Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu
Here is another exercise that I think is more difficult to do and which I spent quite a bit of time working on with my teacher.
My teacher is a Menkyo Kaiden of Shinkage-ryu (under Watanabe Sensei), which I study. We were working on simple suburi, when I had the idea to ask him to grab the tip of my bokken. I wanted to see if I could raise my sword up with him resisting. Couldn't move at all. He interest in the concept, so we switched and after a bit of play he was able to do it quite well. Then we progressed to a jo (which he held just like a sword) and did the same thing. I was able to do it with a sword some, but didn't get to a point where I had much consistency and I never once succeeded with the jo.
Stand vertically, and hold the sword just as you would naturally in chudan (middle position), which is basically having your hands at your bladder level with the sword tip pointing directly out in front of you at the same level. Uke stands directly in front of the sword and grabs the tip with one hand firmly, while standing erect, with the intention of preventing your movement.
With no movement other than your arms move your sword above your head just as you would when doing suburi. If done well the Uke will be lifted onto his toes effortlessly in one smooth motion and his arm will be lifted above his head, and he will suddenly find himself walking around to the back of the sword holder to keep up with the tip of the sword as it goes behind him. Although the uke will walk near you, he will not be able to punch, kick or touch you in any way. Then when you swing your sword back to the bladder position, he will be thrown to the floor directly in front of you at some distance of course.
In my opinion, this exersize is much more difficult than the first one and I would guess that those Sensei who do not do sword work may not be able to do this according to the rules I laid out above.