Doshu…

Now I find in Aikiforum a topic about the new Aikido Doshu. For those of you who don’t know, Doshu is the person that "leads the path" of the Aikido. This is an hereditary title and, in my humble opinion, silly. How can knowledge or hability be hereditary? For me, Doshu should be the most talented akidoka of the moment.

Now three examples come to my mind:

  1. Ueshiba Kishomaru (Second Doshu – Aikikai Aikido): He changed all the techniques O’Sensei developed. Of course he had his motives; he wanted all people to be able to train in aikido. So he made strong simplifications and the art lost a lot of its martial effectiveness. He doesn’t seem to me a good "guardian of the path." In fact, Aikikai was created by him and for him, not by or for Ueshiba Morihei!
  2. Saito Hitohiro (Son of Saito Morihiro – Iwama Aikido): He faithfully follows the path of his father, who followed tha path of O’Sensei. Neither Saito Morihiro or Saito Hitohiro changed any of the techniques of The Founder. His family has always been the guardians of the aiki-shrine, in Iwama until the death of Saito Sensei. Humble in nature this is a good example of pure lineage. The Saitos would have been a better choice for Doshu. The best, indeed.
  3. Mochizuki Hiroo (Son of Mochizuki Minoru – Yoseikan Aikido): This is another example of a son making radical modifications on his father’s work. He changed the Yoseikan Aikido of his father into something completely different. Created a sport version and a fitness one. Incorporated a lot of karate movements as well as french boxing in Yoseikan. This is no longer pure or true Yoseikan Aikido, and a lot of students of his father separated from his organization to continue the true Yoseikan path.

For me, Saito Morihiro or Michio Hikitsuchi would have been a much better Doshu choice. And now Saito Hitohiro would be third Doshu, instead of Ueshiba Moriteru. They have devoted all their lives to Aikido and the care of the Aiki-Shrine and the Ueshiba family. Their generosity has never been repayed by actual or second Doshu.

This is sad!