Re: Aikido as an actual Martial Art
People have all brought up very good points.
There's something else I didn't see mention: atemi. This is what I think is missing in modern aikido except for some very martial styles. O Sensei himself said that atemi is at the heart of the technique. It's just that we rarely see it in practice bc everyone knows its coming so they follow the technique/take the fall to avoid it. Without the implication/possibility of Atemi no aikido technique would really work. Ikkyo starts with atemi. Iriminage ends with a deadly atemi to the neck/face region. Tenchi nage presents atemi to the face or behind the kneecap.
This is a weakness in modern aikido IMHO. I've been to many seminars where even tapping the uke/tori lightly to indicate that the ma ai/waza is bad is considered rude. When some people see an atemi being applied they are like "That's cheating. It's too easy with atemi" Supposedly with a "good" partner we never see an atemi because the technique is so flawlessly execute without any conflict that atemi is not necessary.
The consequence is that very few aikidoka know how to apply an atemi nowadays. Thats why everybody posting here is talking about pairing aikido with another striking art because they teach you what Aikido should also be teaching you: how to apply atemi to vulnerable parts with good timing and proper force. Without atemi I seriously don't think Aikido could be used effectively. It's like firing a rifle without a bullet. You are left with charging in and hit people with the rifle butt. Ineffective and not how a rifle should be used.