It was that and more. I was really questioning the different views and the "infighting" that I've come across in this forum. Confused the heck out of me. You can be right and wrong and your own grandpa, all at the same time.
I'm starting this new thread in the Feedback section as this has nothing to do with the original topic of the thread. I hope people will forgive my longwindedness...
As far as the different views of aikido goes, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I've found that there are many different facets to any martial art, more than meets the eye at first.
Even taking a "simple" technique like iriminage in aikido, for instance, I've seen many different shihan of the art teach it in many different ways. Some emphasize the need to grab uke's lapel to break uke's balance forward and then project them backwards into their back balance point. Others will use the same balance point to "whip" uke around in a rotational manner into the final throw. Others liken iriminage like a "tidal wave" that goes over and through uke. Others take uke's head up then straight down, maintaining contact with uke's head all the way to the ground. Others will upend uke so that they basically land on their shoulders if they're good -- on their head if they aren't. Others emphasize the need to elongate uke outward so that they are stretched beyond their balance. And so on.
You'll most likely find the same sort of thing if you ask a cross-section of karate people their thoughts on the meaning behind bassai-dai or their "top ten tips" on kumite...
I don't think aikido is about the manner in which we do specific techniques nor is it about the specific set of techniques themselves. People have "counted" the number of aikido techniques to be anywhere between one ("It's all ikkyo") to tens of thousands. I've seen shihan who say that atemi should not be necessary in aikido and other shihan who use elbows, knees, and footsweeps in their aikido.
For me, at least, aikido is about learning about options. Perhaps more importantly, though, it's also the ability to see and accept that there are usually other options than ones I previously didn't notice. That's why I keep training. That's why I participate in things like this Forum and Aikido-L.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and that's fine. For some, everyone is "correct." For others, everyone except for themselves is "incorrect." And so it goes.
People disagree for a variety of reasons, of course. The people whom I find hard to deal with are not those who disagree with me. I very much welcome people who do not think the way I do; if I didn't I could just sit in my little white room all by myself with a mirror in front of me. Rather, the people who don't listen
to other people's points of views when they are not the same as theirs are the ones I find the hardest to deal with.
In any case, I'm hoping that we're all here on the Forums not to push one's own agenda onto each other but to share
one's own thoughts in a respectful
Yes, people can disagree with you. Yes, people can even be "wrong" in your eyes.
But, it's more the manner in which we approach these differences -- with thoughtful respect, civility, and careful communication -- which, I feel, is more important than just getting one's point across.
Those are just my thoughts on this, at least. Thanks for reading...