Pardon my ignorance, but being a low grade and fair newbie, is Aikido supposed to be classified as a martial art or not? It appears that here we have a lot of people arguing that it has nothing to do with martial integrity and performance and is all about harmony in personal life situations. That's fair enough, but without fully immersing myself in the history of the art, could some-one enlighten (TM) me please??
It appears to me that everyone wants what O Sensei achieved with his untouchable Aiki and "compassion is everything" without going through the serious hard training to achieve that state?
when signing up for lessons, and from what I can gather my teacher, has always focused on the martial capability and effectiveness of the principles - and not whether I can reach a harmonious state through moving meditation, I'd leave that to the Yogi's
As I learned it, the environment of practice has to be very arduous and challenging, based on serious attack and highly effective response with aikido technique. Equally important, this must be done with the same state of mind as if we are sitting in zazen, motionless. The two are inseparable. Serious practice, mediated by calm, centered mind. With those two elements, continued training affects the spirit. Other approaches try to begin with the spirit, but ignore the body and completely lose the mind, as Graham advocates.
Best to you.