It is not strictly necessary that martial artists study the duality of their study with Zen, nor that Zen students study the duality of their practice with the martial arts. Until it is thoroughly understood why this is so, though, the student who enjoys the dual practices of finding one's self both in thought and in physical motion may have some advantage.
The link below is to a discussion that started with a question or two on AikiWeb and moved to my personal blog. It is viewed often, but we are really fortunate when someone is inspired to question or comment on the thread. As time passes, my understanding deepens and I make the opportunity to test the understanding in class. It is a fun process, integrating Aikido and Zen studies, and it is the root of what we are trying to accomplish at Sword Mountain Aikido and Zen!
Pay a visit to the thread. What are your thoughts?
Inexhaustible Things: Aikido: Uke, Nage, and Mushin