George S. Ledyard
Michael, The breakthrough is happening right now. On the forums I am careful about what I write about. I generally stay away from the internal power material for a number of reasons... The main one is that there are several guys who post here who can do a better job of it. You'll notice that when someone less knowledgeable about the subject posts on the subject, it's as if they are submitting their thesis for review and the experts chime in. Since I have already conceded that, on this subject they know more than i do, I don't see the point. It only serves to make me look stupid and the other guys look even more like experts, which is already a given.
I am a professional instructor... I am willing to take a lot of risks. More than many of my peers I think. But it's a hard world out there. I have been nothing but supportive of the guys doing this work and have, at every opportunity, recommended that folks in Aikido find a way to work with one of them.
But any number of times recently, I have heard through the grapevine that someone's going around telling people "I felt George, he doesn't have it." Well, the reason whoever said that had the chance to feel me was that I made myself available and took the risk. So, exposing myself further to critique from people who are not even from within the Aikido community and to the extent that they had any Aikido background are far junior to me, when I have reason to expect that it may come back to me through the back door, well, I think it's not something I want to do.
I think that you'd find that, if you were in a class with me, it would not seem disjointed. I have a fairly integrated system which from the functional standpoint of teaching seems to get good results in terms of helping folks make big changes in their level fairly rapidly. Since I continue to train myself, I am adding to that all the time. But I think what I am doing is certainly more coherent and a tighter presentation than what i do on the subject here.
People being what they are, you have to protect yourself. I am a second tier teacher. When the uchi deshi have passed, we will be the first tier folks. I have tried hard to develop myself as a recognized and respected teacher. Now that internal power work is becoming a hot topic, partly through my own recommendations, I don't need it to become something that comes back to bite me. So I will continue to let the folks who already have the expertise keep posting. They do a fine job; I support them in the effort.
This simply cannot be ignored.
That George and others like George, put themselves out there in venues unfamiliar to them places them head and shoulders above the average martial artist.
I had a question asked of another senior martial art practitioners, of whether or not "he had it" (meaning IP) I said no not in any significant way. Then I asked the one asking the question "Have you crossed hands with him or done weapons with them in their art of choice.
They said "No, I haven't."
I said "Trust me he can hand you your head!"
Of course it's not about just being able to fight; there is also the issue of knowing an art and having expertise in executed said art to consider. An area where the self same IP guy would fail.
I have sparred with Gleason any number of times, but when asked to do aikido...you don't want to know what I look like in comparison to Bill in doing Aikido!!
We can't go on to applaud Ikeda, Ledyard, Gleason, Amdur, then the next level teachers like Drachman, Liberti, Abrums, Beebe, etc for being stand up guys and testing themselves, then shoot them down at the same time for not knowing everything.
We also cannot go on letting an IP guy state "it has to be felt" then shoot down those they
haven't felt, and telling those teachers and students who have felt IP guys that they don't have any ability to judge that either. What then was the point in IHTBF?
Doing so smacks of agenda to me.
An open door
I was/am hoping that when the doors to these men's lives opened that this movement was going to be a positive one; that it was to be a free exchange of information to help in bringing back to aikido what we have come to agree went missing from the art.
How does it help to then turn around and denigrate the efforts of the people who are trying to bring it back into the art?
We certainly do not have expertise to do that work do we? Those teachers who know me, know my answer when I am asked "How do we incorporate it into our art
"That's your job. I'm not qualified!"
It is difficult to read and see things that are a bit off in various description and videos (even sometimes seeing people going in a different direction from what you taught them) but I allow for growth, learning curve and experimentation. While certain forums have delighted in tearing down the efforts of those just learning and critiquing them...I have no part in that.
So George, If I was in any way party to what you have described, you have my sincerest apologies. The way I see it is "Yes, I have things you do not know." What needs to be stated here clearly is that "You have an "expertise"
in areas I cannot approach.
All the best