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Old 03-25-2007, 01:11 AM   #42
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: George Ledyard on the Future of Aikido

Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post

But you haven't explained your basis for saying this. It seems to be more like a hunch on your part than a clearly telegraphed intention on the part of Hombu Dojo. And you haven't explained why it would be in Hombu's interest. It would stir up a hornets nest and could cause quite a few groups to break away--in other words, it would be self-defeating. Instead of reasserting control, it would provoke the loss of control. Kind of like the British trying to impose their will in the 1770s on the colonies. (The recent reassertion by Hombu of control over the Iwama dojo seems to be a special case that may not apply to an entire country like the US). Kanai and Toyoda passed away without a Japanese replacement being sent over. If you have more specific reasons to be suspicious of Hombu's intentions, perhaps with regard to the ASU itself, please explain.
This is simply my opinion. I could be wrong but I've had quite a few conversations with people who have had intimate dealings with Hombu. Take for instance that if you go on the Hombu Dojo website, there is a list of overseas instructors. All of the names listed are Japanese. The American Shihan are not listed. When confronted with this by two of the most senior American Shihan the response from the folks at Hombu was that when people are traveling and they want to find an instructor, they are looking for a Japanese teacher... This is pretty much a representative attitude.

Everyone I know who has had close dealings with the folks at Hombu have said that Hombu still believes that they are the source from which Aikido flows out to the rest of us. There is almost no understanding that we have been training over here for a long time and that perhaps it isn't flowing that way any more. Hombu is at risk of finding itself increasingly irrelevant in my opinion, and I am not alone in this. With all of the great teachers that have developed overseas, has any one of them ever been asked to teach in Japan (I am not talking about the Yoshinkan here as they have had a very different attitude)? When any one of our American "Shihan" gets asked to teach at Hombu or someone like Christian Tissier is invited I'll perhaps change my view.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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