
I hear people say that but I've never seen a film of it. Maybe things changed off camera, maybe it was different when he was younger, I dunno. Anyone ever see a film of O'Sensei dealing with a kick? Anyone know someone who knows someone who saw O'Sensei deal with a kick? In fact, the only films I've seen of kick work are Seagal movies. Note: I know it's taught in some places.
As to teaching police officers. The more I think about it the more I think Aikido is extremely well-suited for police officers. Having to protect a gun isn't all that different from having to protect a sword on a gross level. Some of our techniques are ideally suited for control as well.
However, Aikido was created in a cultural and historical vacuum. The MA community has evolved since O'Sensei's time and two of those areas are kicking and grappling. Whether the typical guy on the street will attack that way is tough to say but I've seen films of guys kicking on the street so I'd say that deserves more attention than most of us give it.
As to the rest of it, I'll agree with Brian.