Nice post. So doesn't it make sense that studying a Koryu will teach you a specific Koryu, and something about Koryu in general and, of course, that will influence one's view of . . . everything, including Aikido, to some extent. But all Koryu are NOT the same and therefore a Koryu's given influence (positive, negative, neutral) on one's Aikido will depend a whole long on whether or not a given koryu is amenable to Aiki which is what the Do is supposed to be about?
So true! Very good point.
I haven't been training in koryu for long enough to understand how it interacts with my Aikido training. I may be remiss in generalizing to all koryu training the things i experience at the beginner level in mine.
However, there is something really fascinating about how you start training koryu and its like "today's topic: how to cut a man open and watch him die."
None of this "we're going to become one with our partner and end the conflict without fighting," or "let's develop martially effective technique that aligns the heavens and the earth." These are the kind of ideas that attracted me to Aikido in the first place, and I am committed to them, but the thing is, they are daunting. I am not sure i am going to ever really know how to do these things, see the forest for the trees, recognize that I am touching an elephant, etc.
But with koryu, you find a good teacher and trust the process. You don't start out picking up a piece of wood, being told that you are supposed to consider it to be a live blade, and now you are going to work out how to win without fighting. it starts with learning how to walk up to somebody and end his life. After awhile you learn how to end conflicts before they start etc but that's where they all seem to begin.
Should we approach aikiken training with this spirit at the beginning? I think the answer should be yes, but some people can't handle it. Their eyes get real big and you can see them going "perhaps I should change my schedule so I can stay late at the dojo on open mat night instead of weapons night."