What I'm very curious about is understanding why there are such strange controversies in aikido. Of course, with some small understanding of human nature, I already know the answer to that question, I suppose.
Yes, it is human nature. The same thing has happened to Daito ryu, I think. And other martial arts. The only other alternative would be a structure similar to koryu. But, even then, the problems do not go away but are merely diminished somewhat.
How do we know aikido when we see it? Being specific has it's place, but there is certainly an implicit danger in being a fundamentalist, and that is not my intent.
Regardless, asking the question provided a fascinating view of my compatriots on aikiweb and offers some small insight into how they also approach their training.
Thank you for your thoughts,
There will invariably come a time when one must choose which "aikido" to follow. Some have already chosen and thus you see Tomiki "style", Shioda "style", etc. As Goldsbury sensei has mentioned in other posts, some people chose not to leave a legacy behind. Their "style" of "aikido" died with them. No one coming after has the choice to follow that aikido.
As one of my teachers answered the question of which martial art is best -- it's the one you are good at and love (paraphrasing horribly). So, it is with aikido. None of the "styles" or "schools" are better or worse than any other. The student is what matters. Sometimes, we lose sight of that. It's why good teachers are so important. They put us back on the path when we stray, not just for aikido training but for all Budo, of which reigi is a part.
Now, I'm straying a bit. I'll get back to the thread topic. The student matters. And at some point, the student will make a choice on which "aikido" to follow. Some will make that choice many times, some just once. But that choice is what will define what makes Aikido aikido to them.
A lot of Ueshiba Morihei's students chose to travel different paths in their Aikido. Very few tried to follow his vision. Even his son went a different way. Again, there is no good or bad, just different. And now there are a multitude of choices in aikido.
Lately, I've been trying to understand Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido. As Clark sensei posted a quote from Ueshiba, "You can't do my aikido; you must find your own." But how can you find your own "aikido" if you do not understand the aikido of those who came before? And understanding Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido seems to be the hardest. But I make no qualms about it anymore -- I don't want to come close to Ueshiba's skill, I don't want to be Ueshiba or equal his skill -- I want to be better than the skill level of Ueshiba Morihei.