Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things
Compare, if you will, the "lightning fast feel for one's empty spot", with the 'explosive power' talked about earlier in this thread. In my opinion, Yamaguchi's trademark was the first and Tada's trademark is the second, though of course they are two sides of a larger whole.
Inaba was greatly influenced by Yamaguchi, who never divorced kokyuu training from aikido training in general. Tada Shihan, on the other hand, practised a whole load of standing exercises, which he called "Ki no Renma" and insisted that kokyuu power could come only via very intensive training. As I intimated in a previous post, Tada supplemented his aikido trainig at the Hombu with training outside.
In aikido taking ukemi is a good way to sense what is happening and I have done this regularly over the years with both shihans. With Yamaguchi it was like grabbing hold of water. He found the empty spot, but then allowed you to fill it and then controlled your own ki/kokyuu until the next empty spot, and so on. With Tada it is more like entering a whirlpool, since he controls the 'kokyuu field' from the very begining. Tada expects you to keep up with his kokyuu, whereas Yamaguchi matches yours and draws it out, at every step.
Does this make sense?