I think the sorites goes something like this:
Since we are all born with the raw material of external skills to some extent, speed, timing, and strength, and since even people who were uchi deshi after dint of long practice cannot come close to the level of Ueshiba, O' Sensei must have had internal skills, whatever they are. And so Ellis began a long journey of excellent research, which brought to light many many facts about Ueshiba's personal history, who he trained with, and how he trained. All of that was excellent. But I think that the assumption that Ueshiba had internal power is an assumption made a priori especially since none, or at least, very few of his heirs can demonstrate simlar skill. After all, it was that very anomaly that I believe was the genesis of the book.
Hello Mr Galeone,
I think that even constructing
the sorites, if it is indeed that kind of paradox, is a major problem.
Though I have spent many hours discussing these issues with Ellis, I do not normally participate in these AikiWeb discussions, for they remind me too much of the fruitless (and endless) theological arguments I had before I began aikido. It is like a group of true believers arguing with atheists and agnostics that Christ definitely had internal (and also external, for all we know) power, skills, whatever, based on their interpretations of the gospel texts and whatever other oral or written evidence is available. Of course, faith is required, but this needs to be supplemented by ‘reliable' translations of the texts (definitely not made by the agnostics or atheists). His disciples could not do what Christ did, so he must have had a different order of skills etc., but it is not open to beg the question by stating that Christ was different anyway.
IHTBF is not much use either (and I think this is one major issue with HIPS) because of the paradox that experiences both are and are not self-validating in an important way. So detailed discussions about intent, and how it guides whatever it is supposed to guide, are not convincing.
Oh and I have spent time with Yamaguchi S and been uke on many occasions. I once asked him if he knew what he was doing and he said no, not entirely. I also asked Tada S whether he thought Ueshiba had 内力. He answered that he thought he did, but did not teach it. Of course, if Ueshiba had IP / IS and none of his disciples did (the qualitative difference), or if their IP / IS skills were far less than his (the quantitative difference), the answers of both Yamaguchi and Tada might well lose all or some of their validity.