1. As in http://www.westlord.com/wallpaper/osensei-021/
? I associate this pose with an older Ueshiba who no longer planted people into the mat at the end of iriminage/kokyunage.
2. I grew up with the Ki Soc style "ki tests" which are grouped into different types, and in our dojo looked very similar to the recordings of O-sensei (pushing with the whole body weight, shoving etc). I've seen them done in a very weak fashion as well though.
3. I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here (I thought I did, then re-read it and the link a few times). Maybe this has more to do with the development of Kendo over the last 50 years?
4. These guys had been studying their own arts for a long time. When you're used to the way of studying a martial art, and committed to learning intensively from a good teacher, you can progress very rapidly.
(Anecdote time: I was training in a dojo in London and a new guy joined who was a trained dancer. First technique, he sat and watched the sensei demonstrate it, then got up and did it. Perfectly. Sensei showed a more advanced version, he did it. Next class, and next week, he could reproduce every technique from every class he'd attended, at a level that put most of the class to shame. Of course, his ukemi was less good, and he didn't always understand what he was doing, but his training gave him a massive head start on both learning a physical movement and the feel of the aiki between uke and tori).
5. How many people here, how many aikidoists in the world, are full time teachers (and I don't mean unemployed apart from teaching twice a week at the YMCA), voraciously studying both from other aikido sensei and other martial arts teachers? I probably know less than 10 people I'd say that about, but they relish challenges (at the least, someone is going to learn something - hopefully it will be them!). That's where its gone - don't look for it in a McDojo.
As an aside, the influences on someone looking to augment their aikido are very different to those Ueshiba had - BJJ, JKD, Krav Maga... I can't help thinking that a 'modern Ueshiba' would get sniffed at by the aikido community for not doing "real" aikido(TM).
1. Yes, that's the pose. I've seen Ueshiba in that pose from his early years through to his later years. My question is in regards to where it went? I find very little info on Ueshiba's students in relation to this pose. One would think that if Ueshiba is seen doing a technique in this manner throughout his life, then his students would copy it in some form. Where did it go? Takeda and Hisa are photographed in this pose. If it was purely a Daito ryu "thing", then why is Ueshiba still doing it in his eighties? What is the significance of it? Which students have done this? If none, why not?
2. Yes, a weak fashion. Why is that? As I noted with a Youtube video in a previous post, Tohei doesn't accept a weak push. Ueshiba didn't. Horikawa didn't. Why do we accept that a weak push is okay ... after 20-40 years of training? Beyond that, how many schools actually have push tests, besides the Ki Society? Where did that training go? It was something Ueshiba did all his life.
3. I don't know of many schools, aikido or otherwise, that use the sword in either hand. Ueshiba is on video doing kata that way. There are accounts of both Takeda and Ueshiba training that way. I don't know and haven't heard of any modern high ranking kendo people training with an aikido person to learn their "taisabaki". Yet, somewhere, somehow, all of that happened with Ueshiba. There was a manner of training ... where did it go?
Perhaps, you're right in some way. Maybe the development of kendo over the last 50 years has created a split where top kendo people wouldn't train with an aikido person to learn "taisabaki". It's a possibility. The martial arts world has changed over the years.
4. Yes, that's the main point. A lot of people had been studying jujutsu, judo, kenjutsu, kendo, etc for a long time. Yet when they met Ueshiba, all that training didn't help them one little bit. Yet, somehow that training helped them to learn what Ueshiba was doing?
If that's true, then all those judo people who had years and years of experience should have learned from Mifune in a very short period of time. Yet, there are few judo people as skilled as Mifune.
Or closer to home ... all of the post war students of Ueshiba that had martial backgrounds, why didn't they become as skilled as Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, etc? As Stan Pranin points out, none of them reallly studied all that long with Ueshiba. Timeframes are similar. Tohei mentions building his body strength up to rival his judo peers but that didn't help him with Ueshiba. What did Tohei do? Went to the Tempukai to learn ... His previous Judo training didn't help him.
It's a common theory that previous martial training helped, but so far, history doesn't support it all that well. A simpler answer is that there is a specific training paradigm to build the skill set that Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, etc had. One that was, as Ueshiba knew, "the secret of aiki".
5. I'm not very good a putting ideas into words. See my previous post to Jason Casteel for a better description of "testing". Aikido isn't looked upon very highly in the martial arts world of today. But, Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc blazed paths across many martial arts. They were tested (again, not meaning formal challenges) by all manner of men. But, today, even most McDojo Karate schools laugh at aikido. What happened?