Re: inferiority complex in aikido
I believe that aikido experiences both an inferiority complex within the art and it also carries a stereotype outside of the art. I am not sure I would qualify either issue as "large", but I have heard and seem my share of both.
Aikido is not the only art whose practitioners are insecure in their "martial" feasibility and I do not think it is uncommon to hear other arts express similar issues. Nor do I think we should just settle it in the ring, as sport arts have their own issues with which to contend. As Takahashi sensei implied I think we, as a community, have an obligation to address this issue amongst ourselves and drive each other to improve if we have doubts about our skill.
Second, Aikido is recovering from a period of...err... ineffectiveness in action. Thank you, YouTube. I think many influential leaders recognized some of the larger issues facing the art and are in the process of addressing them. Some of our... extreme... practitioners do not improve our image in the eyes of our sister arts. Stop the ki balls please.
Finally, as a personal observation, I think we sometimes also look down our nose at other arts. I can quote from this forum how we view karate thugs and judo animals, etc. It is awfully difficult to express ethos when the guy you're critiquing could where your heart strings for bootlaces.