First, I'm surprised Jun let this go by. It's one thing to criticize in a discussion about how aikido is being done and whether or not it's personally defined as "aikido", but calling people "pompous asses"?
I have a very good idea of the kind of people that George Ledyard has trained with. I'd wager that he's also viewed quite a lot of video content, read books, etc. Would you care to compare your background, Chris, with George's? Care to offer your views on the thread topic?
Or let's substitute Marc Abrams ...
From Saotome to Ikeda to Imaizumi to Ushiro to Kaizen to a whole host of quality teachers/respected men, these people have put in the time to actually have informed opinions. Yes, criticism can be harsh at times. Who in their budo career hasn't gotten that from their teacher? But, I'd have an extremely hard time believing that George or Marc had any bad intent behind their words.
And even if you try to say that you didn't include them, it's still rather rude to apply "pompous asses" to the other people. Do you know them? Know their bona fides? If they are new students, they're certainly entitled to make mistakes. We all have been there. It's the seniors who are there to correct them, not call them "pompous asses". And if they've been around awhile, you want to compare bona fides with them so that you can assert your view that they are "pompous asses"? In front of the whole world?
I've heard (but haven't met) about one of your teachers. He has a very good reputation and I have yet to see him call someone a pompous ass online. I even wouldn't believe it if someone said he did. I'd have to say, show me. He's a stand up guy. Very respected.
What I'm trying to say is that I think you were a bit rude here. If that's who you want to be ... you're certainly welcome to become that kind of person. But, when you find doors closing, don't be surprised. Someone recently told me that in budo, it's *all* about the relationships. It was an extremely important and great piece of advice. Something worth thinking about ...
I stand on my own two feet. I'm glad you like one of my teachers (I probably like him as well), but we are different people. My current body of work, and my opinions are my own. I don't look at anyones list of credentials before I look at what they can do, because it simply doesn't matter.
What I said was weak compared to the earlier comments. I hope what I said had the power to make people look closer at what was being said, which was disgusting.