Thanks Hugh. Are there any stills available online rather than DVD? Then we could all see and discuss them a bit more easily. Also, I'd really like to know if there are any photos of Osensei actually wielding a katana (not just posing with or drawing one).
Does it really matter whether we see Ueshiba actually fighting with a live blade. Anyone who knows the least bit about Aiki-do, understands that the sword is in the spirit of the fighters, in their minds their bodies their actions so on and so forth. Don't idolize the inventor. Sure don't get me wrong, he was a great guy and all. Damn it he invented this martial art, and so hats off to him. But as has been noted on another thread, there may well now be Aikidoka who can wield this form more subtlely or even effectively than the master did, so does that make them better than him? No, it just makes them different. Equally if you want to see good weapon work, buy a gi and join an aikido dojo. Maybe one day when you are good enough, they will even get the bokkens out. As far as training with a sharp piece of metal goes, what is the thing with this? Goto the above mentioned school, give the sensei a back hander, buy a cutting sword from the internet and give it to him, and bob's your uncle you have your sword. O sensei taught us the way of peace. The fact that we can see him with his Kantana should be regarded as a bonus more than anything else imo!