Wonderful posts. As for Dojo violence and changing attitudes I am torn between seeing students train and challenge both themselves and each other to move higher, stronger and farther...
...and seeing them live to be my age without so damn many nagging injuries and outright crippling problems from training too hard, long, and relentlessly. On one hand I have seen too many sandans who have not ever 'trained' in the old sense, but they might be able to train a lot longer. I think it comes down to purpose. When I ran the Rocky Mountain Aikikai I had Denver Police, FBI, Secret Service, ATF and Border Patrol all training in the dojo and we trained hard because these men had a purpose. In my dojo today we have engineers, musicians and accountants. Why beat the snot out of them?
I look around and see all my friends with surgery on knees, shoulders, backs, wrists etc. due to things they did 20-30 years ago. This is supposed to improve the quality of our lives? I am changing, I don't know if for the better, but I don't want (can't stand) to see my people hurt anymore. Life is long.