Regarding the other posts.
Alec I think you really understand the point I made regarding dealing with shoots and mastering one's own stability. What you gave above exemplified the point i was trying to make. In Aikido really knowing how to stand and move is extremely important and a deep practice in itself.
Edwin: From my experience at least, the "win with the first moment philosophy"
works like a charm and is extremely practical, sometimes one's only choice. A major concept of Aikido strategy is Sen or initiative. Sen no Sen or taking the initiative (pre-emptive strike at the first sign of a willingness to attack by the other person) has the effect of stopping the attack (and the will to attack) dead in its tracks. This of course requires that the one using Sen no Sen have the mental clarity to perceive the subtlest of openings and capitalize on it (again Mushin Mugamae). A lot of Aiki operates before the physical engagement is even made.
Michael: Based on your later posts, if you only
practice what your teacher has shown you and he has forgotten part of the repertoire because of a lack of systematic training methods (hypothetical case of course) and as a result you are never shown certain things, then is that area of the system lost forever?
Also, what if another student who trains with you today has experienced a technique from your instructor that for some reason you have never seen, does this give you the right when you both become teachers one day to say that what he is teaching is incorrect? Simply because you never saw it being done by your teacher?
This is why I say that the teacher is part of the training method (in the case of Aikido) and not the other way around. If you simply follow what your teacher does and don't attempt to go closer to the source of the system you still run the risk of losing parts of it if it is never revealed to you by your teacher for any reason. It seems to me that you are taking concepts from Silat tradition and applying them to Aikido incorrectly. Aikido is not Koryu.