Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido
I wanted to follow on from the comments made in the final couple of paragraphs in GL sensei's article.
The concept of developing modern aikido from outside sources is of course something that has always been happening. I would assume that there are more instructors that have trained and influenced their aikido from outside sources than there are aikido instructors who have wholly and solely stuck with pure aikido.
It is interesting to look at Karate, there are a group of international karate practitioners that follow a principle of discovering okinawan karate through the same process that it was originally developed, exploration, application and refinement. When I visited this group there classes looked like something that was a cross between, karate, judo and aikido. There breakfalling was better than many aikido dojo's I had seen.
They feel that there is a spirit that needs to be kept alive that is not contained in any technique but in continual refinement of their art and they will look anywhere to find it and make it grow.
Perhaps if our focus is on keeping the aiki spirit alive it will take care of itself.