More of the Same
I think many in Aikido people are drifting towards Aikikai, perhaps without even realising it. For example, I saw Yoshinkan and Iwama instructors giving demos in the UK (2003) and to me it looked like I was watching Aikikai. Watching in Japan (Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama) they are strikingly different - to the extent their styles are instantly recognisable. Of course, we should all be heading towards the same end, but methinks the increasing trend of where we all meet on large scale courses is tending to direct us all in the same direction in terms method and style. And it will likely continue. For example, several Iwama groups have changed affiliation to Aikikai and my guess is that one or two generations of instructors down the line will see them absorbing more of the 'new' and losing more of the 'old,' irrespective of their intentions.
What seems to be happening is that as the original uchideshi retire, the students that remain behind will tend to drift towards the centre, and that means the Aikikai. Me, I kinda like all the different styles and like them to remain different and quirky as within they hide interesting ideas.
Re: More of the Same
It is well and good that Aikido have a center, and that center is the Honbu Aikikai.
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