Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei
I read Gleason Sensei's comments to be driven at the observation that aikido students are incorrectly training and therefore not learning about the larger message inherent in aikido.
I believe that after many years exposed to bright minds and skilled practitioners that the curriculum of aikido would advance to be more efficient. In fact, I believe there should be constant pressure on aikido to provide better instruction (and therefore accelerated learning). While I saw "shortcut" expressed in a couple of posts, I am more comfortable expressing that advancement as an evolution of training method. Contrary to what we all saw in Rocky 3, using free weights is probably more efficient than pulling a railroad tie (I know...crushing). I think shortcut implies a bypass in effort, where I would argue we should be better educated on where to focus instruction and how to yield better results.
I believe the issue at hand lies [in part] with the curriculum cutting out instruction elements rather than advancing training methods to maintain a [more] complete curriculum. Each instructor is faced with what curriculum to present and how to present the curriculum within a reasonable expectation of time... Ultimately then reaching the challenge to review whether the curriculum accomplished the desired goal...
Early pioneers like Tohei or Shioda or Saito or (insert name here) were bigger than their aikido because they were the first. Many great aikido people can emulate previous demonstrations and techniques that were done by these early instructors, but that does not make them equal. I think we need to put pressure on our [current] pioneers to do more than was was previously done. Unbendable arm? Seriously, after 50 years unbendable arm is still aikido? After 50 years we still start our demonstrations and magic shows with unbendable arm? Where is the advancement?
We have a generation of great aikido people who are on the forefront of advancing our practice. I believe we need these individuals not only be be another Shioda, or Tohei, or Saito, or (insert name here), they need to be better. We have already seen these aikido greats; now we need to see new greats...