George S. Ledyard
This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.Aikido, as an art created by Morihei Ueshiba, has nothing to do with combat. It is not about self defense in a conventional sense although some level of defensive capability should be a by-product of good training.....
Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.