Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "self defense" in your aikido training?
I'd rather consider it to be about harmony than peace. Also, some aikidoka apply techniques in a very 'unblending' way and are effectively doing ju-jitsu. Personally I believe aikido must involves blending and must have responsiveness to uke. Therefore you are 'filling the gaps' in the attack, rather than 'doing a technique'. Thus a weak or impotent movement by uke does not really require a response. Many confrontations can be resolved just by removing a grab - hard throws require hard attacks (otherwise excessive force is being used).