Jeff Duncan at Full Circle Aikido told me the other day he had a visitor from a school that bragged closer ties to Ueshiba's lineage than Tomiki's aikido. He seemed to imply that because of this, his system was more pure, or correct way to practice. Why is their direct system more correct?
You see I look around the attitudes of much of the aiki world and I see it like the churches from the bible belt I reside in. Every church seems to look to every other one with doubt and a critical eye. They do this even though they worship the same ideas and read the same books.
Aikido is really no different. Lowry Sensei was telling me that when he walking a different path he was taught to see other people's work through a lens of right/wrong. If aikido wasn't being done their way it was wrong.
I think we all can fall into that mode of thought. I regularly offer critical analysis of other artists work. God knows other artists offer it of mine. But really what Lowry Sensei says is the difference lies in preferences.
Some people like to make power technique. Some people like painful aiki technique. While these techniques do not fall into my model of what aiki is, its ok. The world is large enough for people to define it themselves.
One of the truths I have learned on this path is that today's understanding and preferences will evolve into something completely different tomorrow.