Could you define a defense system vs. a martial art. I've always thought of, read, and been taught that aikido is a defensive martial art. What are your thoughts on this "label."
I've always thought of aikido as a pacifistic system. We need to make the distinction between a "passivist" and a "pacifist." i.e. in a martial situation, a passivist might just stand there, take a woopin' and turn the other cheek ala Christian mythology. A pacifist will do what is necessary to bring the situation to as peaceful of a solution as possible. If it means a strong irimi and atemi to one assaulters throat before turning on the next and perhaps breaking a joint to immobalize the opponent before turning to deal with their other friends, as long as this is done without a "fighting mind" I still see this as aikido, and the aikidoka could still be seen as a pacifist in the abovesaid situation.
[This message has been edited by Joe Jutsu (edited 10-06-2003).]