Michele Galante wrote:
...Because after 26 years off the mat, I just recently returned and it seems that there is still hardly a mention about the real essence of Aikido. In my humble opinion. It is like the emperors new clothes...
After 26 years you're like Rip Van Winkle, waking up. You'd be better off getting yourself acquainted with your new surroundings.
People practice aikido techniques. How they practice is usually determined by their relationship to the various national organizations. Some groups do not practice weapons. Few groups practice any form of spiritual training. Even if a group practiced weapons and spiritual training, it might not be in the forms you are familiar with.
John Stevens wrote about kototama in his book Secrets of Aikido
. Kototama also appeared in William Gleason's book, The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido
. Nakazono's books about kototama are still in print due to the efforts of his former students in New Mexico. You can view their web site at Kototama Books
So the topic is still alive in aikido, as is the desire by some to practice spiritual training. However if you simply declare your beliefs, it can be seen by others to be a challenge to their own beliefs and practices. Instead of starting a discussion, you'll start an argument.
You might want to check out the above books and maybe get in touch with Nakazono's former students. Nakazono Sensei was always interested in the founder's spiritual practices. This was an area that was generally ignored by most of the founder's other students. Because of your training with Nakazono Sensei, you could be able to contribute greatly to understanding the founder's spiritual training.