Ron Tisdale wrote:
I find the use of this example out of context to be somewhat disengenuous. I have it on good info that while the 2nd Doshu may not have been the best in the world, in an art passed down within a family, that is not unusual. And more importantly, I have it on very good information that the 2nd Doshu was more than quite capable. Despite what an unknown source might say about his experience in trying to 'up the anti' at a public demonstration.
In my book, Kisshomaru Ueshiba remains one of the most under-estimated figures around. He was very quiet, even shy - if you passed him in the hall you might miss him, and his technique usually consisted of large, smooth, circular movements with no spectacular slams. Now, there are Aikikai teachers who are known to have scary reputations, but Kisshomaru's nikyo, if you could get him to apply it to you, was something that made them seem pale in comparison. Then you have to think about it - most of the big scary guys in the post-war Aikikai actually came up under Kisshomaru.
There's a good story in "Aikido Ichiro" about how Tadashi Abe underestimated the young Kisshomaru.