Yea, more like, Tori is only Tori so long as he's able to actually neutralize Uke. If Uke is better, just switch the names around, as tori lands on his ass
I believe this is the way they practiced in Sagawa's dojo as well with respect to Kokyu-ho/Agete. One person holds down, the other tries to raise. Technically the Uke is the one holding down. But if Tori can't affect Uke's structure, he quickly becomes Uke.
Really the names are subjective, since both people are really working on the same things but from different perspectives/roles.
This recent direction in the thread puts a lot of things in place to me. It fits together with the concepts and language I'm currently exploring in my training. Of course, only a hands on experience really verifies when people are talking about the same things, because I've had plenty of encounters with people who feel that we're all talking about the same stuff only to find that we aren't. Such a meeting with my current teacher really made me open my eyes about how we often talk past one another online about this stuff and how pointless some of the discussions can be until people actually meet and experience openly. Even then, I've witnessed people not get it for whatever reason.
Here's some of my current thoughts about this line of discussion. While we tend to assign the roles in training, the roles are really descriptive of who has sente (and gets to make the next decision) in the interaction, rather than who is trying to do what. Both partners are working on (or should be) their own internal posture, structure, relaxation and tension in appropriate movements and the roles are really interchangeable from moment to moment.
Since two people connected become a system, how each person moves affects the whole system, but the intent in the practice is not to move the other person, but to correctly adjust yourself to maintain posture, recover any loss of balance, and notice the results of that in the other person without specifically doing
anything to the other person. If you get it right, it's almost like they're doing it to themselves, although certainly, tori has to do the right things for that to be able to happen. It feels soft and almost effortless to tori, but impossibly heavy or even forceful to uke.