Re: how do we define martial?
In Western context, martial is a reference to combat education systems organized and disseminated for the purpose of combat training. In the classical sense, hand-to-hand combat would be a martial art just as tactics and strategy (board games) and communications (literacy). From this:
1. Most "martial arts" in the classical sense have ceased evolution in combat effectiveness. They derive the legitimacy of the "martial" claim from an historical perspective, not a current application.
2. "Martial arts" were originally disseminated using a militaristic education paradigm. The current [mainstream] dissemination style is inconsistent with the militaristic style.
Aikido is a martial art. For those doing aikido, it is an effective and powerful system on which to base modern combat technique. The fact that:
A. "Aikido" has marginalized "aiki do" and removed much of the effectiveness of the foundation of aikido.
B. "Aikido" has marginalized the instruction of an effective combat system (kicking, punching, etc.)
C. "Aikido" has emphasized the philosophical foundation of training as a market niche
O'Sensei, and some of his deshi, possessed a strong foundation in aiki, on which they laid a strong fighting system. "Aikido" right now is struggling to express aiki, and we have no fighting system in place once we do express aiki. You're left with a lot of talk and pointing to a picture of a guy that could do it - you can only get so much ethos that way...