I have been fascinated by the intricate working of the universe. I have been digesting as many physics documentaries as I can get my hands on. On of the fascinating quotes I pulled out from one of the films was something to the effect of, "In physics you achieve status often by refuting your teacher, what other field of study is like that?"
I propose that other field of study is budo. Maybe refuting is too strong a term, maybe breaking or changing methodology. Maybe it is just finding your own path.
Let's look at my own lineage. Takeda was a powerful artist. Eventually his great student Ueshiba learned to forge his own path. Ueshiba's student Kenji Tomiki studied under the great teacher for many years until he learned to think for himself. Mr. Geis took Tomiki's work in bold new directions, further polishing the mirror to see his own reflection. Russell Waddell and Nick Lowry learned from their teacher and forged their own path based on their preferences when the time was right. I learn from, yet challenge the work and ideas of all the great men who came before me.
Like I said in field of Budo 'refuting' might be too strong a word. The process might even be really friendly. We can morph to expose the weakness in previous methodology, or simply to find a personal prefernce in training. I do believe every student of the way has the right to become their own artist. While some believe in the feudal notion of following and copying is budo, I believe budo is something deeper. Budo is taking the art of your teacher and molding it with practice, science, artistry and insight into your own sculpture.
Budo is owned by no one person. Every person that touches it molds the result. Truth and perfection was not found by some master of old. It is found in the here and now - one practice session at a time.