Hi Lee, I am quite ok with not being a clone of O-sensei or anyone else. That said-- I mostly agree with you. I do think O-sensei was on a particular "path," and it turns out, I am wholeheartedly trying to pursue the same things that he was interested in. So I do have to consider how my practice is different from his.
So yes, I agree with you for the most part, about lots of folks doing things very different from O-sensei. And I agree about us needing to make choices to change our own practice to start doing things more like what he did, if we are interested in walking the same road that he was walking (which doesn't have to be the case for everyone).
Specifically, I agree about static grabs, slowing down and working with forces before adding movement. I know I am not alone in this point of view-- as much as you are unhappy with what has been practiced for the last couple decades, I think you will start being happier soon. My practice has changed dramatically in the last 3 years because of similar sentiment to what you expressed here.
I have started practicing almost exclusively outside the dojo for the last couple years, using pushes, pulls, and wrist grabs. I will go back soon, having drastically improved my abilities.
Do you know or have you seen anyone in the Manseikan? I wonder how well Sunadomari's students have done. There are no dojos here.
Is this a fact? Being concerned with pedagogic stuff doesn't really sound like the Ueshiba Morihei I've learned about.
Hi Hanna, are you in the Iwama lineage? I agree that rules like this probably weren't said verbatim by O-sensei, but Saito sensei did leave the impression of these rules on my past Iwama-lineage teachers. Saito claimed to not try to put his spin on things.. so that suggests that O-sensei at least did not strongly disagree with this type of level-dependent practice rule.
Not that these rules are the reasons that I personally do things!