This is about Martial Arts as a whole...
I wanted to bring this up because I recently read two books by my old teacher that quite frankly made me feel quite betrayed by the world of martial arts. The betrayal came not so much from being taught something that just wasn't grounded, but betrayed in the sense that many teachers and students are practicing modified, more aesthetic versions of arts that miss (and probably very severely miss) usefulness for war-time, and believe what they do is "true" and "real" with no actual grounded evidence. The problem is, no-one can say anything because it would be taboo to question the "authorities". God knows how many students are being taught modified arts that have next to no martial value, yet whole-heartedly believe they are. Quite frankly, that is both dangerous and a lie, and will lead to people getting hurt or even killed. This goes from local schools all the way up to "internationally acclaimed" teachers.
The way I see it, unless a person is willing to admit what he's learning or teaching is far removed form the source material to such a degree it probably doesn't work (and give the choice to the student to decide if he still wants to learn it), meaning he or she would have to challenge their own egos, can we say that martial arts is all but dead?
A student is considered rude to ask such things, and many teachers would deem it insulting to be questioned. It'd have even worse repercussions through international organizations as with any institution, teachers are often buddy-buddy and even go to the degree of having "inner-circles" that only the most worthy may be considered invitation to.
Seriously, no wonder we're in a bad state of affairs.
That Aikido is severly affected by a lack of martiality is a well known fact.
But the problem you so rightly mention is, in my personal perception, not something that should be ascribed to "politics" but to "economics
": I believe that the lack of martiality is due either to the necessity or to the mere choice that too many dojos pursue of maximazing participation
. This mere choice, whose purpose is that of maximizing income
, is counter-martial already.
It is true that a similar desire may affect also other Martial Arts, and potentially any Martial Art - and indeed this is what happens.
However, in the case of Aikido being Aikido a purely "defensive
" Art (you don't hit), whatever tendency to reduce martiality in order to increase participation is immediately furthered by the very same defensive nature of Aikido, and so in our dojos this counter-martial approach becomes more apparent and nearly endemic
Also, keep in mind that most Aikido federations hold no competitions
(only the notorious "demonstration", which by definition
versions of martiality): the fact aikidokas have nearly never to deal with an adevsrary that will do anything
s/he can to win, immediately puts them in the position of persons too prone to the self delusion they would have been doing something that in a real situation may save their lives - whereas the sad fact is that too often it is true the exact opposite; although, thanks to Heavens, most aikidokas will never
happen to face a situation where facts
shall take care of proving it.
In my opinion the only option is to arrange meetings, outside normal dojos, where a more martial approach can be pursued among those who may be interested although this has many disadvantages, firstly you have no insurance coverage and then you still need to put safety first. And this is another thing that works against martiality because most persons deem safety and martiality as opposites, whereas they are not because true martiality means attaining control