“There have always been questions about whether or not Aikido is an effective martial art, or whether it is a martial art at all. The simple answer is yes, it is a martial art in that at the physical level it addresses the issue of self-defense, albeit often in a very lofty and idealistic manner. Aikido does deal with being attacked, and does have techniques that, when executed properly, are designed to deal effectively with an attack, so we can in fact call it a martial art.
A more subtle, and more complicated, view is to look at what the essence of Aikido technique is, and how the physical level fits in with and reflects some of the deeper, philosophical dimensions of Aikido. To do this, one need look at how Aikido is practiced, and at certain principles that O’Sensei taught and see how they help explain the deeper process of consciousness that Aikido tries to cultivate and promote.”
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