"Due diligence" should be performed, not only prior to any major decision making, but throughout an entire lifetime of research, reassessment, and review of the study of choice. Otherwise, we may surely miss many an important discovery that will reveal itself without warning or lost forever due to inattentive neglect. History, like ocean bottom sedimentation, is remorseless in its accretion of invaluable and irrefutable evidence that creation and innovation are constant forces indeed.
As enticing as ongoing translations and "expert" opinions may appear, appropriate caution is advised, as history is replete with troublesome and unfortunate falsehoods that have resulted from such wholesale and naive acceptance of otherwise enticing "facts". No judgments intended, but we should all continue with our own "due diligence" whenever we encounter the additional conversations being offered, and to possible innuendos, specious theories and circular arguments that may and do arise. Again, perhaps we need to trust in our own individually crafted and supervised daily training, to provide the the constant stream of useful questions, answers, and understandings we all seek.
I love the Aikido Journal, and admire the editor Stan Pranin immeasurably. Again, much of the content are "stories", which remain largely unauthenticated, lacking accepted provenance, and absent the time consuming effort of legitimate scholastic scrutiny. We should enjoy these marvelous glimpses and recounting of the events and personalities of the past, without succumbing necessarily to the romance and idealism, and especially not without careful and thorough examination and honest scrutiny. Large tablets of salt suggested.
It is hard to sometimes separate fact from fiction in regards to Morihei Ueshiba. However, when you have a multitude of various students who are speaking from first hand experience state certain things, it is very hard not to accept these things. For example, Ueshiba and push tests. There are many instances of people talking about this. Tanahashi does so in a Youtube video. Tenryu, over six feet tall and 240 pounds, talks about it.
Do we take all the first hand accounts of people pushing on Ueshiba as being "stories" and discount them because they have not gone through "legitimate scholastic scrutiny"? We should disregard Tanahashi, on video, talking about pushing on Morihei Ueshiba as merely a story of romance and idealism?
Mark, not only should serious students of Ueshiba Aiki do their requisite "due diligence" with the teachings, techniques and traditions of the Founder, but also to the similar contributions from all the great mentors and originators throughout navigable history. Further, we need to apply equally honest and intense scrutiny on our present teachers and historians, as well as to ourselves on a daily basis. After all, isn't the current crop of students, teachers and innovators the very source of future leaders and potential giants of Aiki?
I agree and am glad that you believe this way. Can you have a six foot tall BJJ wrestler who weighs 240 pounds push on you and fail to move you? As you said, we need to apply honest and intense scrutiny on our teachers. Can any teacher in Modern Aikido perform these feats of push tests that Morihei Ueshiba was renowned for? Shouldn't the students of aikido be asking their teachers why they can not? Shouldn't those teachers be asking their teachers why not? Otherwise, how does one complete due diligence in regards to training in Morihei Ueshiba's aiki? Was it not Ueshiba himself who stated that Tenryu could not push him over because he (Ueshiba) knew the secret of aiki?