Re: Sport is the new Budo
I'm sorry your experience in Judo wasn't all that great - its important to find a group that shares your goals. Surprised you remained for 7 years.
I don't think that anyone (at least in this thread) is demanding that you change your aikido to suit their needs. Conversely, for those that find randori goes a long way to help their aikido develop, wont be changing their minds too soon. I think the Shodokan boys are popping up here in response to those saying Shodokan Aikido is not budo or worse - just because our approach is different.
I really don't know where your Shodokan experience was - I know Bob Dziubla had a small club in Thailand. It was a young club, mainly kids, but he has a pretty good understanding of what Shodokan offers. Your description doesn't sound like Bob at all.
I have to say that proving randori and by extention shia are not about proving whether techniques work or not but exposing an aikidoist to situations closer to reality than kata alone can offer. If you have done seven years of judo than you already have those lessons and might not need to do the Shodokan style of randori. Unless you enjoy it - and it can be great fun once you get the hang of it.
Also I don't compete - was never that good at it not to mention time constraints. Yet that has never been held against me at the Shodokan Honbu. By the by - when I did Judo I never got that impression either and I only competed during grading.