George S. Ledyard
I will say that "aiki" is about using the various sensory inputs, including the intuition to move the mind. Most people's experience of excellent Aikido is limited largely to the sense of touch with quite a bit of vision input.It starts to get really interesting when someone is good enough to start communicating using your intuition (consciousness).
I would simply say that all of the really interesting stuff out there is the stuff you don't understand. I have so may friends who form all sorts of opinions about styles and teachers with whom they have absolutely no direct experience. Most of them have stopped getting any better. They are stuck because their seeking is restricted by their understanding. As far as I am concerned, the least interesting stuff to work on is what is already understood. I think folks should work more outside their comfort levels.
Communication is a key word. A specific question I asked Ushiro sensei about his "stopping people in their tracks" was what if the attacker was on drugs or enraged and not seeing anything. Someone like that isn't really taking in input so of course reaching them through communication doesn't happen. And in that case it's a matter of grasping how much input/communication is possible with that person in conjunction with how to deal with that person physically. (Several times Ushiro sensei said he didn't do anything to the attacker because he would have had to harm him/her. Despite this sounding like "Drink my kool-aid" I think he was talking about the attacker (seminar participant) charging in with tunnel vision.)
Along the lines of communication, in teaching a beginner I myself would ask them just to fall for me ie "take my word for it". I'm asking them to initially behave as if
they're perceiving something, then perhaps later they're more "set up" to perceive it. Of course this doesn't jive with a "prove it to me" student attitude. And of course the danger is the instructor deluding him/herself that he/she is sending out those outputs for the student to perceive when in fact they may be lacking or nonexistent. How to police oneself...