Nice post Ellis.
I agree, the application of aikido philosophy to individual and societal interactions can be ambiguous for those who subscribe to the sole premise that it is a "martial" art. Is it a martial art or not? If not, what then? Can it be both? I spent many years wrestling with that paradox, and I'm afraid, I have come no further in reconciling the duality.
However, I also do not buy into the "no-touch" myth - and certainly not from that distance. Although, I have on occasion thrown people without touching them, and overtly responsive uke aside, I would put that down largely due to a timing coincidence.
but when one publicly presents something, one is inviting comment, be it praise or critique. Otherwise, do not present.
I couldn't agree more. It is a pity that it could be interpreted as mere buffoonery. But by the same token, I believe that people should also question their own perception bias. He is simply slicing the air, on several occasions - twice, and people are trying
to fall over. There is no real connection whatsoever between him and the group. The timing is completely off. To me, no matter how deluded one might be, that is simply way too obvious to be a display of any real or imagined skill. Without knowing or having met Takeda, can one be absolutely certain that he is completely mad, or is there a method to his seeming madness?
As it is with the apparent dual facets of Aikido, each individual will have to make up their own mind. Personally, what I got out of that display went far beyond that of a supposedly "martial" display of equally imaginary skill. To me, it spoke to the concepts of expansive "feeling", and one part moving all connected parts.
IF that was what it intended to convey, then perhaps, it could have been better/differently. Who knows... I wasn't there and I have no idea what he was thinking. It's pure speculation on my and I could be equally deluded and completely off course to think that anything could have a deeper meaning.