If we go to the dojo, practice technique, but ignore O'Sensei's prime objective, to live within the laws of the universe, have we learned anything besides technique? We could just as easily attend classes in techniques with Smith&Wesson.
Aikido, to me, is a life lesson in self control. I am often asked by new students if Aikido is really effective...can you really hurt somebody with Aikido. I always say to them, why do you want to hurt somebody?