I liked one of your posts here Chuck
you wrote: [...tournament aspect was intended to interest young people in aikido and perhaps they would stay around and learn to do more than the tournament style...]
I think you have brought up a good point here. I believe this also touches on the graphic violence sometimes displayed by Seagal Sensei in his movies. The transition of something so pure as aikido into a world chuck-full of impurities must be a gradual one. I played several sports growing up, and I'm a pretty good golfer (though mediocre at the other sports I've played.) I think a tournament style of aikido may have helped bring karate-ka, judoka, etc. into the world of aikido. Trying to classify the world truly into East and West is quite a delicate-perhaps impossible-task. I was born in the USA, I've always lived in the USA, I look like the prototype American boy, but I've never really had that competitive "killer instinct". I think that is something which is learned through traumatic experiences in ones life, whether they live on the island of Fiji, on an oasis in the Sahara Desert, in an igloo in sub-zero climates, or in Peoria, Illinois. When I stepped on the Aikido Path, I had very little to unlearn, some - but very little - anger to overcome. I had found my "happy place" or sanctuary if you will. I realized my true religion most closely resembled Buddhism, so I consider myself Buddhist. We have limited space right now at the FSU Aikido Club in Tallahassee, but if anyone honestly believes they can't find peace in their own dojo, I'm certain Evans Sensei, E.T. Sensei, and Page Sensei will welcome you once we get a little more space.
A little more seaweed salad for thought,