Re: Principles of Aiki
The use of the body in ways that have been mentioned is all contained in basic taisabaki if done properly. The shoulder blades thing comes into play, for example, in the comment I continually heard as a young judo student and in Japan from just about every Japanese teacher I was around... "open your chest", when your chest is open in the manner they wanted, the shoulder blades are doing what was described above. It's important to have teachers that are picky and precise in what they do and can see when you understand, or don't, and keep teaching in ways that are necessary to get you to understand. Oh yeah... they have to care whether you get it too.