I did, and found it very interesting, I will reply to it later.
Fantastic. My regards to you both. Would you remind me of your own lineage?
My primary teacher for the whole of my aikido practice has been Sensei Ken Williams, who as you are probably aware from reading Henry Ellis' very informative site, was the first British student to recieve Aikido training from Abbe Sensei, when he was given the go ahead from Japan to teach to westerners in 1955. He was head of all aikido in the UK after Abbe's return to Japan. Until Chiba was sent over by the Aikikai to take up this position (possibly to prevent Tohei from gaining influence here - I am unclear of any facts about this). Anyway after about 10 years studying with Tohei, he left to form his own organisation and remove himself from the politics of aikido in the UK.
His teaching is predominantly influenced by Tohei's method, but with his own twist. Underlying all of his teaching is his commitment to Abbe's style of budo, which had the greatest impact on his life. He is 81 years of age now and lives each day in the way that he learned from an exceptional budoka.
The spirit of yoseikan has always been "find out for yourself what is true". So I applaud your efforts. That's exactly why the Japanese martial artist's response to any claim has always been "Misete!"--"Show me!". The were looking for the truth and it was hard to come by. And where there was little entertainment, anything new was also interesting.
If you made a claim and they said "Show me" and you did but it wasn't effective on them, ,they had no respect for it. But they would at least respect your willingness to step up and put your claims on the line and they might teach you if your ego wasn't too big to learn from them
If you made some claim and they said "Misete!" and you wouldn't back up your claim, they might get very angry. It wasn't like you could go a lot of places. You were in a very local village, so you couldn't get away from anything you said in this little circle of hard-working, strong, high-spirited and easily irritated people. And you were going to stay pretty much around them for most of your life. And if they took a bad attitude toward you, it could fester in that little town. And many fights started that way. So people learned not to make claims if they weren't willing to show their ability. And out of a couple of thousand years, the Japanese people developed pretty much a culture of speaking very politely and modestly.
The popular image is that the Japanese have bred the impolite and crude and harsh out of their culture, but they adhere to that today not because it's bred out fo them but because it is still very active among them. Anything you say will lead to a thousand repercussions and embarrassments. That is still a very real and potent element of daily life among Japanese.
And remember that in the beginning the "Show me!" is said in a real spirit of sharing. Meaning "Share that with me!" though it might also of course mean, "Prove it!" But if two people are on friendly conversational terms and one of them makes a strange claim, if the listener really gets the idea that the speaker could possibly really have this ability, he will enthusiastically say "Show me!" The more real power and experience he has, the more likely he is to have the "Prove it!" attitude. But the beginning is usually friendly enthusiasm.
Thanks for that, very interesting.
You posted a general plan for that a bit back, didn't you? Are you really doing that? How old are you? It seems great to do it and I wish you luck. Please let me know if you get into the southeast US.
I am still planning my trip, I hope to be in the USA by late spring/early summer, some things have to be sorted out here before I can leave. I am 56 so you may agree that 1955 was a particularly good vintage
Of course I will let you know when I get down your way. I was planning around 4-5 months in the US, but that may be cut down to 3 months, due to the difficulty getting a longer visa (long story).