I stopped reading here for a bit because I found it was getting me down.
"In the several years after O'Sensei's passing, one high ranking teacher was making plans to split away from Hombu Dojo and start his own group. During those years, he and his followers said many negative and demeaning things against 2nd Doshu, but Doshu never made any comment - to the point that even his supporters were becoming very frustrated and disappointed in him. One day, I couldn't stand it any longer and went to Doshu and said, "Why don't you say something back against this person or defend yourself against such remarks, it is so painful to all of us to hear such things."
Doshu became very stern and reprimanded me saying (literally), "We practice Aikido, we do not say bad things against others." And he turned and walked away."
Here one of the reasons why I practice aikido
When I grow down-heartened by those disparaging aikido as fake, or exhorting us to be more realistic, or aggressive, such as can be seen all over youtube and sometimes on here, I pick up Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Spirit of Aikido and re-read
"These criticisms are understandable and come especially from those who seek thrills in victory and conquest or from those who have stereotypes of martial arts as consisting of shouting, hissing, kicking, hitting and destroying people
"Aikido rejects all forms of violence, justified or unjustified. Otherwise we would be no different from the forms of martial arts in which fighting and winning are selling points.
At the risk of seeming repetitious, I want to say again that aikido is a spiritual path and its ideal is the realisation of harmony and love. By disciplining mind and body, especially mind, it leads to the perfection of personality and humanity.
Don't get me wrong, we train hard with ukes showing intent and nages showing atemi but nevertheless the above quotes are at the heart of the matter for me and I refuse to surrender my idealism.
Just realised I've necroed this thread (and not for the first time), was sure it was showing in "new posts", ah well