Re: Why no tsuba?
It continues to amaze me that there is such a profound ignorance about weapons here in 2012 after almost twenty years of International correspondence. I think it proves my observation that "Education does not equal access to information." Learning really has to be a voluntary thing. Nothing is so sad as to see budo people ( more so teachers who will ruin others) burying their head in the sand at the first ray of light.
On the flip side we have to be thankful that the vast majority are reading, sharing and absorbing. I am traveling and meeting quite a few of ya'll and it is not that bad...at all. My seminars are a bit unique in that they draw teachers from the Aikido, Koryu, ICMA, Karate, BJJ, MMA, and FMA all into one room. As several of your shihan have noted "I don't think this has ever happened before." In some ways it is like the old Aikido friendship seminars but it involved more teachers and from a broader range of Budo.
It is a delight to see that most of us are way past this level of understanding. In fact it is fascinating to sit at tables with Aikido-ka and when we talk about these type of issues, everyone at the table is sort of nodding and wanting to move forward in the discussion. There is so much agreement and recognition of having grown from good information in the past that it is building bridges between the various budo communities.
The people who have never responded to the information available sort of marginalize themselves.