George S. Ledyard
You'll appreciate this... Back in the seventies Saotome Sensei would periodically go out to California to teach seminars for a couple weeks at a time. One time, he took Ikeda Sensei and he sued Ikeda Sensei for ukemi. It was all atemi waza and Ikeda Sensei basically tried to kill him and he did his thing.
After the demo, a shodan level hippie lady who had a dojo somewhere in CA came up to him and informed him that he hadn't understood O-Sensei's message of peace and love. This to a person who had spent fifteen years as an uchi deshi from a person who had never even met the Founder. You can imagine Sensei's reaction...
I've ran into this attitude like I've said. I'm not sure where people get the gusto to make these sort of statements(especially to a Shihan's face!), or what exactly is going on in their heads that would even lead to this sort of thinking.
Which is sort of my annoyance. I'm NO shihan myself; but at what point do people stop recognizing high level Aikido, even as they are seeing it?
I think everyone has their own idea about what Aikido should be. Some people think it should be a Budo, others consider it interchangeably with macrame...a hobby for their spare hours. Makes them feel more cultured maybe. I don't know.