Re: opening the joints
Point taken. Akuzawa, according to Rob, chose what he does as a starter method (as you say, there are many approaches) for going from zero to somewhere in the vicinity of understanding some basic body connections. As people training under him start to get in touch with their bodies, lot's of phenomena crop up, and these are all interesting, but not something to dwell on. The same, I would think, goes for aikido, in that the publicly available misogi exercises are good, if one knows how to do them at a given level, but what one achieves is never an end-goal since the topic is so enormously complex.