Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)
Come on John - how many threads make you feel compelled to ask what one's intentions are? You're going from the relevance of the pics to the relevance of the poster.
It's like you can only talk about this stuff if you can approve of the intention, but you know that you have no intention of approving of the intention. Besides, the intention is clear - as others have noted it: There are direct questions given in the first post, and folks have clearly been able to grasp that this is an attempt at generating a discussion capable of harboring some real self-reflection and possibly some real self-transformation for those that bother to share in the self-reflection. If Doshu was the problem, then I would have said, "We need a new Doshu." Instead, I said, (paraphrasing) "We need to bring more intimacy into our training environments so that we can bring more honesty into our training environments - especially if we are not going to rely upon competition to bring us the kind of honesty that can come without intimacy." In my opinion, Doshu is not the problem, which is why none of this would be alleviated if we got a new Doshu.
As far as competition goes, please note that I used the word "sociologically" in the same section - in that sense, in a broader sense, when Osensei has that standing order for his deshi to try and get him, he's not really practicing the cooperative nage/uke dynamic. Is he? No. He's doing a form of competition - where his deshi try their best to get him (doing whatever they want, whenever they want, etc.), and he does his best not to be got (however he can).
If this topic is way too taboo for any reader, I think its everyone's option to bow out and/or to not participate, but it doesn't really fly to say that this topic is false and/or inaccurate simply because it is taboo. It is the taboo nature of this topic that makes this topic accurate, and it is the accuracy of this topic that makes this topic taboo. That, again I say, was Ron's point.
This is not the "attack" you want to see, the way you read that other post by that other poster. This is a real topic, and one can either face his/her taboos or one cannot. In my point of view, anyone that is really interested in penetrating their art or their practice is going to learn how to rub up against their own taboo subjects. This is not about Doshu. This is about me, and about anyone else that wants to participate. It's about the Aikido we each practice. Let's not lose sight of the fact that anything said here will have absolutely zero impact on Doshu, his Aikido, or the Aikikai. Only that which we opt to reflect upon can alter things, and the things this can alter can only exist in the person doing the reflection.