Francis Takahashi wrote:
Nonetheless, any and all who would declare themselves to be genuine "students" of the Aikido of the Founder, should examine carefully, after doing their honest "due diligence", and after carefully examining their fundamental reasons for choosing to create their own Aikido, and fully know why they have decided to align their growth and development with the Founder's theories, techniques and unique philosophy. Without this conscious and honest self affirmation, such a powerful commitment may be doomed before it is is begun.
How does a student of aikido complete "due diligence"?
If anyone reads through the entire Aikido Journal back issues, you find that many of Ueshiba's students, in both pre-war and post-war settings, didn't understand what he was saying. Jump forward to the present time and if you start reading Chris Li's blog posts, you can find that some of what Ueshiba was saying can be correlated to older, known martial sayings. Jumping back to Kisshomaru Ueshiba's tenure as head of hombu, we find that there were many changes in what was disseminated to the world about the founder's spiritual message. Mention of the "kami" were gone. Mention of the actual names of the kami were gone. All replaced with generic terms more fitting to a world wide audience. A student of aikido would be lead astray thinking that all those replaced terms are what the founder, Morihei Ueshiba, actually believed. How would you suggest that aikido students examine and complete due diligence in this area?
If anyone reads through the entire Aikido Journal back issues, you find that Ueshiba was known for showing some amazing feats. His push tests are very well known. (I have a thread dedicated to just this subject here on Aikiweb for those wanting to do the research.) Ueshiba's power, even in his old age, was very well known. Mochizuki, a gifted and skilled man in the martial world, himself writes about Ueshiba's power. Which student in the aikido world can even begin to understand how to achieve those skills? If a beginning student does the research and then looks to their teachers and their teacher's teacher and does not see Ueshiba's skills being replicated after 40 years of training, how can that student complete due diligence? How would you suggest that aikido students examine and complete due diligence in this area?
Takahashi sensei, you bring up excellent points. I completely agree with you that aikido students should be doing their due diligence and examining carefully the founder's theories, techniques, and philosophy and that is why I have asked you how they should do that. They are tough questions but I agree with you that they should be asked, especially of our teachers. You have a long and distinguished background in aikido. The people I know speak highly of you, so don't take this post as anything negative or derogatory. There is no animosity behind my post. I'm asking you because you broached the subject in your column.