Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei
I think there is a focus in aikido on the "goal," not the means to accomplish the goal. As aikido has become somewhat homogenized to satisfy the expansion of students, aikido choose to focus on a fixed goal, and leave the means of accomplishing that goal to the various organizations and leading instructors. Sort of an "end justifies the means" point of view. As long as you are enlightened, does it matter if you can fight? However, we are now challenging the answer to this question because: A. we are not finding enlightenment, B. We can't fight for s$#%. Personally, I agree that we need to critically review the curriculum of aikido and the tools of dissemination because I think we are weak in this respect.
As for the essence of aikido, I think the development of body and mind is an adequate summation of training, and I think the coordination and control over one's person as a result of that training would adequately outline a Westernized concept of "aiki". I think in argument, one can express aiki in a variety of different activities: flowering arranging, karate, baseball, dancing, etc. The problem is that we have difficulty expressing aiki through aikido training. We have a validation issue with a fallible curriculum that is diluted in both instruction consumption. I think this is the focus of Gleason Sensei's comment concerning the absence of the essence of aiki in training...
I think many leaders are currently reviewing their methods of dissemination and the curriculum of aikido. I think more instructors are validating their instruction against other arts and fighting principles. I think organizations are altering their instructional goals to produce a more solid foundation of students.