what you are each describing comes from a perspective which is not the Way of Aiki, but rather the "Use of Aiki." The use of Aiki is a wonderful, subtle path and passion in its own right. However, it is not the art of the Founder, O-Sensei, Ueshiba Morihei. Anyone who looks at Aikido from the perspective that Aikido is the mastery of the use of Aiki will never really be training in the art of the Founder, because they are not really seeking the art of the Founder.
Again thank you for your thoughtful reply. I also appreciate your willingness to state people are not doing the way of aiki, but I think it serves little use without addressing and explaining under what terms and conditions you see others as not being able to understand or experience the way of the founder. Not without notice, it ties in perfectly with an understanding of what ukemi truly is and what one must do to create one model and what one must give up to create the other popular view.
I do find your view of a single way to be at odds with the founder himself. He was noted on many occasions telling all manner of outsiders that "they got it" while yelling at the deshi (the next generation of teachers) that they were NOT doing his aikido. I also find it curious for you to claim to know just what the founder's goals were and are, and who might be on the "outside looking in," while you yourself go on to propose there is a state of confusion in the art and thus are determining people don't get it. Clearly, there is no definitive model being offered.
I wonder at what point you feel free to negate my own training "in" the art, my experiences in Daito ryu, and the fact that I am currently teaching teachers in Aikido dojos. Teachers who have their own views for training for decades in the art. Are you sure you are not overstressing your case to freely dismiss the views, judgments and opinions of many teachers up to 6th dan currently training this way? Teachers who consider this the way of aiki of the founder and that it is greatly affecting their art? That seems very narrow minded of anyone who would claim to grasp the idea of there even being a way. I might suggest to you that the very nature of Ueshiba expressing there was a way was in stating there was never "A" way. While I appreciate your recognition of George Ledyard, I am fairly certain I know a few men who deserve equal recognition for their own understanding of the way of the founder and they most certainly disagree with your view.
Sadly, I feel there is little definition or reason behind the argument you have presented for me to address. Your reasoning is contradicted by many teachers who have done the research you yourself have advocated- yet admittedly have not done, their own conclusions as members and teachers of the art and then with the life and words of the founder himself.
I would suggest one must be able to exhibit- and by way of exhibiting-I mean "have" and understand the type of aiki the founder was showing and discussing in order to move forward and then discuss how the "the use of it" is foundational and supportive of understanding the way of it. Without "it" -the way of the founder, and any claims to understand the way, cease to have meaning. It is worthy of note that without the "use of aiki" -as you coined it- his mission and his voice would have had little impact or meaning on the world of Budo and chances are very good we would not even be discussing him. Further, that the vast majority of Aikido are still seeking it.
Aiki as a way-and narrowing the lenz.
Are you practicing to be an avatar of the gods? Do you know what that means and how to practice to supposedly attain it?
Are you a scholar of the kotodama?
Did you train long enough to understanf the essense of an art that Ueshiba admitted opened his eyes to true budo, and never once rejected?
If not perhaps you yourself are not pursuing his path. Then again, as I noted above he declared on several occasion that others outside of the art who were clearly not doing these things, or practicing aikido "got the way of aiki."
So maybe his own message was a bit clouded and ill-defined. One thing remained clear - his admonition "To make your own aikido, your own path." Were one interested in a parochial view -that- seems inescapable.
Personally, I might suggest that the way of aiki, has as its center, a dualism, a challenge as it were.
1. First one must hold aiki in balance in their own body. The ability to sustain the union of in / yo in order to understand the power within before it is made manifest without.
2. One must then walk that walk, in its fullness. Have and contain that much power potential and be able to actually use it before it is going to affect you and offer and sort of substantial realizations, in order for you to….
3. Choose….You must first have the ability to cause violence and be that substantial, in order to have your choice of nonviolence have any real meaning.That walk, that path is a lengthy one, and has a very real spiritual component. It is an interesting duality; to be able, and then to remain open and, and in the face of difficulty to keep giving and remain transparent for others seeking.
4. This ties in with the dualism of Ukemi. For Ueshiba and anyone who trains like he did it is a different dilema then what we see today.
One might rightly discuss and rebut just who are the ones who truly know in part, and can thus affect few, and who are seeing a clearer picture of the way of
As noted- Ueshiba looked at the training of the deshi (who are now the leaders) and stated flatly what they were doing was not his aikido. I wonder why and how his opinion would have changed were he to awaken today and walk the earth and see what has become of his aikido? What-if anything- would change his opinion? Numbers?
To give a nod to the thread subject-knowing what it is and how to train it leads to truly knowing how to begin to practice the way. This leads to a deeper understanding the ukemi model. It helps to understand the role of ukemi, what Ueshiba's body was feeling, and what he needed to let go of, when he chose to fall down, since he was never going to be taken down. On the surface Shaun, it looks like the same dualism of everyone else taking ukemi- but it was distinctly different for him, and for very substantial reasons- all encompassing the use of aiki, now as the way of aiki.
Good luck in your training and walk along your own path