Regarding the claims of fantastical abilities: I am willing to forgive O'Sensei for some of the things his students may have said about him because the bottom line is that when he was alive, he was more than willing to back things up in person. Please do not take this as a commentary on modern aikido! Seems like quite a few "Origin Stories" of some of the greats began with first-hand accounts of truly trying to test O'Sensei. I recently had a similar aikido experience with a certain instructor (who we just got word will be coming back to ATL in Jan. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23008
) <--(sales pitch
). I was always super curious to see how much of O'Sensei's purported skills could actually be done by a living human being, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised! Point is, I don't think it's necessarily fair to judge O'Sensei based on the stories people told about him. This is why I am so thankful for those with the expertise and generosity to dig through the historical records and parse out the fact from fiction.