Why? M. Ueshiba and all of his top students all trained in multiple disciplines and even belief systems. It's absolutely up to the student. Even by the time my teacher, Shoji Nishio, started training, no one in the dojo really knew anything about swordmanship. He had to go "outside."
Really? Why? "Aikido," as many know it, wasn't even founded until after WWII, and it was under the direction of the Japanese government - as were all the other martial "ways." There were big changes from prewar Aikibudo through post-war Aikido, all based on "trends and tides..." M. Ueshiba had mostly retired by the early 40's when the name Aikido was adopted.
Mass communication has become an integral aspect of aikido, and everything else. And there's an interesting irony that you would post - on an internet forum - that it has "no place."
Trying to put aikido into some sort of static box that can be sold as a definitive product is precisely the problem for many. And that's true of those already in the aikido world as well as those outside who are considering joining it. And there is a lot of what's branded as aikido that is nothing but pure baloney - and people can see it. They can smell something isn't right. If we're selling baloney, then let's just call it baloney. But don't try and call it filet mignon.
Aikido, and other aiki-based arts, are actually in a really great place for further evolution.
What's passed off as Aikido, in many cases, these days is nothing more than Multi Level Marketing. A few at the top appear to have the wealth - and often don't - and there are people drawn into the bottom layers and are purposely held down to keep up the top of the pyramid.
Aiki, and all these types of arts, have been in existence for a very long time. As long as people have had two arms and two legs - and a neocortex . M. Ueshiba didn't start it. He was a flower growing on a vine that still very much exists today. And it's growing - as it always has - close to the ground - and under the ground - quietly and slowly - away from the limelight and hierarchical structures. And the MLM pyramid has already begun to collapse.
Well,to be honest i agree with many of your points,speciffically the one about putting Aikido in a box and stop it from developing.
But you see,the point that i was trying to make is that we should not strip aikido of its essence in the favour of comfort.We cannot make it appealing to everybody just for the sake of gathering more students.
Yes aikido must evolve but not for the masses.It must evolve through the personal challenge of every individual aikidoka of taking himself a step further technically through constant practice and applying what o'sensei said:learn one technique and create twenty.Changing the dressing, the protocol or any other aspect that is essential part of aikido training only to be obedient to the latest trends sounds more like the choice of pop stars than Martial Artists, the way i see it!