Re: Saito Sensei 1964 22 kata?
Very nice. I too was surprised by how "standard" the aikido looked (apart from the fact that where I was expecting ikkyo ura, I saw gokyo!).
The thing that struck me was Saito Sensei's posture, which looked more "natural" than I have seen in other (perhaps more recent) clips. He bends his front knee when he cuts with the sword, which is in contrast to what I have often seen in "Iwama style" where the hips are rotated forward while keeping the front knee almost straight. I wonder whether Saito Sensei changed his body movement as the long-term effects of the training in "Hell Dojo" set in later in life?
The question of timing in shomen-uchi ikkyo omote is indeed fascinating. To start with I didn't see Saito Sensei initiating the technique in this clip at all, as it looked as if uke was delivering the attack. Watching it again, though I noticed that Saito started moving first, even if his hand was only at chest height when his uke's shomen-uchi started, and uke seemed to make no attempt to deal with Saito's hand movement, instead delivering a normal shomen-uchi. This is quite different from what I have seen in the Yoshinkai (and also in Kanetsuka Sensei's teaching), where tori starts with a very definite strike directly to uke's face.