Ian Hurst wrote:
Larry, would I be correct in presuming you're still advocating different levels of "spontaneous aiki" depending on the level of the practitioner in question? Sorry, getting lost in the various elements in this thread.
Yes precisely. Actually tonight I did an exercise that is part of the Shodokan Randori system with my students, the highest of which are at 4th kyu. It is the middle level of randori we call Hiki Tate Geiko and it can be modified to suit what one wants to focus on, but we basically had one person attack with a tanto and as the other person tried to do technique the other would resist by using relaxation, sensitivity and correct body movement (not muscular tension) to negate the technique and try a counter of his or her own.
The end result was a constantly moving and flowing process from technique to technique with spontaneous reaction and application of kaeshiwaza. The process would come to an end when contact was broken, when one of the partners would launch an immediate attack again or when someone got off a successful technique. The key to the exercise however is to spontaneously react to the movements given by one's partner and use that movement to facilitate the next most appropriate technique. In this way one cannot be "bound or fixated" upon a particular waza (as David alluded to in an earlier post) but he must first focus on avoiding the partner's attack or technique and then work with the position he is in and manifest the most appropriate technique based on that position.
When this same sort of exercise is done by Yudansha the entire process is a lot more fluid, much faster, the waza have to be a lot more technically sound to end in a throw or pin and there is a lot more use of subtle movements to set up a successful technique. So this is an example of an exercise that helps to build spontaneous reactions that works for all technical levels depending on one's goals. The application of waza can go from light to full force depending on the degree of martial intensity desired a s well.
Just a few points.