Ellis and Dan,
I take what you are saying and understand all that, but (and I point this out gently) neither of you have much experience in DR schools.
All I can say is that when Tokimune's dojo in Hokaido released tapes showing the complete Hiden Mokuroku we were able to watch them and see one familiar technique after another; there's that one, and look there's the next one, and that one etc. etc. It must be pointed out that our two branches would have diverged prior to any creation by Tokimune of his own mokuroku. And didn't he learn most of his basics from his mother BTW. Did she just wing it as well?
Similar experience with Roppokai/Kodokai.
Hope all is well. I'm going to disagree abit with you but in the same respectfull manner you used. It's cool.
I sat and watched the same video series along with other private in-house footage of Tokimune and others with a Shihan and teachers who have trained in multiple branches as well. Then went on to experience other views with other teachers in yet another branch of the art. Many years later I found their opinions and mine- do not match yours.
It is true that DR curriculum seem to enumerate a wide variety of what would be termed henka or oya waza in a more traditional koryu. The interesting thing is that this approach tends to focus attention on the receptions which would be where the "aiki" would be applied as well as many variations (straight wrist/bent wrist, straight arm/curved arm, large movement to smaller movement, etc.) that seem to walk a practitioner through gross technical jujutsu into subtle jujutsu and beyond to what might be posited as an "aiki" jutsu performance.
That may be a longer road than necessary, but can we be sure? I don't know. Can you "aiki" someone without having internalized the grosser pathways of jujutsu waza? Maybe. It might well be a different animal though.
Thes are the same arguement points that have been spinning for decades between the branches. I am unconcerned with the debate over jujutsu, aiki-jujutsu and aiki-no-jutsu, for the simple reason that I am distinctly and pointedly "unimpressed" with the abilities of both it's staunchest advocates and feircest detractors. I am no more interested in over extended Frankenstein like jujutsu than I am with fluffy aiki.
I think people in the art would do well to focus on being able to produce something that is actual and combatively real. Something that is abso-freaking-lutley stunning and unstoppable against fighters instead of just talking a good game in their own dojos. In the process of which they might find they actually have something worth listening to. (I'm not aiming that your way Doug. Just to the general debate of jujutsu V aiki.
As far as applying DR aiki in free style and then having it being considered something "other" than DR aiki by the peanut gallery? I have heard all this stuff before from several angles. I am past the point of caring, other than to continually prove that DR aiki always did work and still works in any venue. Even in the face of certain teachers of other Koryu and in DR itself stating that aiki is about "fine motor skills and will fail in an ardenaline dump."
I think there could very well be a method to Takeda's madness. Is it the best method? Don't know.
Maybe Takeda was a genius who could look at a student and evaluating their level give them the next piece of the puzzle. Well, in the absence of the genius himself, the best we can do is follow what has been preserved of the steps he gave others.
The best WE can do?
I am sure you are not alone in calling Takeda's method- madness and therefore are willingly to follow in the footsteps of the modern teachers for the rest of your career as the "best "you"
It sure as hell is NOT the best "I"
Come to think of it-just look at the Frankenstein jujutsu V the aikifluff. In and of itself it makes the case of the diverse syllabus from school to school.
Good luck in your training.