As a person who is currently training in a slightly different form of jujutsu than aikido, I find this a fascinating dilemma.
I have practiced the soft forms of aikido (got a shodan in Seidokan) and also trained with students of Don Angier and Shoji Nishio. As a woman with some experience of violence in my past, I have never been able to train without some level of earnest sincerity. I have gotten in trouble for this, however, I have never harmed anyone in practice.
First, how do we define "martial"? lining up and shouting? no.
Do we define it in how much pain techniques cause? no.
Do we define it in rank and organization? no.
So first let us find out what "martial" is... perhaps something taught to soldiers and fighters? well, that would be jujutsu and the related arts. Include marksmanship, riding, etc.
How to vanquish your opponent.
No doubt, Ueshiba was all about that. No one could touch him.
I don't think enough people have asked themselves WHY that was, or how he got there.
I think people have taken certain points of myth and turned them into history, when more careful research and reading is called for.
Another question, at what point did Ueshiba start becoming "one with the Universe"? long after he had progressed to a point where he didn't have to fight any more.
It also had to do with some re-marketing of aikido, formerly aiki-budo, formerly aiki-jujutsu, after the war when martial arts were outlawed for the Japanese.
Consider also that perhaps playing Samurai Pajamas is as martial as some folks can comprehend... be compassionate of other's comprehension, share what you can and try to learn what you can.
I'm simply happy that people try to keep the traditions alive, try to improve themselves. I like aikido (Shoji Nishio and Chuck Clark are big faves of mine) and I like the dark evil koryu stuff.
I'm glad there's something for everybody, and if I don't like it, I don't have to do it. And I'm certainly not in a position to pass judgement.
blathering too much tonight but hoping to lend perspective