Erick Mead wrote:
While I have no experience with any Tohei lineage (Ki Society/ Shinshin Toitsu), or with Tomiki/Shodokan, I can envisage an approach that begins with a competitive element (so prevalent in modern society) in a limited range of techniques and perhaps finding ways to obviate the competitive drive by that means itself in demonstrating that he who gives up direct confrontation first actually wins. This may be a study in homeopathy where a little touch of the fever may in fact be a cure for the disease that causes it. It runs the risk of a allowing the competitive (force versus force) element a longer period of dominance in practice if not managed very closely.
By no means will I presume to criticize Tohei's approach either, having no experience in it. I can hoewever see an approach from the opposite end of the spectrum as Tomiki. Founding training in development ki musubi and bodily sensitivity as preliminary to study in expression of aiki through technique. This would keep the competitive (force versus force) element almost entirely at bay. It would run the risk of frustrating the competitive urge, rather than sublimating it, or in losing martial connection in a contemplative kind of absorption.
I do not know if these speculations are true to the arc of their curricula or not. I could imagine on my sense of the whole spectrum of aikido teaching that I have experienced that it may be. If so, I find no problem with either of them from that standpoint of being "true" aikido. (As if it were my place to say).
I find my preference in the middle ground of the "traditional" because both tendencies to depart from the center -- the quietist and the activist can be simultaneously quelled. But that is a preference and may not answer to all needs.
The images of aikido are both curved and perpendicular -- circle and cross (juji). Movement inward (iirmi) on perpendicular track (cross) in response to a rotary force (tenkan) defines a spiral. Like a spiral, aikido is always dynamic, asymmetric, constantly changing in orientation, position and extension -- but eternal and inalterable in its fundamental form.
Which is my two cents.
Dude, get over your false sense of modesty. You ARE presuming to judge Tomiki and Ki Society. It's like saying, "I don't mean to criticize, but you suck" Why mention them at all if you have no experience of them?
I'll do you a favor and presume to judge:
Aikikai has basically preserved the external form of Aikido, and to some extent, the spirit of it. However, the passing of Aikido lineage through Osensei's child Kisshomaru and grandson Moriteru, was a bad call in my opinion. With all due respect, neither of these guys' Aikido has ever been pointed to as even close to Osensei, or even Tohei or Tomiki. They are beaurocratic figureheads of the Aikikai organization, not top form Aikidoka.
Tohei sensei on the other hand was granted 10th dan by Osensei and he ended up being the ONLY Osensei approved 10th Dan. (tons of 10th Dans after tohei left, but these seemed more like political promotions)
Why the big split? politics. I can't help but wonder whether Kisshomaru was jealous of Tohei's favoured ranking and position within Aikikai as given to him by Osensei. I have no evidence, but all I know is, the top ranked Aikidoka in the world was 'pushed out' as head instructor, which was fine, because he just made his own Aikido school.
But the result? Now there are some fantastic Aikidoka on both sides of the fence, but there is not a whole lot of reintegration of the two schools, but a lot of mutual critique and criticism based on ignorance and the all pervasive, 'fear of the unknown'. Resulting in the comments by Mr. Eric Mead