Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
...John Stevens... Funny that you mention him here as I almost put a caveat in my original post pointing to the shallow understanding of the phrase that he has published to date. Well, suffice it to say that Mr. Stevens may have his take on the meaning of the phrase, but it is clearly a definition of words based upon a cultural/religious understanding only. My Talks with Abe Sensei seem to reveal a definition much more grounded in reality, and requiring a daily practice of misogi to reveal the inner meaning.
I, as have many others of late, would venture to say that Mr. Stevens has done the world as much harm as good when it comes to shedding light on the mysteries of O-Sensei's Aikido. One could go as far as saying that he is but a scholar in Aikido Clothing. I have over the years met many whose aikido was in their head, and their head in some mystical cloud somewhere... O-Sensei was not in is head, and I might go far as saying that one may search a long time and never find aikido in their head or in a cloud...
Have you trained with him? I have, and I had no complaints about his Aikido. I've talked with him, and read a lot of the sources that he uses, in the original Japanese, and he knows his stuff. It's the nature of the material that the presentation of it is quite difficult, even in the original language, but I think that he gets a bum rap a lot of the time. Certainly he gets a lot of criticism from people who haven't (and are incapable of) reading the original sources.