So many labels, rendered in hindsight, to which we might add Ki Aikido, Tomiki Aikido and undoubtedly a whole bunch more. Ueshiba instructed students to make Aikido their own, to not merely copy his forms since the external forms are but individual expressions of the Aikido inside us all.
Aiki is a union with Ki. It is manifest via the coordination of mind and body. The path one takes to get there is of little import; the rewired body unified with intent, spiritual awakening, brewing and pouring tea... it doesn't matter. The path, over time, reveals itself to the individual and it's up to each of us to decide whether to follow it or not.
Good to hear from you Mark. Perhaps one day in the future you'll be able to cross the pond once again and sample some of what east coast Aikido has to offer.
thanks for responding (what has happened to Aikiweb since I've been away? over 400 views of my post and only 1 reply?), I agree with what you say and labels usually only serve to separate rather than to bring together.
After over 20 years practicing under the label 'Ki-Aikido' I went out and met with others practicing under different labels Aikikai, Iwama, etc and found that we have more similarities than differences. The main real difference being the training paradigm itself, which allows the role of uke/nage to work in a way that works for each other.
My own personal dilemma is that my exploration of the wider world of aikido have brought me to a place on the mountain where the paths forward diverge. Meeting Corky has been both a pleasure and a pain. Once someone has opened your eyes to something, it can not be unseen. I could quite easily have been happy teaching Aikido in the style that I have been accustomed for the rest of my days. Students would not complain. So now I am wrestling with how I can move forward and practice/teach something that incorporates all of the above? What banner would I march under? Maybe I open a small dojo/lab and just find some like minded folk to play with. I'm not sure, I am just thinking out loud. No-one said that the aikido journey was an easy one.
Anyway, enough rambling from me. I would love to come back to the States at some point Ron, the east coast in the fall is one of the most beautiful places on earth. If I make it, I would love to come and see both you and Mary, I know we would enjoy sharing our practice.