Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
The issue of Atheists, Believers and Agnostics has been an issue ever since Yamaguchi Sensei evolved his distinctive way of doing aikido in training seminars. I think the same issues exist for Endoh Sensei and for Isoyama Sensei (though in a different way).
If some shihan is posted on video, well, this opens out the discussion to the aikido 'chattering classes'. This is unavoidable, in my opinion. I think Stephane has a valid point, based on the videos.
In Hiroshima we have a whole stock of videos of Yamaguchi Sensei giving training seminars over a long period. They are not demonstrations (unlike the Endo video being discussed here), but the content is pretty similar, because Yamaguchi Sensei did not make much difference between his aikido in class and his aikido in demonstrations.
Actually, I think you are being too hard on Szczepan. Of course, he does not need my support to buttress the quality of his aikido. But it was very good to meet him in Tokyo and to see that he is an aikido mortal, just like the rest of us.
PS. Any chance of a get-together on your next visit to Japan--in Himeji or Hiroshima?
I don't think I'm being that hard on Szczepan, I've read enough of his post's over the years to know it's water of a duck's back. Whilst I agree that video's posted into the public domain open themselves for debate, I find it a shame that people that have been practicing Aikido for any length of time find the need to criticize others so much. I'm not defending Endo sensei specifically, but making a sweeping statement like this
What Yamaguchi and Endo sensei propose is reinversed process - they want to build sophistication without any basics. This is very funny.
without having any experience of the teachers in question is disapointing, maybe Szczepan just likes to be "gomasuri"? On the basis of video footage alone, many have similar opinions about Kaiso and his uke's, but you don't generally get that feedback from Aikido practicioners, only when it comes to other teachers. If you go and practice with someone and you're not that impressed, I don't have a problem voicing an opinion, but on the basis of a video...... we should be exhibiting better standards.
With regards to my next trip, I'm currently saving v. hard for to come over next Easter. Another get together would be fun, I look forward to it.