Newbie question here... feel free to tell me if I'm simply being foolish.
The "do" in Aikido means "way of" correct? Could the translaction of "way" also be attributed to "path"? i.e. Aikido is a path of harmony with spirit and the energy that spirit contains within itself? From what I've heard so far of O Sensei's synthesis of Aikido from other martial arts practices and his spiritual beliefs it would be consistent to interpret Aikido in this light.
I know that times have changed since O Sensei's days... modernity has given us more complexity to handle and most of us don't have enough time to pay attention to spirituality (if we acknowledge the need for it at all). But that which calls to me in Aikido is the fact that it does indeed appear to be a path where the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects of the martial art are all necessary to truly fulfill the ideals set out by O Sensei.
Call me a flake if you will - but this is what I think distinguishes a true aikidoka from just another thug who has learnt physical patterns that can be used to cause injury to others.
This to me is the difference between technique and art. Any schmuck can connect the dots and colour inside the lines. It's an artist who expresses the deeper meaning of the subject by daring to colour outside them.
Ultimately, is the original question posed here important? Or is it the approach to the practise of the technique; the attunement of your senses to perception of your Ki and that of your Uke; the harmonious relationship between mind and body; and the journey towards true harmony that is important? Can you divorce Aikido from the Aikidoka? Should you?
I await clarification from those wiser and more experienced than myself.
Harmony to all