Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?
As I learned it, the etiquette is a form of martial awase (blending), or more specifically, musubi (connection) to your training partners and environment. If the partners or environment change, the outer forms change too (e.g.: in your school or workplace), but the principle of connecting and always being in the right place, physically and mentally, seemed to be pretty important to Morihei Ueshiba. A lot of the forms the founder used, particularly in the handling of weapons, have clear martial meaning and even the more gculturalh practices (offering your head for decapitation as a sign of trust etc) have a martial theme to them. So while I agree that you can take away the uniform and polite language, I think what they represent is part of the training in Ueshibafs aikido at least and something that we can adapt and put into practice in daily life.