"Now, Budo is another issue. If you train in the martial arts seriously there are certain values that inform that world. When those values begin to form the basis for your values system, when training is at the heart of how you structure your life, then you could be said to be following the path of Budo. I think Budo assumes that you have decided to live your life as a warrior even though you might not be a professional military person."
George, since we are talking about Aikido and its relationship to budo let me go in just a little different direction. Your feed back is always welcome.
Ueshiba O' Sensei would often say "Aikido is true budo". Did that mean the other stuff was not? I believe through his training and development process he came to a new understanding of what budo was. Indeed, I believe as the old concepts and moirés were filtered through him they changed a great deal and changed him a great deal. He was not your typical Japanese group submissive or even group follower; although he was a fierce Nationalist and an Imperialist of the old school he was also a mover and shaker. He seemed to be quite a contradiction of old and new. Personally I believe just as he redefined the meaning of Aiki to incorporate benevolence and love he redefined budo to fit his physical, spiritual and philosophical understanding of the art he was creating. It is significantly different from the old school thinking. Even his concept of what he was developing was dramatically different post and pre WWII. Read his daka and see the change in his understanding of what he was developing and how he viewed its place in world. I believe we Americans have defined for ourselves (if not redefined for many Japanese) the meaning of that enigmatic word Budo. We have changes Aikido just as it has changed us and in so doing we no longer hold onto the old ways but embrace the new. I believe this is true if our Aikido is alive and vibrant and we let that show through us. Just as he did we take what we like and add to it our own experiences and believes and we change, and are changed by the process. Budo as defined by the Aikidoka should be flexible and ever-changing to reflect the changing humanity of the practitioner.