David Orange wrote:
Why make it a dichotomy? It's efficient body mechanics applied in strategic intent. Babies have the efficient movement because, as George Ledyard says, "...kids move in a manner that is natural because they haven't yet had the experiences that build up layers of tension in thier minds and bodies." And they're not doing anything other than the simplest movements that support their intent.
I know how to solve this - David, I hereby challenge your toddler to a fight!
I think you'll then agree that those 'natural aiki movements' as you call them do not have real application since aikido is more than just the movement (as Sensei Ledyard said).
If you can produce the same type of video footage when a todler is being attacked even by something its own size (e.g. a small dog) I would start to believe aikido (in its completeness) is natural within us. It is completely evident from your video that the todler is not unbalancing you, you are unbalancing you.
P.S. Erik - a couple of years ago when I learnt to swim properly (i.e efficiently instead of forcefully) I also saw so many correlates with aikido. Indeed it led to my belief that aikido training should really break down the movements into component parts prior to building them up (just like swimming drills). I would say there is no way that humans swim efficiently naturally (for those interested, 'Total Immersion' is the best book you'll ever get on becoming an efficient and fast swimmer)