1. I am not involved for I am an outsider who never practiced with Dan Harden, I don't belong to ASU and didn't ever practice with someone writing on this forum. So I have nothing to win or to loose here.
Then: I' am connected relatively close to the aikikai via my teacher (who just became rokudan as I saw on the kagami biraki list ...
) and his teacher, who is a hachidan shihan. My teacher also holds a teaching rank an is shibu cho in Germany of a koryu.
Having said this.
It is unpleasant for me to read your threads. My feeling is angry, irate, also kind of helpless when reading your post.
I simply don't get where they are directed towards the factual issues being discussed. And therefore I don't get in which way they bring forth the discussions and the - mostly - to me very interesting problems.
I hope to learn something through these discussions. But sometimes I can't because you capture them.
2. I get the impression that you seem to understand certain statements as attack. You seem to feel Ueshiba Morihei being attacked, the second doshu, Saotome Mitsugi sensei. Also aikido in itself or the aikikai as the ryu that preserves aikido and to which you, I and others belong.
It is my experience that those people don't need someone who defends them or defends the aikikai or ... They are used to speak for themselves. All of them (even if I don't know Saotome sensei, I'm sure of that) ar used to and know to deal with conflicts like this. They don't need "us sandan" helping them and solving their "problems".
But besides that I don't think that someone - be it Dan Harden or someone else - who is posting something on an internet forum is such a "problem". I once reported such a "problem" to the other shihan of our German federation and he answered: "Can't be helped. Did your ikkyo improve since we met? ..."
We can lean back, relax. My experience: If we feel our sensei offended, one sentence is enough. If the discussion partner carries on, it can't be helped. If he is interested in the discussion, he will excuse and try to not do it again.
My impression of what is done here: To look behind the scenes, to dig deeper, to learn more about the non-official version of whatever is no offense and is no attack. On the contrary: It is very helpfull.
3. I also get the impression, that what is being said about "internal aikido" questions your practice of aikido very deeply. To me ist seems that you are fending off understandings of aikido which are not in tune with what you learnend and did and know.
It is my experience that we have to trust in a teacher or someone who is presenting something new to us. Not only in aikido. If I trust him, I can learn and try out even if I don't improve at once on the spot. i can just relax and let him teach me and chew it and digest it and wait and see and maybe ...
If I don't trust him there is no sense and no need to talk about his teaching. May others follow him and find their way with him. Not my road ... I will continue to do my own stuff.
And whether I trust a teacher or not doesn't have to depend on his grading.
4. So I ask you:
Please let the discussions in this forum flow around their topics.
If you feel offended send a mail to Jun. Or inform the person or organisation you think is in trouble.
If you think someone is teaching something you don't want to learn, just don't learn it. But let others do what they do.
If you have a problem with Dan Harden decide whether you are able to ignore this. Or whether you have to solve this with him. But with him, not in an internet forum, drawing all users into this.
Please let the discussions in this forum flow around their topics and find another way to represent your personal interests.