Peter A Goldsbury
I think you will need to look at the evidence, such as it is, very carefully and I will do this in my columns when the time comes. However, Tada Shihan was a disciple of Nakamura Tempu, along with Tohei Sensei, and was also a student at Waseda (and doing aikido training), when the issues with Tomiki Kenjio arose. So I think he would be well-placed to detect any change in Kisshomaru's attitudes. He also states that he was trying to replicate O Sensei's training methods and this is why I think Tada Shihan is relevant to Ellis's concerns in HIPS. An additional advantage is that he is still alive and healthy--prodigiously healthy for an 82 year old. Kei Izawa and I plan to interview him as soon as we can find a mutually acceptable time and place.
Thank you, Peter. Evidence does not usually come openly and easily understood. Having to sift through what is out there is a very tedious and time consuming process, which I'm sure you're more than aware. I always look forward to your columns.
As for Kisshomaru Ueshiba ... I don't know much about him. One one hand, I think he's very much an overlooked giant in modern aikido as his efforts truly spread aikido worldwide. Having to deal with his father, his father's fame, etc ... again, not something I think would have been easy. But, there were changes made to make aikido appeal to a worlwide audience. In that, a lot of what makes aikido powerful was lost. And in losing the power, a lot of the spiritual was lost.
Tohei ... I don't really know how to say this without offending a lot of people. In my small, limited, beginner's opinion, I don't think Tohei was doing the same thing that Morihei Ueshiba was doing.
Don't get me wrong, I think Tohei was very skilled, very good, and was doing great things. In the aikido world, his abilities and skill were nothing to look down on. He was a teacher to a lot of people, which certainly says quite a bit about him. I'm not disparaging him in any manner. In modern aikido, I think he was exemplary. Certainly one of the giants of modern aikido.
But I have my own personal doubts as to whether he was actually doing the full complement of aiki as done by Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba. So, in those doubts, I look to where Tohei learned his skills, Nakamura Tempu -- but, that's something for future research. These are all just my opinions and theories which are mostly unsupported at this time.
Will you be able to print your interview with Tada shihan? That could certainly be a very interesting discussion. He has the experience with Ueshiba, Tohei, and Nakamura. It would be worthwhile to hear his comparisons between those three.
Seishiro Endo shihan will be in DC the end of this month. I've been debating going to the seminar since it's so close and there are so few left who have trained under Ueshiba.