The term aikidōka (合気道家) is rarely heard among native speakers of Japanese, in spite of its common use as a loanword in other countries. In the Japanese language, the suffix -ka(家,-ka?), when added to the name of certain activities, indicates an expert or professional in that field. Consequently, the meaning of the term in the ears of Japanese, especially when the field is martial arts, takes on a connotation of one who is exceptionally accomplished and highly respected. Further, because of the connotation of respect, this is a term one would never use with regard to oneself, even if deserved. There is no other word in Japanese carrying the same meaning that aikidōka has acquired as a loanword, namely that of a person practicing the art, regardless of their degree of accomplishment.
Pranin, Stanley A, ed. Aikido masters: prewar students of Morihei Ueshiba. Tokyo: Aiki News. 1993. ISBN 4-900586-14-5 This volume contains 14 in-depth interviews with direct participants in the early days of Aikido publisher
Stone, John and Meyer, Ron (eds.) Aikido in America North Atlantic Books 1995. ISBN 1883319277 Interviews limited to 13 aikidoists in the United States from 1990 to 1994; not meant to be comprehensive, Japanese teachers not covered. Editors were primarily interested in how Americans have responded to, changed, and expanded Aikido in the United States.