Robert M Watson Jr
I think a lot of us still get things confused. There are two very separate things going on ... power and what to do with it (or how to use it). Mr. Salzman is correct in that cultivation of power is not the end game but is a means to the end of the higher goals of aikido (other arts too).
Having the power to make people do what you want (the founders definition of aiki via Adm. Takeshita diary) is a heavy burden and I'm sure the founder was all too aware (my presumption) of the dangers of power intoxication. This may be a heresy but I believe the founders own personal demons are what led him to immerse himself in the esoterica of shinto, kotodama, etc to obtain some measure of control over the demons so they would not use the power for evil.
What do the rest of us do to quell our inner demons once we come to find we have some exceptional power and can influence or outright control people and prevent that spiral into madness that history reveals time and again?
Power kept a secret grows but can become cancerous. Power shared does not diminish but further empowers.Knowledge truly is power and knowledge shared makes us all more powerful and can lead to greater affects for all. We can make nuclear bombs or we can make power plants - all using the same knowledge. It is simply a matter of the choice on how to use the power. What are you working on?
I don't think I was trying to be that deep, and was just trying to echo something Dan said, so rather you mean to say Dan was correct.
It's more like: if you're analytic about what performance is and what improvement is, then the best way doesn't obsolete better-but-not-best ways if they still get you above baseline, or may interact in other more interesting ways than when taken alone. If everyone trains the same material the same exact way, what fun is that?
The public MMA gyms here in Vegas seem to be effective enough at teaching newbies how to badly injure eachother within a short amount of time, so I'm not too worried about power demons haunting me from what little I practice.