Mr. Buchner, could you please go into further detail of how Osensei was just winging it and other points in your statement. I'm assuming that you have knowledge and access to things in Japan that I can't get a hold of. Please stir up the pot!! Would love to learn more.
Please just call me Rennis. Peter Goldsbury's writings show fairly well many aspects of Ueshiba was often just "going with the flow" as it were. Ueshiba seems to have been something of a person striving for something, but often it seems like he wasn't really sure what it was striving for. As a result he seemed to jump from one thing to another, being very intense about it while he was there, and then eventually moving on to something else. As a result it seems to me that his art is a bit of a mixing pot of various things. Technically it is obvious that the majority is pretty much right out of the Daito-ryu hand book (for those who might argue that aikido is fundamentally different than Daito-ryu technically, I find aikido to be really not much different than many of the Daito-ryu groups are from each other). As far as the philosophical bits related to his martial art goes, most of the major concepts there I can find in other much older ryuha (heck I can find most of them in my own ryu). The divine non-killing business, check. The ideas of everything and everyone coming from one universal source, check.
are pretty common in a number of different arts (in fact aikido is missing a couple of the other ones they are commonly grouped with). The whole principle of non-clashing and all the permutations that go with it technically and philosophically, check. Skills coming directly from various deities, check.
There are numerous other examples, but I have to start getting ready for work here. Anyways, it seems to me that rather than creating much new, Ueshiba was just taking bits and pieces of already existing ideas and using what spoke to him in a rather haphazard way. I think a lot of the idea of him creating a totally new art for today's world was, while possibly some of his intent, also a bit of a PR job after the fact. Anyways, other people, such as Mr Goldsbury, have written in much more depth on these things from the Aikido side of things. I've just noticed that most of the hallmark points of aikido many talk about I have come across in traditions much older. Again, not being 100% original doesn't make the end goal any less worthy so maybe it is not so important in the grand scheme of things.