Mike Sigman wrote:
My current impression is that Shioda knew more than his books indicate and we're seeing mainly his best attempts to get people started correctly (what more can you ask from a simple book?). I'm extrapolating this point of view from reading his books, of course, since I never studied Yoshinkan. My question is sort of "what did Shioda know and when did he know it?" because that will cast some light on the question of "what did Ueshiba Morihei know and when did he know it?". The comments about standing practices in Yoshinkan are interesting indicators, so I appreciate the information.
My understanding mirrors your comments about what Gozo Shioda Sensei was striving for. He wanted to find a way to teach his Aikido to a large number of people very quickly with a simple set of exercises. These, of course, are the kihon dosa that Inoue Sensei and Kushida Sensei (I believe) jointly developed when they first started to teach large numbers of beginners (ie. self defence force / police). I don't remember what organization they were originally developed for, but I believe it was military of some type.
In Aikido Shugyo a lot of time was spent on the concept of "Riai" which was translated as "fundemental principles" which is what we as students are supposed to gain from kamae, kihon dosa and kihon waza.
Although I never studied directly under Shioda Sensei - he was too ill by the time I made it to Hombu - I am told that when he moved around in class to help people the memories of what he did to improve their technique usually centered around the positioning of the hips and legs. I can't say anything further than that, but this seems to be the underlying theme of people I have spoken to who did experience his technique and his teaching.
And, of course, that method has been passed down to his students (ie. Inoue Sensei, Chida Sensei, Takeno Sensei...and of course Robert Sensei
) I should also mention Roland Thompson Sensei since he is the one I have spoken to about this the most in recent years.