Re: Breaking Shu Ha Ri
I won't pretend to have the connections to aiki masters or the experiences that some of the elder aiki people on here have - but my understanding of Shu Ha Ri is not that it encapsulates and traps you. Rather that you learn until you are able to master it. After mastery, you evolve. I hardly see the learning and mastery phases as being fenced in.
I think we have too many teens and 20 some year olds that are watching a few videos of an art and thinking "Oh, I got this". I've encountered too many people who don't want to invest time to learn an art, just want a 'crash course' of the finer points so that they don't have to 'waste their time'. 2 months of BJJ, 2 classes of Aiki, a few Muay Thai classes, and a lot of bag work = I got this.
I think more students need to be acquainted with (and acceptant of) the concept of Shu Ha Ri. Invest the time to learn ONE art before trying to evolve it.