However, I am more inclined to say that Aikido is not unique in the way that most are led to believe. This means that I do hold that there are some unique elements to Aikido and that indeed these unique elements do pertain to Aikido's relation to the concept of Love.
Your point is well made and the linked article clarifies it; thanks for that. In fact I think you were being more sophisticated than I was, because as you show the founder's stated intention for the art probably was unique, and I wasn't thinking about that. The rub, perhaps, is how relevant that is to the majority of aikido practitioners today; but that's more to do with how aikido through time, dilution, and evolution may have already wandered away from that (and there I go straying off-topic). But you're right, aikido (specifically aikido's stated mission of universal love) as it was intended is
Still, I am not sure why uniqueness or commonality (depending on your take) addresses the merit of the original post.
Ah, because we'd like to think (and I understood that Simon meant, at the start of the thread) that of all arts, aikido with its (unique or not-so-unique) (explicit or implicit) love would generate less sniping, less unconstructive criticism, less nastiness between fellow practitioners than seems to be the case. "Art of harmony" and all that. But alas, it's miserable human nature... at risk of being flamed, I will make the unoriginal comparison with another system based on a stated mission of love, whose founder pretty much said "X is love" (meaning a universal love to bring all people together); see under Church... not the finest example of one happy family there either.
Or to summarise -- to the question "why do loving aikido people bitch about each other all the time?", I bleakly suggest it's because, alas, there's nothing unique about us, so it's to be expected.
(a) actually by comparison to other systems we usually are
pretty nice to each other
(b) obviously I
would never dream of criticising somebody else's aikido, oh no, but I have heard rumours that sometimes other people do.