Peter Sensei this was something that I forgot to ask you when you were here the other day... Having experienced Yamaguichi Sensei's teaching firsthand, would you accept that he taught his Aikido encapsulated within a certain form... but which his students captured its inner essence each in their own fashion. By way I mean, looking at how Endo Sensei felt that he was being shown something personal to him even though Sensei was doing it for the whole class... and indeed at that point in time, he was just recovering the will to train again after his injury.
To me I would think the form is a canvas (aikido et el) that the Sensei uses certain common principles (chushin, zanshin etc) meaningful to him to apply techniques (awase, musubi etc) that are his forte resulting in a painting (ikkyo, nikkyo etc)... in reality the picture is limitless than the boundaries of that frame, though it's essence is captured in what we see. Does that make sense to you?
Peter A Goldsbury
I think SHU-HA-RI is primarily a teaching/learning relationship, not something based on form vs. the absence of form. The form, if any, is the vehicle for the relationship, not the other way round.
In my opinion, a good example of this relationship can be seen with Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda. All the elements: SHU, HA, and RI, are there. Form (= waza) enters into this relationship only to the extent that it is seen to be necessary. I think Ellis Amdur has argued quite strongly in his latest book that form did not seem to matter too much to Takeda or Ueshiba. But the relationship was there--and it endured. In terms of the relationship, the RI component was formalized only in 1936.