Peter A Goldsbury
Very interesting questions. I will keep these and your earlier comments / questions in mind as I write further columns.
I think the Oomoto 'vision of peace' was clearly prewar and though M Ueshiba virtually stopped contact with Deguchi after the 2nd Oomoto Incident, I do not think he abandoned his beliefs or changed his 'vision'. I do not know, for example, whether he did chinkon kishin training before he met Deguchi (it does not seem Takeda's style somehow), but from the material I have read in Japanese, meeting Deguchi was an important spur to his own private training.
I plan to discuss this more when I consider Kisshomaru Ueshiba's ideas about personal training.
I guess the flip side of the coin is whether the solo tanren that exists in Daito ryu were meant for strictly martial purposes and developed the power that Ueshiba had, and where his later chinkon kishin
came into play to either blend, morph, or actually -in the end-to do nothing to add to his physical powers.
I've long held a view that it was Ushiba's realization that he could use the internal power-to control and cast away rather than use the associated DR jujutsu waza to draw-in, immobilize and kill, that opened a window into his new vision of peace. That it was this match of the spiritual and physical expression that created *his* Aikido. And it was this that gave Aikido its true testament of power. What Aikido was meant to be all along.
As for Takeda- lest it be ignored- he stated many times that the power of Daito ryu was always meant for defense. Even stating how terrible it would be for this knowldege to be passed into the hands of the wrong type of people.
Why consider Takeda?
While much is made of Ueshiba's personal journey and morphing of Takeda's teachings- it is worth considering that NONE of the schools of Daito ryu look the same either. There were what, five of them who founded schools? Four of the five stated that *they* had seen past Takeda's work and changed themselves. It was their understanding of Daito ryus true power, power that Sagawa openly stated that Takeda told him never to reveal, that was the catalyst for *their* personal expressions. Personally, I think it is the nature of the work itself. That it is so highly individual in nature that it can join a mans personal nature and pursuits to his waza. At any rate IMO it places Ueshiba's work in a more revealing light-to see it along side his peers. That each of them ended up with a powerful, yet highly personalized expression of what was supposed to be a single art- bears testament to this idea.
In the end Ueshiba's journey may not have been as *unique* as previously thought, just more well known, and more attractive to the populace at that time.
I do think "the rot" set in to Aikido long ago, but I have born witness to it being reversed. All that is needed is a begginers mind and a firm belief in change. Were good teachers, good men with a caring and honest soul to learn these skills, then there is no way to lose. These skills, simply work.