Re: Senshusei course
I thought that AWP said as much about the author as it did about the subject -- and I'm sure that Twigger would agree. He sees both Japanese culture and aikido through filters that he's sometimes conscious of, other times not so conscious of. At times he reminds me a bit of an Australian acquaintance I know who came to the US to work for a season as a ski instructor, and who thereafter made a lot of pronouncements about life in the US based on a half-year in one resort area. I think AWP will disappoint many aikido enthusiasts because Twigger never seems to have that transcendent moment, the breakthrough, the acceptance; he never seems to fully make his peace with what he's doing and to get to where he accepts that the cost he's paying is worth the benefit he's getting. In fact, I'd say he never seems to get any sense of real benefit out of his training, or at least he never articulates it. I do like the book, though, because while I think in some ways his experience was a real swing-and-a-miss (assuming it's faithfully recounted), I like the warts-and-all portrayal. Aikido probably suffers more from over-romanticism than it does from excessive pragmatism.