Originally posted by Edward
I usually love to practice at Iwama-ryu dojos, but I am put off because I have to listen every time to lectures about who has the real Osensei Aikido, the Late Doshu or Saito Sensei.
Maybe you're just visiting the wrong Iwama dojo. Every barrel has a bad apple or two.
It's usually from newbies or people with complexes. They have some need to feel they belong to "the one true way" or some such drivel.
What I've gotten from Saito Sensei is that he doesn't think what he's doing is "the only right way" or even just "better". He says "there are a lot of great teachers out there and you should train with as many as you can."
Colleen, you're right about Saito Sensei not having higher education. He worked his entire adult life for the Japanese National Railroad. That job is what let him both train like an uchi deshi in Iwama but also to keep it up till the Founder passed away. (maybe more accurately till the Founder was too ill to run things).
OTOH, for his time, he's something of a progressive thinker. Look into the birth of the old AANC and you'll see what I mean.
Also, I've was in attendance when Saito Sensei was meeting an old, personal friend in private. I was struck by what a _nice_ person he was.