George S. Ledyard
What Ikeda Sensei, and the rest of us, got from Ushiro Sensei was an organized set of explanations that made many of the elements Saotome Sensei had always had but did not explain, clear as discrete pieces that could be looked at and worked, distinct from other elements. Saotome Sensei largely just did stuff. Nothing was ever pointed out.
When Sensei and I were watching one of Ushiro Sensei's classes, he commented that he had been teaching the same things for well over 35 years. My comment back to him was "Yes, Sensei, but Ushiro explains it."
As someone who has taken ukemi from Ikeda Sensei for 35+ years, I can say that, while the outer form of his techniques is much the same, what he is doing is on another level and the experience of taking ukemi is quite different.
Thanks for the input, George. It sounds, to my ear, like a pretty realistic assessment.
Ikeda Sensei is now attempting to teach a measured form of discrete information, in his own way. I think it's a very good thing. If such a thing had occurred while I was taking Aikido, I would probably have stayed with Aikido, at least much longer. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to try figure out what he's trying to do through his demonstrations.
What do you think about discrete teaching in dojos of basic kokyu skills (like the ones Ikeda Sensei is showing)?