However, the point Dan highlighted earlier in the thread is paramount to our movement that I want to repeat it here. That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's.
I'm glad you got that and agree, Shaun.
I am happy to discuss these things-but there is no need to be abrasive and rude while doing so-particuarly since it seems everytime people meet and train together it is a positive-even fun- exchange. It makes internet bickering seem so hollow...even ridiculous.
The style wars are waining, but there is new information out there that is far more challenging to practitioners, some even say definitive and finite about the qualifiers for claiming to be a teacher of Asian arts. Although most want to validate themselves and think it' about "sharing" of equal information. It really isn't. You are either training some version of this-or you're not. I think in very short order- this training -or should I say the results of it in your body-is going to be a "requirement" to be considered acceptable as a legit teacher. And there will be plenty of students training in it to keep every Japanese sensei both aware of it...and on their toes. I know of a few cases where high level teachers of students (who are training this way) started training in it themselves-because the students are surpassing them.
How did they know?
Let's go back to Ukemi as a model.
WIth the student taking ukemi...on contact those teachers eyes popped and they
-not the student- said "Your different, what happened?"
Because it was obvious the student didn't need to take ukemi. The teacher was no longer "good enough" to do anything to the student. And the students ukemi...absorbing the teachers efforts... meant the teachers was getting sucked-in and compromise for their efforts and it was they..who were going to get thrown for trying.
Ukemi with a body trained this way is not the same, as ukemi in normal budo people. In my personal experience going way back...contrary to the internet. There -is- no argument about it....in person.
As for today being an improvement over the dojos in the 70,80, 90's, Shaun? That remains to be seen. As more and more aikido teachers and students start training internal/ aiki -things are going to start to change more rapidly. Were we to be talking in 2020 I think the discussion will no longer be about style and secrets, it will be more like...remember when most people weren't practicing internal power /aiki back in the day....
In time all of the current senior Japanese teachers are going to be facing a very different American student base smiling back at them. Aikido as omote and Ura and the decision for no more Non-Japanese Shihan as Peter noted as a strong possibility... may take on a whole new face. Just as was seen in Ueshiba with his teacher....we may no longer care or need what they know.
Have a great weekend