Found this very interesting short interview with Christian Tissier in which he describes Aikido as an educational system. I really liked that idea of the purpose of Aikido being to educate our bodies and spirits in how to behave in our daily lives. When you look at Aikido this way it helps us to apply the principles from the waza and to train with purpose not just for self-defence but self-awareness.
Following this train of thought could it not also be said that Aikido/budo is in a way a system of rehabilitation of violence, a way of training our bodies and instincts to not be given over to violence but to reform those tendancies within us and society?
I agree completely. Thus I and those I work with call it self development where self defence is merely the by-product of such. In fact I am 100% confident that the better trained you are in such discipline and behaviour the more competent you will be when coming across violent attack or situations.