In an interview I read with Tohei some time back, he states the only thing he learned from O'Sensei was to relax. Is that what "he got"? I felt the comment was disparaging but perhaps I missed the point.
I see you have been reading the same interviews as me.
(one of the ways) I took it is that its more important to relax, so you can take in more of what is happening in order to blend with it.
i.e., I have tried this out in Aikido classes the past 3 times after reading the interviews with him, and noticed a significant change and added effectiveness to my technique. (though inconsistent as I am not used to being 'relaxed' to feel the others 'flow'. Words really dont do justice...they sound way to mystical, and its not like that.)
None-the-less, the techniques go off flawlessly, or rather they may not 'look' perfect, but the 'feel' is perfect that even Uke notices the effectiveness of it.
So technique, yes...if you read my messages, you will see how much I have focused on that side as well.
Which brings me to something that has been discussed on this page...People criticizing other styles in Aikido.
- My take is to learn from each style and incorporate what you can from each. Cement yourself to much into an idea, and you loose the meaning. (Good way to incorporate the 'relaxed' state Tohei talked about, but in a different way...which at the end is the point to it all - its about life.)
If someone bigger than me grabs me, and Im just standing there...no technique will work...unless I begin punching the person in the face repeatedly to get them off.
But if I see the 'bigger guy', and already feel the momentum needed for me to blend, as he moves, 'the bigger they are the harder they fall' comes to mind. - Not really a hard concept, but it takes a bit of relaxed focus. (What I mean is that its easy to get caught in that state of thinking through your technique, which looses the bit that actually makes it work...)
Maybe something made sense from all this? (think I confused myself just now!)