I will also make a prediction that in ten years those "doing the work" will not have achieved Ueshiba's level...and between then and now many are going to have problems. It's just the nature of the beast.
Go ahead and build a different body and you have no control over some things at all...those that claim to have studied deeply should know better or at least be a little worried...or haven't you been really listening to what was said by those that went before....
You can end up in a right mess and many have...all to feed someone's ego (maybe even you're own) and follow the dream of being a Budo giant...lol...you people have no idea.
It should be noted that out of 10,000,000 people doing aikido only 1000 has met Mr Harden. I would be asking for some kind of insurance and how he will support even the few people he personally knows if things go wrong....
It should also be noted that most enlightened people don't do MA do they? they don't kick or punch anyone? so what have you got? you don't have aikido for sure....
Lee, in all the years I've been involved with martial arts, Japan and China, I've come to find two major types of responses when people first encounter aikido: the natural response of the normal person with no prejudice is one of wonder and amazement, mixed with fear and respect; the other is from those with an agenda, usually religious, who, while knowing no more about the art than the "normal" person, nonetheless run their initial impressions through a set of filters and processors that spits out a predictably biased reaction consisting mostly of fear and condemnation.
For instance, I once talked with a radio preacher who was in the business of making money off people's need for spiritual comfort and assurance. Part of his business was selling books about how nasty all the other religions and spiritual practices of the world were. He covered all kinds of cults and religions and, in one section, dealt "comprehensively" with Orientalism and such martial arts as aikido, tai chi, kung fu and so on.
Interestingly, your tone and statements call this fellow strongly back to mind. With no understanding of the practices and beliefs he was criticizing, he set up a straw sensei and knocked him down and stood on his head in the name of Jesus. You do something similar in the name of O Sensei. You give your location as "Japan," but I'd like to know some more about that: where are you in Japan, how long have you been there, what are you studying and with whom, and how long, altogether, have you trained in aikido (also where and with whom)?
However, my main reason for responding here is to say that, whatever your existing knowledge, you are speaking with no knowledge at all of what Mark is speaking about. How do you feel qualified to pass such judgments on that subject?
One night, when the famous radio preacher was in town, I went by the radio station and had a talk with him. He was unmoved and unconcerned as I pointed out the many mistakes he had made in condemning martial arts.
I told him, "As an aikido man, I believe that a force like living water comes from my lower abdomen."
He said, "Well, that's obviously cultish thinking."
I said, "But listen to Jesus, who said, "Who believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
This caught him, but he finally said, "David, do you know what I think about you?"
I said, "Yes."
Startled, he said, "Really? What do I think about you?"
I said, "You think I'm terribly confused and in serious danger of becoming demon possessed."
He nodded and admitted that I did, in fact, know what he was thinking. Then I said, "Do you know what I think about you?"
He was at a loss. He could not imagine what I was thinking.
I told him, "I think you are terribly confused and in serious danger of becoming demon possessed."
That shook him up. As I drove away, I listened to him on the radio, telling the audience that he was "believing God for a blue Mercedes car."
In other words, don't be so eager to condemn the serious study undertaken by others when you seem to be taking whatever you're given at face value and looking no further.
Best to you.