Re: YouTube: Kissomaru Ueshiba in 1993
O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, gave the world his Aikido, which was beyond anyone to emulate, duplicate or to surpass, much less fully understand and appreciate. It was a one of a kind offering by a genius of martial arts, probably never to be seen or experienced again in the foreseeable future. Yet, his example spawned an entire industry, as it were, of a variety of successful and unsuccessful attempts, and serve as a foundation for others to create their own forms of Aikido, using the Aiki Principles introduced by the Founder.
Kisshomaru Doshu was simply another man who dedicated his life to honor the gift of O Sensei's genius, by placing his own stamp of originality to the mortal mix of such attempts. His admitted contributions were never to represent, correctly explain, or to infallibly interpret his father's intent or purpose. It was his goal to encourage the rest of us to likewise do our best to honor and respect the originality of the Founder's creation, without unnecessary competition for relative status, or unprovable claims of authority. That his life style, and his unique example of Aikido presentation, succeeded in beautifully and gracefully honoring that tradition, is what we saw and experienced whenever we observed his demonstrations, or trained in his classes. He should correctly be honored for being upfront in his interpretation of his father's purpose, since it was never his intent to represent O Sensei's prowess, depth of mastery, or style of training at any time. He was consistently clear on his true intent and purposes at all times, and gave us the utmost example of humility and honesty.
I for one, was a devoted student of Kisshomaru Doshu, and never confused him, or any other direct disciples of the Founder of being the "second coming" of O Sensei. I recognized him for what he was, a simple man attempting to achieve the impossible task of maintaining a valid example of the Founder's purpose. To me, he did succeed in developing a style that was clean, free of ego, and a template that anyone with a modicum of talent, and a respectful manner, could benefit from in pursuing their own goals of Aikido training. His classes had something for everyone, regardless of skill level or notoriety, and all enjoyed his classes in mutual harmony. His demonstrations were likewise crisp, free of ostentation, and transparent as to what he was attempting to achieve with his tremendously skilled ukes. Together, they were giving an artful performance of what is possible, when harmonious intent, dedication to demonstrating principles, and respect for the viewing audiences was the goal. What I always saw and experienced was a true gentleman, being uncompromising in his art, and unconditionally consistent in his behavior.