In the beginning
There was one aikido, in the hands of one person.
People saw it from their point of view, and taught it from their point of view.
Succeeding generations had only this point of view, often divergent.
Many chose to take having one point of view as meaning that other points are wrong. I have heard of bodily harm, hurt feelings, divorces and legal expenses over the divisions in aikido.
Aikido has begun to try to unify again, to celebrate its many roots and aspects.
I believe that much of this movement has started on these internet communities, especially on this site and on Aikido-L.
Other sites and organizations have begun to "copy" this exercise in open-minded coolness, but I like to think we either started it or greatly strengthened it.
The point of the exercise, as my sensei likes to say, is not to see what's better than whose, but to share, learn, compare and consider.
The "fundamentalist" attitudes which limit thinking and exploring are not evident here. I love hearing "my favorite style is" not, "the One True Way is" because thinking one can judge that for any other person is a grave error.
I have seen Jun be civil LONG past the point when I would have reached for a baseball bat. His pathological civility is evident even in the logon message.
And I have a question for you, Jun - why DID you create this much-copied, envied, and well-visited site? It's not the Great American Novel I know you wanted to write ;-), but it's a heck of an accomplishment. It has always been refreshing to come here and not feel like I was looking at aikido through someone's filter. And, as I have become a travelling budo bummette, a great index for finding new playmates and events.
Is it possible that I remember looking at the beta? Do I also remember a certain aikido magazine trying to get you to stop doing the calendar because they said it was their idea first?