Why-oh-why must we break Aikido down in terms of "martial" VS. "philosophical"(or "spiritual")...
Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?
While I would disagree with the use of the term "spiritual practice" -- my definition of it is more narrow than what most people seem to use when they apply it to aikido -- I was just thinking (as I noticed that this thread had come alive), "Why do people believe that philosophy is inherently impractical?" I think the opposite: you'd better have a functional, practical philosophy (which does not mean that it's all about details). Otherwise, what's the point? I think it's people who haven't really explored any philosophy who believe that philosophy is ethereal and impractical and irrelevant to daily living. IMO that's just exactly backwards.