... Tohei went "outside" as well, to Tempu Nakamura. ...
... and didn't he state, that Ueshibas influence on what he teaches was just about 30% ...?
here in Germany Ki-aikido explicitely distinguishes itself from the aikido that follows Ueshiba Morihei. Yoshigasaki Kenjiro (who is in charge of ki aikido in Europe, South America and Africa as far as I know) holds the titel doshu and there are no connections on a regular base.
Movements, thinking about ki, ethics, reishiki, body structure, thinking about effectivity ... are all very different. I learn a lot about what is shin shin toitsu do. But I do not learn something (or very little) which I could invcorporate into the aikido I myself learn, practice, teach.
So the name "aikido" is the same, but when I privately visit a dojo of Ki-aikido it is kind of going outside.
On the other hand:
I never had to leave the aikido dojo of my "aikido-setting" (Our federation, befriended dojo ...) to learn things which may come near to what Dan and others seem to teach. Or at least to find and work on the same questions he and others ask (and seem to answer in his seminars).
Therefore I would like very much to practice with him or with someone who can pass on what he teaches (or even pieces of that). Because I think what I may learn there would fit in what Iknow as aikido.
So thinking about this was never thinking about "going outside".
And at last:
My aikido teacher works with in and yo. There is influence of the koryu he practices and teaches.
We often cut rigth through the attack, instead of letting it through and merge with it. There is influence of a certain school of kenjutsu. (Which is not the one, my teacher is sturnde of.)
When working on body structure, internal movements, breathing ... friends who do tai chi quite often state that they know this work.
When using the ki-meridians to understand details of waza there is the connection to shiatsu.
And so much more.
Allt this was part of my life in aikido from the first moment on. And I never considered it to be "outside".
Like you Mary, I think wouldn't consider the Shin shin toitsu do of Tempu to be "outside"?
The lemming thing is simple I think:
I experience it as a common question of a certain part of students of aikido to understand aikido not in terms of the outward movements but as a matter of one's own body. (Sorry: Can't explain this better in english.)
This can mean not to rely on the movements of uke, but to be able to create a contact as tori without ukes "help". Not to throw uke by leading his movement on untill he falls but to affect the organisation of his body in a way that he collapses where he is and down.
And so on ...
When I met Endo sensei for the first time it was like an "awakening": There it is! It is all there! He does it, he teaches it! The things I was dreaming of actually exist! And I can learn them!
When I came home, I told everybody. All the time. And there where other "bellievers". We also might have looked like (or better sounded) lemmings. Because we where exited, enthusiastic. And I am sure we often said - or at least thought - things like: Only he got it. That's the one and only way ...
... this was some years ago ...
(But he really has a lot to give ...