Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?
Gotta agree with Mary here. I try to be as honest and forthcoming with visitors to the dojo as I can. And I find issues of effectiveness to be a difficult one to discuss because it is a nuanced and usually context dependent issue. I don't pussy foot around it. I want people to be informed when they walk through the door. I also routinely suggest people check out other arts depending on what they're looking for. I've referred people to friends doing Chinese Arts, Kempo, Krav Maga, BJJ, and a variety of other things. You just can't brush with such broad strokes.
I get tired of the bliss ninnies on one side and the "we're rad martial artist/octogon of death martial wizards -- AIKIDO RULZ" crowd on the other. Reality is a lot more nuanced. But in the end it matters little to me what others think. What matters is my own training. And hopefully some of the kids I work with will pick up some of the things I find of value in the training themselves and pass it along. If not... Well... I've done my part. That's as much as we can do. It needs to stand on its own merits.
Or as I was told when I first starting learning traditional sword crafts, "Let the work speak for you. That's enough."