I am pleased to see that you have read `Positive Aikido` . I trust you found it an interesting read ?
The guy in question was a second dan, only the second one at that time to be graded by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. I am afraid it had nothing to do with teaching any lessons. We were to discover later that it was Aikikai politics playing its hand...This was the very early days, they did not want westerners achieving high grades, they wanted the Japanese to be all prominent...The guy was as good as any Japanese of equal grade.
This has also been the case within the Tomiki/Shodokan orgs.
There were many grades worth their salt and even above those of the Japanese levels that were never ever ranked to the level they should be at.
Such was the case at I believe was the first international aikido competitions where a highly regarded English Dan grade reached the finals of the tanto randori shiai and won it outright only to be placed second behind a Japanese player on a technical decision.
They didn't want to lose "face" by losing the competition to a "Gaijin"
That Dan grade was offered promotion on the spot, but refused it, saying to basically stuff their Dan grade promotion up their proverbial's..... The Japanese lost more face by that decision than any promotion they could give that man.....
To my mind there are way too many "black belts" that would rank green belt or less in my mind and also my teachers....
My Japanese friend, who you know about, often said that the level was just as good here if not better. Once something becomes international things change.... He said "Take football for instance"......
Whether for better or worse nobody can say that they own aikido..... No matter what style!!
The book was well worth it and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read about the reality of how it was all those years ago. As the book says inside the cover, it does what it says on the tin!!
Tree huggers and ribbon twirlers, those who love to dance? Go and buy a book on "philosophy" the moon, stars, planets or housewife's choice, you'll be better off.....
My Japanese friend will also get to learn about British aikido from another perspective, the true one!!