Re: Sword tip movement
I was teaching a class a few months back where I had everyone move 1/4 speed on all the techniques. Aikido often appears more difficult going slow since you can't rely on the momentum of uke's speed to help move them where you want them to go. It also makes it blatantly obvious when you're using muscle or in the wrong position, etc.
I just tried this with my bokken just too compare the tip movement at a very slow speed. There was dramatically less, still extremely tiny movements, the same amount of flicker if I just hold the sword in front of me as still as I can (I'm sure my cup of coffee isn't helping this test!).
Phi mentioned stopping the blade can cause wobbling which I'm probably doing since going slow doesn't require much of a 'stop'.
Anyway, it strikes me as funny that going slow with the bokken is easier, yet going slow with Aikido is harder. Maybe harder is the wrong word, maybe frustrating is a more appropriate word.