Hi John, and everyone else too.
This thread makes me uncomfortable, and I believe it is supposed to. I believe it makes me uncomfortable because it touches on the heart of many contradictions in aikido which David has very clearly stated. I cannot say that any of his statements are false. I feel uncomfortable because I in fact know that his statements are generally true, and because of the fact that I see myself in the pictures used as an example when I train with both sempai and kohai.
It might have been nice to express these ideas with an example from someone else...not the current Doshu. But David's very point is that we are dealing with a hierachical structure, and that this particular problem comes from the top of that structure, and filters down to each and every one of us. He could just as well have found a picture of any of the leaders of the major organizations, and we would be in the same place.
John, can you honestly say that the statements reflected here are untrue? They are not politic, they are not comfortable, but aren't they true? Leave aside if you will the examples given, the person given, the fact that still shots are hard to judge by (I personally don't know what to make of some of the shots contextually). Are these statements untrue? And if they are not, does the manner in which they are made invalidate their truth?
Ron (who is glad there are not sooo many pictures of my own bad technique out there)
**Honesty check ** I have posted some of my thoughts about the context of these photos on the corresponding thread on www.budoseek.net