Ok, here are my real thoughts about the herd thing. It often comes sideways so I will just say it here and be done with it.
Ron and I teach Aikido. (I will speak for myself here)...The philosophy is very real to me, along with the waza and Ki development.
Ron and I went to a seminar that George taught at Marc's to see what this aiki stuff was all about as George was presenting it. It was ok. We had fun. We like our way better. We invited both Marc and George to come and visit us. We were told they are both too busy. Fair enough.
Stan B. came to our dojo to a seminar not long ago.
He could see we are strong and our students are strong. Dora and Stan had an encounter and Dora was fine. Stan seemed fine.
Our ideas about Ki development are changing and growing. Reading here and other places stretches us and makes us think and do different things. All good.
We have invited Dan here several times. He lets the invites wither.I feel it is because it is an invite to explore together and not have him be the expert. Yet, I could be wrong.
I am not interested in going to his place and this is the real reason, so listen carefully. I am not interested in the culture that I see around the posts on AikiWeb from most of the people that train in IP that post on here.
In my dojo I know how what to expect. I see a lot of old guy network in the posts around IP. I am not interested in putting myself in a place where I am uncomfortable.
When Bill Gleason's name comes I feel defensive because of some students that told us that they were not to train with us because we were not the real thing (Aikikai Aikido). Now Bill seems to be going outside Aikido to find Ki. You can do aiki in Aikido.You don't have to buy in to the Western philosophy of besting another.
Before you get defensive or sarcastic ...try reading this again. I am not saying anyone is doing anything wrong. I am just talking about what I see and feel.
The philosophy of self-defense without hurting another, without humiliating someone...to truly take care of oneself at the expense of no one is really at core to me. It is what makes Aikido a practice of deep determination and commitment. One can find strong inner strength through this practice.
If you are interested come see us. We would love to train with you.
First, I think it is fair to say we all like our way better. I highlighted this comment because like and dislike have little to do with correct and incorrect. Eventually, if we hang around long enough, our aikido will fall under criticism. The rub is that it will either work or it will not. You get to say things like "my partner has bad energy", or "you're not sensitive," when you are white belt, maybe even black belt. But at some point your aikido will have to work, or you will be dismissed as one of the many people who are satisfied doing something with their time. I like my aikido; I understand that it has a ways to mature before it is correct.
Second, you don't have to buy into the concept of besting another. But you do have to buy into the concept of besting yourself. That's masakatsu agatsu. Showing up and doing what you like will get you so far. After that, it gets you a seat to the back row where people stop looking for advice. Again, I like the idea that I should leave class better than when I entered class.
Third, I do not like to be part of yet another thread intended to trash internal power. It works. If you do not like
it, fine. But the herd
mentality in aikido is of the majority suppressing the minority because the minority message rattles the foundation of aikido(TM). Internal Power just happens to be the flavor of the day (or days, as it turns out to be). Call BS, don't work with them. Eventually, you will be on the mat with one of these people and it will be plain who is better. This comparison will have nothing to do with what you like to do; it will have everything to do with who have been training aiki and who has been training aikido.
I appreciate the frustration with the Internal Power groups. I understand the close network of excellent individuals; the top of the mountain starts to get small and crowded. The problem is shouting them down only works if it is loud enough no one can hear them talk. The problem is people are listening. Save yourself aggravation. Block the posts, call their stuff BS and roll the dice.
The extend to my criticism goes as far as calling out the IP crowd. I have the same arguments with people to denigrate the MMA'ers, judo people and karateka who all want to help and learn about aikido. If you don't like it, fine. But right now it just seems like we're scared of them because they may actually know what they are doing...