Mark Gibbons wrote:
(talking about going to the Ki Society to get the internal strength aspects of Aikido) Would that be at all equivalent to what Dan, Mike, Rob are talking about? I got the impression it wasn't, but I really don't know.
You know, this is really a tough one for me. In many ways I was a staunch admirer of Tohei back in the early days, but essentially it appears that while he could use and demonstrate ki strength, he didn't really want to teach it. Ueshiba could and did many ki things, wrote about them, was filmed doing them, etc., but he didn't openly explain how to do them..... let's say he "kept his edge", which actually is traditional in martial arts. Tohei also kept his edge, despite the appearance of the idea that he was going to "teach people how to do ki things". The level at most Ki Society dojo's that I've seen is woefully low.
So "same thing"? Yes, but in such a limited way that I think it's somewhat embarrassingly over-marketted.
In terms of Jo's remarks about people not in Aikido, my usual riposte is along the lines of Ushiro Sensei's because it's true: "No kokyu; no Aikido". In other words, Jo's criterion of 'who is practicing Aikido' presently is a double-edged sword.... without kokyu power, most of the people she knows are not really doing Aikido but only limited external variants of it. I.e., we need to stick more to the subject and less to the trivializing because it goes two ways. To be fair, it's turning out that despite the protestations of the current hierarchies in Judo, Karate, Koryu, etc., a lot of the people are missing these basic skills. Also true of Bagua, Xingyi, Taiji, and most of the so-called Chinese martial arts you see in the West... they're just external parodies, when you boil it down. Some people in various arts saw this years ago and tried to point it out, but they were trivialized and shouted down by the larger numbers of "experts".