Do you claim to be speaking for ASU?
I suggest that you tell Ikeda Sensei that you are using your time with him at the seminar to support people who say he all but lacks Aiki compared to Harden and company. Tell him the things they say or imply about Saotome Sensei. Better yet, show sensei the whole discussion start to finish. Hugh, I challenge you to do so.
You fail to understand at all what Sensei is doing. I have hosted Sensei on two occasions and have had numerous conversations with him about these issues. I have private video footage of him discussing these very issues. I have sat and discussed the meaning of Aiki with both Ikeda and Saotome Senseis at the same table. Ikeda sensei is blending and joining and applying gravity once he has a balance advantage. Because you can't see everything that he's doing doesnt mean that its' not there. He is doing so with an internal emphasis. Some of this he learned from Ushiro Sensei. He sees no contradiction. Often what he shows is at the level of exercise. He has shown me the level of application. Blending is always part of this. So is timing. Etc. and so forth. He does not reject the mainstream notion of Aiki to do so. There is nothing that Sensei is doing that contradicts what Saotome Sensei says about Aiki. Ask him if he contradicts Saotome Sensei. Even the statement about punching an uke who stays in a dangerous place is an endorsement of the need for ukemi.
I am sick of a few people in ASU being pawns for Harden and people like Harden, either speaking in support of him or allowing him to claim to speak for them without the courage to do so themselves. Harden and those who defend him reject what Ikeda does as not what they do and now you try to use him in your embrace of them. You will not use Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei in an attempt to attack me in a public forum and support people like Harden who who are advancing an agenda that says that Saotoome Sensei has not been teaching real Aiki all these years. I won't have it Hugh. Should we ask Sensei what he thinks of this? Harden has implied violence and has suggested, at a minimum, that he plans to cause trouble for Ikeda and Saotome Senseis at a seminar in the future. Are you on the record to support this man after that challenge? Are you speaking for Gleason Sensei and for your dojo?
Harden has implied violence with the sentence:
"You are wise to make a public statement you are not interested in meeting me." Then tries to cover this up by saying, "While I would greet you in a friendly exchange." Then he implies he'll teach Saotome and Ikeda Senseis a lesson. Do you support this man? Do you do so formally as a representative of your dojo? Would you like to bring this to the attention of Sensei? Let Sensei put me in my place? I challenge you to do so, Hugh.
His full statement is copied below:
"You are wise to make a public statement you are not interested in meeting me. While I would greet you in a friendly exchange, your opinions and your skills, would simply fail you and all you would have left -when it comes to aiki-would be your words. In fact you would be helpless to do aikido on me...at all. Why? You would have to know Ueshiba's aiki in order to do anything to me. And it remains clear, you do not. I will continue to train with the senior staff or your organization, and eventually put hands on Ikeda and Saotome. I will let you know where and when that is. You might want to attend and learn something about what aiki is and can do and what professional behavior is all about. Your behavior is anything but!"
Hey, just to throw some gas on the fire, I'm at an Ikeda Sensei seminar right this minute (well, earlier today).
He's been doing, guess what, static drills, finding center, unbalancing, showing how to use interior connection to move uke. No big throws, no momentum, no blending if by that you mean matching uke's movement and extending it. Oh, and he says if uke lets himself stay in an unsafe position, you should just punch him. :-)
Think he's got it wrong? We have one more day to go, shall I tell him so?
By the way, I like the Richard Feynman quote. But this is the guy who, when an experimental scientist disproved his favorite theory, said "Let's ignore him. He's a smart guy, he'll figure out he's wrong."
Not long later, the experimental scientist published a retraction.