After 18 years, and 9 months of Aikido, I have come to believe there is no purpose. I am not saying that in a Zen sort of way. I am being flat out blunt and straight forward. There is no purpose. Was there a purpose yes, and some people still hang to those eves. I was one of them for a long time. Perched on the wise old man's scribed out enlightenment paraphrased in his own voices, thrilled me. I tried to wring out each drop of possible wisdom like a wet towel. I anxiously with batted breath waited for the miracles to happen that would direct me in my life.
I worked hard at techniques to master each and every principle.
I was a chump. I didn't realize it until 18 years later. There is no magic, there is no wisdom to apply to my life. Why, because I am not Japanese and Aikido is. Why, because times have changed, people and society has changed. Aikido is archaic, sadly.
Please forgive me for my bluntness.
During a discussion at one of our annual Summer Schools Chiba Sensei went on to talk about [amongst other things ] his own private study of Za Zen meditation.One gentleman asked him what he got out of it.Chiba Sensei smiled and said he didnt really do Za Zen to' get someting from it'.He then went on to say that 'maybe he was a fool'.This made all of us smile.He then went on to indicate that in the world today everyone is trying to beat the clock as it were.and the world was very rarely silent.By doing Za Zen Chiba Sensei said he found a quiet place even for just a short time.
The purpose of Aikido may not always be obvious to each of us even after a number of years training.Regardless of our national identity I believe each person can acquire something of value by training in the art.I think for example that Aikido gives you a method of discovering your 'self'.The challenges of Aikido [facing fear, setbacks etc]all helps you to achieve/express your True self.
This task is not always achieved in a short time.Might take 40/50 years.Might happen in one minute.
I do hope you find your own answers to this question.I wish you well.
All the best , Joe.