Anyone have thoughts on this ?
Yes, I hear this quite a bit.
1. Aikido is one of few martial arts that actually has a mission statement-like goal to bring about world peace, etc.
2. Aikido has promoted to a counter-culture market more than other markets.
Call it what you will, but Aikido made a decision to become socially-politically engaged (I believe there was a thread earlier discussed the relevance of aikido in this regard). Then we promote predominantly to the counter culture that will take up our banner and wave it. We reap what we sow.
Sure. When people's understanding of a subject is at best superficial, many of them reach for a handy, simplistic and generally inaccurate label to describe it. That's all.
I think Hippie is the perfect term to describe the counter-culture movement. I think many aikido people believe Aikido is a component to a larger social solution. I think the label is accurate. The books I've read imply that the real Hippies who sought to bring progressive social change were anything but simple. I think you can't read 10 posts on Aikiweb without someone throwing out "peace", "harmony", "love" or some other term used to forward a Utopia-state ideology. How about a silver bridge to the middle-weight UFC championship? Nope. World peace; peace between nations. A path to the Olympics? Nah, just a path to enlightenment.
So what do we do. We stick up our nose at our sister arts. We don't care what they think. Except they are our peers. They are fellow experts in the field. Their opinion should matter and we should be saying, "what do you think he means, 'hippie's art'"?
Let me confirm that I do not think it bad that we have Hippies. As a warning though, we need to seal the art and set of a vapor bomb to take care of them because where you find a few hippies, you're soon to have more.