Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring
Rereading Lynn's column, I am reminded of a variety of things.
Ueshiba Morihei's solo exercises were not passed down to Modern Aikido.
Ueshiba Morihei stating that his art was formless (which, btw, was what his teacher and his peers in Daito ryu said).
Modern Aikido is solely focused on teaching techniques.
Ueshiba Kisshomaru stated that a few years was all that was needed to learn techniques.
Tohei noted that some students had learned techniques from only books and had no glaring errors in the techniques themselves.
Mochizuki stating that Ueshiba Morihei had trimmed the Daito ryu syllabus.
Some of the "greats" of aikido only studied 5-10 years to get very good. And no, that wasn't "extensive" training in the dojo.
We have Modern Aikido people who have anywhere from 20-40 years and have not reached the skill level of the "greats".
The mindful modeling and mentoring in Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido has failed while Modern Aikido has all but been labeled an art form with only the spiritual focus its saving grace. 2-3 years of many martial training (judo, bjj, kali, mma, etc) will outshine and surpass most who have 10 years in aikido.
And Ueshiba Morihei, himself, stated he was not a religious man -- that his primary study was budo. A world of top rated martial men challenged him on just those grounds and walked away either impressed or begging to become his student. Of note, the same was said of Takeda, Sagawa, and Horikawa (Kodo).
The entire basis of Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido was in his budo, specifically Daito ryu aiki. His spirituality was seamlessly intertwined and he melded the two in an incomprehensible manner to most. Without the aiki ... we have Modern Aikido, a mostly spiritual art that lacks the martial veracity.
The Japanese version of Mindful Modeling and Mentoring has failed. Where Takeda strove and threatened to only teach 1 or 2 select students the "secrets", those few throughout the years have dwindled and regressed rather than exploded and surpassed. It takes a hard look at the Aikido/Daito ryu world to see this.
While we don't have the greats with us today (Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo), I expect to see some appear in 5-10 years. This time, though, it will be from *our* Mindful Modeling and Mentoring. This time it will be on us as to the future of Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido. And it will be interesting to reread Saito's proclamation that in the future, the Japanese will come to foreigners to learn Aikido. Not because the Japanese *can't* produce top rated martial men. They have. Many times. But, they have not reproduced those successes nor exceeded them, and instead the skills have nearly become extinct.