[\]In what ways has your main focus in your aikido training and teaching changed over the past 20+ years?
Do you think some of these focuses went down "the wrong track?" If so, in what ways do you think "going down the wrong track" was necessary or unnecessary?
Jun, lately I've been feeling that it's not just my aikido, but very nearly the whole world of aikido that has taken a wrong turn. I think there is much too much emphasis on the successful completion of a given technical form (kata) than on simple, essential aikido. I think aiki really best manifests in jyu
practice, where we can see actual takemusu aiki. These days, as tori I'm working on doing NOTHING to my partner. I like so much what I'm seeing that I wonder why I didn't start this from my very first class.
Have all my previous years been a waste of time? No, and I still find value in the many varieties of kata training. Nor do I intend any disrespect to my teachers, or anyone else's way of practice.
But sometimes a quantum leap can only come from a major paradigm shift. For me, such a shift has occurred, and it's hard to want to keep doing things the same way again. I used to have a reputation for being one of the softest, subtlest aikidoka around. Now, "soft" and "hard" seem irrelevant.