Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
In heroic times, aikido was elitist practice. Deshi of O sensei were all experienced fighters. It is not surprising that their Everyday practice was serious, vigorous and full of martial spirit.
Some of them were experienced, but a lot of them were just kids - Gozo Shioda himself was just a kid with a little bit of Judo under his belt when he started, I see more experienced people walk into the dojo all the time. Yonekawa and Kamada, who were both prominent at the Kobukan, started very young with very little experience. Also, you had a lot of Omoto-kyo believers come into the mix, who were not necessarily "experienced fighters".