Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?
Just a couple comments on Mr.Ledyard`s post and the thread in general. I think that Mr.Ledyard`s comments on Aikido and Aikido teachers should be read as "non-Japanese" Aikido or even "American" Aikido. In my (admittedly limited) experience, Japanese 6th dan and up teachers generally can not be labelled as "creative." The fact that they have advanced so far up the rank chain means that they have been squeezed to fit some model of what someone else thinks is correct. It is my opinion that the Japanese shihan in the US "escaped" from Japan. It seems that none of them were sent by Honbu if you read the various interviews carefully enough. They are all highly individualistic, creative people to put it positively, weird is a less positive word. I believe that they sensed that they would not be able to fufill their vision for what they believed was correct so they sought freedom in the States.
Chiba Sensei has expressed concern for what will happen to his students after he passes. He has said that he doubts that there will be meaningful communication between them and Honbu. This has to be true for every student of Japanese shihan in the US. I think that from a Japanese perspective the only way to a unified Aikido would be through Japan. I also think that the future of Aikido lies outside Japan. So a unified Aikido is just not going to happen.