Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
I would say that for many years I did not feel that I was doing O'sensei's aikido. I was doing my sensei's aikido, who was a student of O'sensei, Tohei and many of the greats associated with aikido, judo and other arts in the 50's and 60's. I had no problem with that either, and still don't. We trained hard, with resistance and a mind towards street-effective aikido, using ki principles, good body mechanics and technique. I feel that through that training I got exactly what I paid for and it served me well.
Fast forward to today. While I do not think I am doing O'sensei's aikido, I think I'm pretty darned close to doing aikido has he felt it should be done. While technically I think I am probably doing similar things to what he did, his aikido was also a spiritual thing and I'm not really interested in it for that. We still train hard, the same as always, but due to my outside interests my understanding and application of ki principles has changed. What I look for in my body when training is much more focused, as is the way I go about doing everything in class. I find myself slowing down much more these days in order to train, as I see it today, the right way. I also spend a decent amount of time outside of class doing things that most people would not consider to be aikido, but are the primary reason I feel I'm closer to doing what O'sensei did himself.