Agree very much with what you have written and am at that 20 year wall right now. Despite some great teachers that I've met and trained with somehow there seems to be something thats not quite as it should be, something more that I don't see. Fortunately there are people that can help, they are here and they do seminars. Unfortunately their style of correspondence seems to upset some people and detracts from their message to a point where they get accused of talking 'Mumbo jumbo'....Its a shame as up close and hands on the message comes across so differently. To add to the issue...normally respectable down to earth average joe types like myself when posting in their support get dismissed as being devotees and cult followers.
Never mind - Like you I carry on working and look forward to seeing some progress in the future, hopefully in the right direction.
How do you think I feel arguing for years with people who couldn't..after all was said and done ....do a damn thing to me in person, over and over and over, because of aiki. Every instinct I have is to walk away, until I remember all of the faces, their joy at finally being able to do these thing and the deeply heart felt thank you's.
As far as so many people saying things and having them attack you for offering their witness? When you think of it, the only tactical recourse to 1so many people saying things so positive as to make it sound rare and unusual is to discredit the witness all together. They have to.
Why? There is no creditable response to be made otherwise. They would have to acknowledge it, and this places some very difficult questions on the table.
Consider the old refrain that truth passed though three phases:
First is it denied
Then it is vehemently opposed
Then it is looked at as common knowledge
Go back a few years and you will find me posting the current trend. I said once it reaches the point that there are too many witnesses and many people adopt it, the next phase will be to personalize everyone expression of aiki to make it okay.
You know what the next step is going to be? When everyone's personal expression of aiki continually fails face to face with those training and using Ueshiba's own defined teachings of Aiki. Then...everyone is going to start advertising teaching internal power and aiki.
The next phase?
The ones who still don't know, will meet those who train Aiki and they will still fail.
In the end, Morihei Ueshiba's teaching are just simply going to win, because he was right, the principles work and are above dispute. They are above debate. I still find it incredible that so many use him as an example, talk about his power, repeat the stories and then...when they are challenged, say "Well, it isn't about being effective, it's about peace."
I cannot reconcile that with wearing budo trappings and swinging swords.
The rhealm of aiki is as rare now as it was then...regardless of the shear volume of people who think they get it and are doing it. All it takes is a touch. Fortunately there are men out there within and outside of aikido who get it and are teaching to various degrees. I think it is beneficial to consider that there are people far better at aiki then most others and those should be our sources for better information and training.