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.
Today, aikido is democratic activity. It means, beginners have no fighting experience, are physically underdeveloped, and have very weak spirit. You can't simply apply the same training method from early days. So the instructors allow slowing down and making a lot of compromises in order to help students to pass first difficult few years.
Unfortunately they never again rise up level of difficulty of training. In the end, only very few students will develop really sophisticated aikido.
I think this observation is very true about Aikido. I also have observed this in my Judo class recently, less people are interested in competition so there is less vigorous randori and as a result the level of fighting ability has degenerated alot.