Thank you for the reply, and nice to see that we have managed to drag you back into the discussion. I think I now see what you are getting at, and I apologize for being dense. Unlike Chris, I am definitely NOT a linguist. If you agree that aikido is "ideally both a search for and an expression of something greater and more important than just a martial art", then I believe we are on roughly the same page. I think that where we differ is that I am fine with Aikido being defined using a broad definition that encompasses the general principle of aiki whereas you are looking for a very tight physical description of aikido. I hope this is accurate? For me, this seems like a never-ending semantic battle, where you say, "OK, aikido is defined as the techniques ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, etc…" and then someone comes along and asks you to define ikkyo, which has many many variations -- most of which are designed to forestall the attack. In my opinion, this path also leads to a non-functional unwieldy definition.
Defining the art is waaay above my paygrade, as I am just seeing the tip of the iceberg. If I am alive in 50 years, I suspect I will have a much better definition. For now, I will keep it fairly broad in scope. I see aikido as the focus on "aiki", and that includes intra-personal aiki (i.e. inner harmony both physically and spiritually) as well as inter-personal aiki (i.e. creating connection between two or more people either physically, intellectually, or spiritually). In terms of a functional definition, I guess I just don't understand what you are looking for in terms of "functionality". Are you just trying to distinguish it from another martial art? Are you trying to use it to describe the physical movements to someone who isn't familiar with jujitsu? I asked you this earlier, but do you consider the solo exercises as "aikido" in your functional definition?
I think that, when we use the word aikido, we need to be talking about O Sensei's martial art, not the principles of O Sensei's martial art. Since none of those principles are exclusive to O Sensei's martial art, including them in the definition of the word aikido
from functioning as the name for O Sensei's martial art. And in that case, the martial art needs another name.
I, for one, think it makes a lot more sense to say "aiki
" when we mean aiki
, and to say "aikido
" only when we are referring to Morihei Ueshiba's martial art which expresses the principle of aiki
through a technical curriculum based on Takeda's Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu.