Re: Baseline skillset
Thank you George, Kevin, for your wonderful posts. Getting back to the origin of this thread, I would say that you have demonstrated the only really important basic skill in Aikido: an open heart.
I believe that the "powers" that Mike and Dan speak of are available to us, if we choose to find them, in Aikido waza and elsewhere. I also happen to believe that the mechanics of those powers are simply not what Mike and Dan think they are, but are rather more like what Eric thinks they are. But does any of that truly matter? The point for me is that Aikido, whatever its mechanical underpinnings may be, and however successfully or not it might be taught and learnt, is an art that speaks to me. It is an art that has, on extremely rare occasions, been helpful in physical conflict, but which, far more important, has informed my behavior, mood, and character every day since I found it, so many years ago.
So while Mike and Dan pursue their path, I will continue with what seems to be working for me. Their words (and I have read every one of them) have caused me to think, reconsider, and reprioritize, and I am grateful to them for that.