Nice column Niall, thanks!
I am hoping in the future you will write on what you learned from Arikawa Sensei. I remember when I attended his classes, he would always mumble and I could not make out a word he was saying.
Heh, that sounds like a classic case of "Oyaji Nihongo"
I would also be interested to hear more about Arikawa Sensei, given his association with the Daito Ryu community. I believe he put Stanley Pranin in touch with some DR people?
RE: Zen and Aikido, are there any Aikidoka who regularly practice zazen? I've heard the term "hollow body" ("Ku dou") referred to by Zen practicioners, ever heard of this term?
I also recall an article by David Lynch where talked about a zen monk watching a demo given by Gozo Shioda. The monk exclaimed that Shioda was demonstrating "Mushin".
Charles, how are things in Mishima? I hope you have escaped the worst of recent events.