Originally posted by Peter Boylan
Actually, I'd say that Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Kenji Tomiki and Koichi Tohei are responsible for aikdio as we know it today. Ueshiba M. wasn't known for teaching things. He did something, and it was your job to figure it out. His students organized and codified the art, giving us the 4 very distinct branches of Aikido that most people know of: Aikikai, Yoshinkai, Shodokan, and Ki No Kenkyukai. These are really the creations of the first generation, not of the founder.
Hmm, so if I organize and sytemize a system for presenting and teaching the concepts embodied in the theory of relativity would you say that I was the creator of the theory of relativity and not Einstein? After all, he never created a comprehensive system for instruction in his theories...
Not to discount the contributions of any of the people above, but IMO there's a large difference between what M. Ueshiba did and what they did. Eliminate any one of them and Aikido (while it would be different) would still be around. Eliminate M. Ueshiba and Aikido wouldn't exist at all.
As to the "the elements already existed" argument, I don't agree with that one either. Glass, wire, and electricity were already in existance, but we still say that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. By your line of reasoning it would be impossible for anyone ever to create anything, because the elements are always in existance previously. Now, I suppose that you could argue that (some people do), but it seems to me to fly in the face of the normal usage of the word "create" or "invent".