But this leads us to another point. Is it, or can it be taught today? More's the point, is Ellis's idea of how to become them or even surpass them valid? If so how?
Just who and what are the current people in DR doing?
Who is fighting with "aiki-in the body" instead of waza?
Who can demonstrate aiki against a myriad of MAers in open sparring?
How about with weapons; traditional or newer ones against men well versed in them?
Again, I think there is a different level of understanding to be had in going through the process and coming out the other side. One that is easily dismissed, or talked over on the web or in the written word but cannot be so easily dismissed in person.
Time and training -or time-in, in their training
Ueshiba went from cowering and crying in the corner in front of Takeda's aiki in 1915 to the makings of a budo giant after 1922. That's just seven years of part time work with Takeda and full time work on his own! Seven years folks!
This is stunning to focus on. We need to take it…and chew on it before swallowing, and think it through.
Let's get off the "worship the budo giants wagon" and living in days gone by and consider what is possible. Consider what is happening today. Right now!
Consider the changes that are happening in people training this right now.
We have heard the same words from many teachers in Aikido today that are virtual echoes from the past.
You may freely dismiss him a genius and all that and think you will never be able to do what he did and therefore stop trying. I don't believe it for a minute. In fact I would have loved to have challenged him, Takeda and anyone else in the aiki arts just using…aiki. Why? I am looking past them and daring to believe. I think we need to stop looking at their skill level as unattainable and focus more on what IS possible.
As Ellis put it "How to be them"…in so many steps.
It is not going to be "found" in going to the dojo and taking ukemi and going through the ranks. That's for the Budo wallpaper you use to experiment on.
Serious question: are "aiki" (those skills that Takeda and Ueshiba demonstrated) and what we commonly think of as "aikido" (a curriculum of techniques embodying certain principles) mutually exclusive?