Rolf Granlund wrote:
...people train in Tai Chi without any thought or regards to the martial application and it would seem to me that they are still doing Tai Chi. Some benefit is still derived from their practice, albeit not necessarily a martial one.
This is true,
but what they are actually doing is Tai Chi QIGONG, and not Tai Chi Chuan in its fullest sense. Tai Chi Qigong utilises the movements of Tai Chi Chuan to focus on healing the body, exercise and developing internal Qi. It LOOKS like Tai Chi Chuan, but the intent is very different. To a skilled eye the difference is obvious. (Not to say that I'm one of these skilled eyes
I was actually corrected by my Qigong master once for making my movements "too martial" as he put it
2 different focuses entirely.
Similarly with Aikido. Some groups tend to focus mainly on Ki Development, and the movements LOOK like and sometimes are Aikido movements. But the intent is not so much martial as it is about blending with the ki of the other person and achieving a state of mutual harmony etc. Not much else. It can actually be called "Aikido Qigong" for lack of a better term.
That is not to say that these practices are not beneficial, far from it. But to call this Budo - Bu being the character for "war or martial" from my limited nihon go
could be very misleading.
IMHO Aikido was designed to have an ideal balance of both.
My 2 cents