Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)
Well, I wish Peter R. would post his comments here -- especially if you Peter G. feel they are obvious enough to not repeat. However, I think folks can read this and see the issue beyond the example or they cannot. If one cannot, I would suggest that they might be too firmly imbedded in the practice of Rank Aikido. After all, we all know this exists (but for the more beginner practitioners). Look - if we are going to problematize Rank Aikido for the sake of discussion and/or self-reflection, it would be foolish to say that it exists but then go on to suggest, "Let's not talk about it with this guy." Rather, we should be able to talk about this and use examples without those examples drawing us away from the main issue. Again - one can either do this or not.
If one wants to make this about the martial effectives of Doshu, one should start a new thread. Under that topic, I would have nothing to say but maybe, "Who cares."
For me, there is a deep potential problem when you take a kata-based art, having no competition, little room for true spontaneous training, and mix that all up with the standard notion of Japanese hierarchy (where distance in the hierarchy is marked by the presence or absence of intimacy). As a member of that art, I feel compelled to address this potential problem. As a dojocho in that art, I feel compelled to address this potential problem beyond the usual solution of "get yourself a good group of friends you can go hard with." In that way, I feel there is plenty to talk about. Thus, I am very thankful for those that have been honest enough here to reflect openly for the benefit of everyone -- myself especially.