Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?
Do you really feel you can do everything that your teacher can do? Or at least will be able to do everything?
With my first teacher then I'm pretty sure that at some stage I would have been able to do everything he could given enough time but then he died and everything went slightly pear-shaped... Thankfully I'd already met someone who melted my brain, another teacher, and the only one in Aikido terms to have ever done this... I spent about 10 years or so training with him usually once a year and was never ever convinced I'd be able to do what he could. I would listen, ask and try to do what he was saying but I didn't have the basics explained to me in a way to allow me to listen to what he was saying to me. I asked him who I should go to... He mentioned Mike Sigman would be good for my Aikido and so I met up with Mike. Since meeting Mike my understanding of what Ikeda sensei is doing makes complete sense, he taught me how to do my abc's (still working on them) but because I am starting to understand the letters behind the words I'm beginning to understand the bigger picture and how to interpret the sentences. Without Mike, I really don't think I'd be any closer to figuring any of this out. So my recommendation came from a Shihan to go outside his art to get this stuff.
I have met Dan too by the way. But, Mike's stuff made perfect sense to me, Dan's I struggled with - I was trying to not incorporate anything I'd been told my Mike when learning from Dan and I really struggled. I felt like he wasn't taking things down to an absolute basic mechanical level like Mike does, YMMV. Mike has unlocked a number of things I'd been struggling with for over 10 years in one weekend. All my students are crazy about learning this stuff too and we can't get enough of it. I tried to work on Dan's things a number of times and I liked some of his phrases but I soon found myself falling back to Mike's methods, they just made more sense to me and show very real progress.
I can't believe you can't consider stepping outside to see what's there. Your choice obviously. I don't mean anything negative about your teacher but I can only assume you've never gotten hold of someone that has 'the goods' because when you do, it changes your perspective. My first teacher was and always will be very special to me, he was like a father to me, but, he did not have internal strength. I think he'd have liked Mike though.