Peter A Goldsbury
PAG. Absolutely. He was seriously paranoid. I do not think he was either a 'typical' son, or a 'typical' father--even given the harsh standards of samurai parenting at the time. If he were alive nowadays, especially in countries like the UK, with supposedly advanced social services, he would undoubtedly have been 'at risk' as a child and probably 'taken into care'. As a father, he would probably have been arrested for willful neglect, or for actually maltreating his son.
At least, this is my reading of the available evidence. I think that you are assuming he was a 'normal' person, ruled by the same kind of rational thinking that you yourself employ.
PAG. But he always worried about danger. He was armed all the time. When out visiting, he had people taste his food before he would touch it. When dealing with people like Takeda, or even M Ueshiba, we need to take a serious mental leap.
For example, are you sure that Takeda or Ueshiba thought about 'aiki skills as true body skills built from within' in quite the same way as you are doing? If I were to play Devils Advocate, I think I would argue that neither Takeda nor Ueshiba had any need to teach kata or waza on your scenario. They could simply teach exercises for building aiki skills, much like Minoru Akuzawa does now.
Best wishes, as always.
I think examining the psychology of these men is interesting but not salient to their skills. Also, since we are discussing vagaries and gray areas, Ueshiba did solo training so did Sagawa. and Sagawa stated flatly that Takeda TOLD him not to talk about, nor to reveal the essence of the art but to a few students. Which he went on to clarify that he did not do till later in his career. Then noted that his students improved. Worthy of note is that Takeda had close students and students of very high stations in Japanese society. All of which seems to negate the idea that a)he was as paranoid as we were led to believe b) he did in fact reveal and attempt to make equals in teaching Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba, and Hisa "the goods."
Be that as it may, I will agree with Mark to the extent that just last week I played with high ranked teachers in Aikido in a manner they hadn't seen me do yet. You can ask them if it mattered which role I took at all.
An interesting diversion is to discuss why aiki waza is so bizzare, so singular, justaposed to koryu jujutsu. Why it wasn't repeated, why his students tried to record it. I think there is a reason. And it is also the reason most of it doesn't work in the hands of the vast majority who try them.
The fact that Ark and I both teach people solo exercises that condition the body that leads to aiki, and do so openly is not germane, other than to point out that they still exist and we...are capable of doing so.