Originally posted by mike lee
Q: It is said that Aikido is quite different from Karate and Judo.
O Sensei: In my opinion, it can be said to be the true martial art.
No offense to Stan Pranin, but M. Ueshiba often uses this phrase, and he never says "the" for the simple reason that there is no "the" in Japanese. Consider the difference:
1) Aikido is the true martial art.
2) Aikido is true martial arts.
The implication, as you can see is quite different. The first one implies that Aikido *exclusively* is the true martial art (ie, Aikido is the one true martial art). The second one implies that Aikido follows the true spirit of the martial arts but leaves room for the possibility that other martial arts may also follow that spirit (ie, Aikido is one of many true martial arts, or Aikido is a true example of the martial arts).
I've read a lot of what M. Ueshiba wrote in the original Japanese, and in every instance that I can recall he seems to mean "true" in the second sense of the word.
And this I think is the true spirit of Japanese martial arts. We have been given this earth to transform into a heaven on earth. Warlike activity is totally out of place.
I think this supports my supposition. He doesn't say "only Aikido represents the true spirit of the Japanese martial arts" he says that he believes that the art of peace is the true spirit of the Japanese martial arts - IMO that means that this spirit is not necessarily limited to the art of Aikido.
He says "warlike activity is out of place". He doesn't say that "striking" (for example) is out of place. The fact that he practiced the sword assiduously until the day he died says to me that he didn't even consider non-defensive, potentially destructive activity to be out of place, in the correct circumstances.