Rob Liberti wrote:
I think that if I were at a seminar with Saotome sensei and I could show him the video in question and ask him about it. He'd be more than happy to show me.
I would speculate and say that I disagree with you. This "whether they show you or not" topic has been a common discussion among some friends and me for many years. A Saotome-group friend of mine that has more experience than you do doesn't even think it's a discussion issue... Saotome simply doesn't show anyone some of the things he knows, in his opinion.
Secondly, I finally took the time to watch Saotome's demonstration on that friendship tape and I was a little surprised at it. The reason is that I have an impression of Saotome (bear in mind that while I've seen him demonstrate off and on during the years, I haven't really bothered to go to his workshops in recent years so a lot of my impressions are from earlier days and from knowing that Saotome gave "ki lessons" while he was still at Hombu Dojo). You can know basic ki and kokyu things without knowing the particular aspect that has surprisingly surfaced as being known by some of Ueshiba's earlier students. I would now, after watching Saotome's demonstration, take a more neutral position about his knowing exactly how this form of focused "aiki" is done. I just don't know and I don't mind retracting my earlier musing.
Thirdly, as an aside, I heard another friend of mine comment about how he gets tired of watching Saotome's "kill your opponent" approach, when the "blend with your opponent style of American Sensei X" is so much more Aikido-like. I dunno.... which is more legitimate, the pleasing Aikido a lot of Americans have come to expect or the Aikido perspective of a legitimate student of O-Sensei?
Regardless, I'm more interested in what I've now seen done/discussed by too many direct Japanese students than I am in getting off on a Saotome discussion.