Well, that's where we differ. I don't think that any of the students got near the level of the Founder. Everybody got something, some a little, some a fair amount. But what they got they mostly didn't understand well, so their students in turn never reach up to the level of the Founder's students - and so on, in a downward spiral (not the good kind).
Hello Mr. Li.
I hope your day is going as good as mine, and life is treating you well.
That is a popular valid argument. From that argument, the thought that comes to mind is what did the Founder get from his teachers who where far more conservative and strict in doling out information? It isn't hard to figure out that wasn't much in comparison. The Founder had the genius to circumvent that obstacle, via training himself. Unlike today, during the Founder's time a seminar circuit didn't exist to support his development in pre-war or post war Aikido. Who would he go to at the time to teach him what Takeda did not? He had no resources outside Takeda, the Founder was left to his own devices to learn what Takeda with held from him. That alone makes a person more hungry. In the case of the Founder's students, I don't believe the Founder held back information. I do believe a wider generation gap existing between the Founder and his students than the Founder and his teacher.
I have read articles that argue some of the Founder's students both pre and post war had excelled remarkably in skill equaling to that of the Founder's. Suggesting to me, these student then became in the same shoes the Founder was in after the Founder's death. If you have the desire, the hunger, you will improve with or without a teacher. I don't think too many people think that having a teacher pass away early in a person's training places a person in the same situation as if the teacher withheld information.
We are fortunate today with so many opportunities to experience other teachers from a variety of willingness to share information. There are videos, internet, seminars, visiting a dojo all giving out a variety of information. The Founder and his students made videos, put on seminars, published books and other means of disseminating information. These actions are not those of individuals who want to withhold information and keep it to themselves. It is clear to me they wanted to disseminate information. There are those who do feel they didn't.
My thoughts go back to teaching kids math. Those who have or develop an aptitude, work at it, are hungry, take responsibility enjoy greater success. Students who are teach depended relay on the teacher for all information. If the student lacks the aptitude for example, that student can't learn independently. The student's success is heavily dependent on and at the will of the teacher.
I have never thought high Aikido skill was stratospheric outside of anyone's reach. The Founder set the mark based on his abilities. He took from jujutsu and form his knowledge base created Aikido. His accomplishments are his own. I think that is an example for all of us in the way we can pursue Aikido. The caveat is, it took the Founder years and thousands of hours of practice with the right mind set that lead him to his skill. The Founder's skill wasn't created in an day. His students gain great skill as well, they didn't learn over night. The most detrimental issue I think is when a student is his own worse enemy lacking confidence. Then it is the idea the teacher's knowledge is the pure truth which can't be questioned. A teacher no matter who it is doesn't have all the answers or carries a magic bullet. Students must accept the idea of independent study, instead of dependent study.
Because I take that view, am not a disgruntled student who feels cheated and lied to by his instructor. I am in contrast, a student who will push on and reach the higher levels of Aikido. I am a content happy student.
Hope everyone has a great day.