Re: Dobson and Arikawa Sensei
I think that it is important to remember that Terry Dobson, in the Aikido in america book, talked about the episode that Mr. Amdur relates above and said that he felt Arikawa Sensei didn't know "his ass from his elbow" in terms of what Aikido is. It also should probably be noted that Mr.Dobson did not name the Shihan that he was talking about.
My experience of Arikawa Sensei's classes in the mid to late 90's was that he always used the same uke every class, a large non-Japanese, never anyone else. Interestingly, Watanabe Sensei always used him as well. Arikawa Sensei continually talked while demonstrating technique, but spoke so softly that I couldn't hear a word. After class, I would ask around and found that no one else could hear what he had said as well. After demoing a technique, he would go to the corner and talk to the same two older Japanese gentlemen, ignoring the class. I realize now, that maybe I should have summoned up the courage to talk to him directly.
Also, there are a number of people in the area where I live now who were members of Arikawa's university club, including the two main shihan of the area. At a party last year, the comment was made that there has never been a captain of the club that was not seriously injured by Arikawa Sensei. Several people nodded at that comment. In Japan there is without a doubt, the idea that to be injured by your teacher is an essential part of serious training.