Some of the students however, were very "this is my way and it is good and right" especially if trying to do a technique a way that was not like they had learned. I feel it only fair to point out that these were the more advanced students.
I am reminded of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which one psuedo Frenchman taunted his enemies using a phrase which started with Little minded ...etc.
If you take a technique like kotegaeshi, there are as many versions of that technique as there are martial arts. Many of the people with whom I trained made a big deal of why their particular version was the superior version and the others were deficient in some way. Fortunately for me, my teacher is Saotome Sensei whom I have never heard say such a thing aboout any technique. My particular take was that every version I have learned would work in the proper context so I have incorporated all of them into what I teach my students.
I think that the worst thing a teacher can do to his students(aside from abuse)is to narrow their vision. The idea that there is only one way to do a technique is just as dangerous as the idea that one religion or one political philosphy has a lock on the truth. Training should result in an expansion of horizons. But what often happens is that the more experience students have, the more they are insecure about admitting that there is something they don't know or understand. If some does something differently, they dismiss it so that they can continue to be important. This is absolutely the worst when those people eventually become teachers. They are forced by their own limitations to forbid their students to look at other options as that would expose their own deficiencies. It results in small spirit and virtually guarentees that they will be mediocities in the long run.
Always remember the story of the Zen Master who was asked for instruction by an arrogant Samurai. The master proceeded to offer him tea. When the master poured he didn't stop when the cup was full and kept on pouring. The Samurai protested in shock and the master replied that it would be impossible to teach someone whose cup was full just as it was impossible to put more tea in to this teacup.
Ignore all this BS. It is all about insecurity and trying to make oneself feel secure by associating with rigid authorities who claim special insight. Just train, look at everything, try everything, and make your own Aikido. You can't do anyone else's Aikido, not even your own teacher's. Don't pay attention to people who have traded their broad vision for some silly status within an organization of insecure people.
[Edited by George S. Ledyard on September 22, 2000 at 02:45pm]