Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I don't think that aikido needs such "products". It would be contrary to O sensei way of being. Don't forget, that today's popularity of aikido is an idea of first Doshu, not Founder himself.
J.Kano sensei developed a system of very efficient teaching large body of students. He did it in accordance with his goals. O sensei never ever thought in such categories.
Founder understood very well, that aikido is a tool for very intimate relation between Kami and a human being. Such things by its nature are addressed to very limited audience, and today those interested in it will find a true transmission from Founder. The others, who prefer to stay on purely technical level and learn technical tricks, will learn it too. That is a law of natural selection.
Also, our expectations and judgment is quite different from the view of people 50 years ago. On technical level, there are many new different ideas (MMA, FMA,..etc). Even today's sports of combat are very different then 50 years ago (ex boxing or wrestling). Today not very many ppl are impressed by traditional teaching system as they see very impressive results of modern, backed up with science and technology, training methodology.
I understand what you are saying... I know you and I see things from a different angle much of the time but I respect your point of view because you are serious about your training. Obviously, there are many possible approaches. I champion the approach which speaks to me. Other people will have different approaches for instance, much of the spiritual orientation which drew me to Aikido had to do with O-Sensei's way of relating to the world. It speaks to me. If that were absent from Aikido, which is the direction which some of the Aikido leadership is choosing for the art, I probably wouldn't be doing Aikido. There are styles of Aikido in which the spiritual / philosophical side as expressed by O-Sensei is not there but the martial side is alive and vibrant. The appeals to some people and that is wonderful.
The place where I part company company is with the folks who want to turn Aikido into some sort of least common denominator aerobic dance. Aikido is in danger of becoming a practice which is neither good spiritual practice nor good martial arts. I was taught the art was both and that you couldn't separate the two but I think that if you have an art which is solid in one area or the other you at least have a practice which is beneficial and an art that can endure over time. If you have neither you might as well just go to the gym and get in shape that way.