Toby Threadgill wrote:
One afternoon during my visit, Sensei Barrish asked me if I'd like to observe his aikido class. I replied yes, while in the back of my mind recalling that rather bizarre video. Well as the class started, that video quickly faded from memory because what I witnessed that evening was very clean and crisp aikido utilizing excellent hyoshi, atemi, maai and kuzushi. Especially noticiable to me was Barrish Sensei's relaxed body and solid base. This aikido was actually quite different from that depicted on the video. Also of note was the fact that the students likewise demonstrated an impressive level of competence. Sensei Barrish can obviously both execute his aikido and teach it, an important distinction.
I've only met Sensei Barrish on three occasions for Gossku (ceremony and weekend of training honoring O'sensei) and during those times he didn't not teach in the same fashion as he did in that video, it was as Toby was saying. I have also heard though that when Sensei Barrish began pursuing the Shinto Priest path that he stopped teaching Ki waza for some reason pertaining to that. However Sensei Kimbal a student of Barrish for the past 20 years and the next one down from Barrish does teach Ki waza similar to what is shown in the video and having experienced it I can say that its like any technique in that it is effective - and very fun because its always completely natural movement even for uke.
The first time I walked into the dojo and encountered it with Sensei Kimbal I was off course put off and thinking it looked very fake, but I was also intrigued because he seemed like a very no-nonsense type of guy and I could tell he knew how to move, so I stuck around. Years later I can say that every time I have experienced Ki waza with my Sensei I have always been serious in my attack and it has always been effective without me adding anything too it. But still I think it's just something you have to experience yourself to see any value in it.
Which brings me back to my original questions, is there anyone else out there who is taught or at least has any experienced with this?