Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family
A lot of interesting responses above.
I enjoy being part of this organisation. Even though I study aikido inspired by Nishio sensei who was not teaching in a manner close to what they did/do at Hombu dojo. However he still kept a close relation to Hombu dojo, and so does all of his major students today.
I have been to Hombu dojo, and I will go again. And I enjoy looking at my diplomas that I have received from them. Not because they are 'signed' by Doshu, but because they represent hours and hours of training and dedication. En effort that has been recognized by my instructors and the national Danish Aikido Federation, which again has been approved by The international Aikikai.
I see no reason to break free from them. We would only get another organisation and the sensation of belonging to 'a whole' would go away. Look at what happens in Russia with 'Real Aikido'. I think that is the type of development that will come from breaking with the Aikikai. Strange new attires, dojo embroidery and basically putting somebody new on the pedestal.
It's not easy to walk the edge of the knife that Aikikai federation have to balance in order to keep tradition, maintain a system and develop in order to the ever changing conditions. I think they do a pretty good job, and I choose to embrace aikido as a Japanese martial art with the traditions and quirks that's part of the package.
A lot of what is being mentioned as being less than perfect is obviously things that should be addressed - but I think time and patience is needed in order to make the changes. Leaving on a 'what have you done for me lately' seems to me to be a sad development.
Frankly I don't believe somebody is making good business on the Aikikai. Yes - some people receive a salary but they also accept the responsibility of being head of an organisation and filling shoes that are virtually impossible to fill.
Most other organisation that have the right to hand out certificates or credentials also pay those that do the work, so frankly I don't see any difference except that this particular organisation is in Japan. To me Japan or the states is pretty much the same thing. A plane ticket there would be approximately the same and the time in the plane would also be just about the same.
Finally: Janet: even though you have no interest in making Aikido a career I hope you get a chance to go to Japan. It's an interesting experience, but of course not something everybody get a chance to do.
Great day to you all