I not writing for sympathy or empathy. I really want to know. Please try not to write back if you have nasty things to say. Let's discuss these ideas without being mean.
I rarely bother with aikiweb anymore since Mike and Dan appeared but this post caught my eye.
If you look back to when they were first around you'll prob see me involved in a bunch of disagreements with them. Their position was always 'aikido has lost aiki/IS' my position was 'this is simply not true, rare it may be but it is still there'. Their rebuttal was 'well you clearly don't know what aiki/IS is', mine was 'actually I do but apparently only people who have been to your seminars are allowed to say they understand it'. Hence we face ever decreasing circles of idiocy from all parties, and in particular I received a bunch of abusive PMs from people for daring to question Dan's skills and abilities (I did not question them btw). Made my responses rather more trollish than I'd have liked so I left aikiweb pretty much. Not intending to critisize anyone here, rather the whole situation was something I just couldn't be bothered with anymore.
Dan and Mike certainly seem to have things to offer that a lot of people find very interesting and worthwhile, and I certainly have no problem with going outside of aikido to bring things back in, many (most?) of the great aikido teachers I can think of have done some of this, from my lineage, Koichi Tohei for one, plus my own teacher Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei has spent some time with aspects of Shinkage Ryu and Daito Ryu when he teaches. I've also spent time in various CMA type places whenever I can and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and Kendo too.
Basically I feel like O Sensei left us with a big box of presents in the shape of the aikido techniques he'd adapted from Daito Ryu and elsewhere and it may take us several generations of students to unwrap them all and fully understand them. Often going outside of aikido to someone else who has been playing with a particular toy for several years before you started unwrapping it can save you having to read the manual. That person can (ideally I suppose) be your aikido instructor, but I see no reason why it can't be someone like Dan or Mike either.