Hi Mark, good to see you luved it with Corky.
Regarding your partial dilemma as to how you personally move forward I would say you'll no doubt find your own personal answer.
As I see it you could well carry on under the umbrella of Ki Aikido and at the same time do a separate thing elsewhere and name it as you see fit. That would be an interesting experience for you all in itself.
Otherwise like many before you you could form your own style which no doubt would draw on all your experience plus the new view. New scene too for you will be 'independent' so to speak.
For me and Bob it has been this way for many a year. So I have encountered much of what you describe and more and yet found it all, every bit of it, enjoyable and opening to more learning.
There are those who come who have never done a martial art and were always put off by the mechanical structured approach. Then those who are used to such an approach. Then those who are very experienced in a martial art or aikido. Bottom line is just to know exactly what you are teaching and forward that to the student and all is then fine in my experience.
There is always feedback and there are always folk who turn up purely out of interest just to see or feel what it is. That's all good too. Feedback comes eventually from those you teach as they travel and encounter various scenes and people from different styles. So in a way I never feel away from what others are doing for I encourage anyone who wants to to go try any style. One guy I should be seeing next month at a yearly party went to an Iwama school. It will be good to see how he is getting on. He has returned a few times with his 'new skills' and it's interesting to me watch his progress.
On the other hand there have been those who had done aikido for years and yet finally found what they were looking for here. So when in the past I have said 'it's all good' I meant it for each person has their own path to follow and those whose path will be helped by my approach will turn up. That's how I see it.
So bottom line is to know your own approach and not be afraid to present it to those who would like to learn it.
Technique-less Aikido eventually leads also to understanding technique so it itself is a fascinating thing to experience. Transcend technique and finally understand technique.....quite zen really.
So basically I am saying that after the mental dilemma comes the decision and after the decision comes for you I am sure a fascinating next part of your journey. Embrace it.
My current dilemma is all your fault!
If you hadn't pointed me in Corky's direction I wouldn't be in this predicament right now, so you have a lot to answer for. But I will happily buy you a drink the next time I am in the smoke.
In many ways it was what I was hoping for when I left to go on my travels. I wanted meet someone who would literally stop me in my tracks, which Corky certainly did.
You are right about the two choices that I face and I am not rushing to make any decisions quite yet. Part of the reason I started this thread was to engage with other aikidoka and talk openly about things. Up until now I have been sitting alone with this in my head, not getting very far. Ultimately my choice will not be separate from the bigger picture of my move to Bristol and the other aspects of my life that I am trying to engineer to fit my vision of how I want to live and what I do to make a living. Currently things are all moving in the right direction and I am really happy about my choice of city, Bristol is a good place to be.
That video link you sent me, changed the course of my life, for that I thank you