Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin
Nihon Goshn Aikido was developed in Shodo Morita's small dojo in Japan. The term aikido is not proprietary. NGA was brought to the US by Shihan Bowe, and much of its development and spread is due to his work. There were NGA dojos in the US since, I believe the early 1960s.
A couple of things come to mind Firstly, it is all about training. Those of you who worry about the use of the word "aikido," have way too much time on your hands (it seems to me). It is true that pure aikido is now associated with O'Sensei's art. NGA never pretended to be that form of martial art. The development and linneage to Morita had always been stressed.
Secondly, it is all about training. Linneage and how many dojos are in practise are just a matter of marketing, popularity and show. Someone mentioned Yanagi Ryu on this thread. I have had the good fortune to meet Don Angier when he visited Walter's dojo. His art was not NGA, but there was a collegial working attitude between him/his students and ours with regard to appreciation of aiki. This does not mean that Morita did not train under Yoshida Kotaro, only that NGA is not Yanagi ryu. Despite much probing, the definitive training of Shodo Morita himself is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. Yanagi ryu was a family system, passed from father to son. No shodan/ranks. No belts. No one cares about those things, just about the techniques.
For those of you who want to train only based on linneage, I would say this: are the principles of the dojo and the sensei real? Do they work, can you learn and train and achieve? If the answer is to those questions is in the affirmative, you are in the right place. If not, the linneage would mean less to me and should to you too.
As people who cross train know, sometimes you pick and choose what techniques and knowledge suit you. This is, apparently how both Shodo Morita and O'Sensei formulated their arts. That may or may not have been "sacriligious" to their former teachers. Oh well. Now some of you here, are bickering about who owns the term "aikido," whose art is "real" or "legitimate." This is quite humorous to me.
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Train, and then decide.