Today I don't hurt so let me put my cynicism aside. When days with pain start
overshadowing the ones without my cynicism rises.
Now I can only address Aikido and budo/buhutsu in America with any degree of authority, no matter how small and localized that authority might be. I can to some extent talk about the Japanese experience only as a sociologist who has through personal interest explored the relevant literature. It seems to me one of the perceived problems with budo in America is that most everyone wants to be an innovator and few wish to be caretakers. Not so with the bujutsu arts. Caretakers are everywhere. When given such an open format as Aikido then true to the American touchstone belief Aikido like anything else can be improved upon. Many of the individuals involved in Aikido here seems to believe they have the cojonies to do this and that it is not only their right but duty to do so. Reshape Aikido in their image. Hell maybe their right! I'm probably one of them. No, I know I am one of them and so is every other American teacher I know. In the Japan, at least the Japan of my literature, innovation is frowned upon and convention is the touchstone of their cultural identity. Don't think outside the box. I believe the reason Ueshiba Sensei shook things up so bad is that he did think outside the box. Some people still can't and other won't admit that such a thing happened. He didn't just start another line of the same thing. Hell started something new. He took a concept called Aiki which had been a concept of war and redefined it as peace and had the juice to make it stick. Almost every effort I have seen from Japanese Sensei (exception Saotome Sensei) has been to put him back into the cultural box of caretakers and forget the innovator he was. On the other hand in America they try to out innovate the innovator. I do not think we will ever find a way out of this thorny dilemma but if we do it will be through cultural rejoinders not philosophical one.