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.
George, let me suggest again that if you know something you should post it. One of the things I keep an eye out for is someone posting specific how-to's in a way that a newby (but a real enthusiast) can read and profit by. I see more time talking about personalities and vague references than I see talking about how-to's. There is something really wrong in Aikido that this keeps on happening. Break the cycle.
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.
Well shame on them. Bad people. Meanies, even. But then, you have to be careful because in most of the situations like this there are people who agree on one side that someone is a meany and there are people on another side that feel their opinions about jealous or petty people is vindicated when they see oblique personal shots being taken. I saw a lot of this happen in Taiji at one time and I think there's a Y in a path here that can lead either toward progress or back toward the same petty fiefdoms trying to maintain and regain their power and status. In the case of Taiji, I saw that for many teachers it was far more important for them that they maintain their position and mutual support of their peers than it was to move forward. Ultimately progress in Taiji was stymied by the current "seniors" and by a group of aggressive but self-serving people who were looking to build their own kingdoms. I walked away and when I look back I see that none of them have really progressed in all those years. What Aikido does for now is up to whether people really want to progress, like Ikeda Sensei did, or whether they really are more interested in the status quo. It's going to be interesting to watch. As a mutual friend of yours and mine (someone who studied with you when you started) noted, Aikido has become so populated with people who are not really interested in Aikido that it's a real question which way it's going to go.
While we're all waiting to see which way things go though, my suggestion is *still* that people get off their backsides and if they really know anything, start posting it, talking it, and showing it. These wastes of time with oblique attempts to target people personally only confirm the low opinions that many people have about what goes on in Aikido. So why not try talking about facts, how-to's, etc., and show what a real teacher can do?