Take your partners' place
This post is to explain how Aikido is not only the most dynamic martial art but also is a martial art of no self defence.
Blending. A word used commonly nowadays and related to hara and is a primary principle of Aikido. Now I am going to borrow from Tohei Sensei once more and give you one of his five principles of Aikido, namely 'take your partners place'. That is the principle from where all concepts like blending, aligning with etc. come from.
Take your partners' place. Notice it doesn't say go away from, avoid, or even defend. Thus it is a very dynamic principle. A fundamental pro-active principle. So when training in Aikido you are entering an art of no defence but pure pro-active action. Pure being the operative word for if you are not defending self what then are you doing?
Well you are defending the attacker from themselves. You are preventing them doing harm. You are acting from the spirit of loving protection. This is devine and thus from it comes devine technique.
To do this you must take the others place. Therein lies the principle that if you apply and practice it you learn more and more, step by step, gaining a better understanding of what Aikido is and more importantly what it isn't.
There is still in my opinion far too much 'doing to' attitude in Aikido and thus being based on fear makes it a self defence and so many then will never see what Aikido truly is. You do with not to. But to do with you have to learn to take the others place.