George S. Ledyard
I think that the main reason for the general upset in the discussions with Dan and Mike is that they, with varying degrees of diplomacy have been insisting that, if you want to understand what O-Sensei was doing technically, you need to have an understanding of the principles they have been describing. Most people are not shooting that high. Most folks out there would be ecstatic if they could simply be as good as the fellow running their dojo. Those with a lot of ambition would like to find a Shihan level teacher somewhere and be as good as they are.
Snipped a chunk of a nice post. I also think that there are people who have been doing a lot of the things talked about by Mike and Dan for a long time within aikido already. My own irritation is that I have not gone to an MMA forum and told them that they're all wrong and need to do more aikido type stuff to make their training complete (the response would both infantile and ill-informed I expect). Nor have I gone to a Chinese martial art forum and done the same thing.
Not much of what they have added here has been new, I remember debates about internal 'stuff' happening plenty of times before, we used to call them 'ki wars', the MMA stuff used to be the 'hard vs soft debate', all of these have been done to death over the years by people within aikido. Ask the old-timers on aikido-l and I'm sure they'd tell you the same. All that they have added that is new is mostly the dimension that we're all doing something wrong if we're doing regular aikido, and like I said, I haven't gone to their forums and said the same thing.
I don't disagree with what has been said, I agree with most of it I have thought these things for years and it is what my teacher does too for the most part. You're welcome to discuss it with him, he's just dug out his aikiweb username and password so maybe he'll appear here from time to time. But I learned long ago that people who do aikido 'without ki' still have valuable things to tell me, people whose aikido is not 'calm and relaxed' (as in Tohei style) still have valuable things to tell me about my own practice.