Michael Douglas wrote:
And : "Actually a no-touch throw is simply an extension of a regular throw."
Well, while achieving no-touch Aikido throws requires BOTH uke and nage
to have trained in normal touchy-throws, the 'extension' is an extension of
belief. If that is accepted, then no-touch throws are valid in the uke-nage
dojo context, but still totally invalid as martial application.
THEY GIVE AIKIDO A BAD NAME
How and why no touch throws work have been discussed many times on these fora and just about all agree that they are often a case of uke skillfully avoiding contact with what could be a damaging strike. Nothing wrong with that. They can also be a result of tori being just a fraction ahead of uke's grab so that uke continues to try to grasp the target and is being lead to the position where a roll is the only way to maintain co-ordination. There is also the third way which some may have come across, but not by any means all, where tori works directly with uke's mind, and performs the throw at this level, uke's body has little choice but to follow the mind. This is an extension on the second example given.
Not all teachers have learned this practice, but some have. Not all aikidoka can perform the, but some can. But to rubbish a part of aikido practice because it doesn't fit in with your model of how it should be done is short sighted.
Good aikido is good aikido whatever style/school you practice. It all boils down to whether you are following the principles of aiki.
No touch throws do not "give aikido a bad name" unless your understanding of how and why they are applied is lacking.
O Sensei did them, and that is good enough for me. If he is guilty of giving aikido a bad name, then maybe it's because he didn't have the benefit of Mr Douglas' wisdom.