Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)
I've been following this thread with interest and would like to make some observations:
1 Its difficult to judge technique from still photographs (or even video)
2 What I call demonstration Aikido is VERY different from training Aikido
3 There is in many instances an "Emperors new clothes" syndrome in all associations
4 There is a tendency to assume that we as Aikidoka have degenerated and are not as proficient as our forbears. This seems to occur in all societies who lokk back to a mythical Golden Age which was much better than now.
5 Peoples prejudices often get in the way of objectivity ( I train with X therefore my Aikido is the best)
6 (Last point) We can have a "Tall Poppy" attitude to individuals who stand out from the crowd. Sometimes we like to think that they are only in their position because of outside i.e. non-technical factors such as nepotism etc.
In saying that I think that criticism is healthy provided it is constructive.
Sorry to be so long-winded.