I do think that more than anything else, this is about branding and identity, the entity being branded is "Aiki". Which of the following is easier to market: "Dan Harden's training method" or "Aiki"?
It's weird, but it's like you think this is a vacuum of some sort. Here's this "Dan Harden" training. Yet, you overlook some major aikido people out there. Think about what you just stated above. Then talk to Bill Gleason and say that he doesn't have a clue as to what aiki is and he's really just using "Dan Harden's training method"
. Let me know how that works out for you, considering Bill Gleason's training history and experiences. Do you have the equivalent foundation to argue the point with him? When Bill talks about aikido, I listen. Heck, for that matter, when Bill talks about aikido, Dan listens.
Let's move on over to Chris Li. Again, let's view your message above and let's tell Chris Li that he doesn't have a clue what aiki is and he's really using "Dan Harden's training method"
. Do you know Chris Li's background? Do you have the equivalent foundation to argue with him? When Chris talks about aikido and/or the Japanese language, I listen.
How about George Ledyard? Allen Beebe? Marc Abrams? If you really, really want to know about the rest of those shihan and 6th dans, you should at least make the rounds of training in IP/aiki. There are quite a few who don't want named, including some who were there when Ueshiba was teaching. Do you have the equivalent foundation to argue with them?
Let's go another route. How about an aikido teacher who was around when Ueshiba was teaching who learned exercises that are either directly the same or extremely close to the same exercises Dan teaches? This teacher has never trained with Dan. Extremely gifted teacher, great person, and a treasure to learn from in the aikido world.
A second teacher (who doesn't teach aikido) who was around when Ueshiba taught. This teacher has aikido yudansha grading signed by Ueshiba. And this teacher stated that what Dan was doing was what Ueshiba did.
This material, IP/aiki, is what matters. It is Ueshiba's aiki.
So, whenever anyone thinks of IP/aiki, maybe it's time to start asking these high level people who have 40 years of experience with everyone from Ueshiba to direct students (and have gone to "vetted" IP/aiki teachers) what they think.
Although you probably aren't going to like what they say ... as nearly 100% of them call this IP/aiki and not "Dan Harden's training method"
Takeda's aiki aka Ueshiba's aiki. IP/aiki should be THE
central talking point. How to train it. How to rebuild the body. How it is manifested in aikido training. How strategy and tactics work with a rebuilt aiki body. How hard the training is. How IP/aiki fits in with Kisshomaru's vision of Modern Aikido.