The beauty of this forum is that in becomes an in-vitro laboratory for people to work through ideas and beliefs about the practice of Aikido (and related arts). The significant limitation of this (and any other internet forum for that matter) is that it simply exists in cyberspace.
We are discussing, debating, etc. an area this is tangible. Martial arts exist as a "DNA legacy" of surviving physical/deadly conflicts. We no longer test those skills in seasonal battles amongst warring clan. The tests that some do employ have been tailored to allow for more than a live/die paradigm. Ultimately, the skills can or cannot live up to the claims made about them. I would like to believe ( I really do know better from reading some people's posts) that Aikidoka are unified in their shared belief that what O'Sensei taught was a MARTIAL art that was viable and stood up to repeated tests by many. I would like to believe that almost all of us would share a belief that O'Sensei's skills were unique to few and that they do not seem to be passed down as a whole entity. I would like to believe that many of us struggle to try and rediscover what made O'Sensei one of a handful of uniquely skilled martial artists at that point in history.
We can debate until time immemorial as to what those skills sets were and were not. There is a video legacy and first-hand account legacy (few of those people are alive today) to which we can begin to try and measure up to what we are seeking to achieve. There are those of us who go out and meet those who claim certain skill sets and abilities. We can see first-hand what we think that we know and can do. We can see first-hand what others think that they can do and know. These meetings have been occurring as long as martial arts has been around. Some of the meetings have been cordial and respectful, others were neutral in tone and others were deadly. Regardless of the nature of the meetings, the results spoke for themselves.
Today, we have people on the Aikiweb who make claims and steadfastly refuse back up what they allege. Today we have people on the Aikiweb who make claims and are out in the general public for some, if not all to experience. It is comical to me to read posts from those who refuse to meet others and find other verbal dance routines to avoid real contact, while at the same time claiming to know "better" than others. I do not expect that his pattern will cease by this thread, or many like it. Jun will continue to have to shut down threads because some people seem determined feel they have no obligation to have to live up to our shared heritage of real meetings and real results. This myopic pattern that exists within all styles of martial arts is only made worse in cyberspace.
Many of us take periodic breaks from posting due to this never-ending pattern of thread directions. This forum will hopefully continue to provide people with a variety of information (that significantly varies in relevance and reality-testing). The sad part is that in cyberspace, everybody can voice their opinions without having to stand behind their words. Many of us on the Aikiweb and other forums will continue to use this forum as an opportunity to broaden our understandings by taking words and ideas and having them tested and challenged so that we can remain anchored within martial realities. These realistic encounters and experiences are the foundations of respect within the martial community at large. Those who do not want to step up to realistic tests, experiments, challenges (it does not matter what you call them) have no one to blame but themselves when others end of disparaging what they say for lack of face-to-face candor.
In summary, I can only hope that we as a community display a more tempered approach in what we say, claim and ask for. The realities of martial arts breeds true humility, integrity and respect. That is why my closest friends are almost exclusively from the world of martial arts.
No disrespect intended, but this is excellent example of "divisive rhetoric".
I'm not challenging your opinion (you have some good points, IMO) or your right to free speech, but it's Jun's forum and he has asked us (in this very thread) to steer away from this kind of thing.