Hi Francis -
Thank you for once again sharing your views with us. Your statement above is a powerful assertion regarding O Sensei's intent as it relates to the development and dissemination of Aikido over time. I think that had O Sensei not had the foresight to endow Aikido with the ability to flex, grow and change with the times that today Aikido would be relegated to curiosity status practiced by only a very few. Some would argue that perhaps Aikido would have been better off with a less interpretative structure that adhered to the form and training regimen of O Sensei's art at some time prior to the second World War. Maybe so, maybe not.
O Sensei's intent for his aikido?
There are way too many instances of Morihei Ueshiba's students stating things like, I didn't know what he was talking about. I won't post them but many of them can be found from Stan Pranin's efforts and work. Others are scattered in books and magazines. I won't post all the back and forth about Tohei and what he thought of Morihei Ueshiba's ideology. Or the time in Hawaii when Ueshiba was mad at Tohei and admonished the students that they could take Tohei because of his impurity. Or a hundred other similar things.
I will mention Peter Goldsbury's excellent post about how the post-war students were probably not shown some of Morihei Ueshiba's personal training. ( http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...907#post287907
I will mention the post-war time when the son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, wanted to do a public demonstration and thought his father would go into a rage over the idea. But Morihei Ueshiba let his son do his own thing. Who was it that flexed and changed here? The founder or his son? The son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, took over.
It's also worth noting that it was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who ranked students quickly, sometimes skipping a grade. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who sent Aikido teachers out into the world. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who changed his father's spiritual ideological message so that the new aikido would be more fit for a worldwide audience. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who changed his father's view of techniques and codified them. Morihei Ueshiba required prospective students to have sponsors. Kisshomaru Ueshiba did not.
Quite a bit of all of this (and more) is there in the recorded history from many different sources.
The beauty of Aikido is that there's room for all to study and gain thereby from their practice. Who is so perfect in their knowledge of O Sensei's intent that they can decide whose practice is worthwhile and whose is not?
With all those Japanese students not understanding what Morihei Ueshiba was saying to them, with Morihei Ueshiba not actually teaching those students his personal training regimen, with those students not being able to martially replicate his skills, how is it that you know that there's "room for all to study and gain thereby" from Morihei Ueshiba's aikido? Are you so perfect in your knowledge of Morihei Ueshiba and his aikido that you can state that?
On the flip side of things, if we were talking about Kisshomaru's Aikido (what I call "Modern Aikido"), I would agree with you completely.