Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques
First of all: honest to God, I do not want to start another "DOES AIKIDO REALLY WORK!?!!" thread. Please, please do not start that bickering here. Go add another post to the 1000+ on the "does aikido really work in a fight" thread.
However, the topic I'm after is somewhat related to that one: specifically, it sparked it. The whole MMA debate is what really got me thinking about what aikido techniques are. I'd always taken them at face value, and I think done them a disservice in the process: tsuki kotegaeshi is what you do when someone tries to punch you, obviously, and katadori ikkyo is what you do when someone (like a judo person) grabs your keikogi to throw you. It's occurred to me that, as far as anyone's been able to show, these statements are simply not accurate.
This begs the question: where did these techniques come from? Well, historically, it seems they came from Daito-ryu, which came from who-knows-where (but probably some koryu jujutsu).
Put another way: what were these techniques developed for? What sort of budo situation were they intended to address? Were they movement and timing drills without direct application? Some sort of weapon-related art? A (strangely kata-based) attempt to create a new system of gripfighting? Arrest and restraint techniques? Nonsense developed for bored peacetime samurai? What?