I am sorry that I missed you at the last boulder camp (will be there this summer again- I am a friend of George Ledyard). I was staying in town- wife wants more comfortable sleeping and eating arrangements!
I agree with your wife, Marc. If I get the urge, I might hop on my motro-sickle and stop by Glenwood this year while I make a circuit of the high-mountains. But if I do, it'll be whimsical, not planned.
I believe that the problem that you mention has more to do with teaching methodology than people trying to hide the teachings. The focus for many teachers seems to be simply technique. It is my limited understanding the the techniques are manifestations of important principles. Many people seem to no longer practice "ki exercises" as simplistic, useless exercises. Many people do not try and grasp the underlying principles revealed in techniques, thereby ignoring the importance of practicing exercises that focus simply on those principles and how they become enacted in techniques. As a result of this, people try and "force" the techniques to "fit" situations.
Well, I think the problem is that few people really have these skills. It was only in retrospect (after I had a few of these skills) that I realized that my Okinawan karate teacher on Okinawa had shown me some of these skills. Since my perspective was based only on what I knew of the western understanding of strength, force, etc., I simply did not see what he showed me and hence I would have gone off and been a lost soul teaching external karate, if I'd chosen to go that route.
I'm really just thinking out loud in my first post because I'm getting to be more and more of the opinion that while the "baseline skillset" should certainly be more widespread, I'm not so sure that anything beyond that should be freely available. If everyone knows how to do it, the edge is lost. Most of these skills can probably be traced back to ancient India and from what I've read of the "codes" of various Indian arts, the idea of secrecy was prominent even then. You simply don't want to tell everyone and the idea of a person being of good character is prominent. Certainly that has had an effect on the transmission of this stuff.