Early Aikido vs Modern Aikido
I recently read and article in Blitz martial arts magazine by, as I recall, a 5th Dan student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, and is now an instructor. It was a very interesting article which brings up some very interesting points. His comparison was of Modern Aikido to past Aikido believing that many styles today are "too soft" and that the soft "Dancing" styles should merely be called arts rather than martial arts as they have no solid martial technique. Abbe Sensei was a famous Judo champion in Japan, so comptetativeness and hard training is already a background for him, but the style of Aikido that Abbe studied was Early Aikido. This style was hard, fast, and in some ways aggressive when compared to modern day Aikido.
I study Iwama Ryu Aikido. This style of Aikido was taught by Morihiro Saito Sensei. The style of training and general style of this Aikido is somewhat different to Abbe Sensei's. This is because Saito Sensei trained with O'Sensei in his later years when O'Sensei had reformed and evolved his training and application of techniques with softer applications, less effort to apply techniques and more harmony. Abbe Sensei trained in the founders early years. Which brings me to my question, does anybody believe that modern day Aikido is TOO soft. Should we adjust the way we train to reflect the early days when people believed hard, is effective. Modern Aikido or Early Aikido?
Thanks for your thoughts guys!