Doesn't this come back to the IQ threshold thing again though? If someone is just doing exercises with no thought towards what they want out of it or how it would be used in their particular art, sure, it's going to be time wasted. At best they might get some cool tricks out of it, but if someone applies just a bit of intelligence to what they're doing I think they could/should figure out how what they're doing fits their art (or not) and make adjustments from there. I know you're probably well past that point, but that discovery process is pretty damned fun and interesting too. I mean I'm a total noob, but I can't see how someone who was really interested and even semi-serious wouldn't be able to start figuring that out after working with someone enough to get started on the basics. If they couldn't, then it probably wouldn't matter if you drew them a map with a giant X on it.
I dunno, I think it's more about good information and hands-on. I wouldn't bet on IQ being as important as average intelligence with a good dose of dogged determination. Many times "actual" practice can trump talent.
Now, good information, with talent, and intellect....coupled with fighting experience outside of the constraints of traditional arts....with this stuff. Now that
is an interesting combination.
How would that training experience change a person and offer information to experienced teachers to enhance ki in aikido? Bill and other teachers are going out and finding out for themselves. They have seen, felt, and are making their own personal judgments in that regard, picking methods and systems and training them.
Is it a surprise- that to a man- these teachers are all going outside
aikido to find it. Is it any wonder after being exposed to outside sources they speak in a unified voice saying that aikido has lost aiki? Is it a surprise that those who have not had exposure don't know what these teachers are on about and are perfectly happy to get more air time (ukemi) and hope for some kind of change or enlightenment to get aiki, and still others don't care about anything at all and just want a work out with some groovy techniques?
It's just the way it is.
I'm just betting that this time around with the 'ki wars" that the information is better, the training for it is real, and the results-definitive. In time, I don't think there will be a Japanese Shihan living who will be able to successfully debate the training method and the results it brings (all within the traditional paradigm of their own arts) hands on with some of their own. Aiki is undeniably real....when it is
real and more so; when it is taken to a different level then the strictures of traditional kata and ukemi (something which I abhore). There are some men who can hand them their heads...with aiki... but used in a manner they are simply not capable of dealing with.
I am very hopeful that the aiki arts are going to have a resurgence...backward. Which is another comment I have heard from some teachers. They are as convinced as I am -that it was there with the founders of these arts and then went decidedly down hill from there.