Rupert Atkinson wrote:
In 2002, when my kid was about 2, he had a plastic sword and came at me with it while I was practising outside. Of course, I did not want to clobber him with my bokken, but he managed to hit me several times in a random kind of way.
Here's where one of the problems exists as I see it. It wasn't that his attack was so good, it's that you didn't want to hurt him. Take that out of the equation and it probably would have been trivial. Same with the (often cited) idea that it's impossible to open a child's hand. BS, it's easy, but you run the risk of injuring their delicate features, so your brain steps in to limit the ammount of force that you're willing to use.
At a BBQ this summer I was pulling a bunch of flaming hot sausages off of the grill. I had a plate almost full and super-hot greasey tongs in the other hand. Just then one of the barely-upright ones made a mad dash, hands out, for the side of the grill. Along the way he evaided his mother, father and several other adults attempting to restrain him. I didn't have time to put everything down so before I could think I stuck my leg out between him and the grill. He ran into my shin, and I used my foot to coaxe him around 180 degrees. He couldn't evade me, he couldn't trip me and he was effectively powerless against my gentle direction. Why? Because I was using the principles of ju/aiki to affect his skeletal structure, concepts that he has no notion of. Those to me are the roots of ju/aiki, not the gross physical movements.
David, we're bipedal creatures, of course you're going to see similar movements between children and aikido. But again, to be a true root of aiki, I believe it has to be something unique to the methods and strategies of aikido. Beyond that, it's just human movement *and would be common to every single human physical endeavor.
Good Aikido requires good basic body skills and awareness, but someone with those attributes does not in any way automatically personify aikido.
Finally, not everyone likes Feldenkrais, it is far from a universally accepted concept.