Re: Legacy and the Founder
Hello Mary and Ron.
Congratulations on successfully running your own independent dojo, and for having faith in the Aiki Principles, applying them in the manner of your own choosing. I can imagine how happy and content your lucky students must be.
Aikido's amazing history in the United States has run for over 58 years, and I suspect that volumes could be and should be recorded to adequately and fairly give a full accounting. This work is way beyond my knowledge or talent, and would indeed require a collaboration of the many who have been studying and cataloging this information over the years.
My fortune and identity has continually been defined by my unbroken association with Aikikai Foundation and its leadership, beginning with Koichi Tohei, up to the current Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba. If you have specific questions about those years, perhaps I can attempt to respond.
I am at somewhat of a loss as to where to begin, to identify any particular questions or clarifications you are seeking answers for, and am not sure that this is the forum for such discussions.
One purpose for my commenting about "Legacy and the Founder", and those of his most prominent direct students, is to encourage viewpoints and stories from those who knew them, learned directly from them and were entrusted with the transmission of such lessons.
I feel that it is vitally important to not only give due credit to these pioneers, but to glean and preserve the essence of what they themselves learned, digested and used to create their own interpretations of the original teachings.
As we inevitably lose these individuals over time, we must do what we can to ask questions, record answers and to accumulate such invaluable knowledge in a manner made available to any who wish to study them.
The sheer size of the data involved requires a group effort to sift through, catalogue and to preserve for succeeding generations. As both George and Clark have pointed out, we need to begin yesterday, to identify and encourage those who have been reticent to date to contribute to this worthy project.
I am sorry for not answering your request adequately, and I look forward to more specific questions that allow me to return bite size responses that do address specific points.