I always enjoy Ellis's arguments. They are engaging and compelling. In this one I find some interesting points in the first few paragraphs.
1. A secondary part of this discussion has been provenance: whether Ueshiba a) developed and maintained his skills using Daito-ryu methods exactly as he learned them or b) took the training methods he learned within Daito-ryu and reworked them into another set of practices.
2. A subsidiary question is whether such a hypothetical reworking was merely “old wine in new bottles,” or a new vintage, created through other training methods that Ueshiba subsequently learned or developed on his own.
3 Although some are quite adamant in their assertions regarding these questions, little can be proven, because even if the adamant ones possess the truth, they aren’t telling. Given that Daito-ryu is still mostly taught in closed dojo, and furthermore, that many teachers keep the higher-level training away from all but a few of their own students, Daito-ryu’s training methods are not accessible to most people, including, apparently, most Daito-ryu practitioners.
All interesting points and they set-up these observations of Ellis's
4. Few are qualified to make any assertions of value regarding differences between the technical criteria and abilities of different lines of Daito-ryu and aikido, much less evaluate specific individuals.
Using Ellis's own reasoning:
Since there is no one qualfied as personal students of both Takeda's Daito ryu
And Ueshiba's -specific- execution of HIS art
. (they're all dead) and no one else who is a shihan of BOTH of these arts is talking- then his or anyone else's opinion of what Ueshiba did, or didn't change is of little value-if at all.,
So, Ellis sort of disqualifes himself, and all but an extremely....extremely small number of experts (both personal students of Takeda and Ueshiba) who are all dead. Who even when alive -never- talked about it in the first place!
It sort of makes the rest of the entire article and any discussion of it- moot.