Christopher Li wrote:
Of course, how many people are at the level that S. Takeda was?
For the rest of us, size is very much a factor. It may or may not be the deciding factor, but there are very few people for whom it doesn't figure into the equation at some point or another.
That, I believe, is an underlying stipulation when anyone says 'size doesn't matter.' It's a high level that someone must attain to reach that. However, there's plenty of situations where size wouldn't matter at a lower level of training. The hard part, I'm sure, is maintaining the positioning to prevent strength from coming into play.
Keep in mind, 'absence of strength' in Aikido is a misnomer.