Peter A Goldsbury
Thank you for the comments. I was not thinking of you in particular, but of AikiWeb in general, as a resource-rich site, frequented by people who have long experience in various types of training and reflection on this training. I remember that the late Ubaldo Alcantara used to worry that contributions of an overtly academic sort were frowned upon on certain websites, on the grounds that the latter were not a good place for such material. I disagree and so the TIE columns will continue. I am obliged to Jun for meeting the demands made on his time, with formatting etc.
I think your academic research is very valuable. You were able to put many of O sensei ideas in the right cultural and social context. It certainly changes and refines some of our understanding about what Founder created.
However there is some danger of such approach. As example I can give: your criticism of close connection Budo, and particularly aikido with agriculture. From theoretical point of view it may seems right, but from my experience, and I mean real life experience, you are not right.
We moved few years ago to the country side. I’m not a farmer, still working in my job, but we have some land and started do develop a 30 000 sq feet garden with a lot of big trees. Consciously we are trying to avoid the use of big mechanical tools. It is not always possible – example: some delivery must be done with trucks. But most of heavy work we are doing by hands.
After 3 years of this experience, I must admit that not only my body changed, also my techniques, approach to aikido and general understanding of Founder’s ideas. Presently I think ppl who are not sullying their hands with soil regularly, who never physically struggle with Nature, they can’t understand Founder. Only deep connection to Mother Earth can help here. Talking about The Elements (like fire, water…) and having physical every day contact with such elements are two completely different things. I could write a long essay about it, but it is useless unless somebody touch a soil.