Re: Where Did Ueshiba Morihei's Training Go?
Thanks for raising some interesting questions.
Most everyone seems to agree that O'Sensei had developed a considerable amount of internal power that manifested in his Aikido. Furthermore, it sounds plausible that he learned how to get there from his studies in Daito ryu. However, it may be that the reason that this sort of training was not handed down to future Aikidoists was because Ueshiba himself did not encourage it in a practical way. I recall a story from somewhere that O'Sensei once came upon a group of his students who trying to make the techniques work martially and were struggling with one another. He became annoyed saying that he had spent a lifetime studying these things so they didn't have to start there. O'sensei was, evidently, interested in something else. My own sense is that he was deeply exploring how this training could connect his essence to the greater universe from whence he was born and back to which he must die. It is possible that his interest in Internal Power dropped away in this pursuit along with a lot of things. In any case, most of his direct students couldn't understand what the dickens he was talking about when he lectured and he certainly didn't develop a clear method for his students to follow for increasing internal power.
I don't mean to dismiss anyone's interest in pursuing this direction. There is nothing in it that I can see that is contrary to Aikido practice - Indeed it can only enrich it. I just raise the possibility that internal training wasn't central to O'Sensei's spiritual quest and therefore only remains in today's Aikido in vestiges.